Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Now, I’m just a poor, country, melody player. I live out in the sticks, and don’t get out much.

I haven’t got many CDs, as my Dad wouldn’t buy me any, and he’s dead now.

I’m told there are some sort of rules that govern what guitar-pickers do who play in things called ‘Floot’ or ‘Lunacy’ or something.

Can anyone give me a few clues as to what these rules might be, as it’s clearly beyond me? Me with my poor, country background ‘n’ all.

I’d ideally like to be able to collect these rules, and stick them up on the wall in some sort of chart.

I can’t help feeling that it would improve my melody playing considerably, if only I could learn what notes would be likely to clash with what those important guitar-pickers want to play, so that I could avoid them in any tunes I happen to be playing.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

So, do you want me in leather or vinyl? ~ the whip or the stilletos? 😎

"Pain" is here….

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Why does this remind me of "Masque of the Red Death" and Vincent Price? 😲

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

This reminds me of a discussion on another website, where a mention of cricket ( willow on leather ) quickly deteriorated into aspects of S’n’M in Buffy the Vampire Slayer…….

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Someone who seriously wants to get to grips with the theory of harmony could do worse than to study the theory grade books of the Associated Board - as I have little doubt the _real_ Ben Hall has πŸ™‚.

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

What does ‘facetious’ mean? 😏

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

You are obviously a beginner in this music. If you had any experience with the music at all, you’d realise that it is all about the melody, and has nothing to do with harmony at all ("harmony", now there’s a word that bugs me!). If I were you, I’d concentrate more on the stark beauty of the melodies themselves and stop getting your knickers in a twist over learning "rules" and making silly wall charts. Go and listen to some proper, old-fashioned traditional music like Johnny Doughnuty or Nearly Boiled.

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

The main rule of hominy is to grind it into grits and serve with butter.

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Thank you, Mr Dow, sir, for your sincere encouragement and support. I shall take your advice.

I’m only sad to see that, as expected, I have been made fun of by these modern, city types who are only too eager to take the mickey out of a simple country boy.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

On the other hand, I’m still very afraid that I might find myself in a big city one day, and have to play in a session where I might offend the guitar-pickers (who run the sessions there, I’m led to believe) by playing melodies that go in directions different from where they want to go with their harmonies.

So, I still think I might need more help.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Just one thing, before people jump in to help me out again.

Please don’t be confusing me with all your long words and sophie-sistery.

Remember I’m only a simple country boy.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

… should have read " these *other*, modern city types" - not you, of course, Mr Dow, sir.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

"So, I still think I might need more help."

No sh1t, Ben πŸ™‚

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Ben, You need to ask one of those guitar players the name of the one chord they play and play just the note they first mention, so for D major just play D, G dim7 play G. It won’t matter that you always play the same note because they can’t hear you above their chords and they know all the tunes are the same anyway.

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Hot damn Bob, I missed that completely. You mean this is about grits, one of my all time favourite breakfasts? Hell, I can actually say something constructive then.

Here’s my favourite way with hominy grits, grate and melt chess into it, a good strong vintage cheddar is perfect, and then top it with a couple of strips of smoky bacon and an egg, burst the yolk and fold that into the grits. You can also crumble the bacon in. I guarantee you it is a celebration of combination on the tongue and will start your day well, help dispell any grouch that might be irritating your otherwise sunny dispositions…

For those of you unfamiliar with hominy, it is corn on steroids…

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Don’t you go calling *me* a hominid.

I may be ignorant of the ways of the wide, wicked world that you city folk know only too well; I may be only a poor country boy. But there’s no need to go confusing my poor brain with yer fancy latino words.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Try playing tunes where the second part starts on the V chord - Sandy Broons for example! Alternatively tunes like The High Drive will "help" you find common ground with guitarists who just love that I-VI-IV-V circular combination. 😏

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

What’s with this "poor country boy" stuff, go on, show us your callouses and wax lyrically about shovelling shight and deballing calves, and the fuss of roudup and injection time, and cutting and bailing hay and ~ go on, come on, I’m waiting. You probably think milk comes from milk trees and cheese is a from of meat… 😎

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

You could just keep it simple and play octaves with someone else, an old tried and true Irish way with it… I’ve even heard duet lilting that way, and that was beautiful, though they did also do some incidental harmonization too… Oops! ~ musta been a mistake, don’t yuh think? 😏

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Definitely very ignorant of them.

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

"cheese is a from of meat… "

I’m sorry. I can only speak my own country dialect here - Forest. What was that in? Was that Welsh?

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Melody players should be banned from sessions (like smoking) and only guitarists should be allowed to be aloud.

Signed, "Fruits of the World"

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

I knew it! You are from The Forest of Dean, benhall. All is explained.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

‘C’, my mouth is watering. There is an old water driven grist mill not too far from me that grinds the finest coarse grain grits I’ve ever tasted. Far superior to anything that comes out of a box from the grocery. We just might take a drive in that direction today…

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Yes, c.g. And what parts do ‘e hail from, me ow butt?

