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The Year of Ward Jarvis: Pretty Little Indian

As I mentioned in my last post, I neglected to write about my progress on "Pretty Little Indian." This will just be a quick one about the fourth tune in my Year of Ward Jarvis project. It's an A modal tune played in standard GDAE tuning. I started working on it at the beginning of August.

It's a crooked little tune, with some interesting phrasing. I especially like the long, E unison in the A part. Despite having several versions to work with and notation to help guide me, this has by far been the most difficult tune I've learned this year.

I just recorded an updated version last week. I'm still not quite happy with my playing here. My intonation continues to be a problem, and my bowing at the end of each part gets messy. Here's my take:

Here's the source.

I'll be back soon with a year-end recap and some other miscellanea before we're done with 2017.

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The Year of Ward Jarvis: Run Aground at Three Forks of Reedy

Well, it's been a month since my last post and four months since my last update on my Year of Ward Jarvis project. That means I've neglected to post about the progress I've made on two tunes, "Pretty Little Indian" and "Three Forks of Reedy." What the heck? The heck is I have gotten stuck.
While I'm feeling OK about "Pretty Little Indian," it still gives me some problems. It's an A modal tune played in GDAE, and it's got some interesting phrasing. I started working on it at the beginning of August. Here's the rough recording I made two months ago.

I know it's not pretty (pun somewhat intended), but I've gotten better since then. I need to record myself again with how I'm playing the tune now. Although I'm still working out some kinks, I've gotten comfortable enough with it to move onto the next tune on my list, "Three Forks of Reedy." That's where the trouble lies.

"Three Forks of Reedy&qu…

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I love the stories of people who learned to play old-time music by slowing down their record players to figure out passages from tunes on vinyl, or even shellac. Those of us learning today have it so easy by comparison.

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Strange Maine had a huge inventory and fairly cheap pricing, mostly specializing in rock, punk and metal. This is your typical crate digger's paradise, with albums crammed tightly into dozens of bins around the store. I picked up two post-"Pet Sounds" Beach Boys albums. But you probably don't care about that.

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Unger will be leading a clawhammer banjo workshop with Paul Kovac under the "Small Tent" from 2 to 2:45 p.m.

Established in 2010, the Blue Sky festival is hosted at the East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church on Chillicothe Road in Kirtland. The event features concerts, workshops, community jams, family crafts and other fun activities. Tickets are $15 at the gate or $12 if you purchase online. Get a $3 discount at the door if you bring and instrument to join in the various jam sessions. Youths age 12 and under are free.

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