Off Beat Rolls - Companion to do Fiddlers think of rolls differently
The fiddler vs flute/whistle/piper discussion on rolls is a start. But that thread doesn’t get into off-beat rolls.
There are a couple different ways off-beat rolls are used*, but I’m thinking first of the common rhythmic pattern of two eighth notes followed by a short roll, a fast long-roll, a triplet or a triplet run, like in the Drunken Landlady, Swallows Tail, Pigeon on the Gate or any number of other reels.
Michael Coleman or Kevin Burke are masters at this pattern. Their bowing gives a great rhythmic drive and swing. Sometimes they’ll play a bowed triplet, sometimes a roll, sometimes a triplet run (slurred or bowed, I can’t tell).
In this situation, do players of spit-instruments or inflated-goat-skins, often try to emulate the cat-gut players, or do they always their own methods of expressing these kinds of off-beat rolls?
Of course whistles, pipes and flutes don’t have bowing, but they do have breath and tongue.
* Other off-beat rolls include ones that carry across strong beats, and short rolls that happen when you get two, same eighth notes in the middle of four eighth notes