How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

I think the question is descriptive enough. I have been questioning this for years. I started playing those notes as triplets, trios, or grace notes. If I played them solid, then I would usually play a chord.

None of the above are correctly representing the short roll. Please tell me what you do that works.

Mark

Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

good question! i just panic! heh. no really, i use a triplet, or sometimes flick off the first finger then the third, really quickly. that makes no sense and is probobly not helpful…but there you go

Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

Yeah, its one of those curly ones. Zina says you can roll an open string, but I have never known how to do it. I wish she would answer this (because she knows and I don’t).

I sometimes use a cran (if it is a dotted note), sometimes a cut, sometimes a triplet, sometimes some kind of run that fits into the tune and sometimes a fourth finger (or other)/open string double stop (that sometimes works and other times sounds terrible). Depends on the tune and the mood I’m in. Sometimes I just love ornamenting (usually), other times I don’t. You could listen to whistles, flutes or pipes for some ideas then do something appropriate that fits with what they’re doing. You could even just play it straight and leave the ornamentations up to those instruments that find these notes easier than the fiddle to fiddle with. Above all, have fun. Cheers

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Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

the second post is about right. but to get that sound of three notes you get with an ordinary roll or a bowed triplet, hit the string lightly with three fingers, 3rd, 2nd, 1st. Just like you would tap your fingers on a table.
There’s other ways of course

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Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

Try it on the first open E on the foxhunters reel

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Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

https://thesession.org/discussions/226
is a thread with some of the past discussions

Mark - you may find more on this - try using the search facility - i tyoed in open strings and came up the above link

cheers
george

Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

Thanks George for recap …. I remember when I followed this older thread I was thinking about ….

… Mad/Darth "shall I adore him for his clear and straight point of view what is a roll and what can

Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

Your question is very specific Mark, but I guess it doesn’t REALLY matter what you call them. Rolls or not? So what! What matters is that they ornament what could be a pretty ordinary note played straight every time.

Having never come across the 0-1-3-1-0 sequence that Volker and Zina have identified independently from Crannitch and Cooper as an open string roll, I wonder, do the whole five notes occur on the same string? A kind of run up and down the fingers on the string? In which case it would seem it could only be described as a half a roll because there would be no lower notes. Or is the -3- on the lower string? It might require some pretty impressive bow gymnastics, but might sound pretty impressive. I would like to know.

I have used a kind of double cut, that I don’t know the name of, where you would play say an open E, cut it with an A (or G) to the F# back to the E. Kind of a reverse fingering of what the weescottishfiddler was suggesting. I’ve heard it used on open strings in oodles of places (eg. Coleman’s Cross; Kathleen Collins - The Humours of Ballyloughlin; Dunmore Lasses; Paddy White’s; Farewell to Ireland; The Green Fields of Erin; etc. etc.). So it must be a pretty common ornament (if I use it, it probably is). The mind just boggles at what is possible!
Cheers

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PS: It has puzzled me too.

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Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

I don’t think it really matters what the decortative notes are in any roll, they go past so quick that you can’t hear them anyway. What’s important is geting the rythm right

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The 0-1-3-1-0 sequence

is on the same string. Very interesting to name it a half-roll … what do you think about triple cuts ? …… ;o)

Michael is right: if it is played in a fair roll speed you won

Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

That’s what I reconned, a lower string 3rd finger would be pretty impressive - so impressive that it could be bordering on the cusp of astro physics. Like a tenth dimension, time warps and worm holes into parallel universes, hey.
An open string roll or triple cuts is fine by me either way, call it anything, but please please tell me where I can hear it executed, who does it on what track on what CD, so I can listen and get a feel for how it should sound - then I might even have a go at it myself. Fabulous stuff!
Though I am not convinced that rolls are always played so fast that you cannot tell that they curl around the main note - take in show case jigs for instance or slow reels, or indeed in some of the beautiful Clare melodies. And I think it could depend very largely on your style of playing, but that’s just my opinion.
I hope this is helping Mark.
Cheers

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The Cream Cheese Danish Roll revisited

I’m also pretty sure that you couldn’t possibly do a roll across two strings, although I suppose someone out there could have tried it.

Yup, I’d agree that it’s the note value that’s more important than the actual notes played in the roll. There seems to me to be two kinds of note value ways that people roll, as I’ve been doing research into ornamentation. George Keith recently told me that the ornaments, in specific the roll, is one of the first ways that fiddlers negatively judge other fiddlers, ie: "I don’t care for his rolls", which doesn’t jive very well with the fact that both ways are quite widespread, and everyone seems to say that the way they do them is the only correct way. The discussion can get quite vehement.

First, there are the rolls in which there are five extremely distinct notes — the four notes are all the same length. It’s very close to a classical turn, only different. πŸ™‚

The second way is that the decorated note is held longest throughout the roll — sort of a DAH di DA di DA kind of thing, if that makes sense. This way seems to be the most popular at the moment, perhaps because Clare style seems to be most popular and most of the Clare fiddlers roll this way, I think.

As I said, depending on who you ask, you will usually get one of these two ways to interrupt the note "correctly" and be told that one particular way is the only "correct" way to do it. Take your pick. πŸ™‚

As for open string ornamentation, Matt Cranitch teaches the 01310 in his fiddle tutor, yes. Other fiddlers use what they call a cran, 01030 or 03010 or 03020, which doesn’t sound to my own ear as very like a piper’s cran. (Sosaidh posted in a past thread about the explanation she got from a piper about the cran, you might want to search that discussion out.)

Whew, what a week last week! I got less than three hours of sleep from Friday morning to Sunday midnight, and I slept all of yesterday. I’m much too old to be doing stuff like that now. I must get more organized about my deadlines. πŸ™‚

Zina

Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

Hi Zina, and thanks!
I agree with you about the two styles of rolls. I was listening to a Boston College tape when everyone was playing together (a few years ago now), yet every time they came to a roll it kind of got out of sync. Some were doing (what I call) classical rolls and others were doing Clare style rolls holding the main note. Quite hillarious.
Cheers

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Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

nice to see you back zina

Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

Kevin burk playing toss the feathers on if the cap fits does a good open e roll. Kind of a slow clare type roll. For reel pyrotechnics you’ve got to go to Eileen Ivers. She playes great fast rolls right on the beat. Sometimes she even does a bowed triplet right on top of the roll. Pretty impresive, but not to everones taste.
I learned to play with an Irish piper, so my open D rolls are a reasonable impression of the bottom D cran. Maybe that’s the answer, don’t practice with fiddlers.
On the other hand, has anyone ever heard a good roll of a C sharp on the pipes (easy on the fiddle)?

And how would you roll the top B on the fiddle without coming out of first possition?

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Re: How do you roll a quarter note on an open string?

Hey everyone who replied to my post. Thank you so much. I have a good arsenal of tools for that poor old open string. I have been working on one specifically 01310 just so it can become part of my natural playing. There are other ideas that were new to me and I’ll be using them as well.

Again - thank you. Your comments are helping my playing to improve.

Mark