Cranning with a plectrum.

Cranning with a plectrum.

Any suggestions on how to cran ( or simulate ) on a plectrum instrument ? - After sitting idly in my tune book for some while my SO pulled out a (well-known ) tune ( it is the tune that was sitting, you understand ) requiring some crans on a low D, and started in with her flute. I wish to follow her along this path.
All suggestions gratefully received.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

What is wrong with a triplet, that is what I do on Banjo.

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Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

A terrific mandolin playing chum of mine manages to get a distinction between the double strings. A great percussive decoration. He slows down the plectrum rather than speeding it up. Takes a lot of control

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Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

I do it pretty much the same as I do on the fiddle. Occasionally, it even works. For ornamenting an open string, a two-string roll is easier for me.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

Cranning with a plectrum. What do you s’pose a non-musician would make of that phrase?

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

I know what a plectrum is, but I had to look up "cran," and it was a measure of herring, as many would fit in a barrel.

Forgive this ignorant fiddler, but this just isn’t scanning for me, so to speak.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

"We’re going to have to go in and do a cran, stat! — Nurse, a plectrum!"

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

Bingo. Thanks, Zina.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

The people at Ocean Spray do it on an industrial scale, and they don’t need a plectrum. Cranning and bottling, too.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

Cran (if I remember correctly) is a Gaelic word for a bunch or bundle, in this case of notes.
The root is used in GHB Pibroch movement called Crunluath.

PP

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

I believe that "cran" is also Dorsetshire dialect for rubbish, as in "A basketful of old crans ", that well-known folk album.
I was aware of the basic description of cranning, as "a stuttering roll", but was curious to know how others managed it on the mandozouk. Now I am overwhelmed with advice.
Cheers !
Slainte !

Pete

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

I do it as a hammered roll rather than with a plectrum, a tricky thing to do otherwise

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

I do the same as Bob Himself when it comes to crans on the mandolin, i.e. I do the same as I do on the fiddle, in can work quite well.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

I’m sure this was covered in some earlier thread, but I’ll recapitulate anyway. This is how I simulate a cran on the mandolin (not that that is necessarily a good reason for anyone else to do it this way):

For the phrase |~D3 D2|

I would play either

|D F^/E/D D2|

or

|D G/E/ D D2|.


This is really nothing more than putting in a ‘triplet’*, as unseen122 suggests, only it is a moving triplet. You could play it all on the one note for a slightly different effect, but playing a triplet on an open string can be more difficult, as there is more movement in the string.

*As mentioned in many threads before this one, what we refer to here as a ‘triplet’ is not really a triplet, but something closer to ‘semiquaver+semiquaver+quaver’ or ‘1/16 + 1/16 + 1/8). The exact timing depends on the rhythmic feeling and the nerve tone of the individual.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

Take the time to listen to some piping recordings and listen to what the pipers do with the lowest note on the chanter.

Pipe chanters and many simple system flutes do not have ANY of the 1st position 4th string notes on a fiddle or banjo, and the low C,B, A, and G on the bass regulator are not useful in this context.

Because we do not have a low C, B, A, or G on the chanter, we cannot play a roll on the the low D that involves a tap on a lower note. Still, you will hear us playing a triplety/roll-ey sounding ornament on the low D; this is a CRAN, a succession of cuts using some combination of A, G, and F# (FGA, AGF, GFA, GFG, AGFG, AGFA, AGA, etc) with a sliver of D sounding between each cut. Crans can be slow and kind of lazy (like a long roll) or fast like a machine gun (like a short roll or a triplet). Whether on pipes, flute, or whistle, cranning as a type of ornamentation is distinct enough to warrant its own label apart from the usual roll/triplet nomenclature.

So just listen for that sound and try to emulate that rhythmic effect, the cuts used in the execution of a cran on the chanter are NOT part of the melody, they are simply a means of breaking up a long tone and giving it a particular rhythm.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

Me: “I do it pretty much the same as I do on the fiddle. Occasionally, it even works. For ornamenting an open string, a two-string roll is easier for me.”

More precisely, what I do is hit the open string once and play cuts. For the two-string roll, I hit the open string, cut once, hammer a note on the next lower string (without plucking) and hit the open string again. With a reasonably responsive instrument and a little practice, it works pretty well.

If I’m playing fingerstyle guitar, I’ll pluck the lower note instead of hammering it.

Re: Cranning with a plectrum.

I do the same as on the pipes. Be careful with that elbow though.