Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I’ve just started learning the whistle and wish to learn "The Masons Apron". From what I have discovered, I see it’s a fiddle tune and played mainly in the key of "A".

Should I learn to play it in "A" on a "D" whistle or should I learn to play it in "G" on the "D" whistle and then buy myself a whistle in "E" to enable me to join a session (which would presumably be playing it in "A")?

Thank you :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Why not learn it in both G _and_ A on the D whistle? You could find it played in either key at sessions.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

The Mason’s Apron, in all its parts and keys anyway, is a pretty tall order for someone who’s just beginning the whistle! In that form, it’s a showpiece - notably recorded on whistle by Cathal McConnell, I think on one of The Boys Of The Lough’s early albums.

In sessions the tune - whether the two-part original or the extended version - is invariably played in A first, before going into other keys if indeed this is done. Whistlers use a D whistle. But I have a confession to make - I’ve never learnt the tune!

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I’d steer clear of this tune if I were you until you no longer class yourself as a beginner. There are reems and reems of better/easier tunes

Posted .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I often find a problem with this tune in a session is that when someone starts it up, it can become a kind of cometition to see who can play the daftest hardest variation. You rarely get a chance to hear it simply, it just gets hijacked.

Posted .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Y’re dead right, Michael. Personally, I prefer the simple, 2-part version, but never seem to get a chance to play it.

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I’ve never heard it played the same way twice (unless I keep listening to the same CD version, which I don’t). We play it just about every week in our session. I’m blowed if we all play it anywhere near the same, but it sounds OK on recordings I’ve made of us playing it. There’s a kind of coming-together after a few dozen plays over the years that you might think would end up as a lowest common denominator, but somehow it doesn’t happen like that. This kind of thing is what enjoying this music is all about (even with hackneyed chunes!)

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I’m with Llig and Ben ~ I prefer it pre-the likes of Sean Maguire, a basic two parter, simple, including the variations, adding a little interest instead of non-stop distractions…

I’m also with the majority so far, that if you are a beginner whistler, lay off the reels for a spell. Not that you’d listen to us, as we can only recommend… The fact that folks don’t listen is the littering of sessions with noodlers who can’t play much of anything worth a damn…

Sorry, I’ve just been listening to a recording of a session sent to me by someone as torment. There is a whistler on there who isn’t just out of tune, he’s playing anything but the tunes the others are playing, and his rhythm sucks too. It’s horrid!!! Please, we don’t need more of the same. Learn the instrument before you push yourself forward to the state of something like this delusional abuse of music. I know, from experience, this particular person thinks they’re good… :-P

Don’t go there, please, for all our sakes… Take your time, go slowly and with respect…please…

Yes, it’s a great tune, too often beat to death because of it… :-/

If you must, it also works well as a hornpipe…

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That’s very irresponsible of you, ‘c’, telling people that. It’s like telling people with colds that they should go around deliberately infecting people by coughing on them and sneezing all over their food.

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:-D ~ I had a suspicion that might break someone out with lurgies… So, what’s wrong with ‘swinging’ a reel, eh? Whose to say it didn’t have an earlier life as a pleasantly jogging along hornpipe? Have you actually tried it that way? Go on, you know you want to… ;-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

What a cracking idea. I’ve just mentally hornpiped it. How about jigging it as well! I vaguely remember a ttrack on a long-lost whistle cassette I had that was the same tune in those three forms. Great!


Nah…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

No, I haven’t ggot a stutter.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

That would be a case of throwing a monkey wrench into a sessions wouldn’t it. Maybe in another key too, just to push the envelope of that usual drudgery of beating the poor thing to death… I see it as akin to taking a water dog and giving it a poodle cut…and dying it bright pink…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Is "The Mason’s Apron" the equivalent of a gay icon in Irish music"

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I was under the impression that a gay harp fulfilled that role.

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I love this piece - dont know if its gay or anything! - and yes, I do the 4 part version (as I learned off a CD by Kieran Hanrahan) which I really enjoy listing to and playing, however, the odd time I play it at a session, nobody else joins in, and while I love the piece, I dont like playing a tune that other musicians dont play along with also, so I have not played this as a session for a long time. I play at home fairly regularly tho…..its not really a beginners tune tho is it?

‘or’ should read ‘of’ ~ I’m always screwing up little two letter words, especially those two… :-/

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"I see it as akin to taking a water dog and giving it a poodle cut…and dying it bright pink… "

No, it’s more like slitting its throat and wrenching out its vocal cords, then disembowelling it and unravelling its intestines out to their full length and then hanging the remains in the middle of a major city for all to see and photograph with their mobile phones!

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

To play it in A I use an E whistle- otherwise there are low notes you can’t play.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

now Im working away at my deak with the The Masons Apron tune going thru my head on a continuous loop!

