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Getting started with singing ballads?

GUEST 05 Dec 10 - 10:26 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Dec 10 - 10:43 PM
Rapparee 05 Dec 10 - 10:44 PM
Rapparee 05 Dec 10 - 10:45 PM
Richard Bridge 05 Dec 10 - 11:44 PM
S.T.M. 06 Dec 10 - 06:08 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Dec 10 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 06 Dec 10 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 06 Dec 10 - 06:53 AM
BobKnight 06 Dec 10 - 07:04 AM
Susan of DT 06 Dec 10 - 07:22 AM
S.T.M. 06 Dec 10 - 07:23 AM
Susan of DT 06 Dec 10 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 06 Dec 10 - 07:34 AM
S.T.M. 06 Dec 10 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Hilary 06 Dec 10 - 07:50 AM
Leadfingers 06 Dec 10 - 08:18 AM
DMcG 06 Dec 10 - 08:41 AM
Gallus Moll 06 Dec 10 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 06 Dec 10 - 09:16 AM
GUEST 06 Dec 10 - 09:33 AM
S.T.M. 06 Dec 10 - 09:49 AM
Charlie Baum 06 Dec 10 - 09:57 AM
GUEST 06 Dec 10 - 09:59 AM
GUEST 06 Dec 10 - 10:02 AM
Susan of DT 06 Dec 10 - 10:19 AM
Charlie Baum 06 Dec 10 - 10:23 AM
Jeri 06 Dec 10 - 10:25 AM
Brian Peters 06 Dec 10 - 11:12 AM
DMcG 06 Dec 10 - 11:34 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Dec 10 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 06 Dec 10 - 12:11 PM
Stringsinger 06 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM
Vic Smith 06 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Steve Gardham 06 Dec 10 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,mg 06 Dec 10 - 03:24 PM
Fred McCormick 06 Dec 10 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,Willa 06 Dec 10 - 04:40 PM
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Subject: BS: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:26 PM

Greetings to all,

I am a 17 year old male deeply interested in many of the old time ballads/hymns/spirtuals and I would truly love to be able to sing them. I have zero experience with singing. I'm looking at singing as more casual for myself or maybe with some people.

Thanks to all and happy holidays!

Nathan.


p.s. I also practice 5-string banjo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:43 PM

Be careful. Be very careful. It's habit-forming.


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Subject: RE: BS: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:44 PM

And there's no cure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:45 PM

But...first check out the Digital Tradition (Digitrad, DT).


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Subject: RE: BS: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 11:44 PM

This should be above the line.

I think you must be England-based since you spell "practise" (the verb) "practice" - a common mistake in England where the verb is "practise" but the noun "practice" but almost unknown in the USA where both are "practise".

If you REALLY mean the great traditional ballads (centrally, the Child Ballads) of the English language tradition then beware of the excessive rigidity that accompaniment can introduce. Holding attention for 50 verses or more requires expression that I find hard to achieve with my limited guitar playing, and doing it without accompaniment requires considerable vocal accomplishment (not necessarily bel canto). The banjo is IMHO more restrictive than the guitar for this sort of stuff, and if you are going for the great traditional ballads it may be that starting by playing classical guitar is a more enabling route than chordal guitar.

If, however, you are US based and more into their recent traditions there then I'd say just pluck away - so long as you can tune the banjo it will help you sing in tune and many beginners find that hard (hell, many longtime amateurs find that hard).

Hymns and spirituals are a different kettle of fish and hymns themselves are treated differently in the USA from in England. In both in the USA, and in spirituals in England, the roots lie in the Afro-Caribbean approaches to timing harmony and expression and I would think you'd have to join a choir that rehearsed frequently to get the right feeling.

