Fast Frankie

Fast Frankie

According to today’s Irish Times, Frankie Gavin will soon appear in the Guinness Book of Records as "the fastest fiddle-player in the world". Apparently he hit 150 bpm while performing the Foxhunter’s Reel.

Re: Fast Frankie

How silly - how many bpm for ‘flight of the bumblebee?’
How about the last movement of the Tchaikovsky Concerto?

Re: Fast Frankie

Hup, that’s not fiddle, that’s violin πŸ˜‰

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Nice ornaments. Thanks, Jim, for posting that video.

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150 bpm is "normal" in bluegrass. The hotshots routinely play above 160 bpm. Not to beat any world records, but because they can and they enjoy it.

Why would any musician *want* to be known as the fastest fiddler? Leave that to the showoffs like Charlie Daniels….

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Re: Fast Frankie

The Gerry O’Connor clip, posted by Jim, clocks in at 132 bpm - and it sounds pretty fast to me. My muscles go into spasm if I try to play much above 120. So 150 bpm is a fair achievement (of physical endurance, at least - I’m not sure about musical quality, as I haven’t heard the performance in question.).

Re: Fast Frankie

my a***, the fastest fiddle player is Daire Bracken of slide and Electric Ceili.

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As is often heard around bluegrass circles, "Anything above 160 bpm isn’t technique, it’s a lifestyle."

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Will’s right. Here in the states,we like to cut the rug

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Will - I could quite happily play reels at *half* that speed - and I’m not talking slow reels.

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Charlie Daniels might be just a "show off", but I’ll bet he was glad he practiced at 160bpm when he had to play against the Devil for his soul.

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Creadur, for Irish music, I rarely get above 126 bpm. Dancers (step and ceili) seem to enjoy reels best at anywhere from 108 to 122 bpm, depending on how complicated their steps are and how fit they are. πŸ™‚ More often than not, somewhere around 112 to 116 bpm is just right.

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You can’t compare bluegrass fiddling speeds to diddley fiddling speeds. The bluegrass geezers only play 8 notes per bar. If you include the rolls ant triplets etc., the Irish are playing faster fiddle at a quarter the tempo of the fastest bluegrass guys.

Stupid

Stupid thread

Feckin pointless bloody nonsense

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Re: Fast Frankie

"The bluegrass geezers only play 8 notes per bar. If you include the rolls ant triplets etc., the Irish are playing faster fiddle at a quarter the tempo of the fastest bluegrass guys."

Llig - I challenge you to play an entire tune, unornamented, at the speed that you’d normally bow a triplet.

Re: Fast Frankie

…Seeing as it’s already a stupid thread, why change it?

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I like a challenge … tee he

I also like stupid threads

right oh

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speed kills

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LOL Enda!

Michael, that’s not true that bluegrassers aren’t playing as many notes. Listen more closely to the (slurred) triplets and 16th note runs of any good bluegrass fiddler.

And listen to how dumbed down many Irish fiddlers get when they play too fast….

Agreed, though—speed for speed’s sake is stupid. And wanting to be knighted for it even more stupid.

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frankie is amazing πŸ™‚ i was at de dannans CD launch today :D

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I was there. It was great, but Frankie was too quiet in the mix. But it was good to see them anyway.

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The English dance Thady You Gander has a metronome marking of 160 on the sheet music. I’ve also been asked to play jigs for rapper sword dances at 180. Both are much too fast, though less so for the stepping in rapper than for the flat out run in Thady.

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What the fck is diddly fiddling? is it meant to belittle the ceoil

it has nothing to do with Irish Music.

All those fast examples remind of a packet of Woodbines,

Not a Player among them

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Re: Fast Frankie

Totally, totally with Llig. Bluegrass has a different musical substance, the "way" a given couple of notes are played is quite different. Comparison does not compute.

The Gerry O’Connor clip is still a tune. The clips posted by Happy Camper are illuminating - at that speed, those melody players *need* a guitar and rhythm thrash unit behind them to keep the beat. To my ears, their melody playing has left the moulding and pulse of the tunes way behind, and descended to a stream of notes. I admire the technique, for sure, but I wouldn’t want to actally *listen* to it.

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Re: Fast Frankie

There’s still plenty of nuance in the Slide clips. I love it! Must admit, i don;’t think my band get up to the ridiculous speed of those. Though, this is because I’m trying to fit as many ornaments in each bar as possible. I’d say we top out at 128,

But if you listen to it carefully, (this is the same track at the same gig but a clearer recording, after the end of some barndances), in particular the bouzouki is as busy as can be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A45K61WF5Gc.


I think the timing isn’t always 100% spot on but this is ridiculous speed right enough.

