Friday, 29 November 2019

The Kindness of Thwaite


Hello!
This is the second pair of the waltzes by Jonny Dyer from the new album. The Kindness of Thwaite, for our friends and old neighbours Ron and Gina. Nothing tricky about this tune at all - just lots of loveliness!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 22 November 2019

Waltz for Shari

Hello!
This week and next week are two waltzes from the album. This week it is a tune we have decided to dedicate to our friend and fellow nyckelharpa player Shari, who sadly left us too soon last month. We hope she would have loved it.
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 15 November 2019

Caucasia Contra

Hello!
It's another track that we're recording this week. This is Caucasia Contra. Jonny wrote this inspired by the chords and music from the Russian region of Caucasia. It's a great track, but tricky to get up to the speed of 120 beats per minute (contra speed!) So I decided this week was the week to talk about metronome practise. I use this all the time to bring music up to speed. Playing with a metronome can be tricky. It doesn't wait for you at all, so to make it work you have to start playing the piece with the metronome really, really slowly! So there are two videos this week, the usual video where I play the piece slowly  and then sneak out an album clip for you to hear. The second video is where you can come with me on my metronome journey to get this tune up from 88 beats per minute to 120. You can play along with me each step up the metronome. Good luck!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 8 November 2019

Darkside

Hello!
It's the third contra dance tune from the first track of the album this week. This is called Darkside, mostly because it's in the minor key written by Jonny Dyer. It's a great track and really kicks along. As with the other two tunes when this is played for contra it needs to go at a cracking 120 bpm. So it'll need a lot of practise to bring it up to speed!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 1 November 2019

Rocking Roquefort

Hello!
This is the second tune from the new album that we're in the middle of recording just now. It's another contra dance tune written by Jonny Dyer. It's a great little groovy tune so enjoy! Again I snuck in a little preview from the album at the end.
:))
Vicki

Friday, 25 October 2019

Marvelous Meg

Hello!
We are in the middle of a month of recording at the moment and we're working very hard to try to get an album out by New Years Eve. It's going to be a tough call and we're not sure we're going to manage it, but we can try! It's an album of dance tunes, specifically contra dance, so it's all quite fast and grooving and everything on it is written by Jonny Dyer.

 For the next little while I'm going to be teaching tunes from this album, so this blog will be a little bit like a sneak preview of the album - but shhhh, it's a secret!! At the end of the track there I've managed to sneak out of the studio a short extract of this tune with (draft) backing.

Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 18 October 2019

Polkette

Hello!
It's another silverbasharpa tune this week. A polkette. I play it quite steadily in the video. It's quite a jolly little tune, so have fun with it!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 11 October 2019

CrabStretch

Hello!
This week we have a tune/exercise that I wrote as an introduction to the concept of extending the fingers to go and down the keys and also of crabbing. It's relatively simple, but is a good introduction! To get the finger correct, watch the video!
Just remember my two key concepts:
• Zen notes, make each note more beautiful than the last
• Be accurate with your fingers!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 4 October 2019

Kalle Ågrens Vals

Hello!
I learnt this tune from the playing of Lars Wahlund. I'm on a mission to learn lots and lots of silverbasharpa tunes. This tune was taught to me as being written by Kalle Ågren, who was the original owner of my silverbasharpa, it feels like an honour to be playing this tune on this instrument! (The tune does sound a bit like another tune that I don't think was written by Kalle, so maybe it should really just be after rather than by? If I'm corrected I'll update this page!!)
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 27 September 2019

Fätemyrsvalsen

Hello!
It's time for a silverbasharpa tune. This is tune I got from the playing of Lars Wahlund, the gentleman that I bought this lovely silverbasharpa from.
Thank you Lars!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 20 September 2019

Polska efter Pål Karl Persson

Hello!
It's the third Moraharpa video and it's yet another tune that I learnt from Anders Norudde. (Yup, he's amazing!) Again I recommend getting this album Nyckelharpa Nu och Då!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 13 September 2019

Brudmarsch efter Täpp Erik Andersson

Hello!
It's the second Moraharpa tune and it's another tune I learnt from the amazing Anders Norrude. I highly recommend getting the album Nyckelharpa Nu och Då! I had a request for this tune a while back and under a different title from one of the Hedingarna albums. There it's called Täppmarschen. Täpp Erik Andersson himself was from Noret in Mora and was born in 1872.
When I taught this at Halsway it was remarked that it was quite like Eric Sahlström's Karolinermarschen - but as that was written in 1979 there's no doubt as to which came first. They're both great tunes.
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 6 September 2019

