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Bass for slip jigs

GUEST,Cappuccino 17 Feb 16 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,# 17 Feb 16 - 08:55 AM
Stanron 17 Feb 16 - 09:53 AM
Brian Peters 17 Feb 16 - 11:25 AM
Cappuccino 17 Feb 16 - 11:25 AM
Cappuccino 17 Feb 16 - 11:29 AM
Stanron 17 Feb 16 - 11:46 AM
The Sandman 17 Feb 16 - 05:46 PM
BobL 18 Feb 16 - 04:24 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 16 - 05:48 AM
Stanron 18 Feb 16 - 06:30 AM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 16 - 07:50 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 16 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 18 Feb 16 - 10:38 AM
The Sandman 18 Feb 16 - 10:49 AM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 16 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Feb 16 - 11:14 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 16 - 11:32 AM
Cappuccino 18 Feb 16 - 11:38 AM
The Sandman 18 Feb 16 - 12:31 PM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 16 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Feb 16 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Aloysius Chuckabutty 19 Feb 16 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,matt milton 19 Feb 16 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,matt milton 19 Feb 16 - 06:41 AM
G-Force 19 Feb 16 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,leeneia 19 Feb 16 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,ripov 20 Feb 16 - 04:16 PM
Mooh 21 Feb 16 - 09:43 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Feb 16 - 12:30 PM
Cappuccino 22 Feb 16 - 03:06 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Feb 16 - 03:59 AM
Cappuccino 23 Feb 16 - 04:22 PM
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Subject: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,Cappuccino
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 08:05 AM

I have just come back to playing in a ceilidh band after 16 years - I'm playing acoustic bass guitar with a conventional line up of fiddle, accordion, whistle, etc. I can remember a lot of the stuff, and those I can't remember I can improvise or fake my way through.

Except... we have to play Drops of Brandy as a slip jig in 9/8 time. I am getting completely tied up in knots trying to work out a decent bass part. I keep getting the timing mixed up, and come to the end of the A tune either a bar behind everyone else... or a bar in front!

Any clues or tips about playing bass to this kind of tune?

Thanks
- Cappuccino, Norfolk, England


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,#
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 08:55 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_2fXzEZVHQ

I think you could do something 'unifying' with that guitarist's part.

Do you read music (notes, dots, notation, sheet music or even tabs)?


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Stanron
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 09:53 AM

A lot will depend on how well you know the vocabulary of music theory, still here goes.

A slip jig has a time signature of 9/8. This means three beats to the bar and each beat divides into three.

For each bar you could count

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3


With a gentle emphassis on each 1 or

1 + a 2 + a 3 + a


With emphassis on 1, 2 and 3.

You could have a slighly heavier emphasis on the first beat in each bar. You won't go too far wrong if you can hear it as a medium (or slow) waltz where each beat is a triplet

The simplest way to play bass is on the first beat in each bar but too much of that would be too simple. That would look like this

| 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a | 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a |
B                   B   
            

where B is your bass note.
Every fourth or eighth bar you could go

| 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a |
B    B    B


A variant which can add punch (if you want punch that is) is

| 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a |
B   B


This is playing on the first and last notes of the first triplet only or

| 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a |
B   B       B


Whatever you do don't get too busy. Make sure you know where beat 1 of each tune is. Most tunes have 4 or 8 bar sections. If you are really struggling to follow this then you could discretely ask other musicians if your band are playing it right.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Brian Peters
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 11:25 AM

Stanron's notations are very useful. I think I would go for a walking bass to a slow count of three, hitting all the on-beats, as a default, then use some of the gapped or syncopated sequences for added lift.

This would work, too:

| 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a |
B          B

I know Capuccino wasn't asking about guitar, but it's a tricky rhythm on that too: you can get a lot of drive by hitting each of the nine beats with alternate downstrokes and upstrokes (as for 6:8), except that the odd number of beats means that bars 1, 3, 5, 7, etc will start with an downstroke and finish on an up, and bars 2, 4, 6, 8 start with an upstroke and finish on a down. You'd also need to really stress the three on-beats and avoid excessive clatter on the others.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Cappuccino
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 11:25 AM

Very kind of you both. I've been playing bass for nearly forty years, in all styles; my sight-reading is awful, though my tab reading is OK.

It is the timing of this which has me puzzled... so I shall go back and try counting as you suggest.

- Cappuccino (curiously, I seem to have cropped up as a 'guest', but have been on this forum since the 90s!)


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Cappuccino
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 11:29 AM

Sorry Brian, my last post clashed with yours. Many thanks... the idea of a walking bass had occurred to me as a possibility. The other idea was to do what I think Pegg used to do in Fairport, and play the melody on the bass!