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Yes, Dow, that’s the 12-part version… ;-)

You’ve got to have the bright pink flesh and hair to give a greater contrast to the blood, guts and asphalt ~ for the low quality pictures phones are capable of…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Learn the tune in A on your D whistle. You can skip the G#s.

Learn it for yourself. It’s a fun tune to play. If some day you feel you can play it with the others at a session, then join in. Mean time, listen to them play it and take note of how they play it differently from you. Then go home and see if you can add their differences.

There’s no rule that says you can’t play tunes at home that others will cringe to hear you attempt at a session. Don’t listen to those killjoys. Enjoy yourself. Work on the tunes that interest you.

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Don’t risk peace at home on a whim or because someone wants to promote that. sbhikes may prod, but don’t take too many risks. At least check out some of the threads on site here that show you how to mute your whistle. That way if you’ve family you can lessen the pain they’ll have to suffer as you struggle with this or any other tune.

As he says, you can ignore any guidance given by people with experience and your best interest in mind and do as you please, and be doomed to be a cack player for life ~ or you can work up things more accessible for your level, and maybe this one as a slow piece because you like the melody ~ and risk the potential that you might actually end up able to play something halfway decent, that won’t make people wince.

We’re not trying to wind you up. We are giving you our honest opinions, and the majority seem to be relatively in agreement, except for one… But even he’s right, there’s nothing stopping you… We can but recommend… It’s your whistle and life… ;-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Of the 26 replies (wow!) 3 actually addressed the question. One suggested learning it in both A and G, one suggested A and another suggested G.

Thank you all for your thoughts. :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Do you really think that advice not to bother with the tune at all as not addressing your question?

Posted .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

llig, if I asked a forum whether to paint my Ford Falcon red or blue I’m sure I would get lots of suggestions to get a Holden or Rolls or some other car. Or if I like those colours then maybe I shouldn’t be driving a car.

IMHO that wouldn’t be addressing the question.

Your thoughts are appreciated. :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

If you are new to driving, and you asked whether you should get a Ferrari or a lamborghini. Would you be surprised if someone suggested that you might be better off with a ford falcon for a while?

Posted .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I guess there’s no difficulty determining where or how jamascc is driving as a whistle player ~ I just hope I’m nowhere on the road at the time… Another happy slappy noodler… Ah well, it isn’t like there aren’t herds of them… :-/

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Sorry, I’ve been subjected too often to ‘beginners’ wanting to learn beyond their capability and it resulting in the worst kind of abuse of the music… And in concert with this drive to impress they usually want to join a session before they’re even capable of carrying a steady beat… That also happened very recently, so my patience and humour are not what they should be. I guess I should be able to laugh at another noodling fool making a hams of a decent tune because they must, as if driven by the gods, possessed. I just wish I knew a good exorcist…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Most of the old-timers on this board would have you believe you shouldn’t even touch the instrument until music can spring forth as if from the gods.

By all means put Mason’s Apron away and go back to Dawning of the Day. Play it for 100 years and then maybe the old-timers will let you try Mason’s Apron.

Sheesh.

Stretch yourself. Worst thing that will happen is you’ll find it’s too hard and put it away for a later day.

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Nobody said that ever sbhikes, so you’re talking out your backside, as usual…

Some have even suggested learning the tune, but not pushing it… But as usual, you probably haven’t even bothered to read what has gone before… So, are you teaching now? What experience are you drawing your freely flowing comments from? Another spike of B.S. from sbhikes… That sadly seems to be the usual…along with false claims about some amorphous society of elders, or ‘old-timers’ on the board… So, are you ageist too?

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

jamascc- you asked for advice, instead of complaining about what you got, be happy you’ve been given any. If you wanted a Falcon and someone offered you a Rolls, would you turn it down?

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Falcons are rubbish anyway. Commodores are better.

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Rob - I haven’t complained. And I see nothing difficult in learning the basic tune - and that’s all I’m interested in.

Ceolachan - you are obviously plagued by lesser mortals - I apologize for rattling your chain. I’m sure you’re brilliant at what you do and I think I’ve met you in different jam-session all over the world.

