Tunes for bad days…

Tunes for bad days…

Some days i don’t feel too great, so i go to my Fiddle. But all i know how to play is a couple of bouncy, happy jigs and two fun little polkas, which aren’t fun at all when i’m down.

So are there any great tunes to play when you’re not in your high spirits? Some maybe even darker, more intense tunes? If not even this, a little advice on how to manage playing while not feeling too great.

I ask because on piano i made the mistake of only learning happy, sweet, pleasant pieces. It took years before i was able to compose my own darker, more melancholy pieces. But until then i couldn’t play cause i didn’t feel like it. Now i can play no matter how bad i feel. But with Fiddle… Nope.

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The great thing about diddley tunes is that they can adapt to whatever emotional meaning you want to weld to them. A "happy" major key one can sound plaintive if you feel like hearing it that way. Like one of the Escher paintings.

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I see you guys use the word "diddley" a lot. What does that mean? I think google got it wrong

"The great thing about diddley tunes is that they can adapt to whatever emotional meaning you want to weld to them. A "happy" major key one can sound plaintive if you feel like hearing it that way."

That’s true. I’m still learning about how versatile the fiddle is. With piano, all we can do is slow down the tempo and soften the dynamics, but not much afterwords. I guess i’ll do some experimenting tonight with my fiddle.

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The badder the day, the happier and more "diddley" the tunes you should be playing. It’s what the music’s for.

There ain’t no excuse for being grumpy. Cheer the feck up.

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llig, i know it’s what the musics for, but after having several bad days at once, and maybe even a hard couple of weeks, it’s hard to play happy music.

True, there’s no excuse to be grumpy(and i try not to be but sometimes i can’t help it. Optimist have bad days too.)

It doesn’t take a lot to make me feel like life is worth living, but it takes a lot to get me down. But when i’m down, it’s pretty depressing.

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Do you think those sad tunes were composed on good days?

It’s a good excuse for being grumpy.

"Ahm wantin’ tae write a slow air, so I am".

All manner of crockery heads your way across the room…..

What tunes are good to play with a sair heid?

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"sair heid" i don’t know what that means(wow i don’t kknow what a lot of things mean… maybe i should start reading)

Well, i would play Airs, but i’m still so bad at fiddle, i don’t think i would like how they sounded when i played them :/ I think hearing my own terrible playing would make me more depressed lol.

Or maybe thinking about the fact that 5 years from now i’ll be much better. Now that’s worth celebrating.

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fiddlelearner, reading your posts over the last couple of months does more than anything to tip my natural cynicism toward eternal optimism. thankyou

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??? did i do something wrong?

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Monaghan jig slow and steady but you’ve no reason to be in the dumps. Look at the world around you, right now, and be greatful for what has not happened to you ….

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Good answer, Jerone.

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If they tell you that you got two days to live, don’t complain cause it’s one more than you’d get in Zaire….or so I used to tell my kids….
πŸ™‚

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Thanks shanty. And i don’t feel bad today. A couple of days ago i wasn’t feeling too great, but i feel better now.

"Look at the world around you, right now, and be greatful for what has not happened to you…."

I am grateful that i am bless, but knowing that the entire world is hurting doesn;t make me feel any better. I usually feel the worst when something terrible happens to someone else.

I’ll take note of this phrase and prepare it for when someone else needs it. There is a lot of hurt in the world, and i have a great life compared to others. I have freedom, i’m surrounded by people that love me(most of the time πŸ™‚ I have a job, which is a blessing cause a lot of people don’t :( I have a car that works great for me. I’ve been blessed with the gift of music, which i am terribly grateful for…

But sometimes… people aren’t nice(i work in a resteraunt) I’ll leave it at that.

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"Good answer, Jerone."

To what?

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Oh, never mind.

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‘Sair heid’ = ‘sore head’.

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Hard to cope with that at work as I’m sure you need your job but keep it with you for when you’re not at work. If you see someone mistreating a waiter/waitress/sales person etc let them have it with both barrels!

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Lol, i wish i could knock some of those guys over with barrels lol! Most of our guests are nice, but sometimes i get a long line of people in bad moods, and some of them give me a harder time than others.

It’s not just my job though. It really ercks me when people complain about the littlest things. We are in America, we shouldn’t complain about anything. Thats what gets on my nerves. Also, checking my faceboook wall and seeing more people complaining about little things. But not enough to make me not wanna play my instruments.

The things that but me in a bad mood…
When i feel like my efforts aren’t being noticed by my superiors.
When i know that my friend(s) is/are, hurting but i can’t do anything about it.
My own imaturity. Some things i just need to get over and accept. But that’s easier said than done sometimes.

