Gold Standard

Gold Standard

HI ALL,
In a recent thread a commentator wrote "I thought, fifty years ago, that if I could learn Cooley’s properly I would understand how to play the fiddle. I still think that. "

While I don’t have that estimable level of experience I feel similarly about
"Kid on the Mountain". In an effort to understand this tune and due justice to it on mandolin I have listened to inumerable recordings, video of people dancing to it,
You tube goat videos, and pulled maybe a dozen variations dots and tabs from here and anyplace else i could find them. Not there yet.

What are your gold standards; tunes that really capture your interest and that you feel truly embody what this music means to you?

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Sorry - ignore that first video - at least as far as this discussion goes - that was for something else entirely.
It should have been this :
https://youtu.be/z4NannKg3qQ

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I totally understand Orlaith and Seamus. But you did have me wondering about the man with the metal bazouki….

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Goat videos? Do you mean because a baby goat is called a "kid?"

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My gold standard would be to be able to play the Jimmy Shand ‘Eightsome Reel’ set on my fiddle, properly & to speed.
Not there yet, sadly… 🙂

The tunes in the set are Deil Amang the Tailors - Staten Island - Speed the Plough - The Wind that Shakes the Barley - Mrs MacLeod - The Fairy Reel - The Breakdown - Soldier’s Joy - Mason’s Apron - and back to Deil Amang the Tailors again, with a huge roar from the assembled dancers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eVOZd3ebHM

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WHIMBREL, yes. Goat videos. I live in the city, not too many live kids to be had .
Maybe a hipster in Bushwick has one. I should do some research, I am obsessed with this music !!!!

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Sorry for the confusion, David. Kevin is a great "strings" player, but I don’t like that particular instrument at all. He was "De Danann’s" roadie for some years in the 1980s, and made a lasting friendship with Alec Finn. They made a couple of recordings together which are excellent.
https://thesession.org/recordings/704
https://thesession.org/recordings/998

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FIDDLE AUNT: What joyous set!

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Thanks Steve T great set of reels in your post. I recognise Miss Girdle (3) and Molly Rankin (5). Could we please identify the others? It sounds like there are six tunes in the set. Many thanks

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Hi Alex, as I reckon it the tunes are:
Bird’s Nest
0.50 Little Donald In the Pig Sty ( one for all our friends across the pond )
2.00 Miss Girdle
2.50 Buntatas Sgadan
4.00 Molly Rankin’s
4.45 Scotsville

None are going to be the sort of thing anyone takes to a competition stage, none are virtuoso pieces, they are simple, traditional tunes. Played like this with a rock steady rhythm it’s like watching the opening set of a Chemical Brothers gig. Absolutely fabulous IMO.

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For me, The Tarbolton is the gold standard. Not an easy tune, but possible. When you can play it with articulations and expression, you can give yourself a little medal.

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Surely different instruments have different tunes which would be considered "gold standard"? Some tunes are really easy on accordion but very hard on fiddle, and vice versa. So the tune itself can’t really be considered indicative of the standard of the player? I remember seeing, I think it was, John McCusker playing with Mick McGoldrick and Mick told the audience how John had deliberately written a tune to be as difficult as possible on flute, only to find that it was actually a nightmare to play on fiddle. (forgive me if I mis-remembered the gig / artists in that story).

Personally I’d suggest just finding your own gold standard tune and working on it until you’ve mastered it, then you’ll inevitably find another one waiting just around the corner - I’ve been doing that for years!!

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The gold standard for me would be to be able to play anything well at all. I’m horrible at everything.

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a - listen
b - practice
There are no short cuts. - although a good teacher can help.

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I find Martin Wynne’s (the Bm and D one) is one of those tunes that I can never get to have such a cool sound as other people do. Someone said Tarbolton which also seems accurate