Dow - you’re right! :-)

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"So, what’s wrong with ‘swinging’ a reel". Nothing by me Ceolachan. But I had you down as a piper for some reason, and most pipers I’ve known couldn’t point out a swing in a childrens park :-)

- Chris

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Sorry all, I was subjected to so much bad and inconsiderate music last night I’d exhausted all patience and civility and my ears had started to bleed. If it had actually been a ‘beginner’, or someone truely clueless or considerate, well, it wouldn’t have mattered as much. The primary irritant in this case was one of those pushy gits who thinks they’re actually playing music, convinced they are ordained to bless us all and that they are a plus addition to any gathering of tortured ITM souls ~ and must play every tune whether they know it or not… :-O It was night of the living dead, only this animated zombie was ripping the limbs off of music, tearing it’s flesh, sucking the life from it, rending and chomping and drooling…

I know there’s no forgiveness amongst twits, but I’ll carry on as if that species matters little. They can twitter away as they like. I’m in a happy state of semi-consciousness at the moment, caffeine-free, so they are safe for the time being.

First things first ~

K: A Major & its relatives ~ f minor, B Dorian, etc…are no problem on a D whistle or flute…

If you find them a problem, well, leave it, go off for a spell and learn, play, practice and enjoy the endless other lovely melodies (or not) that populate the wonderful, mad world of music, ITM or not… You can always come back to G#s and this tune later… Take it easy, don’t force it or push it, have fun instead, at whatever pace you can take it at without mangling. ‘Twits’ are free to ignore any such consctructive recommendations, as they will ~ I really want to say "at their peril" ~ but nothing phases the ignorant, they will do as they damned will please whatever good advice they might recieve. Maybe they’ll learn from their mistakes, but my experience is that they don’t seem to. They come in all ages and sizes… :-/

Rather than sticking your fingers up to the participation and recommendations and fun of others, you should be glad anyone gave this thread time at all. It was a daft question from the start, not that we limit oureselves to that here ~ "I’ve just started learning the whistle!" & "I want to play ‘The Mason’s Apron’!" (which one?) ~ DUH!
Wurzul gave you your first reply ~ if you’re going to do it why not both ways, A & G on a D… What else did you need to drive you on? After that it was open court and nicholas gave you a response and comment worth consideration, as did others, even the craic & slag about "The Mason’s Apron" being a poodle… Oh yeah, you’re a beginner to this music (strumming and singing is something else) so are not used to such things… :-D

Oh, I’m starting to wake up and remember that awful music from last night. Now I need to get the espresso espressing…buzzzzz…

Swing ~ Where! I love swings. Hey pitchpipe, do you like the roundabouts too? ;-)

Let’s walk though, much preferred to risking our lives in Dow’s Commodore, eh?

I’m struck dumb pitchpipe, a piper without swing…how sad…

No jamascc, probably not… I love lesser mortals like myself, it’s the jerks that think they are something special that wind me up ~ as happened last night and was echoed here… Some folks are just convinced of their own preemincence, like drivers of Commodores, and no amount of constructive comment or tease will swerve them from their intended obsession…

C’est la vie… ;-)

Go on pitchpipe, you get on the swing first. I’ll push…
( heh, heh, heh ;-) )

Hey Dow, you made it. Push your Commodore over there. Maybe you should have gone with something like an Austin Princess, they don’t weigh nearly as much and are easier to get parts for…

Stop kickin’ the road kill, you’re getting pink fur all over yourself. Come on, up on the roudabout everyone and lets see if we can get Dow sick…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

K: A Major & its relatives ~ f minor, B Dorian, etc…are no problem on a D whistle or flute…

Thanks mate :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Just so you know I gave your question the usual consideration, just in case you didn’t have a source to learn your whistling from locally ~ and believing as I do that a ‘live’ source, example is always best, but in that possible absence ~ I’d checked the usual purchasable sources ~

* more than a dozen whistle tutors…

* a like number of fiddle tutors…

* and tutors or other instruments…

* and respected other sources too…

But, alas, not one includes "The Mason’s Apron" at beginning, intermediate or advanced levels… Since no luck there, and since others had started out with what I saw as ‘reasonable’ comment, I didn’t bother adding this dead end. Now it has dragged on and gone pear shapped at times, with a bit of kick at the pink pup ~ well, you might like to see that those who have bothered to make the effort to share their expertise with others through print, recordings and vids have chosen not to include this particular tune, however popular it might be. Just maybe, possibly, there might be reasons? It is in my expeience best to consider someone else’s willingness to commit comment before writing it off as balderdash or a personal affront… Maybe, some of those folks may have more experience than you ~ even teaching this thing we love, maybe not… Don’t be so willing to disregard or condemn others because it doesn’t agree with your intention… That kind of response will only make us move on in future if we see ‘jamascc’ is the one posting the query. But maybe you’d prefer that?

