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Author Topic: Tripping Up the Stairs: Intro to Irish Jigs  (Read 47150 times)
Karl
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« on: July 30, 2009, 08:53:27 pm »

This is a recording of a jig called "Tripping Up the Stairs."




I didn’t get a chance to post comments right away, so Rob W. and Ben posted before I added these comments.

I meant to post a jig video sooner, but Lyme disease (with high fever) and a few other things got in the way. As Rob alluded to in his comments, this is not a performance that beginners should try to emulate right away.  Rather, I recorded this video to launch a mini-series of short, related videos on HOW TO APPROACH IRISH JIGS.  In the follow up series, I want to slow things way down and demonstrate some of the following things:

•   The basic structure and up-to-speed tempo of an Irish jig
•   How slow playing leads to fast playing
•   Focus, time, and persistence will get you where you want to go
•   The basic lilt or feel of a jig
•   Tonguing approaches for jigs
•   The importance of listening to good traditional players (and some  suggested role models)
•   Cuts (and taps) in jigs
•   Long rolls in jigs
•   Short rolls in jigs
•   Condensed rolls in jigs
•   Whatever you would like to hear slowed WAY down to a crawl

While I can’t hold a candle to the great traditional players, I am a lover and serious student of traditional Irish dance music, so I can humbly share with you –as one student to another– whatever I have learned about playing Irish dance music on the ocarina.

Why don’t I discuss reels, hornpipes, and polkas right now? Well, if there is enough interest, I hope to get to all that. In fact, over time I’ve gathered together hundreds of jigs, reels, hornpipes, and polkas that sound great on our ocarinas.  But to get anywhere, we need to FOCUS, so I’ll stick to jigs for now.  By the way, I personally love jigs.  They are exciting and exhilarating to play…eventually…

Also, we talked about slowing this video down to half speed so that it would be easier to see what I am doing.  If there is interest, we will do this.  Let me know. Smiley

Special thanks to Caleb Hayashida who helped me trim this video and add text! (By help, I mean that he did the work while I watched.)


« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 04:54:19 pm by Karl » Logged
RW_eagle
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 04:24:13 am »

Homie say Wha?
Looks more like intro to advanced jig playing.  I keep tripping on the first few notes, let alone trying to go up the stairs at the same time.

Rob W.


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Ben
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2009, 04:53:38 am »

Hey Karl,

This is amazing. Is there any way you can make an mp3 file of it available? My favorite was of learning a tune is to play it over and over again on my iPod.

Thanks,

Ben


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SamSpade
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2009, 05:49:05 pm »

Yeah.

I would also love to see some sheet music with the ornaments included (Grey Larson has an excellent system for doing so that I have found works well).


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Karl
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2009, 06:34:09 pm »

SamSpade,

That's a good idea.  I'll try to produce a marked up version of "Tripping Up the Stairs" to show how I played the jig.  And I'll provide a key to identify the various notations.  A while back, I embraced Grey Larson's notation system, which I often use to make notes for myself when working out a new song or arrangement. I am a huge fan of his Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle book.  His thorough research is refreshing and very helpful.

In fact, the only reason I don't use it here as sort of a basic textbook is that ocarinas work on slightly different principles than tubular flutes.  What I mean is this: I can do the same ornaments on the ocarina, but in some cases the ocarina allows me to use easier fingerings than those required by the flute or whistle.

By the way, I got a chance to hear Grey play at a local coffee house once and I can't remember when I have enjoyed a concert more.


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Karl
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2009, 06:04:37 pm »



Here's "Tripping Up the Stairs" slowed to 1/2 speed.  The audio is terrible but it does allow you to see what I am doing with my fingers. As suggested, I'll be posting a PDF of the music with notations to indicate what I've done with this song.

By the way, this is far from a perfect performance, as you can see.  I picked it instead of some others because I liked the spirit of the jig, despite some weak areas.  What a great way to study, though!  Watching and listening to yourself play at 1/2 speed really shows up those areas that you need to work on!  I want to do this more often.