Here in the UK ecclesiastical singing is generally much closer in approach to classical singing (although from the revival period the Watersons did a quantity of religious material and more recently there was a lot of religious harmony on the Devil's Interval first CD) but the average church congregation will not teach you anything about singing apart from how awful it can sound. I have no idea what I could recommend.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: S.T.M.
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 06:08 AM

Nathan,

Don't be put off by the folk police and don't be intimidated by the cliquey that the folk scene can sometimes present! Just sing whatever you want to sing :)

Try searching the Digitrad, as someone else suggested, to find some stories that you like, and then maybe you could try putting them in on Spotify or on youtube to try and find some versions that you could learn from.

Spotify is actually a great resource for finding songs that you like, and I often find many of the ballads I sing from listening to "The Voice of the People" (which are available on Spotify). The Voice of the People are a collection of ballads and tunes (mainly ballads in my experience) that were recorded years ago- they are usually very raw and true to themselves- however, be wary of tune- sometimes they can be a little off, so you need to use your musical sense to figure out where they're supposed to be (not as tricky as it sounds). Although, I appreciate you have mentioned that you have no experience of singing, so maybe it's best to stick to more commercial recordings for now...say Nic Jones or Peter Bellamy (also available on Spotify and probably youtube as well!).

Richard Bridge mentioned The Watersons- I think they're recordings are also great to work from if you're looking for ballads with harmonies and group singing.

A good idea is to try and find out about any singing groups in your area- where do you live? I'm sure someone could point out some singarounds from your area. Also, if you are a littler nervous about performing, or are unsure of your ability, perhaps it would help to join a choir to get a sense of the basics and to work with harmonies directly...it's also great fun and if you join the right one, it's all about having fun!

I hope this has helped you somewhat. As I said, try not to get bogged down with the folk police (the people who tell you that you can only do this or that, rant about tradition, etc...)

I'm 18 and based in Kent, England, so if you ever wanted to come to a singaround near here (if you happen to be in the area), feel free to get in touch :)

Sinéad. x


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 06:26 AM

"Don't be put off by the folk police"
And never be put off by people who use such childish terms as 'folk police' - it's usually a sign that they have nothing helpful to say, so they regress into meaningless epithet.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 06:35 AM

I think you must be England-based since you spell "practise" (the verb) "practice" - a common mistake in England where the verb is "practise" but the noun "practice" but almost unknown in the USA where both are "practise".

You astound us by your deductions, Mr Bridge - but one would have thought Nathan's use of the term Happy Holidays is more telling if not to his actual whereabouts then to his cultural origins.

Otherwise:

If you're going to use accompaniment at all I would say that a frailing 5-string banjo is perfect for ballad singing - second only to a fiddle really. The Revival has lost both the context and technique of ballad singing which is why we get all this stuff about expression and storytelling but the ballads are strong enough without the thespian histrionics we're hearing more & more of these days but which are (most importantly!) entirely absent from traditional performances. The best advice is to go back to the source and listen to the Traditional Singers. A good place to start is the Child Ballads over at The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection. Mrs Pearl Brewer is especially gifted in this respect but then again she wasn't facing audiences of the Revival Folky Faithful who think they somehow own this stuff. Her Cruel Mother (Down by the Greenwoodside - #277 & #350) is a consummate reduction to its very essence; the pure drop in fact. Above all though, to thine ownself be true - seek your own voice and you'll be sure to find it.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 06:53 AM

the folk police

Better the folk police than the folk mafia. The folk police are doing a good job, keeping the streets safe for ordinary decent folk to go about their business without being told that the singers on VOTP are degenerate, unmusical, unworthy, raw and out of tune. The only crime with VOTP is that the singers have become secondary to the songs; at least over at Max Hunter you might cross reference - and it won't cost you a penny. Still, we Folk Constables listen to this stuff for pleasure rather than plunder (unlike the Folk Mobsters who are only bothered about lining their precious repertoirs) - we're ordinary coppers who value the vernacular and might encourage others to do likewise.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: BobKnight
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:04 AM

What a load of crap - just sing the songs, and enjoy yourself. Don't try to intellectualise everything. By all means listen to the scource singers - but remember, they probably never gave any of the intellectual shite a moments thought.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:22 AM

Listen to a bunch of recordings of traditional singers from different areas/traditions to get some idea of the styles of traditional singing and see which appeal to you most strongly. There are many fine recordings of traditional singers. Voice of the People is a 20 CD set, sold individually, with two CDs devoted to ballads, although there are some ballads on other CDs in the set.

