Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Learning a new tune - Sinclair's Mandolin

I had a classic tune 'click' today. I woke up humming Sinclair's Mandolin, a tune that I'd recorded at Clifftop this year. I knew it was Sinclair's Mandolin, because at Lake Genero this year, I was drawn to a fiddler playing a tune that sounded vaguely familiar. "What was the name?", I asked. "Sinclair's Mandolin", he answered. "Of course!" I now had 2 associations for that tune. The night I first heard it and tried to play along, and the guy at Lake Genero. (Excuse me, I've forgotten your name, as is so often the case at festivals.) And, I've listened to it while editing the file on GarageBand, in preparation for posting it on my festival recording pages. And, in subsequent plays while I listen to the Clifftop '11 tunes thinking about which to post and what to say about them.

So, today I woke up humming a tune that I could put a name and key on. (It's in G.) And, when I picked up my fiddle later in the day, I played the tune from start to finish. Two A bits and two B bits. I think I recall that it's from the Prince Edward Island repertoire. That stuck because of the trip that I took there last summer.

My point is, with enough listening and focus, with enough playing other tunes in the same key in the same tuning - GDAE - the tune will come out of your fingers. I do not have a special talent for playing by ear. I do have a special method. The tale of Sinclair's Mandolin illustrates what a person should do if they want to play more by ear, or hop into an old time jam and hit the ground running.

Here it is, thanks to Art Bryan, George Fowler, Malcolm Smith, and a bunch of other Geezerville jammers in the dark. Sinclair's Mandolin. Gosh would I like to be able to call out the chords like Art. Yep, that's on the to-do list.

Fiddle Hell coming up. Lots of jams and workshops added at their new location. I'll be leading an old time jam Saturday afternoon. Schedule and other details here.

I'm also doing some Skype - or videochat application of your choice - lessons. I work like a coach, on a short term arrangement. I cover playing by ear, cross tunings, building your tune repertoire, and jamming strategies. Send me an email via my profile information on the right side of the page if you'd like more information. These topics can be expanded for workshops, too. From a brief one hour coached jam to a weekend building an old time repertoire and style, I'd love to do more of these.

And, while I've got your attention, in the right margin of this page, there's a virtual busking case that leads to a PayPal donation site. I'm planning another trip down under in our wintertime / their summertime. Looking to take in more money via the musician work, so if you'd like to be my patron (?matron?) sponsor, the mechanism's in place.

I'm also doing personal computer support work. If you'd like to use your computer at the next level, I can help with that. But, that's for a different webpage.

Until next time, stay tuned.

1 comment:

Ter said...

Credit where credit is due.

I just heard from Art Bryan who says Sinclair's Mandolin is a modern tune by Urban Chaisson of Montague, PEI.