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ripock
06-07-2017, 01:41 AM
Okay, as of last week I knew what campanella meant in Italian and that's all I knew. Now I understand what it means for ukulele playing. Being a beginner with some experience I certainly can follow directions when a songbook says "fret this note, now pluck this string, then fret this note and pluck that string, next leave the string open and pluck the string, etc..."

But now I'm wondering what to do with this knowledge, aside from robotically doing what the songbook says to do. How do we apply this to our own developing styles? Should we take a Beatles melody and play it with campanella scales? Do we take an existing song of our own and convert certain measures to campanella as a way of festooning our music? How do we get to the point where we can sit on the porch and improvise a ditty in campanella style?

I don't want to harp on the subject, so does anyone have anything to chime in?

Ukecaster
06-07-2017, 01:43 AM
I love that type of pasta! :D

Pleasure Paul
06-07-2017, 02:22 AM
Perhaps I take the definition of campanella slightly wide, but I'd say: if you need a melody note which is one step lower than the note you're playing at string 1 (A string), use string 4 (same fret). This is applicable to both strumming and picking. Also, very similar, if you need to play 2nd string 3rd fret, take 4th string open instead. You can go out of your head and figure out how to play a piece campanella style all the way (I've heard them do a Bach cello prelude) but campanella can also be used very locally to help you out and make good use of your re-entrant tuning.

Croaky Keith
06-07-2017, 03:16 AM
Yes, campanella is a way of playing on a re entrant tuned uke, do with it as you will, but I don't think there are a lot of tabs out there for it, so you will inevitably have to create your own. I think it is John King that you should have a listen to, & maybe you will get some ideas from that. :)

stevepetergal
06-07-2017, 04:51 AM
The focus of Campanella is legato. The goal is to, as often as possible, play each melody note on a different string than the note before it. This makes the melody line smooth, as you can hold one note over a bit as you pluck the next, rather than stopping the sound in order to fret the next note on the same string, which makes the line choppy.

So, here's what you do with campanella. When following the "fret here, pluck here..." directions, hold each not as long as you can. Pay attention to getting a smooth phrase. This is a bit of an advanced technique, and so requires practice, but it's not out of reach for anyone who really wants to play legato melody, and who concentrates on smoothness and phrasing.

By the way, campanella has nothing to do with re-entrant tuning. Remember, it's originally a guitar style. Some of the tools are different in re-entrant, but I play campanella on my linear ukuleles, all the time.

sculptor
06-07-2017, 11:57 AM
There seems to a reasonable number of campanella tabs out there. For instance the two collections of Celtic Music for Ukulele by Will Bickart. He posted downloading information for both of them on Chords and Tabs.

-- Gary

ukatee
06-07-2017, 12:15 PM
Here's a little Waltz I wrote a while back, it makes use of the Campanella technique.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?107352-Campanella-Waltz-Tab&highlight=campanella+waltz

I can recommend this. It was one of my first downloads from UU and I love it! Thanks, Camsuke :)

ripock
06-07-2017, 01:19 PM
thanks for the responses. It seems to an extent that the purpose of learning campanella is to play the masterful campanella arrangements out there. I was just wondering if there were more general applications. For example, if someone learns the clawhammer style, he or she could then play clawhammer songs. However that person could also take a blues progression and play it with the clawhammer style as opposed to a standard shuffle.

Sharpshin
06-07-2017, 02:04 PM
Here you go. http://jons-ukulele.com
There are quite a lot of scales and songs for free down load, then there is also the book by Jonathan and a face book group. Lovely arrangements. Jon is super responsive to comments and questions.
I thought he was a member of this forum as well, but I may be wrong about that.
Have fun!

sculptor
06-07-2017, 04:36 PM
thanks for the responses. It seems to an extent that the purpose of learning campanella is to play the masterful campanella arrangements out there. I was just wondering if there were more general applications. For example, if someone learns the clawhammer style, he or she could then play clawhammer songs. However that person could also take a blues progression and play it with the clawhammer style as opposed to a standard shuffle.

If you want to acquire the skill of coming up with your own campanella style tabs it might be possible to eventually develop your skill to the point where you can come up with the fingering on the fly... don't expect this to be like picking up a new strum...

ukulelekarcsi
06-08-2017, 05:04 AM
Guitars originally WERE re-entrant, and being in a re-entrant tuning certainly helps playing notes on as many strings as possible. Especially when you only have four strings at your disposal.