There are also many fine book collections of ballads from various areas. Of course you will want to start with Francis Child "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads" (5 volumes), the standard collection of 305 ballads and, possibly Bertram Bronson's "Traditional Tunes to the Child Ballads" in either full (4 volume) or abridged (1 volume).

Try CAMSCO Music for both recordings and books, and advice. [Sorry to be commercial - I am the assistant at CAMSCO. Dick Greenhaus, who answered you above, runs the company. We also run the Digital Tradition (DT) database on this site.] Go to camscomusic.com or call Dick at (800) 548-FOLK, if you are in the US or Canada. And join mudcat, so you can send and receive personal messages.

Of course, you might not have meant "ballad" in the sense of traditional "big ballads". CAMSCO can still help you with traditional recordings of many types of folk music, but the book selection is limited mostly to Loomis House/CAMSCO publications.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: S.T.M.
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:23 AM

I actually listen to VOTP for pleasure you know! It's all I ever listen to really. But I did say SOME recordings were out of tune. And they are. This could be due to the recording quality, or the singer. And "raw" will always be a compliment.

Jim Carroll: "your mum".

:)

Ps. To Nathan: I think Bob has made the best point, if that helps you at all! Just sing whatever you want to sing and you'll enjoy it more.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:27 AM

There is also a permathread on song circle locations, far from complete, of course. See whether any are near you; Song Circles


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:34 AM

Be more specific as to what you consider intellectual shite there, Bob. Trouble is, Folk is predicated on an intellectual premise and thus engenders the academic urge even in us all - even an ill-educated lout like myself - so I'd say the intellectual is part & parcel of the whole merry malarky. Even if our precious source-singers were entirely innocent of such concerns (which I doubt anyway) we owe it both them and ourselves to keep informed. Either way, VOTP is a missed opportunity - better to seek out the original vinyl albums which were devoted to the singers as individal artists in their own right rather than generic song-carriers servile to revival taxonomy however nice they might look on the CD shelves.

Getting back to the folk police, what sort of copper do you see yourself as? Times I might aspire to be a Gene Hunt, but I know I'm more of a George Dixon - or even a Sam Tyler, haplessly adrift in a long vanished past, though not so much Life on Mars as Lark Rise to Candleford, which would really benefit from the Gene Genie to lively things up a bit. The Abandoned Village beckons...


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: S.T.M.
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:43 AM

^ I think you need to stop voicing your opinions as if they're complete facts. At the end of the day, someone has come here asking for help and is obviously new to this whole thing, and here we are arguing the same old things we always argue about. It's not really on. It's kind of embarrassing to watch you post with comments such as "ill-educated lout such as myself" whilst throwing in big words every other word, which are obviously there to try and impress...I really AM an ill educated lout, so I certainly need that dumbing down- and what's more, for me, that's the sign of intelligence- someone who can get their point across to everyone without being rude and pretentious.

Anyway, seeing as you're pondering which copper you are, perhaps I'll think about which criminal I am...maybe Fagan or Robin Hood or Jack the Ripper or something (probably Jack the Ripper when you listen to me singing anything...)


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:50 AM

Another good website is the contemplator's folksongs of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, America, Canada, and Australia. By the way, I'm from the U.S. and I always spell practice with a 'c.' I have never heard of it being spelled with an 's' here.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 08:18 AM

Nathan - Welcome to Folk Music , and DONT be put off by any of the adverse comments in here ! Finding a Song Circle , Singers Club or whatever you want to call it IS a good idea though ! And ALWAYS remember that the MORE you sing , the better you will get , especially if you are able to listen to more experenced singers , wether in Recordings or a live context .