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

A recommendation ~ this and a good collection of recordings, and one other mixed tune collection ~

"Geraldine Cotter’s Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor"

& here’s a possible tune collection to consider, a nice mix of forms, and including a 5-part version of this tune, recordings are available too ~

"Matt Cunningham’s Dance Music of Ireland"

Page 48: "The Mason’s Apron" ~ another 5-part version ;-/

On his Set Dancing CDs
volumes 3 & 4 of "Dance Music of Ireland"

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Thank you for your help.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

you’re welcome

Posted .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Sorry, while you will find them listed elsewhere on site here, here are some online resources, and one includes a fairly basic 4-part take on this tune in G, starting with that source:

The Sessioneer Website ~
with ‘The Whistle Guide’ & ‘Tune Archive’ (4-parter "Mason’s Apron"):
http://www.sessioneer.org/

U-Tube: Ryan Duns whistle lessons
http://www.youtube.com/user/RyanDunsSJ

Chiff & Fipple
http://www.chiffandfipple.com/

Tin Whistle Tunes
http://www.tinwhistletunes.com/

Whistle This
http://www.whistlethis.com/

How to make a PVC whistle
http://guido.gonzato.googlepages.com/whistle.html

CCE: Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann
http://comhaltas.ie/
CCE: The Music ~ audio, video & sheetmusic
A valued resource of some great music & musicians to hear, see and play ~
http://comhaltas.ie/music/

If you haven’t someone to learn from locally, Ryan’s is the next best thing. He does an excellent job, if you ‘follow his advice’ and give it time, don’t push it…

#51 ~ I just had to nudge it over the 50 comments mark…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

The thing about these "show-off" tunes is that they are really not an appropriate piece of the repertiore to bring out at a strange session when you are still a newbie. Concentrate and practise on learning the tunes everybody else plays at your local sessions that you can fit in and play along with. If you want a flashy tune that no-one else knows, to show off with when you are eventually highly competent, you need to find something that isn’t known locally.
But by all means use The Masons Armpit at home, as a warm-up or a euphoric tune to end your practise.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Hey ‘c’, I wouldn’t mind an Austin Princess actually, even if I just kept her in a garage and took her out to look at once in a while. I’d prefer a Rover SD1 though. Vroom! Argh, I feel old!

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I guess I’m too young to remember the Rover SD1… ;-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Oh, that one… :-/

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Somehow I can’t imagine that making a decent "VROOOOMMM!"

Wouldn’t it be more like "chitty-chitty-bang-bang!"?

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

"#51 ~ I just had to nudge it over the 50 comments mark…"

Yeah, but most of them are yours! :-)

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I really am very grateful for all the the advice and help - but a lot of assumptions have been made from what I thought was a simple question.

In searching for information about whistle-playing and tunes, I came across the tune "The Mason’s Apron" played by 4 students on fiddle. Here’s the link …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUUadG3VsOY&feature=related

I enjoyed the tune and decided to learn it. I have listened to other versions including Mat Malloy and others. I’m an ordinary person - that’s not where I’m aiming. I like the simple melody and I’m learning to play it.

Up to now I have never been a tune player (and still don’t consider myself one) and apart from giving guitar accompaniment (requested) on occasion I have been too busy enjoying the rest of the jam-sessions to spend a lot of time attending tune sessions.

I have no intention (at this time) of attending any tune sessions - and if I did, I’m not so green behind the gills that I would crash in without invitation and the knowledge that I could blend in without disgrace or offending others.

But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to learn reels and jigs etc and also to learn them in the traditional key(s) that session players would play them in.

I’ve been told my question was stupid - questions seek answers to the question asked, and that’s all I was after. Naive of me I guess. My apologies.

I’ve had a whistle or 2 lying around for probably more than 30 years and occasionally have played something slow and relatively easy on it. It was at a recent music weekend that my interest in the whistle was further stimulated - the "2007 Imbil Accoustic Music Festival" - held on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (Australia) in the November of every year. Since that weekend I have dug my old Generation whistles out, purchased a couple of Susatos and made 3 or 4 other whistles with the guidance of:
http://guido.gonzato.googlepages.com/whistle.html
I have also spent long and enjoyable hours learning from the the excellent web-sites of Bro Steve, Ryan Duns, Chiff and Fipple and others.

I’m lucky enough to be retired (which allows me plenty of time to practise) and I live on a property large enough to not have to worry about upsetting my neighbours, no matter how loud my "squawks". It’s true - my wife has a lot to put up with :-(

I really didn’t intend to write my autobiography - but I guess no-one’s twisting your arm to be reading it.

It’s obvious that whilst giving me a bit of a hard time (ok I asked for it) a lot of effort has also been put into helping me. I really am grateful for all your help.
Thank you. :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Well, you did say in your original question that it was "to enable [you] to join a session". So, as well as key, style, tempo, rhythm etc are going to be important. Those fiddle students were taught by Andrew Mercer, a music teacher from Spaniard’s Bay, Newfoundland. Here’s his website. (Or bolgsite or whatever …)

http://andrewmercer.blogspot.com/

Judging by his website, don’t listen to him for tips on how to play Irish music.