John King remarked that it's a seriously technical, prepared, un-intuitive way of playing, so improvising in campanella seems really hard to me; although once you have your fingers going on the basic structure in a campanella style, you can of course embellish it all with improvised rhythmical, harmonical and melodical bits. Playing a song in campanella right off the bat, that's something superhuman, though.

stevepetergal
06-08-2017, 05:21 AM
thanks for the responses. It seems to an extent that the purpose of learning campanella is to play the masterful campanella arrangements out there. I was just wondering if there were more general applications. For example, if someone learns the clawhammer style, he or she could then play clawhammer songs. However that person could also take a blues progression and play it with the clawhammer style as opposed to a standard shuffle.

I finally get your question, ripock.
Campanella is not simply academic, as you seem to be thinking it might be. Whether you play rock, jazz, blues, classical or..., you can use campanella. It's not so a much style as it is a technique. When you want a phrase or scale to be smoother, you can use alternating strings to make them that way. This is a tool you can use any time you want that legato/smooth line. Break it up here, smooth it out there.
Even though there are campanella arrangements and we call it a "style", it's a tool intended to enable you to enhance whatever you're playing. That's what makes it a relatively advanced technique. You use it not to help you play better or faster, really, but to play with more musicality. Once you've effectively digested how it works, I encourage you to look at something you've played a hundred times and see where you might utilize your new campanella capabilities to change just one or two notes. See what you can do with it. It may open up a whole world of possibilities for you.

ukatee
06-08-2017, 06:03 AM
I enjoy playing campanella because I love the way the overlapping tones make it sound like a harp. There is a lovely example here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzPtIVPiuSo) of Wilfried Welti playing some old Irish music, "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls".

ripock
06-08-2017, 07:34 AM
I finally get your question, ripock.
Campanella is not simply academic as you seem to be thinking it might. Whether you play rock, jazz, blues, classical or..., you can use campanella. It's not a so much style as it is a technique. When you want a phrase or scale to be smoother, you can use alternating strings to make them that way. This is a tool you can use any time you want that legato/smooth line. Break it up here, smooth it out there.
Even though there are campanella arrangements, and we call it a "style" it's a tool intended to enable you to enhance whatever you're playing. That's what makes it a relatively advanced technique. You use it not to help you play better or faster, really, but to play with more musicality. Once you've effectively digested how it works, I encourage you to look at something you've played a hundred times and see where you might utilize your new campanella capabilities to change just one or two notes. See what you can do with it. It may open up a whole world of possibilities for you.

thanks for understanding. It is hard enough to express what you know; it is even harder to articulate what you don't know. However I think I now can see my path. I can play the C major scale with the campanella technique. All I have to do take a melody, transpose it to C, and play it with the C campanella versus the usual C scale. I think I will also try my hand at improvising using the campanella C scale to see if I can noodle something dulcet out that way. Lastly I have ordered Tony Mizen's baroque ukulele book. I will give it a try although I find playing other people's music more of a chore than creating something new.

I see your location is posted as Oak Park. I've had more than a few bottles of Old Rasputin at Winberie's. I'll drink the next one in your honor.

Chopped Liver
07-08-2017, 09:20 AM
I enjoy playing campanella because I love the way the overlapping tones make it sound like a harp. There is a lovely example here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzPtIVPiuSo) of Wilfried Welti playing some old Irish music, "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls".

That was lovely! Thanks for posting it!

Chopped Liver
07-08-2017, 09:22 AM
I finally get your question, ripock.
Campanella is not simply academic, as you seem to be thinking it might be. Whether you play rock, jazz, blues, classical or..., you can use campanella. It's not so a much style as it is a technique. When you want a phrase or scale to be smoother, you can use alternating strings to make them that way. This is a tool you can use any time you want that legato/smooth line. Break it up here, smooth it out there.
Even though there are campanella arrangements and we call it a "style", it's a tool intended to enable you to enhance whatever you're playing. That's what makes it a relatively advanced technique. You use it not to help you play better or faster, really, but to play with more musicality. Once you've effectively digested how it works, I encourage you to look at something you've played a hundred times and see where you might utilize your new campanella capabilities to change just one or two notes. See what you can do with it. It may open up a whole world of possibilities for you.