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: DMcG
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 08:41 AM

Best advice from above repeated: Just sing whatever you want to sing and you'll enjoy it more.

My two-pennyworth: one of great things about trad folk in general but ballads in particular is that you can, and in my view should, hack it around until it feels comfortable to you. The Child ballads are (in the main) full stories, so you can leave out sub-plots if you wish, or rewrite part of it so that the events are seen from a different character's viewpoint, or emphasise an aspect that appeals to you, or, or, or ... As a ballad singer, you are also a story teller so feel free to perform it straight if that suits you, or introduce some of the storyteller's techniques like changes of emphasis, pace and intonation. In short: you are free to enjoy yourself, so do so!

A free bonus with this - as long as you remember the story you are telling, forgetting the exact words is not that crucial!


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 08:53 AM

Hi Nathan,
if you are ever in Glasgow (Scotland) come along to Laurie's Bar (lauriesacousticmusic) on the last Sunday of the month from 13.00-15.00 for Anne and Gordeanna's Ballads Workshop - contact them via the website to ensure it is on (last one got cancelled due to heavy snowfall!) and also to reserve a place.
There are other Ballad singing sessions, workshops, classes and concerts around the country, maybe check the TMSA website (Traditional Music and Song Association) (of Scotland!) and also in England there are similar events.
Keep and eye on Mudcat forum - tho' there are so many contributers you have to check regularly or remember the title of your thread to find it again! or have a look at footstompin forum for more Scottish info.
Also youtube - -Good luck! Hope to cross paths with you somewhere, sometime.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 09:16 AM

which are obviously there to try and impress

Not at all. I was posting in fun - it's Xmas - lighten up & enjoy it. People can (& will) do what they like regardless - there's no right way, no wrong way, only your way and my way

As a ballad singer, you are also a story teller

As both a ballad singer and a storyteller I see no relationship between ballad singing and storytelling - certainly there's no relationship between the two traditionally, even with traditional storytellers who were ballad singers many of whom I've been fortunate to work with. A ballad is a set text sung to an essentially passive (though hopefully attentive) audience whereas a story is an unset text which lives and breathes between the teller and their audience - it is a reactive social event. As I said earlier, in recent years we've seen more histrionics creeping into ballad singing which you don't find in traditional singing - even one as expressively strident as Davie Stewart. Keep it simple & pay attention to the old singers and you won't go far wrong.

Just my opinion though, for what it's worth.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 09:33 AM

Thanks to all for answering my question! I appreciate it and will look into what everyone has said.

I actually live in New York (USA)

Old time music/traditional music is very new to me, but I'm grateful that it's now a deep interest in me. It's a shame because where I live traditional music doesn't seem as prominent as say over in Scotland, England, Ireland and elsewhere. Many of my friends at school frown upon it.

The history of Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, and of Europe also intrigues me as well. I have begun to read about folklore of America and elsewhere, which I have enjoyed greatly. Visiting Europe would be marvelous!

Much thanks,

Nathan.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: S.T.M.
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 09:49 AM

Nathan,

Keep your eyes peeled and do some research- I'm sure there will be small communities around that share your interest. To be honest, it's pretty underground here too, and at my school of 1600, only 4 of us turned up to a lecture on folk music- so it's pretty frowned upon here (well, it's not really mainstream cool at least). I thought I'd never find other people, especially young people who shared my interest, but once you find one, you find another and another and another, etc. I also really like the fact that folk music, here at least, seems to indiscriminate of age. Hopefully you'll find that too. :)


Sinéad.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 09:57 AM

Nathan--

depending where in New York you are, I can think of lots of folks who would love to have you meet them and sing ballads with you. Statistically, you're llkely to be in New York City. I can think of lots of folks in New York City (get in touch with the Folk Music Society of New York http://www.minstrelrecords.com/fmsny/ ). But if you're elsewhere, there are also welcoming balladeers I can think of in places like Albany/Schenectady, the Adirondacks, Rochester, Fredonia, and Ithaca, among other cities. ALL these folks are into other kinds of folk music, too, and would welcome your hymns and spirituals.