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

benhall.1:

As we advised our bouzouki player last year:

just tune every string to D in whatever octave seems appropriate for its gauge, then keep strict time and don’t bother fretting the strings

well, that’s what we’d like to have said anyway.

I’m sure the same principle could be safely applied to guitars.

seriously though, listen to Irish players like Arty McGlynn and imitate them. It’s the most sincere form of Flaherty.

MYBC

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Haha! Guys are funny — they are exceedingly amusing to listen to. This aught to be just fun ‘nough.

I’m inclined to believe you are all insufferably demented.

Goodbye!

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Wait Bridgee, don’t go, the demented love company!!!

Bob, I feel deprived, no fresh ground coarse grain hominy around here, not even in a box. I’ll have to get someone to smuggle it in for us… πŸ™

I know we’ve been there, I suspect, though I don’t trust my memory, especially this week, but aren’t harmonizing whistle players amongst the worst damn things to ever happen to a decent tune or session? What I’ve found is that they actually don’t know the tune at all and figure that since they can’t play it, well, why not take a more plodding harmony line instead, not a good one necessarily, as if, but somewhere a step or two away from what is really happening…

Hey, maybe we could start a new discussion on a virtual firing squad or first-person-shooter or team-shout-em-up and create characters for bad guys, like harmonizing whistle players and the mono-rhythmic bodhrangeoisie? We could soften it up and use slurry guns to hunt them down with, rather than going too soft and settling on the mundane old custard pie gun route?

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Benhall, don’t tease the sleeping bear, I see you got what you were asking for [perhaps you are enjoying it because of your masocistic dark side you weren’t aware of:- ) ? ]

Anyway, you could start from bass arrangements, this will shed some lite.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

"I only live about 3 miles from Ruardean!"

Ou-key, I see where you courage is coming from, just keep on talking about harmonyπŸ™‚

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

I have to go to the pub now, you know how it is. Don’ make anything foolish while I’m gone. Cheers!

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

his name it was Ben Hall (.1)
an outlaw of renown
he was hunted from his station
and like a dog shot Dow(n)

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Run! Run like you’ve never run before!

It’s ali-ive!

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Alive, alive Oh!

Bear up against adversity and growl in the face of harmonizing junkies…

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Oh my gosh.

The demented love company … does that mean I’m demented? I’d love to think not, but the evidence is pointing the wrong direction.

The poor simple-brained country boy sure has many simple-brained friends to go along with him.

Ah, humour is wonderful.

Re: beare necessities…(no man is an island…)

‘Anyone seen that hilarious Werner Hertzog film, "Grizzly Man"?’


well,i did see the werner herzog film and although it certainly had a few funny moments i’m not sure ‘hilarious’ is the word i would have used.


as i have no shame at this late hour i propose a mass play of the beare island reel.



btw,my coat is long gotten…

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Simplicity is the proof of genius ~ complexity is the confusion of idiots… ~ a famous Yiddish proverb rephrased? 😏

Does that also hold with harmony?

Re:a confederacy of dunces

why am i thinking of ignatius j. reilly?




it’s your fault,ceolachan!


you little minx!

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

I used to live in Gloucester, benhall.

And I never mentioned bears.

Anyone who lives in a city that indulges in cheese rolling shouldn’t make fun of other people.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Aye. What they city folks get up is a marvel.

Mustn’t stop. Got to meet some badgers about an asbo they stupid Londoners want to put on the sheep.

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Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Has anyone else notice that harmony is the first thing that leaves this site whenever the topic of harmony is discussed?

Re: Please help. I appear to need to learn "The Rules of Harmony"

Well to address the original question, what do you mean by "harmony"? I think what you really asking about is what sorts of chord progressions are used by Irish guitarists.
The basics are this: first, you have to start thinking about scales in terms of numbers. So a scale in G is g a b c d e f# g. Now, go back and assign each note a number 1 through 7. G is 1, A is 2, etc.
Next, basic chords have three notes in them spaced every other note. (In Irish music the middle note is often left out, in jazz extra notes are usually put in, but here I’m just talking basics.)
So, in the key of G, the tonic or "1" chord is 1-3-5 or GBD. The dominant or 5 chord is 5-7-2 or DF#A. The subdominant or 4 chord is 4-6-1 or CEG. In making chords you quickly get used to spelling using every other letter!
Anyhow now you can play a very common chord progression 1-4-5-1, the basis for lots of pop music. So it’s a 1 chord, a 4 chord, and then a 5 chord, and lastly back to the 1 chord. In the key of G it would be g-c-d-g. The reason musicians use numbers rather than letters is that a 1-4-5-1 progression is the same progression regardless of what key you’re in.
Anyhow a lot of Irish music doesn’t work that way, for example the large number of "modal" tunes which may have a 1-flat7-1 progression (for example tunes in the mixolydian mode which would go D-C-D or A-G-A). Oddest perhaps are tunes in the lydian mode such as Rakish Paddy which usually go 1-2-1 (for example C-D-C). But just look at the music: if you’re in the key of G and the melody is going g b d, you would play a G chord. It’s really not rocket science.