A cheap trick?

A cheap trick?

I was prompted to post this after listening to a CD where Blackthorn Stick was played through in G then A then back to G.

What’s the general feeling about doing this kind of thing? - I agree it can add variation and lift, but some would say it’s a bit of a cheap trick!

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Some tunes almost *depend* on this for effect - Pinch of Snuff for example.

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It also reminded me of some remarks in the Comments tab of Tam Lin, where the tune is sometimes played first in Dmin then Amin: Zina says "This is often played first in Dm a few times, then in Am a few times (many sessions feature a lot of whooping at the change, don’t ask me why)" Jeremy comments: "
Changing from Dminor to Aminor is a bit of a cheap trick, isn’t it?
On the fiddle at least, all you have to do is move everything up a string."

Zina says "Actually, I agree with you, Jeremy — I think it IS a bit of a cheap trick. I generally don’t do the stair-stepping thing, and only play it in one or the other key."

So what’s the concensus about
1. Same tune in say G the A then G?
2. Stair-stepping?
3. Moving up a 5th (on fiddle)?

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I’m confused!
"Domnull", are you having this discussion with yourself?
Are you "special"?
And do you believe Jeremy and Zina are there with you now?
There, there, it’ll be OK…

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How ‘bout G - A - G and then to A again! Foxhunter’s reel on Encore by Celtic Fiddle Festival, with great effect. If it’s just the trick, so it can give a cheap feeling. But if you give it something extra (like the dynamic effect these guys show), wow!

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yep, chaep trick. Even in a performance. Watch Pop Idol and you’ll see it’s deregeur.

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What is deregeur???

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changing up a tone for the lift effect

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We’ve learnt a lot about Michael lately - ex prog rock/thrash metal player, who watches Pop Idol. What next…!?

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They don’t seem to do that sort of thing in NJ! I surely have never heard it at sessions in this area. I have heard some play something in one key, end the tune or a set, and say, listen to it in this other key, which do you like better.

Guess we don’t do cheap tricks here.

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yep - a cheap trick - but when playing for dancers and you’ve been through your set of jigs/reels whatever for the umpteenth time a simple key change is a blessed relief to us musicians.

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Paddy Keenan plays Out on the Ocean in d and a on his recording Na Keen Affair. One year at North Hero he went from g to a to d. It may be a cheap trick but it does give a nice lift to the tune

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A more expensive trick, ‘cos it’s more difficult, is to start in D and go up a half-tone each time until you arrive at G :-)

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Iris, I thought Cheap Trick WERE from NJ ?
Boom, boom !
But back to the question….a change of key into a NEW TUNE can always be uplifting. Perhaps your perpetrators were thinking of that, but got it wrong ?

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I don’t listen to anything but ITM pretty much, so wouldn’t know! I thought they were Londoners, Pete!

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I imagine Henk may be genuinely wondering what ‘deregeur’ means. Or … he may just wonder if Michael meant ‘de rigeur’ … though I notice from the number of Google hits that the former spelling does seem to be used a lot these days, even if it *is* entirely meaningless … and I don’t think i’m being ‘spelling police’ here. I just think that, if you must use poncy language, you might as well know what it means and how it’s spelt. Otherwise, stick to the basics. Bit like tunes, I suppose …

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Try doing it without telling anybody… great for dampening enthusiasm and creating discord (!) in one cheap artistic stroke.

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I know. I’ve done that. Heheh!

:-P

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Iris, Rockford, IL., it says on the band site, with a brief stay in Philly. I see they’re playing at Lincoln, RI, if you want to go see them, at the Casino, on the 28th. That’s not too far from New Jersey, is it?
I’m sure I remember driving that in a day, back in the late ’70s’.
I wouldn’t mind being in Rhode Island this time of year, or Connetticut. Got some nice memories of Connetticut, even if I’m not sure how to spell it.

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"Required by the current fashion or custom; socially obligatory"

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An unjustified change of key in a tune or song is known as a truck driver’s gear-change. Just think "Downtown," Penny Lane" or "Mull of Kintyre." Just google "truck driver’s gear-change" to reach a wonderful website. :-D

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Too far from NJ, but not impossible. About five hours. I’d only go that far for music if it was great ITM, thanks! I am accused of narrowmindedness of course.