--Charlie Baum, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, in a neighborhood where ballads are still sung socially


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 09:59 AM

Thanks Sinéad, I'll definitely look around in my area or maybe even start something myself.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 10:02 AM

I should have mentioned that I live in Upstate New York, but thanks for that website Mr. Baum. Ithaca and Syracuse are right around me.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 10:19 AM

Nathan - there are groups in both Ithaca and Syracuse, see the song circle thread. Also look up Pamela Goddard in the Ithaca area, Dave Ruck toward Buffalo, and John Roberts (Anglo on mudcat) and George Ward toward Albany. I lived in Ithaca in the 1960s and Syracuse in the 1970s. Sign in as a member and I can send you more detailed local contacts, like the Salt City Song Miners newsletter editor.

Come to the Old Songs Festival in Altamont (Schnectady area) at the end of June and meet a bunch of mudcatters. Stop by the CAMSCO Music booth and introduce yourself.

Let me know if you would like to come down to central New Jersey for one of our sings at some point, so I can put you on the our mailing list. There are lots of ballads, since that is mostly what I sing. We meet one Sunday afternoon a month.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 10:23 AM

If you're in that part of New York, get in touch with the Cornell Folk Song Society in Ithaca (http://www.cornellfolksong.org/ )--besides sponsoring concerts to listen to, they host participatory song circles. Or look up Phil Shapiro in Ithaca or Pamela Goddard in Danby. If there are folks even closer to your town, Phil is the sort of person likely to know them.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 10:25 AM

the Cornell Folk Song Society
Syracuse Folk Happenings

I'd recommend getting in touch with people and going to a few places. The internet is good for finding things, but nothing beats being around people who share a common interest.

Jeri in NH, formerly a Schenectady-area upstater.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 11:12 AM

Definitely try to meet other singers in your area, and get along to Old Songs festival or the Cornell Folk Music Society (I'm playing there myself next year).

If you want to go into it more deeply you might enjoy a summer camp like Augusta Vocal Week (West Virginia) or Swanannoa Traditional Song Week (NC) or Goderich Celtic College (Ontario) where you can learn a lot about old songs and singing. Not cheap, but they might have scholarships available for someone of your age.

The best thing is definitely to get together with others who share your interest. It is a great experience to sing in a roomful of people who all love singing as well, and it can be very moving to have people join your chorus for the first time. It's true that many enthusiasts for folk song are of the generation above your own, but there are young singers to be found at some of the festivals and summer camps over there (I'm in England).


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: DMcG
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 11:34 AM

As a ballad singer, you are also a story teller

As both a ballad singer and a storyteller I see no relationship between ballad singing and storytelling ...

Sorry if I trod on any toes there. I simply meant that ballads are generally stories, in the sense of setting a scene, describing events which leading to consequences and some sort of conclusion; and I see it is the ballad singer's role to get that across. I take your point about histrionics though and it is certainly true that the vast majority of the VOTP recordings - for example - are very much a straight presentation with little in the way of theatrical embellishments.    (I can't say all without listening to them again, but the ones that aren't must be a tiny percentage)


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 11:51 AM

"they probably never gave any of the intellectual shite a moments thought."
Wonder which singers you mean - didn't get to talk to many 'scource' singers, but source singers like Walter Pardon, Harry Cox, Jeannie Robertson, Sheila Stewart, Phoebe Smith, Paddy Tunney, Texas Gladden, Duncan Williamson........ had hours and hours an hours.... whole books worth in some cases, to say about their singing - intellectual and otherwise. Some of them were even involved in teaching and passing on information on traditional songs and singing.
Listen to what people like these said and how they sang their songs - not to copy them, but as a key into ballad singing
"Jim Carroll: "your mum"."
Sorry, don't understand; pity Walter Pardon isn't still around, he was a very intelligent man and probably would have been able to interpret it for me.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:11 PM

