I'm curious, how are you thinking about these tunes?
Are you playing AEAE for tunes that are normally played on only the A & E - so playing the tune regular & then lower?
Are you playing ADAE for tunes that are normally played on D & A, then using the lower A & the E for droning?
...or something different?
"- My brain is clearly unable to manage the conflict between written notes (in GDAE) and a fiddle tuned otherwise. So I must rely upon my ear -- not a bad thing!"
HAHA... YEAH I tried the same thing in a couple of tunes and ran into the same.
I know Ive mentioned it on the forum but not sure in reply to you... Rayna Gelert has a great webpage with alot of free play by ear..no talking or any dots..cross tuned fiddle tunes in the manner that she plays them. Has a fast, medium, slow, and i think speed adjustment built in. You should check it out if your fiddlin' with cross tuning.
ELCBK There are some A tunes that can be mostly played on the top pair of strings and then mirrored on the bottom pair, (e.g.Cripple Creek). But those are more the exception than the rule, and that is not what I’m looking for.
I’m trying to play the music as naturally and fully as I can, taking advantage of accessible double-stops, drones and open-string resonances that can enrich the relationships among the notes and the overall sound. An example is Happy Hollow, which is played on the bottom three strings. It is necessary to make some fingering adjustments on the bottom strings, but they come easily with a little practice. If I inadvertently revert to the old GDAE patterns it is very obvious -- it sounds bad so it is easily corrected the next time through.
D tunes are even easier. In ADAE there is only one string raised. One of my current favs is Sal's Got Mud Between Her Toes, with notes ranging from high A on the top string in the B part to low A on the open bottom string in the C part. (All in first position, of course!)
I hope this makes sense and is responsive to your question, Emily. I tried to upload the scores for these two tunes, but I’m not at all sure I got the technology right. In any event, I do NOT use the written music for cross tuned music as that could cause serious and potentially irreversible brain damage, haha.
And Stringy, that’s a great video. Specker is truly amazing, a very intense guy. I do believe he has his voltage turned up to 11...
Thanks - yes, I understand. I haven't had any trouble lowering just ONE string (lowest), especially after played through a few times, so I'd probably be okay if I only lowered my E string, like for some cajun tunes 🤔... I think I'd have severe problems if I had to change my lowest AND my highest string, though.
Yeah, I'd forget about the dots & just watch someone play - at least I see there are YT tutorials available (if anyone else is interested)!
Stick with it - I think it will will become second nature to you before you know it!
...think getting the shuffle bowing down helps.
And moving from GDAE to ADAE was a simple switch, affecting only the lowest notes of the C part. That also makes it good training to build fluency with the raised bottom string. And it is fun to play, with the middle high and low A B C parts. I like hearing and feeling the low-to-high range of the fiddle (even though I’m just a first position player).
And your are correct, Emily: shuffle bowing enlivens everything and does a nice job of drawing attention away from my mistakes, haha!
An interesting aspect to all of this is that I wonder if I am committing myself to always playing D tunes in ADAE and never in standard. The retuning itself is not an issue, but I fear that my brain and muscle memory might not be able to handle playing the same tune both ways -- it could be terminally confusing!
On the other hand, I can move seamlessly between English and Spanish without thinking, so maybe I’ll surprise myself.
Anyway, it is good that Fiddling is not a Life & Death endeavor...
Ive got that version in my playlists too @Strabo! Another good one, if not even better. It for sure is for the view.
I guess the muscle memory thing with learning a tune in cross vs standard is a point. BUT.. if you play the tune you play it so why switch? It would just be the hassel of retuning and you already know thats gonna happen for the banjos so its probably not as big a deal as it may seem.