It is Connecticut, silent C. Connecticut’s name comes from the Mohican word "Quinnehtukqut", which means "beside the long tidal river." Just in case you care for more info to clog your brain up.

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I’ve heard Calliope House done in D and then in E. I gather it was written originally in E. At least I have seen a video of the composer playing it on Mandolin and he played it in E.

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benhall.1 , you ‘re right about the origin of my question!

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Good. You found the definition now, Henk? btw, Michael’s definition above is how it’s used now. It came from the French and meant ‘according to strict rules’.

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All cleared now.

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Well, Siegfried Baboon calls it truck driver’s gear-change. Whatever you call it the website is good for a laugh. :-D

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It seems to be done a lot in Scandinavian and Finnish music. I *love* it when Finnish band Varrtina take it up a step.

As for in Irish music. Well, it’s not really deep or meaningful but sure, not everything has to be deep or meaningful all the time. So in a playful session, why not, as long as it isn’t something you have to rely upon because there’s nothing else to your music.

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I do kick it up from G to A occasionally but the problem i find is the banjo player in our group is far too lazy to try it in A.

So i generally play it early on in the session because he suffers a terrible affliction known as chronic lateness.

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I bet he’s just waiting outside until you’ve finished with your cheap trick

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Attacking me Michael?

Anyone would think you’re trying to ingratiate yourself with Bodhran Bliss!

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If Connecticut is pronounced with a silent C wouldn’t that make it Onnecticut? :-P

Seriously though there are three c’s in the name. I am perfectly aware of how to pronounce it but if someone doesn’t then there is no help in that guidance! :-D

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I first learned "Off to California" with a fiddler who played it in 4 keys. G, A, D and .. another one. I thought that was how it went.

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I liked it when Dervish lifted Graf Spee from C into D and used a different combination of instruments to play the tune. I think I liked it because I’d never heard it done like that before with that tune. I’ve heard lots of people do it with Tam Lin and Out On The Ocean, always with the same tunes. That’s cheap and sh1t.

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But a lot of the time there are practical reasons and the added "lift" is a welcome side effect.
For example: a lot of folk learned Calliope House in E, then the Irish started playing it in D and the Waterboys recorded it in D, so that became the popular default, and then the traditionalists reasserted themselves with E, and …. so you play it in both keys and everyone gets a go.
That’s a completely made-up history by the way. An Impressionist version. I used to wonder if Dave Richardson had actually composed it on guitar, but apparently not.

I love recordings of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, and always liked the key changes and the way his band effected them, made a big feature of them. I thought it was just a jazzy arrangement, a "cheap trick" if you like. Then I realised he had the band playing fiddle sections in fiddle keys like D, and the key change was to suit the singer, then they’d sometimes change again for a piano solo or whatever.

Maybe Dow’s Dervish thing has a similar logic and we’re looking at this from the wrong end of the telescope.

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Another trick:
for accompaniament. If you are droninng a part of a tune i.e. the A part of a reel i.e. in D, try to do it the first A part in G (5th up from D) and change to D in the second A. You can see how the tune grows.

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I like the truck driver’s gear change in Zager & Evans "In the Year 2525".

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Barry Manilow did this with nearly every song, arguably (by some popular media experts) simulating orgasmic climax.

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The silent C in Connecticut is in the middle, guys.

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Ah. Connecti-ut …

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Oi, where’s the milk?

You what?

You ‘eard - where’s the bleedin’ milk?

Eh?

THE MILK! The M…I…L…F…K!

Eh? There’s no F in "milk!"

Exactly! Where is it!!!

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Track 11, "Na Keen Affair" - Paddy Keenan.

"Paddy starts in the conventional key of D and then switches to A, a change in key that gives extra colour and lift to this jig. O’Neill had it as No. 795 in his Music of Ireland collection. "

Cheap trick? I don’t think so.

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Okay, so if you’ve ever played for a feis, you might have switched keys on St. Patrick’s Day out of sheer boredom… F, G, A, C, D…..(I think that’s the sequence…)