Jump to content

Playing it slowly.


Recommended Posts

It has often occurred to me how playing fast pieces of music is quite often to be heard on traditional music ( particularly concertina tunes).. or at least a number of them.

And it is often just as much a challenge to play also the slower pieces; for there is just as much skill in sustaining a slow tune as a very quick one. It is that need to find a way to hold the note a while and in a more sedate manner, to take a moments pause between notes  maybe, or to make the sound breathe gently.

There's no one way of doing this,except by playing, and finding your own way; less pressure, more care in bellows use ( Anglo particularly).. slow it all down for a change and try something different; slow and gentle !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There seems a wide perception in some genres that faster is better, so everyone plays at 90 miles per hour. Even jigs and reels can sound better when played more slowly -- and fortunately some excellent musicians do so. And then there are the tunes that must be played slowly and, yes, that requires a different skill. Then there's playing for dancing, where the dancers won't thank you if it's too fast or too slow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The two rules of folk appear to be always play as fast as possible, and always sing as slowly as possible. The exception is if you are accompanying your own song - and sometimes not even then.

 

I typically play slightly faster than dance speed but I don't see playing fast as an end in itself.

 

In 6/8, every triplet has a shape, and a nuance of rhythmic emphasis . Some people play so fast all you hear is the Tum Tum of the first note of each triplet in a bar, rather than the full DID-der-ly did-der-ly.

 

You should be able to dance 1 2 3 hop, or 1 2 3 &, in a bar of 6/8. If the dancers can only fit in 2 stomps per bar, you're playing too fast.

 

Played at the right speed, neither too fast nor too slow, even a simple tune can sound majestic. Listen to fiddlers, Martin Hayes, who is more than capable of saying fast but who can slow a tune down and wrong every drop it of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

IMHO the rule of ITM is to find a speed at which a tune flows nicely, sounds good, with room for some interpretaion and nuance...................

 

.........................  and then triple it!

 

That tells us very little about Irish music but a lot about you.

 

You don't listen much to Irish concertina music do you?

 

 

 

Edited by Peter Laban
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been to a number of "Irish" music sessions at folk festivals in England!. There, it seemed to be the norm to play as fast as possible.

To my ear, it was wall-to-wall notes, with no real feel for the melodies.

Mostly, I could not keep up that speed and did not stay around too long. I exclude the very early part of my playing experience, when any session seemed to be on the learning curve.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, John Wild said:

I have been to a number of "Irish" music sessions at folk festivals in England!.etc...

Over a period of about 20 years, I have been to many "Irish" sessions at sailing/music festivals in

Brittany, as a listener rather than as a player. My experience largely mirrored that of John Wild.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's probably a matter of environment but I don't recognise anything in those words that describes the music I know.  And I'll leave it at that.

 

Do you feel any of the musicians in the clips I posted is involved in a race to beat the latest speed record?  I hear something quite different.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a bloke in our Morris side who likes to play his melodeon as fast as possible.  Our greatest fear is that one day he'll catch air under his bellows and be flipped backwards.  The remains of his melodeon will be found by divers years later and put on display in a museum.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/21/2022 at 4:27 PM, Peter Laban said:

That tells us very little about Irish music but a lot about you.

 

You don't listen much to Irish concertina music do you?

 

 

 

 

Although I genuinely do think that fast Irish music is played too fast, my quip was meant to be lighthearted, with a prominent IMHO at the beginning. Anyone can play at whatever speed they like as far as I'm concerned. In the same way people can choose what they like to listen to.

 

Personally (i.e. IMHO) I would say that your examples above, except the second and third, would sound better (to me) slowed down a bit (not a factor of three - that was a exaggeration for comic effect (Obviously didn't work in your case)).

And no, I haven't listened to much traditional Irish music, for the very reason that I generally find it too fast to  listen to.

 

I obviously should have added smileys or something, so apologies if it upset you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...