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**Weejie, i’m watching it now.

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If I remember right there is a Highland pipe tune called "Macleod of Coll Putting His Foot On the Neck of His Enemy".

They knew how to write ‘em in those days.

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Try playing ‘The Ghost’ by Liz Carrol, it’s a pretty easy tune and can be very melancholy. The dots are on her site and I think the tune is on YouTube.

Also King of the Fairies can be played nice and slow and sound somewhat mournful - also a good chance to practice ornamentation when played that slow.

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Fiddlelearner,
Try " king of the fairies " off " the butterfly "
I find these tunes dark but I guess that can be subjective.?

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I have learned a couple of Turlough O’Carolan tunes (Si Bheag Si Mhor and Fannie Power) which are a nice alternative to the jigs, hornpipes, etc… They are something you could sink a little not so happy happy joy joy emotion into if you needed to, I think.

Smiles to you, fiddlelearner.

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I was talking about this with some elementary students just last week. Music is not always "Don’t worry, be happy." Singing the blues or a sad song can give voice to those emotions in a safe context. and more than likely, singing/playing a sad song/tune can sometimes actually make you feel better.

Pick some airs, and don’t worry so much about your sound, it will get better.
as will your mood.

p.s. I’m a substitute teacher, so I hear ya about work sometimes getting you down. I had 9th grade girls mad at me this morning for merely taking attendance. sheesh.

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Thanks guys for all the help and advice πŸ™‚ As always, Good stuff.

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"…my efforts aren’t being noticed by my superiors…"
They aren’t your superiors — they are just doing a different job to you. Given different circumstances, you would be able to do their job better than they do.

‘diddley’ is just a term of endearment (or an insult, depending on your viewpoint) derived from Irish mouth-music, or lilting, that often includes words like ‘diddly-eye’ and ‘doodle-dum’. The extra ‘e’ has been inserted by those who fear the Scottish neck-stampers. (diddley / diddly = whiskey (Irish) / whisky (Scottish).

As for playing when you are a bit low, a few slow airs always leave me feeling better, although it is fair to say that they are harder on the fiddle than on the pipes. A good tune to learn is ‘The Day Poor Larry Got Stretched’. Just the title cheers me up, but you can really put your sadness in the playing, and when you finish, it stays there.

Incidentally, working in a restaurant has been shown to be one of the worst jobs for causing rows at home. It seems that customers who have had a bad day tend to take it out on the waiters, who then go home and take it out on the family.

A good mournful session on an instrument gets it all out of the system. And it’s better than kicking the dog.

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Any tunes in E minor and there’s loads in the tradition; reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas, airs - I think they can suit your needs. Also many other modal tunes - tunes in D etc. played with C nats - these can have a bit of what you want. That’d be my tuppence worth.

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Only in America eh? When compiling a short list of what’s great about one’s life, one includes one’s car.

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"Only in America eh? When compiling a short list of what’s great about one’s life, one includes one’s car."

I drove from Cincinnati to Carson City along Route 50 once.
Even better than Paisley to Achiltibuie. You need some kind of vehicle to experience that. Only in America indeed.

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I’d catch my self playing slow tunes, Airs etc….

But then I know I should do exactly what llig leahcim suggested

< The badder the day, the happier and more "diddley" the tunes you should be playing. It’s what the music’s for .>
jim,,,

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"Maudabawn Chapel" at a slow tempo will cultivate a certain melancholy.

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F# minor is a bittersweet key, and it can be sad as well. But it’s relative major, AM, is bright and sweet πŸ™‚

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There is nothing as cathartic as playing a sad, mournful air when you are sad and mournful. Purges those ill humors right out of the soul.

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D minor is the saddest key of all…………

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Always thought it was D flat minor.

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Funny, someone quoted it to me once, long ago, as "D flat minor" and it stuck in my head that way ever since.

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πŸ™‚

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Maybe Jusa but I think Fiddlelearner is looking for a few handy tunes in the Irish tradition that might reflect his/her mood πŸ™‚ So anything modal - I’m always more attracted to the E tunes for some reason, whether dorian or minor. Try the old standard Morrison’s jig for starters or anything like that, obviously played at a laid back pace.

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First one that springs to mind is The Sheep in the Boat. I play it in D minor but it’s in E minor here https://thesession.org/tunes/2576

A friend in our session is from the part of the west coast of Ireland where this story apparently took place. He tells it something like this: there was a group of 12 people and a few sheep on board a boat going from an island to the mainland. One of the sheep put its foot through the boat near the shore, and the boat sank. None of the people could swim however, and they all drowned. Don’t know if it gets much sadder than that!