Too hard for a beginner to finger style or just "it's gonna be a lot of work"?

brimmer
07-08-2017, 06:44 PM
I would echo what everyone else said about campanella. I would say it is an intermediate technique, and definitely requires facility with fingerstyle. You have to train your thumb to grab higher melody notes rather than just lower bass notes. This requires a mental adjustment if you are used to playing fingerstyle on a non-reentrant instrument. There are plenty of relatively easy books in the campanella style. I like Rob MacKillop's celtic book. Free tab is around too - my ebooks have some simple tunes.

Chopped Liver
07-09-2017, 01:24 AM
I would echo what everyone else said about campanella. I would say it is an intermediate technique, and definitely requires facility with fingerstyle. You have to train your thumb to grab higher melody notes rather than just lower bass notes. This requires a mental adjustment if you are used to playing fingerstyle on a non-reentrant instrument. There are plenty of relatively easy books in the campanella style. I like Rob MacKillop's celtic book. Free tab is around too - my ebooks have some simple tunes.

Yes, I have already downloaded your two celtic books! Thank you so much for sharing! I am off from work for the next few weeks (school teacher) so I am jumping in to these to get started!

brimmer
07-09-2017, 07:55 AM
A good place for a beginner to start is to simply learn to play arpeggios over chords, using the thumb and two fingers to pick. Play slow at first and use a metronome, and try to get a clear consistent tone with each picking finger. That little exercise will keep you busy for a few weeks, or longer...

OhioBelle
07-09-2017, 08:21 AM
A good place for a beginner to start is to simply learn to play arpeggios over chords, using the thumb and two fingers to pick. Play slow at first and use a metronome, and try to get a clear consistent tone with each picking finger. That little exercise will keep you busy for a few weeks, or longer...

Good advice, brimmer! This is exactly what I am doing. I downloaded Samantha Muir's free Art of Arpeggios, which is nothing but right hand only, no left hand fretting required. I've been working on it for few minutes every day. I also bought her first "Little Book." It's Carulli and very pretty and fun.

Chopped Liver
07-09-2017, 02:24 PM
Good advice, brimmer! This is exactly what I am doing. I downloaded Samantha Muir's free Art of Arpeggios, which is nothing but right hand only, no left hand fretting required. I've been working on it for few minutes every day. I also bought her first "Little Book." It's Carulli and very pretty and fun.

Those are the two books I just bought yesterday.

Good idea, brimmer! Thanks!

Nickie
07-09-2017, 04:05 PM
Good advice, brimmer! This is exactly what I am doing. I downloaded Samantha Muir's free Art of Arpeggios, which is nothing but right hand only, no left hand fretting required. I've been working on it for few minutes every day. I also bought her first "Little Book." It's Carulli and very pretty and fun.

I'm working on Sam Muir's Little Book of Right Hand Arpeggios too! Very interesting. I hope I can become good enough at it to become a regular student. I asked her if she would come to the States and do workshops, and she said Yes, so we all need to promote her to our uke clubs and get some workshops organized, so we can do that! I plan to work on TBUS for it!

It took some reading and picking at it to realize that Campanella is a style, not a genre. I love watching John King and Sam Muir videos. John King was actually one of the very early members of TBUS, but I joined too late to benefit from his talent in person.

stevepetergal
07-10-2017, 02:10 AM
Too hard for a beginner to finger style or just "it's gonna be a lot of work"?

"Hard" is not really a bad thing. The more beautiful or artistic things we do are always the hardest to get. But, they're beautiful and artistic.
As for "it's gonna be a lot of work", I get that. I feel that way about many musical pursuits, playing legato is a labor of love for me. I personally find the results rewarding enough to warrant the time and energy spent.

Chopped Liver
07-10-2017, 08:40 AM
"Hard" is not really a bad thing. The more beautiful or artistic things we do are always the hardest to get. But, they're beautiful and artistic.
As for "it's gonna be a lot of work", I get that. I feel that way about many musical pursuits, I playing legato is a labor of love for me. I personally find the results rewarding enough to warrant the time and energy spent.

