... Our long range goal is to play 2 parts of Dona Nobis Pacem and sing the third at the same time! If we ever do this, you can bet there will be a video!
That will be awesome!
Spent some time with JennlynnM today playng DUETS! Not sure which was the best - the sweet harmonies to be found in Row, Row, Row your Boat and Dona Nobis Pacem, or the gales of laughter when we got so excited about what we were doing that we (mostly me) forgot what we were doing! Our long range goal is to play 2 parts of Dona Nobis Pacem and sing the third at the same time! If we ever do this, you can bet there will be a video!
Have a look at the Sacred Harp hymns. They tend to be written in simple standard music notation for multi-part harmonies and many of them work well for noter drone playing. Here is Supplication played on an old Jethro Amburgey dulcimer with a two part harmony. I agree with Lisa when she says to lay back off the drones.
I knew you folks would have great ideas! Thanks so much! I play by ear, (N/D) and am just starting a few chords. Jenn is just starting dulcimer, watching what I do knee to knee in the old way. But she's a quick study, so we were already planning totry Dona Nobis Pacem. There will be lots of laughing...
Strumelia, good idea to back off of the drones! I think I can do that. Ta also for reminder of Blackest Crow harmony! I learned it from your tab; will try singing with the harmony. Time to revisit your beautiful blog anyway, now that I'm at a different place in my journey.
Greg - one part higher up, great!
Skip, would never have guessed about the Steven S. book. Will search for it.
Ken, I knew it was a stretch to think there'd be a book...I can play what I can hum, but not make up harmony on dulcimer.
And Lisa G, big thanks for the idea of rounds and the terrific list of partner songs. Never heardof partner songs before! whole new world!
Do I ever love fotmd!!
There's no reason one player couldn't use a noter and play the melody only (no drones) while the second player accompanied them with chords. I used to do this with a friend. He would play the melody only and I would accompany with chords, sometimes strumming across all strings for the full chord sound and sometimes breaking the chord up into an arpeggio (finger-picking single strings while holding the full chord). This worked really well with dulcimer and banjammer playing together. If you try this, have one player play their part higher up the neck and the other player play their part lower on the neck. The individual parts will resonate clearer this way. In case you're interested, my playing partner knew very little about chord playing. He was a self-taught single-string melody player. When his melody playing was harmonized with my chords, we both noticed an improvement in our music.
A separate book or tab was not needed, because most tab includes chord names above the tablature these days.
Some great ideas there! Strumelia is right -- one half of the duet really has to ignore the drones! Lisa's counter-melody is is a wonderful idea. And I never realized Stephen had done a JTJ Harmony book.
My student has just snow-birded back North for the summer, but I'll work up some of these ideas for when she returns...
Steven Seifert's Join the Jam and Join the Jam, Harmony may work for you. There may be other books with both melody harmony parts that might work for noter/drone also.
One playing an octave higher [add 7] or lower [playing a bass] may work some also.
I remember an old trick for playing a counter-melody in DAA tuning. Fret the middle string two frets down from the melody string. No reason this wouldn't work with two players, one playing the melody tab and the other playing the same tab but two frets lower. Listen while you do this, because sometimes that counter-melody doesn't sound good and then you can try sliding up or down a fret until it sounds better.
When all else fails, there are lots of rounds. Frere Jacques, Oh How Lovely is the Evening, Come Follow Me, Dona Nobis Pacem... You can probably find tab for these and they are automatically duet arrangements! Trios and quartets, too!
There's also what the Internet has just told me are called "partner songs." Like when you play "All Night, All Day" while I play "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." This page says "Cindy" and "Liza Jane" play together. How about "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" with "Go Tell Aunt Rhody"?
Just my two cents but I think if two players are playing noter/drone style duets, it would be good if one or both of them knows how to lighten up on the drone strumming a little- perhaps a lighter touch or only intermittent full drone string strums. Otherwise it's going to be a pretty big 'wall o' drone'.
I don't have a book of noter duets, nor do I know of one. But here's one (free) noter style duet tab I wrote for The Blackest Crow, if that helps get you started:
Duet books? There are barely any noter & drone books at all!
Something that could be fun is to work up duets using old and new versions of tune. For example there are 3 progressively older tunes for Auld Lang Syne, and I play the modern version as the verse and an older version as a chorus or refrain. The two tunes are similar enough they could be played together.