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

"Enable" being the operative word. Thanks Ben :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

"stupid1" ~ where jamascc? Are you seeing something somewhere I haven’t been able to find? I just went over the whole thread again and didn’t find it… :-/ Mostly I read ‘support’, but I might still have my rose coloured contacts in… Print, words in print, without the face or inflection of voice are easily misconstrued.

Nice short bio by the way, I enjoyed the read. Maybe you could add something like that to your ‘details’…

Howdy ben, better late than never, eh? ;-) Now I’ll have to make a note to check those links out… I’m nursing an ill wife and losing sleep and not in the best of moods generally. I need a good long soak. Good night all!

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

It was a daft question from the start, not that we limit oureselves to that here ~ "I’ve just started learning the whistle!" & "I want to play ‘The Mason’s Apron’!" (which one?) ~ DUH!
# Posted on February 19th 2008 by ceolachan

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Look - ceolachan might be getting a little worked up. But his point is valid. If you just want to play to yourself in your house then great. But if you intend to play out at sessions then you must put a little effort into your playing (start at the begining work your way up etc) otherwise you will drive everyone mad.

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Hasn’t the penny dropped yet BB? We’re going for 70 - Ceolachan is driving - I’m trying to keep up - riding shotgun. :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

70? Whats so good about 70? I’m sure there was a thread that went into the 400 once - was it over 400 lads or am I forgetting. I’m bb by the way - BB is a bodhran player from the north of Ireland - I’m the fiddle from the south of Australia.

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

That sounds like I mean South Australia - I meant NSW, which is south of where you are:)

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I was just joking - :-)
I agree with what you said - and most everything that has been said - I didn’t come down in the last shower of rain.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Oh…good - then why is everyone arguing if everyone agrees. Something about pink poodles, god - leave the site for 6 months and its like you lot are speaking a different language:)

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I admit that bit went over my head - and I left it alone. :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Hiya, bb. Nice to see you again. Ceol’s had a thing about pink poodles recently … oh and something about matching handbags, as I recall …

Ceol - don’t waste your time checking out the link I posted. I posted it to show how off the mark the source of the style of ‘playing’ jamasc was taking as an example was. I’ve come across this before - general ‘music teachers’ who think they can teach kids trad - I suppose because they think it will interest them - and think it must be easy, it’s trad, so don’t put in the effort required to learn how to do it first. This bloke, however, can’t play violin/fiddle at all, let alone trad. Seriously, don’t listen. It’ll only upset you.

Best wishes to you wife. Hope she gets well soon.

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

"pitchpipe" , I quite like that ceolachan
- Chris

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

"Your"

… proof-reading’s all to pot at the moment …

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

jamascc ~ "daft" about the question as it stood and the attempts at comment grew ~ unclarified! Yes, daft! But not ‘stupid’. My mother would let me use "daft" as it isn’t a statement about a person, but about an act, and for her and me there is a difference. She considered ‘stupid’ to be an attack on the person rather than the act, and I guess I agree. You aren’t "stupid", or I haven’t seen that yet, eager is OK, foolish is OK, mad is OK. (I had to add that last one, I suffer from enough self criticism not to allow a little madness.) You’re OK, and I’ve warmed to you more since you said you were interested in the ‘simple’ 2-parter in particular… I know, my biases are showing again…

Hey, 70 is good for a thread about the whistle… ;-)

Was that ‘your’ mine Ben. I really have lost some sleep ~ leaving letters out, transposing others, mixing up ‘of’ and ‘or’, leaving the ring on the stove on or the stove itself, leaving the kettle to boil dry ~ I’d be another chip fire if I was into making them in a pan of bioling fat… :-D

jamascc ~ as said, nice little bio, and it had some of your personality leaking out in it, unless I’m imagining that, and you’ve dealt with our general foolishness to quite a reasonable conclusion.

It’s always good to see you around Ben, I don’t go with the rest who say you’re just a pain-in-the-arse… ;-) That’s me they must be thinking about… I don’t know how they could confuse us, do you? :-D

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

#75 ~ I know Ben, I know…

Hey pitchpipe ~ can you play "Deliverance"…or "Paddle Your Own Canoe"?

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I know, ceol. I’ve tried to put out of my mind what everyone says about you, too!

:-D

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Benhall1: "I posted it to show how off the mark the source of the style of ‘playing’ jamasc was taking as an example was."

Ben, that’s one of the worst sentences I’ve ever read!

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Er … yes, see what you mean. Hope you understood the gist though …

And anway, thanks for the compliment!

