Saturday, August 24, 2013

Lesson Five: Humours of Tulla

I picked another easy tune for you to learn, this time the Humours of Tulla.  this is not only an easy tune, but it is well known and can be played a lot of ways depending on how you want to ornament it.  It sounds good played slowly or fast - but unless you are in a beginner's session, it will be played fast.

Here are the ABCs which you can plug into the Concertina site converter:

X: 1
T:The Humours of Tulla
C:Arranged by Michael Keyes
fe|d2 Ad BdAB|d2 fd edBc|d2 Ad BdAd|cdef g2 :|
fg| af f2 df f2|af f2 ge e2|af f2 dfed|(3Bcd ef g3 ^g|
af f2 dfef|af f2 ge e2 af f2 dfed cdef g2 |>|

This tune is in the key of D and is only played on the A and E strings.  I use a four finger guitar style when I play and this tune fits well with this paradigm.  You can use any left hand style that suits you and it will still sound good.

Start out slowly until you learn the tune.  Don't be afraid to make mistakes, you'll get it eventually, and remember that much of this and any tune is either ornamentation or variation.  Below is a video that will try and show the basic skeleton of the tune and how it can be played.  I never play this tune the same way each time and will substitute different passing notes.  The important thing is to play those notes that make the tune, primarily the D, G, and A notes at the right time and the other notes, while required in some form only emphasize the main ones.

I like to sing the tunes either in my head or out loud.  This enables me to use another way to learn the tune and it lets me learn the feel of the tune since I have been a singer all my life.  I'll play new tunes on the whistle at times before I play them on the banjo.  Mostly I just listen to the music on youtube or CDs if I happen to have them

If you listen to other sources you will find that there are many versions of a tune.  I usually pick the one I like and put it in The Amazing Slowdowner in order to learn it note for note.  Once I have the tune, I try other ways to play it.  I'll take it to our weekly session where it will crash and burn most of the time but that is all part of learning to play the tune, especially in the stress environment of a session.

Here is a video of me playing the tune slowly, etc.

Mike Keyes

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