No toes to be trod on, DMG - at least none that I can feel anyway what with this bloody cold. No indeed - just making an observation that's all & I dare say it's different for everyone, which is how it ought to be. For me a ballad operates in terms of its own textual jouissance so all a ballad singer has to do is put it there, which is how the old singers did it - almost mediumistically. Mind you, I hear these things in terms of imagery anyway - the narratives are very much a secondary thing, which might have something to do with my ADD, or the fact that there are always other factors underlying the story. I love singing a ballad like Earl Brand because the story barely comes into it. Maybe this true of other ballad narratives, which wouldn't work as stories because they'd be too dull, but as ballads they really kick off, like a film as oppose to a novel.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM

If you want to communicate with an audience, it would help to study acting.
Otherwise you run the risk of not holding the attention a ballad requires.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM

So you are an American! Listen to the recordings of the great American ballad singers like Frank Proffitt, Almeida Riddle, John Galusha, Lee Monroe Presnell, Joe Estey, etc. etc. No need to buy albums just Google each name and you will get examples to listen to....Listen to them, then listen again, then listen again, then listen again... and after a while - as we say on this side of the Atlantic - the penny will drop. Good luck! We need all the young ballad singers that we can get!


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 01:03 PM

To return to the original request, getting hold of ballads or listening to them will be relatively easy. I recommend you start with some that have repetition and choruses to give yourself some thinking time. A couple of prime examples, one already mentioneed, The Cruel Mother, but also The Two Sisters. There are plenty of others similar. When you're ready to start delving deeper take a trip to Harvard and see if you can get into Child's library to look at some of the original manuscripts. Also check out your local library for copy of Folk Songs of the Catskills by Cazden et al for one of the best ballad books ever written.(IMHO)


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 03:24 PM

I would say for sure sing in your own voice..not fake bluegrass, Scots, Carribean or whatever..sing their songs in your own voice. Straight as it comes out of your mouth...and no affectations based on pop singers of your generation etc.   And I on the other hand would beg you not to rewrite any ballads. If you enjoy writing songs, write them, in the style perhaps..but I would leave what has been around for hundreds of years unchanged..same as if I found an old teacup I would not be inspired to paint pretty new flowers on it. mg


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 04:02 PM

Vic. Don't forget the greatest of them all. Dillard Chandler. So far as I know, the only commercially available recordings of DC are on Smithsonian Folkways, so they can be obtained by searching for him at http://www.folkways.si.edu/.

And of course there's Horton Barker, Bascom Lunsford, Roscoe Holcomb and many, many others (Sorry, that's a blind to hide the fact that my memory is having a senior moment, and cannot recall Aunt Molly Jackson, Hedy West or Nimrod Workman, to name just a few).

But if it can still be obtained, the Rounder reissue of the very first of the Library of Congress LPs, Anglo American Ballads, AAFS L1, is stuffed to the brim with golden goodies.

Similar remarks for Child Ballads Traditional in the United States, AAFS L57, and Anglo-American Songs and Ballads, Congress, AAFS L20.

Guest. All but one of the singers I've mentioned, in fact pretty well all the singers mentioned on this thread are deeply authentic, and you may have a lot of trouble getting to grips with them at first. But stick with it. When you've opened your ears to the wonders of American ballad singing, the world will be totally transformed.


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Subject: RE: Getting started with singing ballads?
From: GUEST,Willa
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 04:40 PM

Nathan. Join Mudcat; it's free. The advantage is that you can send PM's (private messages) to other members. Try you tube for ballads - there are some good performers out there.


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