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Thread: What to do with campanella?

  1. #1
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    Default What to do with campanella?

    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?

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    I love that type of pasta!
    John

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    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.

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    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.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  5. #5
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    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.
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  6. #6
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    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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camsuke View Post
    Here's a little Waltz I wrote a while back, it makes use of the Campanella technique.
    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...mpanella+waltz
    I can recommend this. It was one of my first downloads from UU and I love it! Thanks, Camsuke
    Latecomer to uke but loving it! Baton Rouge U108S soprano, Kiwaya KS-5 soprano, Uluru II concert, Clearwater UCW7R/PU Roundback Concert, Firefly soprano banjolele, tenor Barockulele with low G

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    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.

  9. #9
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    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.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    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...

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