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A tune with a strange ryhthm
Struggling with this strathspey/march
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
Little Prairie Girl
Midwest, USA
May 10, 2021 - 12:26 pm
Member Since: November 18, 2020
Forum Posts: 17
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I learned this tune, Cali's Wedding, a couple weeks ago from a free online lesson by the composer, but I'm struggling a bit with the rhythm.... Does anyone have any helpful comments/suggestions???

May 10, 2021 - 1:01 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 4174
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Hi, @Little Prairie Girl,

Maybe this video version will help:

Cali’s Wedding

The Bumblebee Flies!

Little Prairie Girl
Midwest, USA
May 10, 2021 - 1:07 pm
Member Since: November 18, 2020
Forum Posts: 17
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Mouse, thank you, that's the video I learned from... having a hard time putting it into practice. The Rhythm doesn't quite seem like other Strathspeys I've learned especially in the later 2nd part.... Or maybe its' just me :)


May 10, 2021 - 1:41 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 2674
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Im not familar with what a strathspey rhythm should be but to my ear youre playing this exactly like the video mouse shared so if it was me Id be happy.  Maybe instead of playing like you learned it play it like youve learned a strathspey and see how it sounds?  idk.. but you sound great so if it was me id be happy..lol  good job!  one note..on the lesson video it also notes it as strathspey/march so can it be played either way and she is llaying it as a march?  i didnt watch far enough to listen to the instruction so she may say.  again..great job!


May 10, 2021 - 5:08 pm
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 1725
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Little Prairie Girl

You sound very good,

I believe if you want to emulate Hanneke Cassel's feel, watch her bow distribution she is using a lot more bow than you are. Might try that and see if it give you the pulse your looking for.


Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

Sacramento, California

May 10, 2021 - 11:02 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1443
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Your rhythm sounds almost spot-on. Maybe a slightly rushed beat here and there, but you basically have it.

What makes it a bit tricky is that Hanneke Cassel plays it with more of a cut-time (2/2) feel. For me it even seems a bit easier to follow if I think of longer half-note beats rather than quarter-note beats.


May 11, 2021 - 1:21 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5014
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@Little Prairie Girl - I edited this post.



Your playing is BEAUTIFUL! 



Since you learned this from her video tutorials, you already know how Hanneke Cassel plays it. 😊

My opinion - this tune she wrote is tough because it's a little more subtle and gentle - she says "it's between a March and a Strathspey" at the beginning of the Basic Melody Tutorial.  I think it kinda bounces back and forth, but I'd have to look closer, because the sheet music she provides for this free lesson (in memory of her friend Cali) helps direct you by the dotted notes - the rhythm is not even like a reel is - not easy to make this sound like a strathspey.

But I REALLY like how you played this! 
Your playing has a wonderful flow to it! 


I ❤ strathspeys - love Hanneke's tutorials and workshops.  In general, (my opinion) she places a lot of emphasis on her "Scottish Snap", sometimes with her "Scrunch", and exaggerates heavy beats. 

Hanneke has a great, older tutorial from 2009 which may be of interest to you - she shows differences between Scottish Strathspeys & Cape Breton Strathspeys.  "Hanneke Cassel: playing Strathspeys and a newly composed reel" (start it at 1:54).  You can find it here.


You can always interpret a tune, put your own twist on it, even just drop the "strathspey" from the title, if you want... no explanations needed. (lol) 

Thank you for sharing your wonderful performance!

Black Cat Red Heart Smiley ...wish I always spelled strathspey right. (lol) 

- Emily

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