I've undertaken to play a couple of tunes for a very experienced Morris dancer to dance to at our folk club - Ladies' Pleasure (Bledington) and Nutting Girl (Bampton). Fortunately for me they are both in G, so I've at least pressed all those buttons before. But, as a learner Irish player on the three row Anglo, my instinct is to play most of it in the C row and cross into the G row for the higher notes. The two tunes seem to fit nicely this way, but my question is am I likely to miss out anything important in terms of style?
I may read your question a bit differently than some. I think you are saying that you want to play Nutting Girl in G, but to use the C row some of the time, and G others (ie, not that you want to play the tune in C).
If that interpretation is correct, then you would be close to the way William Kimber would approach a tune. He was basically an octave player, and I described in some detail octave cross-rowing techniques in my House Dance CDRom. Kimber's style was - in its most elemental form - to play in octaves, drop out every other note on the bass (left) side to enhance rhythm, and add a third interval partial chord to each remaining bass octave note. When playing in either G or D he cross-rowed all the time, to answer your question. A good example would be Over the Hills to Glory, a Country Dance tune that he played in G. In the A part, it is low in pitch and, just as you asked, it is partly played on the C row. In the B part the pitch is higher, and he migrated fully to the G row. Normal operating procedure, and your instinct is correct. A transcription of that and all his tunes, as he played them, are in my 2005 book on William Kimber, published by the EFDSS.
Most G tunes fit about 80% on the G row in the Kimber style, and 20% on the C row. C tunes typically are played roughly 50% on the C row and 50% on the G. Lots of cross rowing.
Modern players will play it differently, with fuller chords and oom-pahs, and just about anything goes as long as it suits the needs of the dancers, I should think.
Edited by Dan Worrall, 16 June 2014 - 10:17 AM.