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 Traditional Music >> The Scottish Mandolin >> Tutorials >> Highland Skip 2

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Mandolin Tutorial - Highland Skip (Decoration)


So what can we do to the tune once we've learned it? I have re-notated the tune below with some suggestions for simple enhancements. The first thing we can do is add a couple of gracenotes after the first note, the open A string. Once you've struck the open A, hammer on up to the second fret, and immediately pull off back to the open A.

ex1.gif - 3506 bytes spacer.gif - 45 bytes Listen to the [MIDI] file.

All this uses one strike of the plectrum and takes the same time as the original notes, so the first note of the original bar - a quarter note - lasts as long as the first note of the new bar plus the hammer-on/pull-off decoration. These first three notes are repeated through the tune, so every time you come to them, add the decoration.

Another thing we'll try is on the first bar on the repeat, and we'll create a descending pattern, alternating with the open A. This is a trick often heard from Irish fiddlers, and it will suit the ringing strings of the mandolin.

ex2.gif - 3851 bytes spacer.gif - 45 bytes Listen to the [MIDI] file.

On the final flourish, the second last bar, the first note is the high F sharp, second fret on the E string. We can emphasise that note by playing the open D and A strings, forming a D major chord.

ex3.gif - 2081 bytes spacer.gif - 45 bytes Listen to the [MIDI] file.

Finally, you could repeat the descending pattern to end the tune. See the notated version on the next page.


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