:-)

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

One day you’ll get something right and I’ll be able to compliment you :-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Yeah, right …

:-/

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Tell you what I did get right: that Andrew Mercer guy’s low status as a trad teacher. Click on that guy’s website, Dow, have a listen to the samples and let me know whether you think he’s a fit person to be instructing the young in the arcane craft of ITM.

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

The vast majority of people posing as online music teachers are absolutely appalling in standard, with a handful of exceptions, so this guy is nothing particularly new. I’m often horror-struck by these people because I can never make my mind up whether they’re selfless people who only want to help others, or egotistical dickheads who think their playing is better than it actually is. I’d like to think the former. Never mind, I suppose someone somewhere is going to get some form of pleasure from it. It’d just be nice to think that people who want to play in sessions will at least make an effort to seek out mentors who actually know what they’re doing.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I just want to add that I don’t think that to be able to teach you have to be the best of the best, but you at least have to be able to *play* ffs.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

"ffs" indeed …

… only LOUDER!!!!!!!

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Well I enjoy playing the tune in G. so, as that is also suitable for whistle… why not? I like it in D too…. that would be best with an A whistle. Get your self an E whistle and you have all bases covered.
I also am not one for the 16part variations:-) preferring a straight 2 part with a few variations. I also like it horn piped ..

So G is my final answer.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Try the Highland pipes version in ( equivalent ) of "D". Known as "The Mason’s Ape" - Boghall & Bathgate Pipe Band.

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I’ve started learning it in G - enjoying it too :-)

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FFS!!!! ~ " ~ egotistical dickheads who think their playing is better than it actually is." ~ Dow

"I’d like to think the former." ~ Dow

That I just didn’t believe, my mouth dropped open and FFS! came out of it, unvoiced, or my wife would be on me for swearing. Sadly dear Dow, I think you nailed it with the first quote I’ve given of yours. Yes, there are some dear souls, but in my experience the EDHs outnumber them. Not long ago I was roped in to a team of folks with the idea of promoting this music through teaching it ~ except for myself, of course ~ the rest were EDHs, as you’ve described. They were definitely deluded, convinced of their own preeminence… Not one of the approximately half dozen ‘teachers’, of a variety of instruments, including the bodhran, could hold a tune together, rhythm, melody, tempo, for a full 32 bars, or 16 for that matter. But they believed in themselves… I excused myself, telling them my wife wanted me at home to do the laundry on that night… ;-) As you might have imagined ~ it didn’t last…

There is a God who takes pity on the innocent…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

#90 ~ come on gang, we’re almost to 100…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

It’s in A for Christ’s sake. Play it in A. We need a few tunes in A and I’m not even a bloody fiddle player. How repressive to suggest playing it in G.

There, c. That should get at least another nine. Happy now?

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

If you were in bloody scotchland, you wouldn’t be looking for more tunes in A

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Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Hey, I’m serious. Jeez, I’ll have you know I have to pay out good money for A harps. Not all A tunes are bloody mixolydian you know. But you have my sympathy, Michael. Not just the A tunes but the bloody weather too.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

& then there’s those lovely F harmonic minor tunes, but sadly you won’t be able to play those Stever, not without one of those chromatic harps with the knob and slidey thing on the side of them… And what about Freygish tunes, you poor soul, trapped in a minor-major-dorian-mixolydian world…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Lee Oskar seems to make some interesting keys, or they used to. Hey, have you tried that new fangled thing that lets you bend both on the suck and the draw? Are they any good?

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That’s the Hohner XB-40 - I got pretty excited about one a year or so back. I listened to Rick Epping’s rendition of O’Farrell’s Farewell To Limerick (aka An Phis Fhliuch) and enjoyed it. I found I could manage a reasonable rendition of it myself on a Lee Oskar 10 hole diatonic major in the key of G - which allowed me to play along with my recording of Rick Epping’s version. True, I couldn’t bend all the notes he was bending but I was well pleased with what I managed and decided not to invest in the XB-40 at that time.

I therefore can’t say from personal experience whether they’re any good but I find the concept fascinating and might yet decide to raid my piggy-bank for the current asking price of around $A140.
:-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Jig ~ just followed your 2 links. I have seen both before but well worth listening to over and over. I’m sticking to easy version. :-)

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That’s brilliant ! lol
And pretty close to the key of G I think … :-)

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Ceol - you keep saying ‘F minor’ and such, and relating it to A. do you mean ‘F# minor’. Sorry if you think I’m being picky …

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Loved Pipe Major Gordon Walker - fantastic. But it does illustrate the problem with this tune - it’s become a tune that you can’t really play in sessions, because everybody, musicians, punters etc, expects a full-blown, virtuosic notes-fest.

