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Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?

GUEST,Jennifer Burdoo 19 Sep 17 - 11:00 AM
Jack Campin 19 Sep 17 - 02:32 PM
Dave Hanson 19 Sep 17 - 02:42 PM
Noreen 19 Sep 17 - 03:59 PM
hsempl 19 Sep 17 - 09:53 PM
CupOfTea 19 Sep 17 - 11:34 PM
The Sandman 20 Sep 17 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,kenny 20 Sep 17 - 07:39 AM
hsempl 20 Sep 17 - 08:38 AM
BrooklynJay 20 Sep 17 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,LynnT 22 Sep 17 - 12:57 PM
The Sandman 22 Sep 17 - 01:24 PM
Gabriel 22 Sep 17 - 01:49 PM
Gallus Moll 22 Sep 17 - 03:08 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 Sep 17 - 04:36 PM
Johnny J 22 Sep 17 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 23 Sep 17 - 03:32 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 17 - 06:48 PM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 17 - 03:16 AM
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Subject: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: GUEST,Jennifer Burdoo
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 11:00 AM

Hey all. Have busted my hand. It's not a bad injury and will recover in a few weeks but might need to retrain it after. I record on YouTube and play for library storytimes at work. Can't think of much I know that sounds best unaccompanied, tho - Northwest Passage and Pat Works on the Railway (can do the latter with spoons). Could use ideas for:

- Folk and Celtic ('60s revival is good, also know Battlefield Band well), sea songs
- Liberal protest songs (for comparison I love Judy Small, Pete Seeger and Ewen MacColl)
- Children's songs (counting and animals are good. I also do a lot of the classic folksongs like Coming 'Round the Mountain, Puff the Magic Dragon et al but don't know many that can be don unaccompanied or with impromptu instruments.)

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 02:32 PM

Mickey's Warning (aka Blue Bleezin Blind Drunk).

Anything from Adam MacNaughton, since that's how he always does them - e.g. Cholesterol, Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill.

Most of Matt McGinn, since he also sang unaccompanied most of the time - On the Beach at Portobello, say.

I can't actually think of many songs that wouldn't be improved by leaving the guitar out.


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 02:42 PM

Anything from The Copper Family, The Wilson Family or The Watersons.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: Noreen
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 03:59 PM

Anything can be done well unaccompanied. You need to learn to sing unaccompanied- just use your voice, rather than relying on an instrument to give it structure.
Sing a few songs unaccompanied, record yourself and listen carefully. What do YOU think sounds good?
That should give you ideas of where to go next.
And even when your hand is better, keep working on your unaccompanied singing!


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: hsempl
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 09:53 PM

Kate Wolf songs might suit: Safe at Anchor, for example. I just found this helpful list of songs that are either by Kate Wolf or else sung by her, and likely many of them would serve your purpose. Hope the hand heals well and soon!


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 11:34 PM

After a whole weekend filled with song, and a good portion of them acapella, it is even more obvious that you must have a strong, memorable, song to create interest in a listener. Can you stay in the same key without an instrumental clue? Are there songs you are used to singing in car or shower or times with you hand otherwise occupied? Audience participation helps for acapella - great choruses and snappy refrains give some added value. When a song has to stand on its own, you need to know it very well, no time for reading it off a cribsheet.

I hope your enforced instrument embargo gives you some songs that you get more comfortable with and appreciate in a new way. I've a list of songs I've come to realize felt better (for me) singing acapella. You can use this time to expand your repertoire.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 04:01 AM

childrens songs here is a suggestion dido bendigo get the children to sing dogs names in turn, one child could be dido etc. sea songs do me amma, flying cloud,
children often like cumalative songs


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 07:39 AM

"Penny Evans", by Steve Goodman. I still remember him singing it unaccompanied at Cambridge Folk Festival, 1974 [ ? ]. As we say in Scotland, "it would bring tears tae a gless e'e".


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: hsempl
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 08:38 AM

I forgot to include the list above. Here it is: http://www.katewolf.com/songs/songlist.htm

Also, for children's songs (or just fun songs to sing together), Ella Jenkins' repertoire: https://www.oldies.com/artist-songs/Ella-Jenkins.html


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 10:05 AM

Here are some of my favorites:

Farewell To Tarwathie - Judy Collins (early version)

Mingulay Boat Song

Wee Dark Engine Room - this version

I do all of these unaccompanied and they go over quite well.


Jay


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: GUEST,LynnT
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 12:57 PM

I no longer play an instrument -- so most of my songs go unaccompanied. All the comments above apply. I work hard on enunciation, on pitch, on using change in volume or ornamentation to bring out points in the song -- and in ensuring that the song is not too long! I have a working repertoire of some 30 songs, ranging from Five Foot Flirt (Cyril Tawney) to ballads like Henry Martin or Death of Queen Jane, to story songs like Here's to Cheshire (Froggy courting Mouse). Not a problem.

LynnT


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 01:24 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLdYamFmM3g


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: Gabriel
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 01:49 PM

'Unaccompanied' is exactly how songs should be sung!
The best resource for Irish unaccompanied song is the Góilín Song Project. There are real gems in here: Góilín Song Project


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 03:08 PM

When singing unaccompanied- focus on the story, the words, expression -- don't sing it to the rhythm and sound of an invisible guitar!
Most of my singing is unaccompanied (I don't play an instrument!) and I learn by ear, so I 'see' pictures or a video of what is going on; that is what I am recounting. This works for me, even when I am do songs by my friend who is a writer - and composes and sings to his guitar; I just make my own version of it!


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 04:36 PM

On the other hand.......a lot of unacompanied singers do shorten the long notes, sometimes radically, in certain songs, which, to my mind anyway, can throw out the whole rhythm and cadence of a song. By all means, "make a song your own" but don't lose the natural flow of it.
And on the third hand, if singing unaccompanied, you can make more sense of the words by using a bit of good old rubato (varying speed), proper phrasing, NOT singing to a click-track in the ears, etc.
If the above statements sound contradictory, I know what I mean, even if you don't!


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: Johnny J
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 06:37 PM

Gabriel says....

'Unaccompanied' is exactly how songs should be sung!"

Many contemporary songs are composed with accompaniment and musical arrangements in mind. Budding songwriters are taught as such in many songwriting workshops. So musical introductions, phrases, riffs,guitar picking styles, interludes e.g. middle eights etc are regarded as integral parts of the song.

Of course, all songs can be rearranged to suit the solo voice but some are more suitable than others for this purpose. However, others may end up being quite different in structure and character as a result.


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 23 Sep 17 - 03:32 PM

There are very few songs that actually need accompaniment. Since I started to play fiddle and squeezebox, the logistics of travel and pub space meant that I rarely take my guitar anywhere, hence I have re-developed the better use of my voice and learned how to quiet down a noisy pub crowd, as well as avoiding those songs which do well in a soft milieu on certain occasions, without whining that I am not receiving the artistic respect which ought to be my due. if i can get the b*ggers singing as well, that's a bonus!

Chris B.


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 17 - 06:48 PM

I haven't tried 'Mingulay,' yet. That may work. Thanks for the thoughts, folks!


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Subject: RE: Good unaccompanied songs - suggestions?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 17 - 03:16 AM

Most songs can work well a cappella, but you may have to modify them to avoid "dead air." "City of New Orleans" (Steve Goodman) is one. You have to modify it a bit.
-Joe-


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