And I would totally agree with you! I've never been one to back down from something I wanted to do! I believe hard work on something you love is well worth it! In fact, I would say the journey can be as rewarding as the end result! :)

OhioBelle
07-10-2017, 01:44 PM
And I would totally agree with you! I've never been one to back down from something I wanted to do! I believe hard work on something you love is well worth it! In fact, I would say the journey can be as rewarding as the end result! :)

Totally this! I am absolutely in love with the exercises in her books. They allow focus on the beautiful, pure sound of the instrument. I am not very fast, but I can do it. It is actually relaxing to me, rather than "work." Anyone interested in the style of Campanella should give it a try and not be scared!

And Nickie, if Sam Muir comes to TBUS, I am totally up for a drive down from Ohio! :)

Ziret
07-10-2017, 01:49 PM
I wish we all lived in the same area and could start a Samantha Muir study group.

OhioBelle
07-10-2017, 01:59 PM
I wish we all lived in the same area and could start a Samantha Muir study group.

That would be wonderful!

Chopped Liver
07-11-2017, 03:52 AM
I wish we all lived in the same area and could start a Samantha Muir study group.

Ooo, yeah! Wouldn't that be fun!

Nickie
07-11-2017, 04:52 PM
I wish we all lived in the same area and could start a Samantha Muir study group.

I'm in! So where are we all moving too?

OhioBelle
07-12-2017, 12:45 AM
I'm in! So where are we all moving too?

Ha ha ha!

I just watched some of her YouTube videos on classical guitar. I need to go back and start my life over so I can begin a bit earlier. LOL!

Chopped Liver
07-12-2017, 07:40 AM
Ha ha ha!

I just watched some of her YouTube videos on classical guitar. I need to go back and start my life over so I can begin a bit earlier. LOL!

Me, too!!

And I vote for us moving somewhere cooler than where I am right now!

ripock
07-12-2017, 10:29 AM
I started this thread over a month ago because I was perplexed by the application of campanella technique. Patently campanella is gloriously beautiful and the arrangers are jedi-level, but for me as a player campanella was about as exciting as watching paint dry. One goes measure by measure and practices the "put your finger here, now put your finger there" tabs, and over time you have a beautiful song. But that's all you have after a month invested.

However Muir's books seem promising. Learning campanella arpeggios is something that I could actually import into my own creativity; I could actively do something with them.

Therefore it has taken a little more than a month, but I think I finally have the answer I was groping for. Thanks, everyone.

Ziret
07-12-2017, 03:57 PM
I'm in! So where are we all moving too?

Hawaii? Southern France?

Ziret
07-12-2017, 04:05 PM
I started this thread over a month ago because I was perplexed by the application of campanella technique. Patently campanella is gloriously beautiful and the arrangers are jedi-level, but for me as a player campanella was about as exciting as watching paint dry. One goes measure by measure and practices the "put your finger here, now put your finger there" tabs, and over time you have a beautiful song. But that's all you have after a month invested.

However Muir's books seem promising. Learning campanella arpeggios is something that I could actually import into my own creativity; I could actively do something with them.

Therefore it has taken a little more than a month, but I think I finally have the answer I was groping for. Thanks, everyone.

That describes so many difficult but rewarding learning processes. Were you asking if there's a place it takes you beyond a beautiful song? And if that place is what we think of as a creative art, I guess maybe we won't know till we put the time in. So meanwhile, I think you're right, if you're not enjoying the process, it's not worth it. And you're also right that there are probably crossover applications that could still make it worthwhile. That was an interesting question that I didn't really follow.

bratsche
07-13-2017, 05:36 AM
I've followed this thread with some interest. I've enjoyed the unique sound of campanella-style playing.


The focus of Campanella is legato. The goal is to, as often as possible, play each melody note on a different string than the note before it. This makes the melody line smooth, as you can hold one note over a bit as you pluck the next, rather than stopping the sound in order to fret the next note on the same string, which makes the line choppy.
....
So, here's what you do with campanella. When following the "fret here, pluck here..." directions, hold each not as long as you can. Pay attention to getting a smooth phrase. Remember, it's originally a guitar style.