And, on this occasion, it *does* matter what the punters think, because what will happen is, as soon as they hear the first few notes, perfectly well-behaved punters supping their pints in peace, will start getting excited, and then will complain bitterly if they don’t get some flashy display, and it spoils the evening.

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

… and … [small voice] … and I the only one who didn’t actually *like* that Chieftains version? …

[cowers and waits for shower of rocks]

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Sheesh! "am I the only one …" Good grief …

Posted by .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I don’t know that one, Ben, but I don’t much care for quite a lot of the Chieftains’ recorded versions of tunes.

And I never said that G was the wrong key. I think it’s great to have a few tunes in A (Michael’s Scotchland predicament notwithstanding). Apart from anything else it makes for a nice and different key-change in a set. I just wonder how many sessions you could go to, start it in G and not have most of the people there shrugging their shoulders and going for a pee ‘til you’ve finished it. We had a bloody clever-clogs once who started Fanny Power in A and we did exactly that. I don’t care what people do on YouTube or concerts or recordings apropos of keys but I thought it was sessions we were mainly talking about here.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

If the F# minor referred to is actually modal, it can be played in 4th position on an A harmonica - no slide needed! I haven’t come across too many "minor" tunes in ITM that aren’t either Dorian or Aeolian (in fact I can’t even think of one off the top of my head), at least not enough to have me scurrying for a chromatic harp. The Glen Cottage Polkas, as played by Jackie Daly, come out as "G minor" and "C minor," but are easy to play on a Bb diatonic harp. I think the standard harp tuning is much better for so-called "minor" tunes in ITM than the Lee Oskar Natural Minor or Harmonic Minor tunings. As for that XB40 beast, I have two and they both stay in their pouches. They sound loud, dry and raw to my ear. And just because you can bend every bloody note it doesn’t mean you have to.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Just when I was once again seriously thinking of investing in the XB-40 ..
ah well - you saved me 140 bucks Steve - thanks :-)
(not piddling in your pocket - but I remember enjoying listening to some of your recordings some time ago)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I’m the wrong side of a bottle of Semillon and a few Scotches tonight - but what was it you found so displeasing about the XB-40?

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I’ve told jamascc offlist what I think of XB40s so as not to sidetrack the thread any more. My opinion is just one of many and I know that Winslow, who occasionally posts here, is much more enthusiastic about ‘em than I am. I can PM anyone else who wants to know my jaundiced opinion! :-)

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Damn Steve, I wait all this time and you fizzle out with an "email me!"… Are you one ball short and walk with a limp or something? I need to save money too, tell us why it s*cks… :-/

Interesting jig, but I didn’t need reminding why I really don’t like Matt Malloy’s flute playing, I strongly dislike it in fact, it just is not for me, that was for me akin to watching Paul McCartney and the run of drunks and druggies on the Brits Awards last night… I did not enjoy the Chieftain’s take on it… :-P

Séamus Brogan was fun, great stuff, I loved it… Thanks jig…

"Ceol - you keep saying ‘F minor’ and such ~" ~ benhall.1

Klezmeresque Ben, Klezmeresque, I was just trying to string this out past 100 comments…

We’ve succeeded!!! 8-)

Though, there are some harmonic minor tunes scattered on site here… Alright everybody, here comes Steve, harmonic minor tunes from here on out… ;-)

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

The point I was making [ if there was one:-/ ]was that G is a pipers key. I am not a great fan of the Chieftans but each to there own.
Also I happen to like playing tunes in odd keys, It gives a different feel… I would play them in standard keys too, mind. I would play a few Am tunes in Gm, Em tunes in Dm. a bit of variety is good. its also good practice .

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

It’s good practice to play the tunes in the same bloody keys as everyone else I reckon. Generally speaking tunes are played in the keys they’re in for good reason and I see very little reason to muck about. And I can muck about with keys more than almost anybody ,as all I have to do is pick up a different harp. I am, of course, speaking of the session situation only. Do what you like in your solo party piece but don’t even think of showing off in a session. It isn’t a bloody performance, you know. We’ve had a few self-regarding pillocks who think it’s a great idea to inflict a weird key on us and they invariably play it on their own while we talk as loudly as possible over them.

C, I really don’t think everyone here wants to hear me ranting on about a specific model of harmonica. And stop waffling on about harmonic minor tunes or whatever they are and give me examples enough to make me feel inadequate in that I neither know nor play any!

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Exactly steve. Only everyone does not all ways play them in the standard keys. so if you find someone who plays all the ‘D’ tunes, but in C, then you need only pick up a C harp or whatever, while some of us need to completely relearn the tune position wise.
Now perhaps its not something you encounter much, but it happens. By training your self to play some tunes in C, that makes it easier to play other tunes in C.
Maybe in standard ‘euro’ sessions everyone plays in D but its not universal.
The masons apron is a great example. Its ‘in A’ but It is also played in G. the foxhunters as well.
Star of munster is also played in Gm….. not often perhaps but it is.
The ‘jaundiced Itinerant traveller’ is ‘in Gm’ but its also played in Am. i could go on….

