tunes with the most ‘playability’

tunes with the most ‘playability’

Readers thoughts on what are the most ‘playable’ tunes for their instrument…… by this I mean what tunes do you find ‘fall’ naturally on your instrument? Is there such a thing as a ‘natural’ pipes tune or a fiddle tune? Is it all down to the players skill?
For example I would suggest Strayaway Child on the fiddle…

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

I think the key has everything to do with playability on the fiddle… especially when you’re talking about the faster tunes. We can handle the Db Galway Shawl tunes from time to time, but try playing Mason’s Apron in anything but A and it can lead to weeping and gnashing of teeth… G, D, A are great keys for fiddle… and their relative minors. My opinion, of course.

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

Q,
Is there such a thing as a ‘natural’ pipes tune or a fiddle tune?
A,
John I beleave Yes,, There tunes that fall up and down a fiddle
fingerboard without trying -eg/ ”The Hunours of Tulla” This may
be the same tune for mandolin + irish renor banjo..I think its
the tuneing,,A flute player Leon Agnew Belfast now living down
in Limerick,told me its the same for Him with a tune call-
”Lucky In Love” . And yet when I play his tune on a fiddle
its a aweful bit of crossing strings etc,,,,
jim,,,

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

Vincent Broderick’s tunes seem to fall nicely under the fingers on flute or whistle.
I remember when we used to always play ”Killaloe Boat’ our box player would say it almost plays itself;
https://thesession.org/tunes/6385

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Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

For me (fiddler), D (especially those without B on the E-string 🙂 and A are the easiest keys.

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

On the DG melodeon, anything within the instrument’s range which is comparatively slow, is a gift. Airs, song tunes, waltzes are grist to the mill and allow one to make best use of the instrument’s chordal potential - or at any rate, someone who is a better player than me.

Personal faves include The Dark Island, Margaret’s Waltz, Brafferton Village; Boolavogue, The Dear Irish Boy, Felton Lonnin, as airs; a bit faster, The Flatbush Waltz, The Twa Maidens (I think), The Keelman Ower The Land.

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

I’m interested to hear what key you play the Flatbush Watz so that it comes out easily on a DG box. I suppose you’d need to have a few accidentals?

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

dogbox - I play, and like, F# where the tune properly has F natural. But having accidentals on a third inner row, I can get the F natural easily enough.

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

- Oh, to answer your question, dogbox, I play it in E Minor.

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

Here are a few tunes that I find sound harder than they are because they seem to favor the flute:

Boil the Breakfast Early
Rainbow’s End (another of Vincent Broderick’s)
Far From Home
O’Mahoney’s Hornpipe

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Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

Key Maniac Lad, I have tried to introduce the Mother in Law’s Lament on a number of occassions only to have it ignored and derided.
Nicholas, the Flatbush Waltz is a lovely tune followed by Cunninghams ‘Leaving of Brittany’ for me, however, the Maritime Waltz as played by McAuley has to be transposed into a box friendly key for my friends to even attempt the tune…..

What I’m really after is what tunes ‘fall’ most’ easily on your particular instrument. Is it one of the ‘pop’ tunes? or something else? What is a good flute tune, what is a good box tune, what is a good banjo tune? Did it come easy and can you say why?

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

For me, on the concertina, the two most playable reels are:
Rolling in the Rye Grass
The Doon reel.

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

What key do you play the Doon in?

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

Whenever I try to play ‘The Mother in Law’s Lament’ people either talk over it, noodle or just start a different tune before I even finish it.

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

Disheartening ain’t it Phantom when people just don’t seem to care or acknowledge your efforts to impart culture and wisdom through the music…..so do you play this on the concertina or what and do you couple it with another tune as a set?

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

For those of you who don’t know, I thought I would point out that Vincent Broderick was a flute player. So, it seems quite logical his tunes would go well on flute/whistle.

I have found "Merry Blacksmith" to go well on all trad instruments. Btw, string players only need move down one string to play Mason’s Apron in D. So, tell them to stop whining 🙂

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Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

Owooooooo Aiki, so, will you blend your energies to try and play in ‘awkward’ keys for your instrument or will you follow a path of least resistance or to play in a way of minimal resistance. Or will you impose your will on the tune and instrument. Maybe sometimes using the kumitachi will lead to the most harmonious realisation of playing.
Did I just say that?

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

It’s a slow air.

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

Phantom, I play the Doon in D major. I play along the rows, i.e. not in the Noel Hill style.
The first few notes of the Doon are mainly on the draw, beginning with 4th finger left hand, inside row, which gives me "A"; then F# and D using left hand pinky on draw and push.
The "B" I get with my right index finger, on the draw, first button middle row, then if you know the tune and your instrument (which I´m sure you do 🙂 ), it´s easy enough to pick it up from
there.
I´d like to be able to play Noel Hill style, but I think it would be difficult to re-learn at this late stage !

Re: tunes with the most ‘playability’

On the whistle, of whatever key is the one called for, the great majority of Irish tunes are really no trouble, once one has learnt how to play in the traditional manner and fairly fast. Exceptions are those with accidentals and those that swoop below the instrument’s range - strong tunes on the fiddle, usually. Sure, a tune can be telescoped so as to fit into the whistle’s range, but I find it hard to do half-holing the accidentals at speed; I’ve had more practice with the G# in A Major tunes than with others that crop up.

I find fast Scottish music altogether more difficult because I don’t know many of the tunes and their parts, the bagpipe reels etc. are often in the A Major - B Minor - F# Minor family which I find tricky at the best of times, and I haven’t learned the Scottish whistle styles that do full justice to these tunes.