Coming from an extensive viola/violin background, of course I immediately recognized that much of the music I first learned there and carried over to the plucked instruments has these features already. Smooth bowing technique while crossing the strings is the main thing making achieving a legato sound tricky there, as we already know to hold the notes down with our fingers as long as the bow is moving, or the result isn't pretty ;) Baroque music is full of string crossing passages, and it tends to also be the "style" in which I most often noodle or improvise on my plucked instruments (when I do noodle or improvise). So, lots of "instant campanella" music already abounds. :)


Patently campanella is gloriously beautiful and the arrangers are jedi-level, but for me as a player campanella was about as exciting as watching paint dry. One goes measure by measure and practices the "put your finger here, now put your finger there" tabs, and over time you have a beautiful song. But that's all you have after a month invested.

That pretty much describes generally all tablature, from my viewpoint. I applaud anyone with the fortitude to learn to play an instrument from it. What I find particularly amazing is people who can sight-read from tablature. It's something I would have to decipher carefully, as I find it perplexingly non-intuitive as compared to reading music from a staff. Again, due to the bowed strings, which have no frets to number, we just don't normally think that way when first learning, and in our habits thereafter.


Learning campanella arpeggios is something that I could actually import into my own creativity; I could actively do something with them.

It has made me think about occasionally adding or altering a position shift, so as to produce (or continue) the sound of the overlapping tones. I probably won't use it for more than the occasional effect, though, if it's not already "built into" the music I'm playing. Many melodic lines in fifths-tuning are just too impractical to jump around positionally in order to play on alternating strings, unfortunately. Still, there's been a lot of food for thought in this interesting thread that I'm glad you started.

bratsche

Nickie
07-14-2017, 12:37 PM
" What I find particularly amazing is people who can sight-read from tablature. It's something I would have to decipher carefully, as I find it perplexingly non-intuitive as compared to reading music from a staff."

I actually find sight reading the tabs much easier than reading notes, because I am musically illiterate. Notes on bars just befuddle me, since I stopped playing piano.
We're all different!

Ziret
07-14-2017, 04:24 PM
Me too. I can read music to sing or play flute, but the fretboard seems more complicated.

wwelti
07-14-2017, 11:19 PM
I want to point out that tablature is actually older than notes, especially for stringed instruments. Old notation for lutes was usually written in tablature. And even for an instrument which is called "renaissance guitar" today. One kind of renaissance guitars was very similar to the ukulele, with four courses and with GCEA tuning. Some of the tablatures (for example by Adrian le roy) are suitable for playing with the ukulele without any modification. Those are roughly 500 years old!

So, back then, it was very common to sight-read tablature.

In my opinion, for complex ukulele arrangements, tablatures are extremely helpful, since in some cases you really can't easily find out how they are meant to be played just by looking at the notes. This is partially caused by the re-entrant 4th string of the ukulele, but this is not the only reason IMHO. An ukulele is not a guitar. You can't simply transfer the idea "A good guitar player doesn't need tabs" into "A good ukulele player doesn't need tabs", IMHO.

Edit: I want to add that campanella technique was quite fashionable back then. Quite some of those old instruments had re-entrant tunings.

Best Regards
Wilfried

brimmer
07-15-2017, 01:52 AM
Wilfried is one of my favorite campanella uke players, and I recommend his tab books and his youtube channel. It is nice to see him visit this forum. The style he has developed is quite unique and very beautiful. I won't attempt to characterize it, except to say that his technique of the upward stroke, where the melody is on the high g string, is really effective. I also agree with him that for reentrant instruments, tab is the simplest way to convey the music. John King's book from Mel Bay explains this in the introduction.


I want to point out that tablature is actually older than notes, especially for stringed instruments. Old notation for lutes was usually written in tablature. And even for an instrument which is called "renaissance guitar" today. One kind of renaissance guitars was very similar to the ukulele, with four courses and with GCEA tuning. Some of the tablatures (for example by Adrian le roy) are suitable for playing with the ukulele without any modification. Those are roughly 500 years old!

So, back then, it was very common to sight-read tablature.

In my opinion, for complex ukulele arrangements, tablatures are extremely helpful, since in some cases you really can't easily find out how they are meant to be played just by looking at the notes. This is partially caused by the re-entrant 4th string of the ukulele, but this is not the only reason IMHO. An ukulele is not a guitar. You can't simply transfer the idea "A good guitar player doesn't need tabs" into "A good ukulele player doesn't need tabs", IMHO.

Edit: I want to add that campanella technique was quite fashionable back then. Quite some of those old instruments had re-entrant tunings.

