Lessons 5 & 6 – Highlander jig

Lessons 5 & 6 – Highlander jig

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Lesson 5

1. Jig
– is a dance tune in time signature of 6/8
– pulse : on 1 and 4 beat
– jig is called Highlander’s Jig
– very common tune
– in Key of A-ish -> A minor and A major together –> mode A Mixolydian : G sharp is turned to G natural — Mixolydian Mode : Flat Seventh
– Mixolydian mode is the bagpipe mode – bagpipe has 9 notes in a mixolydian scale –> reason for so many great tunes

2. Breakdown A
– pickup is on D
– see sound files

3. Breakdown B
– pick of G# instead of G natural
– !! when going back to A
– First phrase :  pick up in G# – Long – short
– Second Phrase : start similarly but end with the high B

4. Bowing
– Cape Breton made up out of mainly single stroke bowing – specially true in the case for jigs
– just attention to pick up of phrases
– start with pickup in a up bow – last is in a V
– beginning in the following phrase als in a V – !!!no slurring between the two – last and pick up note as indicating the end of the phrase
– picks of b-part the same as for the A-part
—> last note of phrase is in a V and pickups are played in V but never slurred together

(16:25) 5. Harmony – Arpeggios
by learning arpeggios – think an play in frames on the fingerboard – Frames ==! chords on a mandolin
Learn A major (1) – G major (7) – D major (4)
A Major – A C# E  A1

G Major – G B D G1

D Major – D F# A D1

A phrase can be thought of as a phrase – and larger – a sequence of frames
Leave fingers on the fingerboard as long as possible
Instead of individual notes think about notes

where are the shapes in B-part (26:25)


Lesson 6

1. Fingered Embellishment
1.1. Percussive grace note – come from above
– typical grace note – note – grace note and back to note
– grace note is very short and comes very percussive
– this grace note is played first – this sound more percussive
– A-part – first spot at the beginning of the second phrase – the d is played before the C# in measure 3 – more plucking the string than just putting the finger lineair on the string
– also in the Measure 4 and 7
– B-part

1.2. grace comes from below
– it is more a carry over
– B-part – pick up is G# – in measure 1 a A is played but it starts with the G# than followed with the melody note A – you can also play a G natural as a variation.
– give character to the leading note
– very much used in cape breton music

1.3. involves a drone (9:00)
– use the 4 finger instead of open a or e
– when playing on the a string to play an e it is played on the A-string with the 4 finger and droned with open e string

1.4. drone slur on the C and E in the second last measure of the A-part (14:15)
it is not played note by note in a slur but actually start with C# – drone slur immediately with the open E – time wise it is not C#8 E8 C8 but more C#32< E8..> C8 or you could say that you start it with a c# as a long grace note to the droned open E. –> in combination with playing with the drone on the open E and E on the a-string

1.5. Warebole
– play the melody note – take of the finger and bring back to melody note
– very percussive
– b-part : start on the g and end on the g – just one revolution


  1. String Crossing

Lesson 6 highlander’s jig
2. Coordination verweek bowing and fingering
Both should in sync and at the same time
– common problem comes when things are not moving in sync with each other
– solution
— slow things down
— make sure the bow is ready before striking
— only strike the bow when the left hand fingers are set
“see exercise from Hans Cammaert”
— set left finger then set the bow then strik the bow
— this is also valid for string crossing
— for string crossing also slow down
—- see last part of phrases in the tune

  1. Articulation

– Add presure to the bow
– To add presure lean into the bow with arm not with hand
– see excercise of Hans cammaert
—place the bow
—build pressure/energy
—envisage the movement
—strike the bow and stop.

  1. Bow grip
    Play With hand and wrist as moving the bow only with arm Will slowdown your playing
    Flexible hand and wrist is important
    Grip the bow in a relaxed but firm way
By |2018-09-09T20:40:51+00:00September 9th, 2018|Personal Notes|0 Comments

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