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RobMacKillop
05-28-2015, 11:54 PM
Yesterday I took delivery of this little baby! Made by Scot Tremblay of http://scottremblayguitars.com It is strung in gut.

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And this morning I recorded this video:


https://youtu.be/im4KUYSbFGk

[How do you embed a video here?]

For those unaware of the machete, I've got a rough guide on my website (http://robmackillop.net/machete/)

I also have a download book of TABs (there is a very small charge) HERE (https://sellfy.com/p/xuv5/#)

In the video I attempt to use the thumb-only technique for the right hand. Apparently this technique was used by some on the machete, though, looking through the repertoire, there are definitely places where an extra finger would be necessary.

I'll be exploring more pieces in due course, and will upload them here.

Can you play this music on a ukulele? Yes! Though you will need a low 4th string, and also tune the first string down a tone, from a to g. The machete tuning is higher - d'g'b'd'' - but this can be changed to gc'e'g' on the uke. Then just read the tab. It will come out a fifth below the pitch of the machete. However, you can get dedicated machete nylon strings from our friends at South Coast Ukes (http://www.southcoastukes.com)

Any questions, ask away! I can't promise I can answer them, but I'll try.

Luke El U
05-29-2015, 01:16 AM
Hello Rob,

Thanks for the great news. I look forward to watching your machete videos on YouTube whenever I get access to a good VPN here in China (otherwise YouTube is blocked).

Wow, what an incredibly beautiful little instrument. Is the black button on the headstock used for a strap?

There are some 41 pieces in the Vasconcelos collection from 1846 and many more in the Cabral collection ca. 1850.
Then what happens? After 1850 nothing else was published for the Machete? That seems odd. I've tried writing the relevant folks in Portugal about this but never got a response. Do you know of later machete music?

Down Up Dick
05-29-2015, 03:18 AM
I find this thread very interesting. I have a Uke tuned low G with a G 1st string (Lo G CEG). I was switching some Ukes to open tuning to play Clawhammer. Then I found that I liked the open tuning, and I'm thinking of tuning them all that way.

I'm not really familiar with Machete Music, but I heard some somewhere and liked it. I listened to yours too. I'd like to hear more.

Thanks for the thread. I'll be looking for more. :old:

RobMacKillop
05-29-2015, 03:23 AM
Hi Luke. Good to hear from you. I hope you can watch the video sometime.

I imagine much of the machete repertoire was only written down in private manuscript form, and the chance of it surviving is slim. However, I am optimistic that more will surface. That said, there is enough in Drumond alone to last me a LONG time, some of it very difficult to play well.

I'm still not happy with my technique. Playing thumb-only was an experiment for this video. I'll try thumb and index, perhaps, on the next. I envisage a flexible right hand, moving between thumb-index, thumb-middle, thumb-middle-index, and thumb-only. We shall see.

Yes, the black button on the back of the head is for a strap. I just used a piece of black rope I had lying around, so didn't use that button. I'll get a better strap soon.

RobMacKillop
05-29-2015, 03:24 AM
Cheers, Dick. More to come. I'll try to keep them all on this thread.

Mivo
05-29-2015, 05:55 AM
It is gorgeous! Very beautiful sound, as well.

Very tempting, too ... :)

RobMacKillop
05-29-2015, 06:02 AM
Look at these amazing machetes! Love the fish: http://www.cavaquinhos.pt/pt/CAVAQUINHO/Braguinha.htm

RobMacKillop
05-29-2015, 12:09 PM
Here's another video - this time a beautiful waltz: https://youtu.be/ysAugPi825I

Mivo
05-29-2015, 12:49 PM
Another great video! Thanks for sharing these. :)

Camsuke
05-29-2015, 01:19 PM
Absolutely delightful! Beautiful instrument & lovely playing.

RobMacKillop
05-29-2015, 08:33 PM
Thanks, folks.

actadh
05-30-2015, 04:26 AM
Uke Republic is going to get in a Cavaquinho in their APC lineup. The Braguinha is already in stock.

Luke El U
05-31-2015, 05:22 PM
Hello Rob,

Can you dance like that with your theorbo? ;)

I don't have my book with me at the moment (and when I do, I won't have the internet), but if I remember correctly there was a little dot above one of the notes in that triplet figure which was meant to be accented. I never could figure it out and instead play just as you do (albeit not as well).

Any thoughts?

Hippie Dribble
05-31-2015, 05:53 PM
Rob, your music is consistently fabulous. The machete playing is stunning to listen to and observe. Thankyou.

RobMacKillop
05-31-2015, 07:55 PM
Hello Rob,

Can you dance like that with your theorbo? ;)

I don't have my book with me at the moment (and when I do, I won't have the internet), but if I remember correctly there was a little dot above one of the notes in that triplet figure which was meant to be accented. I never could figure it out and instead play just as you do (albeit not as well).

Any thoughts?

Ha, Luke, I can barely hold a theorbo, let alone dance with one. That would be quite a site :D

We are not 100% sure what the dot signifies. John King saw it as an upward stroke of the thumb, and he cultivated a long and strong thumb nail to be able to do that convincingly. I play without nail contact, and it just sounds weak and pathetic when I do an upstroke with the thumb. So, this is what I came up with. You say it should be accented. Perhaps you are right. I'm also reminded of Renaissance lute tablature, where the dot signifies the index finger, no dot signifies the thumb. So, they had an alternating thumb/index technique. It could be a hangover from that.

RobMacKillop
05-31-2015, 07:56 PM
Thanks, HD!