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Stanron
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 11:46 AM

Hi Cappuccino. You have just reminded me that I intended to advise against trying to play the tune and then forgot.

It's best to check with other band members, but the bass is such a powerful instrument. If the bass plays the tune there is a good chance that nothing else will be heard. Maybe for the last time through as a climax if other players are OK with it.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 05:46 PM

keep it simple it is dance music, stanron is absolutely spot on.
   walking bass,why? does it help the dancers? if it does, fine, watch the dancers.walking bass is commonly used in boogie woogie, which is 4/4.
i doubt if it will work for 9/8, however i havent tried it, so i suppose it could, best to try it out in private, or with a recording first.
for god sake there is no need to play the tune, just count 9/8, emphasise where stan said,and watch the dancers, 9/8 is no more difficult than 6/8. although a lot of so called musicians that have only played rock music cant seem to get a handle on the lilt of 6/8


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: BobL
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 04:24 AM

Think normal (double) jig, except three accents to the bar instead of two. Thinking of it as a cross between a jig and a waltz might help, although it sounds totally confusing.

Incidentally you won't be the first to be thrown by 9/8 time. Thomas Hardy senior notated Drops of Brandy in a manuscript book in 4/4 time, with accents every third quaver. And although slip jigs weren't unknown as 17th- and 18th-century dance tunes, Cecil Sharp found alternatives every time for his Country Dance Books. My guess is that he had no problem with them himself, but he knew that the Edwardian schoolmistresses who had to play them on the piano might.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 05:48 AM

Thank you. Brian,Ros Wilson, once of the Old Trout ceilidh band, asks if you are the Brian she played with at Broad stairs some time back. She is the boss of this band I have joined.
Cappuccino.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Stanron
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 06:30 AM

There was a precursor to today's slip jig. The 3/2 hornpipe has a lot in common, apart from the fact that it was a lot slower.

Speed one of them up, you'd have to simplify it of course, and you'd have your triple or slip jig.

In a book of tunes published in 1730 by Walsh of London 50% of the tunes were 3/2 hornpipes. Fashions change.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 07:50 AM

"Ros Wilson, once of the Old Trout ceilidh band, asks if you are the Brian she played with at Broad stairs some time back."

Very likely. I haven't been to Broadstairs for a few years, but played it quite a few times back in the day, and I'm always up for a jam.

"keep it simple it is dance music... walking bass,why?"

Er... because it is simple? Just hitting the on-beats?


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 08:26 AM

Think didly, diddly, diddly for 9/8

And diddly, diddly for 6/8


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 10:38 AM

I'm not sure I'd have a standard approach for a slip jig - what I used to do for "Rocky Road To Dublin" doesn't feel like it would work for "Drops of Brandy".

However, I think the start point is to recognize that there are essentially 3 main beats to each bar, so I'd probably mix bars which had a straight 3 beats feel (walking) with ones with a more "jazzy" syncopated "swung" feel (beats 1 and (anticipated) 3, perhaps).

A lot would also depend on the feel that the rest of the band has - I was working with a very jazzy guitarist.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 10:49 AM

here is a definition of walking bass....
"a bass part in 4/4 time in which a note is played on each beat of the bar and which typically moves up and down the scale in small steps." ....slip jigs are 9/8, the heavier emphasis or ccent as i understood it is in beats 1 4 7, although here is a different definition here..
Slip jig refers to both a style within Irish music, and the Irish dance to music in slip-jig time. The slip jig is in 9
8 time, traditionally with accents on 5 of the 9 beats — two pairs of crotchet/quaver (quarter note/eighth note) followed by a dotted crotchet note.
Stanron, explained it succinctly, the bass should be on beats 1, 4, 7, where one taps the foot,
when there is a dotted crotchet my taste would be to emphasise a little heavier,
but as long as anything you do suits the band and does not hinder the dancing, fine.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 11:00 AM

GSS: I think everyone else understood what I meant by 'walking bass to a slow count of three': precisely the 1 4 7 pattern you're now advocating.

Slip jigs are not confined to Irish music, either.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 11:14 AM

First make sure that they are actually playing a tune in 9/8. Ceilidh band members can get mixed up. They could be playing a different dance with the same name or they could be playing the tune wrong.

I once did a dance number that the pretigious members insisted was in 2 when it was actually in 3/4 time.
==============
If that part's okay, we move on. We would count a tune in 9/8 as

one lol-ly, two lol-ly, three lol-ly (learned this from a music major)

BUT if you are playing accompaniment, say the chord names instead. Suppose the first three chords are G D A. Say

G lol-ly, D lol-ly, A lol-ly

Frankly, if your friends are playing as fast as the whistle player in the link above, You might have to do what a harper once said, "Just thump along on the tonic."


