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Tune tempos for beginners

Will Fly 04 Nov 08 - 04:03 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 08 - 04:13 AM
Will Fly 04 Nov 08 - 04:33 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 08 - 04:44 AM
TheSnail 04 Nov 08 - 04:51 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 08 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,selby 04 Nov 08 - 06:30 AM
greg stephens 04 Nov 08 - 06:34 AM
Will Fly 04 Nov 08 - 07:14 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Nov 08 - 07:16 AM
Will Fly 04 Nov 08 - 07:23 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Nov 08 - 07:36 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 08 - 08:10 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 08 - 08:21 AM
Will Fly 04 Nov 08 - 08:24 AM
TheSnail 04 Nov 08 - 08:32 AM
wysiwyg 04 Nov 08 - 08:45 AM
TheSnail 04 Nov 08 - 09:31 AM
Vixen 04 Nov 08 - 03:22 PM
katlaughing 04 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM
Melissa 04 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM
Tangledwood 04 Nov 08 - 06:37 PM
Will Fly 05 Nov 08 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,Biddy Hen 05 Nov 08 - 10:18 PM
Joe Offer 06 Nov 08 - 12:52 AM
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Subject: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 04:03 AM

A question - and perhaps an impossible one to answer - arising from the recent thread on "Beginners tunes session":

Valmai Goodyear mentioned in that thread that there are Midi versions of the Lewes Favourites available for download. Those wishing to learn a tune can therefore download printable and playable files - and can learn/play along with the tunes. It seems fairly obvious that, when creating sound files for beginners - Midi or otherwise - a reasonably steady tempo should be chosen.

My question is: what would we call a "reasonably steady" tempo? I've noticed, when teaching, that too fast a tempo can make the piece difficult to follow(and learn) - but too slow a tempo can also lose the sense of the piece. Any ideas/advice on a happy medium for beginner tempos in general would be welcomed.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 04:13 AM

It depends on the tune...


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 04:33 AM

It depends on the tune...

Yes - I'm aware of that - which is why I prefaced my query with the "perhaps an impossible one to answer" comment. :-)

I was just curious as to whether there might be some general advice such as "slow down by half", or something similar.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 04:44 AM

Whatever YOUR fingers can do at a STEADY TEMPO. You answered your own question.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 04:51 AM

When I created the MIDI files for the Lewes Favourites, I didn't really give it much thought and now wish I had. All the tunes are just once through and probably at the default tempo of crotchet=120.

Recently, for tune sets for our Spare Parts workshops at festivals I have done versions that play the tunes several times at default speed and half speed.

I'm not sure if I'll get round to re-doing the Lewes Favourites that way. It's rather labour intensive.

Of course, because they are computer generated, they are rather mechanical and not very musical.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 04:57 AM

ANYONE can slow or speedup the midi on their own computer. Just getting the tune out there is the important thing. Thank you for doing it Mr. Snail.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: GUEST,selby
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 06:30 AM

The problem with tunes in a session is the speed defaults to the comfatable speed of the group unless you have a """" in the session then they try to go fast.The etiquette of a session should be the person starting the tune sets the pace/tempo. there is relivant quote by an accomplshed muscian where he is learning to play tunes slower. Therefore IMHO if you are learning a instrument and a tune and you go into a session you set the tempo. Remember Salmon Tails is played at a high tempo in was written as a slow air.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 06:34 AM

AGUEST: you said "ANYONE can slow or speed up the midi on their own computer". On a point of information, I haven't the slightest idea how to do any such thing.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 07:14 AM

I've just downloaded Vol. 1 of the Lewes Favourites MIDI files to my PC. When I open one up, it plays as an mp3 file - no question of changing tempo.

Let's take the "St. Anne's Reel" as an example of my query. There are several stages in getting proficient at playing this tune, such as (a) learning the basic notes and fingering (b) playing along with a moderate-paced mp3 version - such as the Lewes Favourites file (c) getting some syncopation into it, if desired (d) playing it at the sort of tempo you see Aly Bain play it at on the Transatlantic Sessions. In other words, from novice to expert. While I believe that the best way, IMO, is to play along with a more experienced player, this may not always be possible.

What I'm trying to aim for is a tempo which is just fast enough for a novice to get to grips with - fast enough to be beckoning, but not so fast as to be discouraging. Obviously easier with slow airs, not so easy for faster-paced material. I'm just curious as to how other people creating MIDI/mp3 teaching files have tackled this problem.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 07:16 AM

I guess this is not an answer at all but getting people to break tunes up into natural phrases then learn the phrases one at a time is a good strategy.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 07:23 AM

I agree Les - that's a good way to get off the ground.

One of the things I've discovered from using my music software is that sometimes a slow tempo to a fast tune almost "muddies" or obscures the melody, and it's only when it's speeded up that you hear the whole melodic flow of the tune - where it starts to make sense.

I suppose what I'm coming round to, in my own mind, is perhaps creating a series of perhaps 2 or 3 mp3 files for each tune, with tempos increasing as required. The learner could then pick his/her own pace depending on proficiency.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 07:36 AM

Sounds good to me Will.

I guess most people learning to play tunes will get access to web based tunes, notation and help and that will get them into the session and actually playing with other people. It just seems amazing that we can say to people "come to the session and enjoy the tunes then check them out at www................... but please come back and enjoy the session and join in when you are ready"

Chiz

Les


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:10 AM

Mr. Stevens - here is an EASY on line way first.



