Here's a little treat for anybody interested in Old Time fiddling
August 11, 2019 at 9:33 AM #75356
Don’t know how many of y’all here know about this guy…Paul Kirk. He’s putting up great Old Time tunes, many of which have just been sitting collecting dust, under the rug, for ages. This week he had a version of Callahan…there’s enough Callahan, Last of Callahan, etc., versions out there to make your head spin…anyway, I really love this one better than any others I can remember hearing. I’ve never really gone too far messin’ with any of them, but this one is so nice I feel like I might settle in on it and it might be the first “Callahan” tune I learn to play. If you are interested in Old Time Fiddling, you might wanna have a look through Paul’s youtube channel. If you wanna listen to this one, I’d suggest going to youtube so you can read the writeup about it in his description. It’s fascinating, historical, cultural, just cool! He plays it really well with his jamming buddies on the video too. Might wanna have a look! I hope to be playing this one pretty soon, as time allows.August 11, 2019 at 10:05 AM #75357FrederickParticipant
Catchy tune, Cricket. Nice.August 11, 2019 at 11:13 AM #75359Steve SraderParticipant
Good luck Cricket , You can do it and I am looking forward to hearing you play it !August 11, 2019 at 11:15 AM #75360
Cool! I always read the description on videos, but I never know if anyone reads it on mine ??? anyway, I do like hearing the history of the music.August 11, 2019 at 12:47 PM #75367
This feller, Paul Kirk, puts one up a week, i believe…I can’t remember how often but I think once a week. I subscribed to his youtube a while back but usually don’t have much time to listen, unfortunately…just haven’t kept up. But I saw this one posted over on FHO and clicked on it, and really love the sound of it.
Thanks, Steve…I’ll pick it up I guess…when I get time to sit down and “fiddle around’ with it…if you listen, it doesn’t sound demanding or hard really…he’s tuned in one of the D tunings, ADAE, but down one step to play in C. Lots of the old time tunes really do sound better in a more mellow range…I think it got popular to play a lot of stuff in AEAE, but if people tune it down one step, GDGD, my personal favorite, you get a much mellower sound…Of course I guess there’s times when people might want a sharper, higher pitch…mainly though, if I go to AEAE, it’s because somebody contacted me on youtube and said they were sad they couldn’t play along in an “A” tune with me because I was in G…lol…so, I feel bad for the 2 or 3 people who might ever wanna play along with any of my youtubes, if I’m making it tough for them by being in G as I play the tunes commonly played in A. In the description of the above video, Paul quotes someone who tells about the old fiddlers tuning mainly to intervals as related to each string, rather than particular notes or pitches, i.e., from electronic devices or getting exactly at 440 As, etc. I love this and wish more people would feel free to tune that way. It’s how I always did tune…I mean, I had a 440 tuning fork when I got my guitar at the age of 10, and would just get an A and tune up with chords from there. But back in SE KY what we mainly did was we all just tuned to each other and didn’t give a hoot where we were as far as vibes per second, etc. Just so it sounded good to us. But I never heard of electronic tuners until Annie and I went to a little local recording studio and made our CD to try to sell (LOL…what a bad idea!) at a local big gig thing that was happening all around the area…anyway, the recording guy plopped this little thing that looked to me like a transistor radio, plopped it down on the table in front of me. I stared at it a minute and said “What’s that?” He thought i was an idiot, I guess, but it was my first time looking at one of those things and I just said no thanks and gave it back. Of course, when I listen to that CD now I do recognize sometimes I slapped on that capo and didn’t get tunings adjusted…but it wasn’t due to lack of electronic tuning…it was more just knowing the clock was ticking and we were paying by the minute, and I was scared I wouldn’t have enough money if we didn’t rush like crazy through everything and hurry outta there. Anyway, then I was in the little amateur BG band for 2 or 3 years and they insisted on electronic tuners…which were much smaller by then…I did it that way because of course it was their band and so it was up to me to do what they wanted me to do…but it sounded way off to me…like, on a fixed instrument, like guitar, which I mainly played there…when you get each string tuned to satisfy the vibrations per second of that little electronic gadget, then you play chords, or pick instead of strum or whatever…real playing instead of tuning…it sounds off, to me at least. Forltunately I think somebody picked that thing up and took off with it at a bg jam I was at with the band one night…lol…I was so happy…”Sorry, guys, somebody’s run off with my little red tuner!” But, well wouldn’t ya know, they all gladly let me borrow theirs…lol…so you just can’t get away from it. But now I really would like to play tuning in my own way…as I said, often I don’t, because if there is somebody who ever wants to play along and they aren’t into going through the hassle of tuning their fiddle to do so, I feel bad for them…so…but anyway…you know, it’s like that. But Annie and I played for an annual river walk one year and I decided to tune us down…way down…no 440 As…and tune our strings to intervals from the one string…it was funny…we were just supposed to sit and play all day…a few tunes over and over…got her to do that with me…so as people walked by where we were, they’d get a little music…well, three young does slowly came up and then hid behind a tree, cocking their heads around watching us play just about the whole time we were there. We were wondering if we somehow tuned to a frequency loved by deer! They sure seemed interested.
But anyway, yeah this tune sounds pretty easy, so I don’t think it should be too hard to learn. Most old time tunes are pretty easy…not too technically demanding or anything.
August 11, 2019 at 1:17 PM #75371
- This reply was modified 11 months ago by cricket.
There’s a few people who say that the 440 tone is actually very harmful, and that there’s other tones that are good. Google wholetones for more info, it’s a guy called Michael Tyrell. Tuning by intervals requires skill, which is probably why people don’t anymore.August 11, 2019 at 2:14 PM #75373
Interesting…never heard that…I’ll have to look Michael Tyrell up. I don’t know about skill…I mean, it’s just how I learned it at the age of 10 when I first got a guitar and started learning and playing. I learned to think more in intervals than notes, more in chords and progressions rather than scales, and modes too, really, when the chords wouldn’t work. I think over time, it seems (and I’m guessin and could be wrong, of course) tunings have gotten higher pitched. I remember back when anybody with a dulcimer tuned from C…modes tuned from the key of C…now it’s just about universally done to D. I haven’t seen a modern dulcimer player tune anywhere but D…but there was a time when it seems they’d always be in C. Is it because of more fiddles around now or what? I don’t know. From what I hear on youtube only, which is the closest I’ve ever come to Cajun fiddlers…they normally tune down a step…they might stay in standard, GDAE, but tune it down one whole step for the sake of their accordians, tuned to C. I’ve known people who only knew how to play in G…lol…play everything in G. Times change and tunings seem to change right with them.
August 11, 2019 at 2:22 PM #75375
- This reply was modified 11 months ago by cricket.
I was getting ready to play guitar for a wedding one time and I asked what key they wanted to sing something in and the answer was “Pentecostal G.” I was a little confused, but went ahead in regular G, and apparently that worked out fine…lol. To this day, I’m curious as to what Pentecostal G is????? Or why they figured they had to specify…did somebody play something in some weird key and call it G and that church group decideed to specify from that point on? I didn’t wanna ask…afraid it wouldn’t be a polite question, ya know. So…I still don’t know…that was many decades ago…lol.August 11, 2019 at 3:39 PM #75379
?? here’s my guess, the Pentecostal church in that town had an organ, that was tuned slightly different than every other piano or organ in town, so they specified Pentecostal G as opposed to a G from the assembly of God piano ????August 11, 2019 at 4:48 PM #75380
Lol…possibly some musical scenario like that. I don’t know…it threw me for a loop when they said that…lol. I grew up Southern Baptist, and G was just G.
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