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 11:32 AM

Frankly, if your friends are playing as fast as the whistle player in the link above

I don't think speed was the main problem in that video.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Cappuccino
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 11:38 AM

Thank you again. I am delighted to find that if I say G-lolly and so on, I get my tongue tied up as much as my fingers!

And I have been in many bands,from rock to folk, where I have indeed just 'thumped along on the tonic'. And nobody seemed to notice...

Many thanks
Cappuccino


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 12:31 PM

ok, Brian, no offence intended, AND NONE TAKEN ON MY PART. Like yourself I know all bout slip jigs, and their uses in scottish and english music.
I was playing in country dance music bands 40 years ago.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 01:20 PM

That's fine, Dick. I think Cappucino got what he wanted.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 10:21 PM

My singing teacher pointed out to me that we have two different L's. There's the L in Like and the L in old. They are made differently.

When counting lollies, make all your L's in the front of your mouth, as in 'like.' That helps.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,Aloysius Chuckabutty
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 03:59 AM

Irish slip jig: pour a bottle of Guinness over the floor, then do a step-dance.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 06:38 AM

The "diddley diddley diddley" rhythm suggested by a poster above is helpful.

I would try starting off by just playing 4 notes, the first 3 being on the beat, the last 1 slipped in as an extra rapid step.

In terms of "diddley diddley diddley" the first 3 would be on each "di" , the last 1 would be on the last "ey".


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 06:41 AM

As it happens, I worked out the Star Wars theme in 9/8 on the banjo the other day...

Star Wars theme - slip jig?

I did wonder if it can be termed a slip jig simply because it's in 9/8 and a bit jig-like?! How strict is the qualification process?!


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: G-Force
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 07:27 AM

Well, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring is in 9/8, but it's hardly a slip jig.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 04:35 PM

Matt, thanks for the music. (I don't know the answer to your question.)

G-Force, you are right. Just because two pieces have the same time signature doesn't guarantee they are the same kind of music.
==============
I went to abc notation.com and searched for 'Drops of Brandy'. There are many entries, but it would be a lot of work to figure out which are duplicates and which are unique. Suffice it to say that there were ten per page, and they were still coming up on page 10.
After that I quit looking.


Interesting thing: most were in 9/8 but some were in 2/4. What if different band members have different music?


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 20 Feb 16 - 04:16 PM

I had a look at those, Leenia, in case some had managed to squeeze a slip jig into 2/4 time, which would be interesting. The sort of thing a Northumbrian piper might do. But one was a polka of the same name, another was there simply bcause the original dots had two tunes on the page and the familiar Drops of Brandy was the second. The third was very strange!
I rather think G-force is right, Jesu Joy is similar to a slip jig. And, regarding the bass, is just right - 1st and 3rd beats accented strongly, the second only slightly (Bach did after all write plenty of dance music!).
Regarding 3/2 Hornpipes, these normally have 3 pretty well equal heavy beats in a bar (Handels Water Music has a well known one), with plenty of syncopation, quite different to a slip jig.   But there is another variety written in 9/8, which seems to fall between the two stools, and often is found in both English and Irish tradition, eg Top the Candle.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Mooh
Date: 21 Feb 16 - 09:43 AM

A little experience with slip jigs, on both bass and guitar. Not sure how valid the purists will consider this, I think it depends on the tune, but I noticed that I've felt the beat on 1 and 4, or 1 and 7, sometimes alternating, sometimes not. I don't generally stick to a 1, 4, 7 beat as it tends to turn the feel more towards a single jig if repeated too much.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Feb 16 - 12:30 PM

Maybe try humming along as did dl y, did dl y, did dl y but don't play all the did?

I guess its like a lot of things in music - once you have grasped and internalized what to do you will wonder why it seemed tricky


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Cappuccino
Date: 22 Feb 16 - 03:06 AM

Yes, Les, that's exactly what I'm hoping will happen. I've discovered that there are many things in music which at first I just can't get my head round... then eventually it clicks, and you wonder why you worried so much about it!

For the moment, I'm still counting my diddleys and practising my lollies...


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Feb 16 - 03:59 AM

Where abouts do you live Cappuccino?

Trust you might find this useful

Or this


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Subject: RE: Bass for slip jigs
From: Cappuccino
Date: 23 Feb 16 - 04:22 PM

In the final half-mile of the Norfolk Broads... they end, believe it or not, in our village at a tiny river bridge with a No Entry sign on it! (The river ends the other side in someone's garden.)

Those links are good - many thanks.

- C.

PS. My other half's family is from Urmston... not a million miles from you.


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