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The Tipp Staff


Pete Dunk
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I've just added this tune to the Tune-O-Tron, it was one of the highlights (but there were so many!) of an Alistair Anderson workshop we went to last weekend. This will test the skill of good players for a little while if they haven't come across it before but it is playable by the less skilled with a fair bit of practice. We mere mortals need to spend a fair bit of time working out the best fingering but once you start to get the idea this is a fun piece that will make you chuckle when you get it right. Have fun!

 

X:1

T: Tipp Staff, The

C:William Vickers manuscript 1776

M:4/4

L:1/8

Z:Peter Dunk March 2008

K:G

d/c/|BGgG G,G GA/2B/2|cAaA A,A AB/2c/2|dBBd ecce|dccB BAAc|

BGgG G,G GA/2B/2|cAaA A,A AB/2c/2|Bdge fgag|fde^c d3 D|

d=ffe eddc| BAA^G AA,A,B|ceed dccB|gdcB B3 A|

G,GGB A,AAc|B,BBd Ccce|deef gdcB|AGAB G3|

W:

W:

Edited by tallship
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Eek! I made a typo in the original abc file. This has now been corrected, my apologies to anyone who tried the tune and thought it sounded odd. Please give it another try. :unsure:

Hmm. I must have downloaded the PDF after you corrected it (and without noticing your comment in the To'T about the correction). since what I have matches what's there now.

Nice tune. On my list to learn.

We mere mortals need to spend a fair bit of time working out the best fingering but once you start to get the idea this is a fun piece that will make you chuckle when you get it right. Have fun!

Seems to me this is an excellent exercise for practicing the technique of using different fingers for successive notes on the same button. I don't know what advice Alistair may have given you, but my general rule (to which I make two exceptions in this tune) is to end with the "normal" finger on the last of the sequence of repeated notes.

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Seems to me this is an excellent exercise for practicing the technique of using different fingers for successive notes on the same button. I don't know what advice Alistair may have given you, but my general rule (to which I make two exceptions in this tune) is to end with the "normal" finger on the last of the sequence of repeated notes.

 

This was a Northumbrian tunes workshop for all instruments so there was very little instrument technique instruction apart from workarounds for the diatonics that were missing some of the notes here and there. A large proportion of the time was spent developing the phrasing and dynamics of the pieces, how to lift the music off the page and breath life into it so to speak. We were given the music for thirty three tunes just a week and a half before the workshop and this was one of the tunes that I really didn't 'get' from the dots, probably because my sight reading skills aren't that great for music I've never heard that is anything less than straightforward.

 

I should also mention that in full flow Alistair plays this at an absolutely blistering pace. I recorded the workshop (with permission) but I don't know if it's acceptable to make the mp3 of this tune available for people to listen to and Alistair doesn't seem to have a website or an email address so I can't ask him. What does anyone think?

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...I should also mention that in full flow Alistair plays this at an absolutely blistering pace. I recorded the workshop (with permission) but I don't know if it's acceptable to make the mp3 of this tune available for people to listen to and Alistair doesn't seem to have a website or an email address so I can't ask him. What does anyone think?

 

I think that you would have to ask him. But you could give us an idea of the pace by giving a "tempo" or metronome mark- i.e. crotchet (or quarter note) = 120 would be a brisk march (2 beats per second) if you can work one out.

Samantha

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I think that you would have to ask him. But you could give us an idea of the pace by giving a "tempo" or metronome mark- i.e. crotchet (or quarter note) = 120 would be a brisk march (2 beats per second) if you can work one out.

Samantha

Good point Samantha. Here's the abc again set at the pace Alistair demonstrated the tune in the workshop (140). Both Sally and myself think he played this at more like 150 at the evening gig, he also managed to work in a few embellishments and variations! The Tipp Staff will be on his new CD which is due for release in the near future, I'll be buying it. :D

 

For those who don't use abc other than to grab tunes and then put them through the Convert-A-Matic, The addition of a 'Q:' field sets the tempo. Changing the value allows you to slow the midi playback down to a pace you can play along with.

 

The only other reference to 'The Tipstaff' I can find refers to it as a strathspey and that tune can only be described as being broadly similar to the one given here.

 

X:1

T: Tipp Staff, The

C:William Vickers manuscript 1776

M:4/4

L:1/8

Q:140

Z:Peter Dunk March 2008

K:G

d/c/|BGgG G,G GA/2B/2|cAaA A,A AB/2c/2|dBBd ecce|dccB BAAc|

BGgG G,G GA/2B/2|cAaA A,A AB/2c/2|Bdge fgag|fde^c d3 D|

d=ffe eddc| BAA^G AA,A,B|ceed dccB|gdcB B3 A|

G,GGB A,AAc|B,BBd Ccce|deef gdcB|AGAB G3|

W:

W:

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[seems to me this is an excellent exercise for practicing the technique of using different fingers for successive notes on the same button. I don't know what advice Alistair may have given you, but my general rule (to which I make two exceptions in this tune) is to end with the "normal" finger on the last of the sequence of repeated notes.

 

 

I seem to have developed the habit of starting with the normal finger and only changing that if I end up on the wrong finger and the following note is difficult to reach. Somehow, especially when I'm reading a new tune, I find that easier. I'd be interested to know where your exceptions were in this tune.

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Seems to me this is an excellent exercise for practicing the technique of using different fingers for successive notes on the same button. I don't know what advice Alistair may have given you, but my general rule (to which I make two exceptions in this tune) is to end with the "normal" finger on the last of the sequence of repeated notes.

I seem to have developed the habit of starting with the normal finger and only changing that if I end up on the wrong finger and the following note is difficult to reach. Somehow, especially when I'm reading a new tune, I find that easier. I'd be interested to know where your exceptions were in this tune.

Sure:

  • In the sequence AA'A'B (right after the G#), I play the first low A' with my middle finger and the second with my ring finger, so that it's easy to reach up to the B with my middle finger.
  • And almost four measures later, in the measure B'BBd Ccce, I play the two higher B's with middle, then ring, so that it's easy to reach down to the C with my index finger.

There are also a few other places where I use other than the "normal" finger, not to repeat a single note, but to set up the next finger I want to use, e.g.:

  • Right after the AA'A'B sequence mentioned above, I use my (right-hand) ring finger on the high c, so that I can play the first of the ensuing two e's with my middle finger, and thus the last of the pair with the "normal" index finger.

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Seems to me this is an excellent exercise for practicing the technique of using different fingers for successive notes on the same button. I don't know what advice Alistair may have given you, but my general rule (to which I make two exceptions in this tune) is to end with the "normal" finger on the last of the sequence of repeated notes.

I seem to have developed the habit of starting with the normal finger and only changing that if I end up on the wrong finger and the following note is difficult to reach. Somehow, especially when I'm reading a new tune, I find that easier. I'd be interested to know where your exceptions were in this tune.

Sure:

  • In the sequence AA'A'B (right after the G#), I play the first low A' with my middle finger and the second with my ring finger, so that it's easy to reach up to the B with my middle finger.
  • And almost four measures later, in the measure B'BBd Ccce, I play the two higher B's with middle, then ring, so that it's easy to reach down to the C with my index finger.

There are also a few other places where I use other than the "normal" finger, not to repeat a single note, but to set up the next finger I want to use, e.g.:

  • Right after the AA'A'B sequence mentioned above, I use my (right-hand) ring finger on the high c, so that I can play the first of the ensuing two e's with my middle finger, and thus the last of the pair with the "normal" index finger.

 

 

Thanks.

 

Your approach of ending up on the 'normal' finger is especially helpfull on the two measures with the ascending low notes near the end of the piece.

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