Best Regards
Wilfried

Chopped Liver
07-15-2017, 03:19 AM
I want to point out that tablature is actually older than notes, especially for stringed instruments. Old notation for lutes was usually written in tablature. And even for an instrument which is called "renaissance guitar" today. One kind of renaissance guitars was very similar to the ukulele, with four courses and with GCEA tuning. Some of the tablatures (for example by Adrian le roy) are suitable for playing with the ukulele without any modification. Those are roughly 500 years old!

So, back then, it was very common to sight-read tablature.

In my opinion, for complex ukulele arrangements, tablatures are extremely helpful, since in some cases you really can't easily find out how they are meant to be played just by looking at the notes. This is partially caused by the re-entrant 4th string of the ukulele, but this is not the only reason IMHO. An ukulele is not a guitar. You can't simply transfer the idea "A good guitar player doesn't need tabs" into "A good ukulele player doesn't need tabs", IMHO.

Edit: I want to add that campanella technique was quite fashionable back then. Quite some of those old instruments had re-entrant tunings.

Best Regards
Wilfried

Thank you for this.

Sometimes it seems that people think using tab is like using training wheels on a bike. They think it is something you should "grow out of". Knowing it was used before notes is affirming. I read music and play by notes on the piano. But tab makes fingerstyle so much easier.

Besides, what is the big deal? Either tab or notes are basically the same thing: a way to help you know where the tone is so that you can produce music.

Chopped Liver
07-15-2017, 03:26 AM
Wilfried is one of my favorite campanella uke players, and I recommend his tab books and his youtube channel. It is nice to see him visit this forum. The style he has developed is quite unique and very beautiful. I won't attempt to characterize it, except to say that his technique of the upward stroke, where the melody is on the high g string, is really effective. I also agree with him that for reentrant instruments, tab is the simplest way to convey the music. John King's book from Mel Bay explains this in the introduction.

Thanks! I have his solo ukulele book. I will look for others and check out youtube. :)

brimmer
07-15-2017, 04:42 AM
I like the celtic one, with the O'Carolan tunes...


Thanks! I have his solo ukulele book. I will look for others and check out youtube. :)

bratsche
07-15-2017, 05:39 AM
Besides, what is the big deal? Either tab or notes are basically the same thing: a way to help you know where the tone is so that you can produce music.

Agreed. It's admirable that you can read both notation and tab equally. But it certainly depends a great deal on how one's brain has been wired. I'm aware of the history of tab, and do not think of it like "training wheels". It is simply arcane to me, and something I have no use for at this point in life, and therefore no interest in learning.

On the subject of brain wiring... having learned violin as a child, to this day, I'm never actually aware (without stopping to count them) which "numbered" frets I'm ever on when playing a fretted instrument, rather, I just get around fretboards the same way as I get around unfretted boards when playing bowed instruments. Essentially, that's all by feel, as in tactile perception. By this time, I know where a certain interval is going to be relative to the length of fingerboard, as I have many different ones I switch between, it's all the same ratios when compared to the whole, and my brain adjusts for scale lengths accordingly. My default modus operandi is to ignore the existence of the frets altogether, though. Except if I accidentally step on one. :o

It's for the same reason that I find it very difficult to mentally process chord symbols (I mean those thingies that look like little grids with dots.) For one thing, I instinctively see "dots" as notes on a staff, for another, I don't "see" the frets at all in my mind (as previously noted). And also, the darned grids are oriented in the wrong direction for me. That is to say that even if I concentrate on them, while in the act of playing, my mind doesn't imagine the fretboard as an observer on the outside would look at it standing up vertically. My brain sort of "sees" it from the backside of my left hand, looking out. LOL Okay, I never really verbalized these things before now, but there you go....

Bottom line, do whatever works. ;)

bratsche

Chopped Liver
07-15-2017, 07:16 AM
Well, let me clarify: I can read notes on a staff when I play the piano or recorder. I cannot read notes on a staff and transfer it to the ukulele. That's why I use tab.

sopher
07-15-2017, 08:07 AM
<< Patently campanella is gloriously beautiful and the arrangers are jedi-level, but for me as a player campanella was about as exciting as watching paint dry. One goes measure by measure and practices the "put your finger here, now put your finger there" tabs, and over time you have a beautiful song. But that's all you have after a month invested. >>

You're a funny, funny guy. I guess every symphony musician in the world is doing it wrong.