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About the bluegrass. Enjoyed the clips but although in bpm its faster, its not half as busy as slide are lol!

Re: Fast Frankie

Stupid

Stupid thread

Feckin pointless bloody nonsense

# Posted on September 23rd 2010 by llig leahcim

Totally agree. It is beside the point of the music. Frankie would be the first to agree. Showmanship and self-promotion have nothing at all to do with (good) music.

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Does anyone else see the hypocrisy of somebody praising the celebrity Frankie Gavin (who is by the way, doing exactly what you accuse the others of) .. I wouldn’t claim to know if he has a showmanship or self promoting bone in his body but presumably this is true for Slide????… OK, is it something like this? Mustn’t criticise the star but anyone else is fair game? And I suspect you wouldn’t know (good) music and it bit you in the arse?

Re: Fast Frankie

Showmanship and self-promotion have nothing at all to do with (good) music.
# Posted on September 24th 2010 by Cocus.

Can’t really agree. I think it’s true that usually (or should that be often?) the best music comes without showmanship but there are two sides to music. The entertainment side i gigs etc, and the personal side - like sessions or having tunes in the house. Showmanship there is sad, but where people are out to be entertained then it’s usually expected.

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…or maybe you meant something different Cocus.

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But yes, a stupid thread. As far as I’m concerned speed is a personal thing that’s down to taste, mood, circumstance etc. We all have preferences but assuming we’re right and others are wrong when it comes down to taste would be very naive.

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It is a stupid thread, as for "Fast Frankie" the only thing he was fast in was taking the dosh and running after a disasterious gig. Fast Frankie…my arse…!!!!!

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I think it’s all very well merely putting things down to different tastes, but those Slide fellas really didn’t half murder some otherwise lovely tunes.

However, shomanship’s fine and if your show is to play like that then fine. Provided of course that you can get a bunch of wasted headbangers to pogo around in front of the stage. It’s a bit crap when the audience is just sitting down on the grass and politely trying to clap along.

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"It is a stupid thread, as for "Fast Frankie" the only thing he was fast in was taking the dosh and running after a disasterious gig. Fast Frankie…my arse…!!!!!"

Hahahahaha! I wasn’t going to say it but so true!

Re: Fast Frankie

Yes I agree, the speed Slide played these tunes is way out of my parameters of enjoyment.

A decent showman should be able to play to the circumstances. Someone trying to force people enjoying sitting on the grass to get up and get into it really doesn’t know what he’s doing.

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Who was talking about playing sides?

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slides (doh)

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Don’t change your trousers too quickly: it’s not clever, funny nor grown up.

If a set of tunes is over before your freshly applied SyrupStik has stuck, then you are playing too fast.

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Agreed, Frankie plays way too fast sometimes (especially in concert!), but the amazing thing (to my ears, anyway) is that bouncy, bubbly swing that permeates his playing AT (almost) ANY SPEED! I honestly don’t know how he does it. I much prefer him playing slower, though. I think his first solo record (w/ Alec Finn on Shanachie) has his best tempo choices (except for the whistle tunes, WAY too fast to enjoy).

Re: Fast Frankie

The Slide clip is certainly too fast for my tastes. But perhaps the value in *being able* to play that fast is that it gives you that much more space to play with when you play at more sensible speeds. I would certainly like to have the ability to play that fast, even though (I like to think) I wouldn’t choose to do so - but neither my nervous system nor my muscles work that fast. (…and don’t say "practice" - the practice would do me an irreparable injury, if not kill me, long before I came anywhere close.) But anyway, what’s the point if I can enjoy playing slowly and clumsily?

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@ Enda ………… I’d be tempted to click the "report this video as inappropriate" button! πŸ˜›

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That "record" was well and truly beaten decades ago in a style where ultra-fast bpm does make musical sense.

It’s on the kemence (Black sea fiddle) from Macka in north-east Turkey, for one of those everybody-join-hands-in-a-line dances; it accelerates up to a point where the fiddle is pulsating more than playing a tune and the dancers must have been just wobbling on the spot.

Details in Laurence E.R. Picken, _Folk Musical Instruments of Turkey_, 1975, music example 17, p.305. Goes up to 906bpm. The transcription was done by Adnan Saygun (dated "1937, 1950" whatever that means). The original recording is in the Devlet Konservatuvari (State Conservatory) in Ankara, archive no. K 8/4 S.S. AX 1244.

I’ve got a photocopy of Saygun’s transcription somewhere - 4 pages of continuous double-stopped lunacy.

A YouTube search for "karadeniz horon" or "macka horon" should produce examples in the same vein.

Re: Fast Frankie

We’re missing the point - enjoy Frankie’s clever marketing!