john p
@john-p
5 years ago
212 posts

Thanks for the link phil,

'Gum Tree Canoe' I mentioned earlier is No 10.

john p

phil
@phil
5 years ago
149 posts

if I may be so bold I would like to post a link of John Hartford. here is a quote from the person that posted this series of video.

"Shot in a studio with TV cameras, and no audience, John sings many favorites on this video.
Never released on DVD, and no longer produced on VHS, this OOP video is getting harder to find.
I was lucky enough to obtain a sealed copy and encode off the 1st play of the tape."

John Hartford - Learning To Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WkYo3QG7aE&feature=relmfu

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
5 years ago
293 posts

One of my favorite John Hartford albums is Hamilton Ironworks. He does a fair amount of talking on this album, partly about the people he learned from or played with growing up, partly about the songs. He sticks to fiddle on this album, leaving the banjo to Bob Carlin, a fine clawhammer player. I like the stories almost as much as the songs. Try listening here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/recsradio/radio/B00005NNKU/ref=pd_krex_listen_dp_img?ie=UTF8&refTagSuffix=dp_img

I also like Johns Steamboat songs a lot.

Paul

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
5 years ago
293 posts

"Really all it's about is an offset from whatever tonic key you're playing in, itself very often somewhat questionable when you're playing something pentatonic, for example. It's easier to describe the offset from tonic and the key."

If you play chords, the correct chords for the mode are made from the scale that contained in that mode. If you use drones, they come from the scale that the mode contains. The drones are nearly always the root and fifth, but the chords created from the scale will use notes not available in all closely related modes. This is the misunderstanding that I referred to. And it comes in great part from the belief that extra frets and capos can give us any mode in the same key in any tuning. Which is why many players use an A7 chord where they should be playing a C. And why I have seen some players play DAA tabs in DAD tuning, ignoring the fact that they are playing the melody in G, but the drones are in D. It grates on the ears like nails on a black board, and they don't grasp the difference. Because someone told them the extra fret makes it work. The fact that the pentatonic song doesn't use all the notes doesn't change the fact that the harmonies depend upon a certain modal scale. The harmony may require notes not contained in the melody. Chromatic instruments are less bound by these dictates, as the notes are always available, and as chromatic players, we don't focus on what tuning will give us the missing notes. As diatonic players, if we ignore this body of knowledge, we rob ourselves of the ability to use this knowledge to make our music sound good. When we choose between the use of drones or chords, this is a conscious decision, dictated by our tastes. When we choose not to learn, we hamper ourselves from making other conscious decisions.

Paul

folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
456 posts

Randy, Thanks for posting this video. Mostly I don't listen to mountain music on the fiddle, but Mr. Hartford playing gives a sweet sound to this tune. Mostly I tend to associate the fiddle with a screech (guess I haven't heard many good fiddle players or the right tunes). Smile.gif I'll have to do a search and see if I can find more of his work.

Truth to tell, in the past, Ashokan Farewell is the only fiddle tune that I've listened to and really enjoyed. Thanks again.

Robin Clark
@robin-clark
5 years ago
352 posts

Not necessarily true. Modes as simple descriptors in the way that dulcimer players use them are very useful. Whenan OT session goes to the key of A the fiddlers may use AEAE forBuffalo Gals, Old Joe Clark and Cluck Old Hen etc. However, we need 3 different A tunings for those 3 tunes (ionian, mixolidian, dorian) - so it is pretty handy to have our own descriptors (and to some extent be able to hear the scales) to be able to place the root A on the right starting fret through re-tuning. It saves a lot of time and confusion to be able to call modes. And they are not an offset from the tonic key on the dulcimer as you cannot add a flattened 3rd for this or a flattened 7th for that - we don't have the semitones! You have to physically move the start point of the scale on the instrument through re-tuning.

Thosemodal names are bloody useful for traditional playing styleswhere you have touse a lot of different tunings.

Jeremy Main said:

Mostly because the Victorians made it complicated and then added an extra layer of nonsense by adding those quasi-mystical Greek names. Really all it's about is an offset from whatever tonic key you're playing in, itself very often somewhat questionable when you're playing something pentatonic, for example. It's easier to describe the offset from tonic and the key.

Robin Clark
@robin-clark
5 years ago
352 posts

It sounds like A mixolidian - like many Irish derived tunes (Red Haired Boy etc). Try A',A,A or A',A,d with a 6+

john p
@john-p
5 years ago
212 posts

Loved this guy and his presentation.

One of my treasured videos is of him singing 'Gum Tree Canoe' on an empty stage. I shall have to go see if I can find it again, it's on one of my old machines or a CD somewhere.

I think it's Dorian Randy, but I've come across these Appalachian fiddle players before and they aren't too fussy about modes. They seem quite happy to play something in between if they can't make up their mind whether it should be a major or minor interval.

john p

Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
5 years ago
451 posts

Got down the dulcimer and played several John Hartford tunes. Surprising how easily they transfered. He was such a talent. I'd have to listen a few more times to see if I could determine the mode. It sounds like it'll be a fun tune to learn.

Thanks, Randy. John was one of the great ones.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
5 years ago
293 posts

I liked John a lot, too. But I'm not convinced most dulcimer players understand modes any better than any one else. I am sure some do, but a lot of us are still misunderstanding modes.

Paul

phil
@phil
5 years ago
149 posts

I know what you mean about listening to John Hartford play. I feel the same way. he was one of the great ones.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
5 years ago
123 posts

I was perusing BHO this morn and came across a thread about this tune.. Squirrel Hunters. It is comical when the banjo dudes try to determine the mode...they don't understand it like dulcimer players...uh huh...we're the experts about modes!

I am always inspired when I hear John Hartford. Somehow what passes thru to me is a determination and confidence and I want to practice, and practice, and maybe the music could flow out from inside me like it did for him.

So what mode is it?


updated by @randy-adams: 06/09/16 08:21:50PM