The normal way would be to use YOUR recorder and change tempo.

But maybe you don't have one...or use one ... and THAT is why you don't know how.

Obviously start with a saved midi file.

There are hundreds of ways to do this.

For example in the DT "Blue Tale Fly" is from Noteworthy and a scourching double noted 160 tempo that finishes in 16 seconds.

On Line Midi Editor http://midi.mathewvp.com
Follow the directions on the screen and you can .... Cut the tempo in half to 80
Or even cut the tempo again in half to 40 -
Obviously SAVE with a name like BTFly2 or BTFly4

OR



OR use one of hundreds of editors - many are free.

FREE Anvil Studio Free http://www.anvilstudio.com/
FREE Able MIDI Editor. http://www.mymusictools.com/articles/how-do-i-edit-midi-files.htm?ref=sart

OR

http://www.tucows.com/article/701

OR
Noteworthy
Cakewalk
MusicMaker
Jammer




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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:21 AM

RE: how other people creating MIDI/mp3 teaching files have tackled this problem.
ANSWER - We do it with software.

RE: perhaps creating a series of perhaps 2 or 3 mp3 files for each tune.
WHY are YOU trying to teach? Heaven help your protege'

The standard pedagological approach is: Whole - PART - Whole
The student hears the WHOLE
It is broken down into PARTS and learned
The piece is practiced until it becomes WHOLE at the correct tempo.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:24 AM

Well, thanks GUEST - my education continues! I've just exported my arrangement of "Michael Turner's Waltz" as a MIDI file to my desktop (using my Harmony Assistant software), opened it up with the default program (Quicktime) and - lo and behold - "playback speed" appears as one of the controls. The MIDI file (set to guitar) actually plays more like a church organ but - in terms of changing speeds to suit, works fine.

Thankyou sir - you're a GENT as well as a GUEST.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:32 AM

The tunes on the Lewes Favourites are also available in Noteworthy and abc. If you choose those options and get hold of suitable software, you can chop them around and vary the tempo to your hearts content.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:45 AM

eD hETZLER'S ONLINE TUNEBOOK HAS A SLOW-PLAY OPTION.

Sorry for the capslock.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 09:31 AM

Since GUEST is so knowlegeable on these things, could you tell me the difference between Type 1 midi files Type 0 midi files? Just the practical difference in terms of which to choose, I don't want a full technical breakdown.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Vixen
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 03:22 PM

Well, as a beginning whistler, I figure all these tunes were meant to be danced to. Consequently, I like to practice new tunes while walking. I start out at "geriatico" aka "andante with a walker" on the assumption that by the time I've gotten the tune down to a brisk and steady walk without stumbling, I'm pretty good with it. It amazes me how my feet and fingers can correlate a tempo without me having to think. I can't do that with a metronome to save my life.

Just my $0.02, fwiw...

V
ps as for changing the tempo the midi files, it depends on what software you've got and how proficient you are with it...


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM

Other Mudcatters have recommended the Amazing Slower Downer for use to slow a tune down without changing its pitch. I am surprised "GUEST,gargoyle" didn't mention it.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Melissa
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM

The Hetzler site uses VanBasco as a midi player which has easy tempo control (and a key-changer)


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Tangledwood
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 06:37 PM

"My question is: what would we call a "reasonably steady" tempo? I've noticed, when teaching, that too fast a tempo can make the piece difficult to follow(and learn) - but too slow a tempo can also lose the sense of the piece. Any ideas/advice on a happy medium for beginner tempos in general would be welcomed. "


"Begged, Borrowed and Stolen" is a compilation of tunes with play-along CDs widely used in Australia. The producers say "Each tune in the Book is played twice at about three quarter pace". As a newcomer to mandolin I find this pace about right - enough to push me without being discouraging.

The producers say in the book - "in playing a tune slowly much of the tune's dynamics and feel is (sic) lost. This is especially true for reels. Our approach was to add extra lilt to the playing making them sound hornpipish. When the tunes are played up to speed we feel that they will lack lilt more than suffer from too much, so it doesn't hurt to have excess bounce in the slower versions. Jigs played slowly are played with a dotted feel. Most Scottish jigs should be played this way."


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:11 AM

"Begged, Borrowed and Stolen" is a compilation of tunes with play-along CDs widely used in Australia. The producers say "Each tune in the Book is played twice at about three quarter pace". As a newcomer to mandolin I find this pace about right - enough to push me without being discouraging.

The producers say in the book - "in playing a tune slowly much of the tune's dynamics and feel is (sic) lost. This is especially true for reels. Our approach was to add extra lilt to the playing making them sound hornpipish. When the tunes are played up to speed we feel that they will lack lilt more than suffer from too much, so it doesn't hurt to have excess bounce in the slower versions. Jigs played slowly are played with a dotted feel. Most Scottish jigs should be played this way."


Thanks for that - it's good to know that my ideas abut slow tempos and potential loss of dynamics wasn't just me being daft!


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: GUEST,Biddy Hen
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 10:18 PM

Searched the entire Forum.

Where is the discussion of the Amazing Slower Downer other Mudcatters have recommended?

This thread would have unneccessarry if people were more open in the sharing of inside trade secrets. Please Share.

Thank You Will Fly. Please ask more of these type of questions.


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Subject: RE: Tune tempos for beginners
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 12:52 AM

I couldn't find the discussion, but here's a link to the Amazing Slower Downer.
Hope that helps.
-Joe-


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