Pickers Circle 9 Dec

Theme: I got rhythm?

I got a question about strumming the other day and I realized that there is a lot to this topic that I don’t know so I thought an evening devoted to the topic would be in order.

For a dancer the basic rhythms are Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep and Tango. The more adventurous can try swing/jive, Cha-cha, rhumba and samba. Each of these has an associated time signature and tempo and a count for the basic step. How many examples can we play in a circle?

Guitarists starting out can stick to 4/4 time, think foxtrot or twostep count 1 2 3 4. Waltz time, 3/4, would be next then the fast waltz in 6/8. For me the best way to keep time has been using a metronome and tapping my foot. This is harder than it seems but worth practicing.

Pickers Circle – Nov. 25

Open Tunings with Stoo Born.

Doors open 3 pm — Session ends at 5:00 pm

Session Highlights on Youtube. Click here.

mailto: Charles@westrc.com for the Zoom link

This session features Open Tunings. but that’s only a suggestion, people play what they please or make requests in the circle. Questions and comments are always welcome. Use the chat or send e-mail.

Stoo Born from Music and More on Main will demonstrate some open tunings and show beginner/intermediate players how to re-tune their guitar. A digital tuner is a nice thing to have handy.

Pickers who wish to play should know something about Zoom:

  1. You must enable Original Sound
  2. You need to prefix your Zoom name with a number. Pick a number from 1-100 and try not to have the same number as your neighbor. We use these numbers to go around the circle.
  3. Ear buds/phones are a good idea — they prevent echo on some systems.
  4. If you have technical difficulties contact me anytime offline. I’m here to help.

If you just came to listen don’t bother with a number and you won’t be asked to play. Following the demonstration we will break into learning and listening groups.

Beginners should review Chromatic and Diatonic scales but this is not a prerequisite.

Pickers Circle – Nov. 11

Doors open 7 pm — Session ends at 9:30 pm

Session Highlights on Youtube. Click here.

mailto: Charles@westrc.com for the Zoom link

This session features Bluegrass but that’s only a suggestion. I will go through Doc Watson’s — Doc’s Guitar for beginner/intermediate players. Video

Doc’s Guitar is a very fast classic that every fingerpicker should know how to play. The good news is that chords are quite simple and the right hand is mostly the fast banjo roll we learned at the end of Freight Train. The bad news is that full speed is 160 bpm and I’ll be surprised if anyone can play it at that speed. More good news; it sounds pretty good at half speed.

A Section — Chord shapes are C, Am, F , G and G7. The chords change every quarter note. At 60 bpm this is once a second. This is a great left hand study. The right hand is mostly just T, m , T , i. Thumb, middle, Thumb, index. We play the melody by stressing the Thumb playing the root of each Chord. C, A, F, G and if those notes are all you play, you can play along with Doc Watson at 160 bpm. Playing all the notes at 60 bpm means 4 notes a second — quite possible .

B Section — Chords are C, F, G — There is a pull-off in the C chord that is a challenge but very good for improving left hand strength and co-ordination. The melody moves to the higher strings.

C Section — Chords are E/E7, Am/Am7, D7, G7 is just a nice bluesy passage. Play the chord then add the 7th. It’s all in first position. Easy at 60 bpm but gets harder as you speed up.

If some just wish to play and listen we can break into two or three groups.

Beginners should review Chromatic and Diatonic scales but this is not a prerequisite.

Pickers Circle – Oct. 28

Doors open 3 pm — Session ends at 5 pm

Session Highlights on Youtube. Click here.

mailto: Charles@westrc.com for the Zoom link

This session features Train songs but that’s only a suggestion. I will go through Liz Cotton’s Freight Train as a basic introduction to Travis Picking for beginner/intermediate players. Chord shapes are C Em F and G and G7. If someone wants to do it in A we can do that.

135 & 6 & 7 8
CG7 G7
Freight Trainfreight trainrun so fastg a b
G G C
Freight trainfreight traingoin’ so fastc b b flt
Em Em7F F
Please don’tsay what train I’m on So
…………CC GGC
They won’t know whereI’m gone

If some just wish to play and listen we can break into two groups.

Beginners should review Chromatic and Diatonic scales but this is not a prerequisite.

Pickers Circle — Oct. 14

Doors open 7:00 pm Party starts at 7:30 pm

Session Video

Joe Turner

E 2 B7 4
—- They
E 2 3 4 E 2 3 4E 2 3 4E 2 E7 4
tell me JoeTurner’s come and gone —- They
A 2 3 4A 2 3 4E 2 3 4E 2 3 4
tell me Joe Turner’s come and gone
B7 2 3 4 B7 2 3 4 E 2 A7 4E 2 B7 4
Got myman andgone ———He
came out with40 links of chain—- He
came out with 40 links of chain
got my man andgone — They
tell me JoeTurner’s come andgone—- They
tell me JoeTurner’s come andgone—- Done
left me hereto sing this song—- Come
like henever come before—- Come
like he never come before
Got myman andgone
A 12 Bar Blues

Vision 2030

VISION 2030 Workshop: Thanks to everyone who sent in their replies to the question: What is one experience connected with the Folk that really stands out for you? Why? We’ve received some great stories and would love to hear from more of you Folk enthusiasts! We’ve extended the response window to Sunday Aug 9th – please reply to: vanfolksong@gmail.com  and put ‘VISION 2030’ in the subject line.

Cheerful Songs for Trying Times 5

Casting about for a way to share some of the good cheer and community that we experience at our Folk Song Society Wednesday evenings, I came upon a recording of a full songcircle that I made back on April Fool’s Day, 2015. Since our songcircle that would have taken place on April 1 would have been on a similar theme, it seems appropriate to share selections from that recording now.

Here is Rick Pollay singing the Wompom song from our Parodies and Silly Songs night.

Cheerful Songs for Trying Times 4

Casting about for a way to share some of the good cheer and community that we experience at our Folk Song Society Wednesday evenings, I came upon a recording of a full songcircle that I made back on April Fool’s Day, 2015. Since our songcircle that would have taken place tonight (April 1) would have been on a similar theme, it seems appropriate to share selections from that recording now.

Here is John Neilson singing his song from our Parodies and Silly Songs night.

Multi Track Video

The video edit on this clip is pretty good. I suspect they are using ProTools which is pretty expensive and they are pros.   

We can achieve the same effect as follows:

  1. Create a click track on an mp3 file.    Sound recorder and a metronome will serve.
  2. Each musician records the song using whatever they have to create an mp4.   A smart phone on a tripod works pretty well.  Count the start in 1 2 3 4 to sync the tracks.  We cut this out of the final production.
  3. We pick the most likely version and each listen to it while re-recording our own part.
  4. The tracks are mixed into a video using LightWorks or ShotCut.  
  5. We could post the individual .mp4s on vfss.ca  so we don’t need to email huge video files.

 The mix is the big job I think I can do it in a day or so.   I’ve created a demo with SHOTCUT, just me playing two videos rhythm and lead side by side.  When you see it remember I don’t play all that well but the video and sound quality is pretty good.   The video shows the process for creating the combined track which is the last part of the presentation.   Two tracks are harder than one but three or four will not be that much more difficult.

Multi Track Video Demo