Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby JoeBesse » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:45 pm

I meant "noter".

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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby Judy K » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:17 am

Joe, SMN is an abbreviation for standard music notation.
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby JoeBesse » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:54 am

Thanks for your input on this topic Judy.

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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby strumelia » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:50 am

If the lady does not use Tab, and only plays from sheet music (SMN), then there's little point in looking for "DAA Christmas music"- which implies TAB sheets for DAA tuning. The key of D sheet music would be the same whether you were in DAd or DAA tuning. Only tabs woul dbe different for DAd or DAA.
As others have pointed out- if she plays from sheet music, then all she needs is sheet music in the key of D for the simple melodies of the tunes. This will work for most of the tunes in D major (not minor tunes).

The problem is that she can't play a lot of songs because they are not in her tuning. It is a problem now that we are practicing Christmas songs and there are not as many Christmas songs in DAA.


I don't understand this. Both you and she are tuned to the key of D. If both she and the rest of you are playing in the key of D and as you say she's not reading from tab... then it makes no sense that she can't play because of her tuning... unless she is actually looking at the tab. :| Is she reading from standard music notation (sheet music) or not? Sounds to me like she's trying to read from the DAd TAB and having trouble because she's in DAA. But you said she doesn't read tab, only written sheet music.
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby JoeBesse » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:30 am

Hi Strumelia,

I don't understand what she needs either. She says that she will have to retune or not play some of our standard DAD songs. She says she has a masters in music. I give up and will tell her to play what she can or play her spoons. She learned to play in the early 70's and likes to play fast and similar to blue grass players.

Thanks to all who responded to my original post. I think I will close the case on this.

Joe
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby strumelia » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:33 pm

If she has a Masters degree in music then she should be able to figure out her different options for playing. It's pretty basic level stuff, musically...and the dulcimer is an uncomplicated instrument to grasp the working concepts of, especially if you have some music knowledge. Sounds like you could all just let her work out what she wants to do. I suggest you wait for her to ask for specific help... if and when she needs it.
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby JoeBesse » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:17 am

I will let her figure the songs out. Maybe one day she will get :roll: with the program and be on the same page as our group.
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby Steve Smith » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:06 am

JoeBesse wrote:I am not trying to change her. The problem is that she can't play a lot of songs because they are not in her tuning. It is a problem now that we are practicing Christmas songs and there are not as many Christmas songs in DAA.

Here are the Christmas tunes our club newsletter has had over the years. All have both DAA and DAd tunings as well as SMN. Nearly all are uploaded to the Everything Dulcimer tab section. The latest one or two haven't been, yet, but all can be found at our club's tab page.

Arrú Niño
Carol Of The Hay
Christmas Eve
Christmas Is Coming
Christmas Song
Cold Is The Morning
Den Signade Dag
Er Is Een Kindeke Geboren Op Aard'
The First Noel
Happy Christmas Comes Once More
The Holly and The Ivy
The Holly Bears A Berry
Infant Holy
Jesus Borned in Bethlea
Love Came Down at Christmas
O Come, Little Children
Seven Blessings of Mary
Sheep Fast Asleep
Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle
Unto Us A Boy Is Born
When Christmas Morn Is Dawning
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby JoeBesse » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:58 am

Thanks for the update Steve. Will pass the word to our member.

Joe
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby Robin the Busker » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:43 am

I have to say that as a noter player myself I find TAB pretty useless; I far prefer to work from SMN.

Take the first tune Arrú Niño off the list above as an example:

Arrú Niño.jpg


It took me just a few moments to find the SMN on Google images. And a few moments more to whistle the tune because I have the timing, phrasing and pitching right in front of me. From scanning the internet briefly, it looks like this tune is most commonly pitched in the key of F. So if I want to play it with carol singers this Christmas I need to tune FCC (which is well within the tolerance of my string gauges) - to play it in D I simply pretend that my DAA is FCC and play it exactly the same way.

I would encourage anyone playing noter drone dulcimer to learn to read SMN as it is such a useful skill. And it is not rocket science to pull together a DAd chord melody arrangement from the melody plus the suggested I, II, IV and V chords along the top of the staff of Arrú Niño.

I played at a dance last weekend and I was tuned Ddd noter drone (because we were modulating between D and G during the sets). I was sitting next to a couple of DAd dulcimer players and a fiddler and we were all working off the same sheet of music!

I would love to see more emphasis placed on teaching dulcimer players SMN as it would open up far more opportunities.

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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby strumelia » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:40 am

That's a very cool post and explanation, Robin.
Could you do the same example again, but this time using say a SMN for Mary had a little Lamb in the key of G? -would you explain the process how you'd get to playing it in D on the dulcimer?

I can read smn a little, for simple melodies. So I usually search for new tunes online in standard notation since i can then work them out on my dulcimer/epinette OR on my penny whistles OR on my banjo. Mind you, I can read basic melody lines in SMN, in common keys, not piano scores and such. Sometimes I have to work out what the melody sounds like note by note while looking at the sheet music. But once i have the melody line in my head, when i play it on a banjo I add banjo-like strumming...when i play it on whistle, i add whistle ornaments...when i play it on dulcimer, i use drones and dulcimer strumming patterns. Different instruments each have their own typical ways of fleshing out or ornamenting tunes... that's essentially why there are: 'arranged for violin"...'arranged for flute'...'arranged for banjo'...

If one starts with very simple melodies, this is something not too hard to pick up. That's why I ask you to explain the same method using Mary in the key of G, Robin.
I think a lot of people get overwhelmed because in the beginning they think every single note in an 'arrangement' is equally important. And they think everyone has to be playing exactly the same notes at the same time all together. But as long as everyone is at the same part of the tune when playing, it's really only the basic melody notes that are essential...as in Mary had a little lamb. If a group was playing an elaborate chord/melody tab arrangement of Mary, and you played only the simple melody notes along with them, most of the time you'd be just fine without looking at their tab. With time as you got better, you would get a sense of where you could add expressive strums or chords or whatever you wanted, or pick up ornaments from the other players around you.
In a way, using this melody-based method without tab gives you a kind of musical freedom that has many advantages down the road, just as you imply Robin.
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby Steve Smith » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:21 am

Robin the Busker wrote:I have to say that as a noter player myself I find TAB pretty useless; I far prefer to work from SMN.

Take the first tune Arrú Niño off the list above...

I agree with all you say, Robin. That's why all my tab has SMN in addition to tab in two tunings, note names, timing notation and chord names, and why I have two or three mp3 versions on our website for those who learn better by ear.

That said, the tune you show in your post is "All Through the Night", not "Arrú Niño". A very different song!
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