Once again, thanks to Caleb Hayashida for helping me with this video.


« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 11:46:25 pm by Cliff » Logged
Karl
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Posts: 419


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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2009, 03:39:47 am »

As requested, I just completed a detailed transcription of "Tripping Up the Stairs" the way I played it in my recent recording. This was a fairly laborious process, so there is to be no whining about my caveman-like hieroglyphics! (No offence to any of you who presently dwell in caves.) I’ll have to post the transcription tomorrow after I make a key explaining the symbols used.


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Karl
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 08:04:54 pm »

http://www.mountainsocarina.com/music/sheets/tripping-up-the-stairs-jig-transcription.pdf

Well, the link above will take you to a transcription of "Tripping Up the Stairs," along with an explanation of the symbols used.  Be sure to let me know any thoughts you have about this thread.

Thanks!

Karl


« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 11:20:10 pm by Karl » Logged
armisis
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 08:28:12 pm »

Oh this is so sweet, i so have to learn to play this gonna take  long time but gotta try!

Dave


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Down with the Evil Recorders! Up with the Angelic Ocarina!

David D. Stanton
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Karl
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Posts: 419


Coda Creator & Player


« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2009, 02:54:27 am »

I applaud your attitude, Dave.  I want to lead those of you who are interested through a series of step-by-step lessons/exercises.  I can't start until after I return from the Ocarina Slam in Seattle.  However, right now it would help me to know how many of you will be with me in this process of learning to play traditional Irish dance music, little by little. I'm not asking for a commitment, but how many of you will be watching the videos and paying attention to these posts?

By the way, I think it's important to note that the traditional finger ornaments work wonderfully in different types of music--whenever you want to achieve a distinctive, flowing type of articulation. For instance, I was just playing some old hymns, and the traditonal ornaments really complement the melodies.


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RW_eagle
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2009, 03:49:27 am »

However, right now it would help me to know how many of you will be with me in this process of learning to play traditional Irish dance music, little by little. I'm not asking for a commitment, but how many of you will be watching the videos and paying attention to these posts?

Count me in.  I should have put a  Wink in my first post.  I'm really excited about this.

Rob W.


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Ben
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2009, 09:27:58 am »

Deal me in...


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Khet
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2009, 11:07:40 am »

Not very good at playing my oc as it is, but I'll definately be following these as Irish/Celtic music is the kind I want to play.


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armisis
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2009, 01:28:48 pm »

Do you plan to do it using youtube video lessons? If so I'll be following along trying to learn all i can bit by bit.

(I think my end goal with all my Ocarina is to be able to play them not from tabs or sheet music but by ear, and to make up my own songs improv by just knowing the Oc's that well...)

Dave


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Down with the Evil Recorders! Up with the Angelic Ocarina!

David D. Stanton
www.youtube.com/armisis
Karl
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Posts: 419


Coda Creator & Player


« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2009, 03:52:41 pm »

Quote
Do you plan to do it using youtube video lessons?

Yes, I plan to do a series of SHORT, simple videos. Each video should focus on one thing and, in many cases, will include simple exercises that you can work on.

I also want to make a few videos to demonstrate how traditional finger ornaments can enhance slow tunes and hymns. Even folks who are not ready to play Irish jigs yet can greatly enhance their playing with these concepts.  With feedback from you all, my hope is that we'll gradually zero in on whatever forum members find most helpful... or most confusing.

Becoming a master at anything is a slow, gradual process, but it's a lot easier to get where we want to go when we have a little guidance.

P.S.  We are also researching how to embed a subliminal message into each video that will send you to a top-secret web site where you’ll feel strangely compelled to buy our new, over-priced line of gray t-shirts. ( Wink)


« Last Edit: August 11, 2009, 05:30:06 pm by Karl » Logged
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