Ziret
07-15-2017, 09:03 AM
I knew if we banged on about this long enough Wilfried wouldn't be able to resist joining in.

Interesting observations, Bratsche. Do you have the same ease of sight reading if your instruments aren't tuned in fifths?

When I first started reading tab it was like a really hard crossword puzzle. In fact, that's one reason I stuck with it--wanting to exercise my brain. It's still hard, but has become more like Sudoku.

bratsche
07-15-2017, 10:05 AM
Interesting observations, Bratsche. Do you have the same ease of sight reading if your instruments aren't tuned in fifths?

I'm sure I would not - that's one of the main reasons I tune them all in fifths. I just want to play music, not decipher it. ;)

bratsche

Tootler
07-16-2017, 02:35 AM
On the subject of brain wiring... having learned violin as a child, to this day, I'm never actually aware (without stopping to count them) which "numbered" frets I'm ever on when playing a fretted instrument, rather, I just get around fretboards the same way as I get around unfretted boards when playing bowed instruments. Essentially, that's all by feel, as in tactile perception. By this time, I know where a certain interval is going to be relative to the length of fingerboard, as I have many different ones I switch between, it's all the same ratios when compared to the whole, and my brain adjusts for scale lengths accordingly. My default modus operandi is to ignore the existence of the frets altogether, though. Except if I accidentally step on one. :o

It's for the same reason that I find it very difficult to mentally process chord symbols (I mean those thingies that look like little grids with dots.) For one thing, I instinctively see "dots" as notes on a staff, for another, I don't "see" the frets at all in my mind (as previously noted). And also, the darned grids are oriented in the wrong direction for me. That is to say that even if I concentrate on them, while in the act of playing, my mind doesn't imagine the fretboard as an observer on the outside would look at it standing up vertically. My brain sort of "sees" it from the backside of my left hand, looking out. LOL Okay, I never really verbalized these things before now, but there you go....

Bottom line, do whatever works. ;)

bratsche

I get where you're coming from. I play harmonica and, though I can play them from dots if need be, I prefer to play by ear. It's about knowing where to move the instrument through your mouth. I listen to the tune and try to match what I hear in the same way as I would if I was singing. If I do have dots In front of me, I use them more to see the shape of the melody and at critical points whether I need to start a phrase with a blow or a draw note.

As to ukulele, I took it up to accompany myself singing so I focussed on chords and mostly either strum or finger pick arpeggios. I find chord diagrams useful though I'm quite happy with simple letter names for chords.

Campanella seems ideally suited to fiddle tunes as the style is mainly legato. The few occasions when I have played some melody, I have based my approach on Campanella.

Nickie
07-18-2017, 05:57 PM
Well, let me clarify: I can read notes on a staff when I play the piano or recorder. I cannot read notes on a staff and transfer it to the ukulele. That's why I use tab.

Me too. The notes make sense at the piano, but not at all on the uke. Tabs wouldn't be worth a damn on the piano (I actually thought about trying this, I must be losing it).
I think reading tabs AND notes would be like being bi-lingual, maybe?

Chopped Liver
07-19-2017, 01:20 AM
Me too. The notes make sense at the piano, but not at all on the uke. Tabs wouldn't be worth a damn on the piano (I actually thought about trying this, I must be losing it).
I think reading tabs AND notes would be like being bi-lingual, maybe?

Yes, I agree. Good analogy.

Tabs for piano?! Gosh, that makes my head hurt! 87 14 32 24 67 . . . :p

Ukecaster
07-19-2017, 09:45 AM
Me too. The notes make sense at the piano, but not at all on the uke. Tabs wouldn't be worth a damn on the piano (I actually thought about trying this, I must be losing it).
I think reading tabs AND notes would be like being bi-lingual, maybe?

Dunno about bilingual, but I'd give my left arm to be ambi-dextrous ��

Chopped Liver
07-19-2017, 11:56 AM
Dunno about bilingual, but I'd give my left arm to be ambi-dextrous ��

Wait. If you give your left arm, you won't be able to be ambidextrous. :p

Ukecaster
07-19-2017, 02:34 PM
Yah, must be my wicked weird Boston sense of humah.

Chopped Liver
07-19-2017, 03:14 PM
Yah, must be my wicked weird Boston sense of humah.

:p

.........