”We’ve had a few self-regarding pillocks who think it’s a great idea to inflict a weird key on us and they invariably play it on their own while we talk as loudly as possible over them.”

That doesn’t surprise me Steve, but is it something you want to boast about?

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About how we can be not very nice to self-regarding pillocks? Strange you should ask.

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Well firstly, who are the self regarding pillocks? some one who plays a tune, or the jerks who talk loudly over him?

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Without a doubt, the "self regarding pillock" is the man who deliberately plays a well known tune in an unfamiliar key in order to impress and/or play on their own. I would also talk loudly over such an exhibition.

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Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

No surprise there Llig. but you are attributing motives to someone. You are judging them guilty of a ‘crime’ you invented.
Perhaps they learnt it inG? or they play the uillean pipes? in D , or they play a flat set, or a B/C box or a GDA box or whatever.
Perhaps they like it in that key? So you talk loudly over a guest piper /whistler because they play the Masons in G? Why? because you cant?
Maybe you could relax your fixed boundries and opinions and keep an open mind as to their motivation ? probably not though.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

I can gauge someone’s motives. I can gauge if they are new to the music and have inadvertently learned a tune in the "wrong" key. I’ll adjust and play with them. If they play the pipes, I’ll play Black Pat’s in G, not F as I’d normally prefer. You think I wouldn’t notice if someone had a flat set? Do you not think that someone with a BC box should be able to play more than one row at a time? If someone genuinely likes the sound of a common tune in an uncommon key, the polite thing to do would be to discuss it first. I’d be happy with that and give it a go. I can gauge someone’s motives. If they want to play a D tune in C because they think it’s a useful exercise, they can do so on their own while I have a craic at the bar

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Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Fair enough, Personally I dont know what a B/C box is capable of…
The fellah I know who plays B/C plays most of his tunes in C. perhaps he should have learnt them all in D? But Then he learnt all his tunes from his Dad, So perhaps he just comes at it from a different perspective.? …..

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

A B/C box, my friend, is a chromatic box. It is capable of playing in any key as all the notes are there. The whole idea of a B/C box in ITM is to have a box that you can play across the rows in order to play in all the usual keys of ITM. Anyone who spends all his time playing tunes in C on one row of a B/C box is an ITM-social isolate. He certainly has come at it from a different perspective but it is not a valid one if he wishes to play in sessions with others. He has gone off half-cock, geddit? Stop being so obtuse.

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”Anyone who spends all his time playing tunes in C on one row of a B/C box is an ITM-social isolate. ”
Call him what you like, he learnt the tunes from his dad and played for 13 or so years in the family band. and that was 30 yrs ago. There’s more to ITM than sessions….. I learn tunes in C so I can play with him.!

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Hey guys, I see you’re all still at it over here. I love the old single row C Boxes…

Let’s have a barbecue, I love barbecued pillocks, and I like them with mustard sauce too. We could barbecue some pillocks, open a couple of cases of beer and get rip roarin’ p*ssed, and then see if we care whether or not we’re all in the same key or not. Better yet, we can put our instruments aside and try singing… :-D ~ Give me an A ~ AAAAAAAAAA!!!

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:-) I reckon thats it though. He learnt on an old C or thats what his dad played….

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I have come across old C single-rows several times, sadly, often rotting away in an attick or in some shed or other tuck-away place ~ sometimes, if rarely, with tunes still being squeezed out of them…

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

yep, the standardisation of ITM continues. viva la differance!

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

Chaps, this site is called The Session. Right, you have a one-row C box and nowt else. Yep, play up and down it and have a grand time. Great! But this bit of the thread started with discussion of B/C chromatic boxes and some bloke who just played up and down its C row in keys wot other sessionistas don’t use. So he is playing in a manner not applicable to most of the rest of us, unless we all want to sit there and listen to him playing solo in remote keys. I didn’t say that was crap but I am saying that it is an approach which is not very session-friendly. Of course, I could just be losing my mind. I do have a rotten cold.

Re: Whistle question - The Masons Apron

A quick update just to maybe round off the initial thread .. I found a simple 4-part notation of The Mason’s Apron in the key of G. I am concentrating on the 1st two parts only (at this stage) and enjoying the learning. I’m not used to reading music - I have always played by ear - so it’s a good learning exercise all round. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever disturb a session with my whistle-playing - but that’s not really important - my grandkids have shown an interest - and that’s great news for me.
iechyd da :-)