Tootler
07-19-2017, 10:23 PM
Me too. The notes make sense at the piano, but not at all on the uke. Tabs wouldn't be worth a damn on the piano (I actually thought about trying this, I must be losing it).
I think reading tabs AND notes would be like being bi-lingual, maybe?

Some the earliest tab, dating from the Middle Ages is for organ and it carried on being used until the baroque era. Much of Bach's organ music was available in tablature.

Organ tablature used letters to indicate the key to press (and hence, the note to play) with various additional symbols to indicate octave, duration and accidentals though in the early time the only "accidental" was for Bb and is the origin of the German convention of B representing Bb and H representing Bnat (I think I have it the right way round). Later organ tablature included notation for the top part and tablature for the lower parts.

A modern near equivalent is ABC notation used by folk musicians to share fiddle tunes but that is really a way of writing down pitches and includes a convention for indicating duration as well. It's inventor, Chris Walshaw devised it as a way of quickly writing down tunes he heard in an ordinary notebook. There are now thousands of tunes available online written down in ABC notation.

Chopped Liver
07-20-2017, 01:05 AM
That is very interesting! Sounds similar to the old electric chord organ I had as a child (I loved that thing)! The music was just letters like you say.

Croaky Keith
07-20-2017, 01:59 AM
@ Tootler (Geoff)

I often wondered why there was a bracketed 'H' on 'harp' charts.

I also scribble/write notes down by their letter, & use superscript & subscript to indicate octaves different to the C4/middle C octave, when practicing my chromatic harmonica.
(I'm using that form whilst I try & speed up my notation reading.)

Tootler
07-20-2017, 10:41 AM
@ Tootler (Geoff)

I often wondered why there was a bracketed 'H' on 'harp' charts.

I also scribble/write notes down by their letter, & use superscript & subscript to indicate octaves different to the C4/middle C octave, when practicing my chromatic harmonica.
(I'm using that form whilst I try & speed up my notation reading.)

<Thread Drift>
Here's a link to the ABC notation website: http://abcnotation.com

It's a fully worked out system and there is plenty of software to turn it into standard notation. I use MuseScore for that purpose. The plugin comes as standard in MuseScore 2.
</Thread Drift>

Nickie
07-20-2017, 05:04 PM
Wait. If you give your left arm, you won't be able to be ambidextrous. :p

Ha ha Jan, he got you! I don't blame you for sticking out your tongue at him....

Chopped Liver
07-21-2017, 12:24 AM
Ha ha Jan, he got you! I don't blame you for sticking out your tongue at him....

Yeah, he's a sneaky one. We'd better keep an eye on him . . .;)

stevepetergal
08-31-2017, 03:05 AM
I want to point out that tablature is actually older than notes, especially for stringed instruments. Old notation for lutes was usually written in tablature. And even for an instrument which is called "renaissance guitar" today. One kind of renaissance guitars was very similar to the ukulele, with four courses and with GCEA tuning. Some of the tablatures (for example by Adrian le roy) are suitable for playing with the ukulele without any modification. Those are roughly 500 years old!

So, back then, it was very common to sight-read tablature.

In my opinion, for complex ukulele arrangements, tablatures are extremely helpful, since in some cases you really can't easily find out how they are meant to be played just by looking at the notes. This is partially caused by the re-entrant 4th string of the ukulele, but this is not the only reason IMHO. An ukulele is not a guitar. You can't simply transfer the idea "A good guitar player doesn't need tabs" into "A good ukulele player doesn't need tabs", IMHO.

Edit: I want to add that campanella technique was quite fashionable back then. Quite some of those old instruments had re-entrant tunings.

Best Regards
Wilfried

Wilfred, everything you say is right. It is clear, in the style of your arrangements, that tabulature works great for you. It works very well for most of us. Then again, we have a grand exception. James Hill uses standard music notation, and teaches using no tabs whatsoever. (Or, are you and I the exception?)

Ziret
08-31-2017, 06:32 AM
Wilfred, everything you say is right. It is clear, in the style of your arrangements, that tabulature works great for you. It works very well for most of us. Then again, we have a grand exception. James Hill uses standard music notation, and teaches using no tabs whatsoever. (Or, are you and I the exception?)
I'm looking at sheet music from my online James Hill lessons right now and it is regular notation on the first line, tab on the second.