Fotspårens Marsch

Hello!
It's time for some more Moraharpa tunes. So I'm going to do a few weeks of Moraharpa tunes. This is a groovy little tune that goes well on the nyckelharpa and the moraharpa. I'm tuned ADD for this, so there is plenty of scope for D droning.
Enjoy!
:)
Vicki


Friday, 30 August 2019

Hedingham Green

Hello!
It's time for a lovely little tune that Jonny Dyer wrote today, called Hedingham Green. It's got some lovely little runs in it that are lovely to play and doesn't go too high.
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki


Friday, 23 August 2019

The Loon

Hello!
Today is the third part of the Maniac series and it's the minor variation written by Paul Hutchinson called The Loon. I think this is my favourite part!  This was written by Paul Hutchinson. Paul has now released a book and this tune can be found in the book. Click here to buy it!
Good luck!
:))
Vicki


Friday, 16 August 2019

The Maniac - variation 1

Hello!
Today we have the second part of the Maniac. This is the first variation! It's a little trickier than the main theme and I think warrants being a tune of its own! This was written by Paul Hutchinson. Paul has now released a book and this tune can be found in the book. Click here to buy it!
Good luck and enjoy!
:))
Vicki


Friday, 9 August 2019

The Maniac

Hello!
This is the first part of a three part set of tunes that I learnt from Paul Hutchinson. This week we have The Maniac, next week is a variation on The Maniac (written by Paul) and then finally a second variation on The Maniac called, The Loon. I learnt them on a week course at Halsway Manor. Paul and I were sharing the Manor and we tune swapped. Paul has now released a book and this tune can be found in the book. Click here to buy it! The Maniac was the title of the course and so of course I had to learn and teach this tune. Now A major isn't normally a key that I generally like to play in, but this tune is such a great challenge and a good exercise in A major and leaping up the instrument. So here it is!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki


Friday, 2 August 2019

Zenbow

Hello!
This is another week of bowing study. (The last for a little while I promise!) It's to help you get into the zen space of bowing. The lowest part, the string crossing part is the important bit. The first quaver is always to be played on the G string, the second quaver (always a C) is to be played on the C string. (If you are D tuned, you can do this either by going to the lower C string, or just retuning - there are no other notes needed for this on the C string).

As with the Study in G you should play the entire piece with the following bowing. The example written out just does two bars for each, you should do this bowing all the way through.
1. Separate
2. Slurred in pairs
3. Slurred four notes to a bow
4. Slurred with a whole bar to a bow

I have uploaded different versions, so you can play the bowing exercises to me playing the melody, or the counter melody, or you can play the melody to my bowing exercise. Or you can just listen to the compiled version where I play all three parts! So below is the trio written out. Or download and print it by clicking here!


The audio is all straight from the camera and recorded to a click and complied afterwards!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Zenbow, the trio:


Zenbow the Lesson:


Zenbow on its own:


The melody for Zenbow on its own:


The harmony for Zenbow on its own:

Friday, 26 July 2019

Study in G minor

Hello!
This week is actually a study, rather than a tune. It is quite tuneful, but it's purpose is to strengthen your bow hand. It consists of a little tune and then a whole load of bowing exercises. The video goes through the basic tune and then the different bowing exercises (except the last couple).
Play the whole of the tune with each bowing listed below. Only the first bar is written out with the different bowing - apply this bowing to the whole tune. If you do each exercise with beautiful notes, then this will take a lot of concentration and practise. For the faster bowing take a careful look at my wrist and see how it flexes to absorb the movement. This week is a major piece of practise!
:))
Vicki


This is just the first bar written out - apply the bowing from each bar to the whole melody.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Barham Down

Hello!
It's time for a Playford tune again, we've not had one for a few weeks. This one is Barham Down and is one of my favourites! Not too tricky it goes up to a high G, but falls under the fingers very nicely. Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 12 July 2019

Flickorna Svensson

Hello!
This week we have another tune that you might like to learn if you're coming to the Halsway Manor weekend (any of them!). It always gets played. I learnt it from Peter Hedlund and his teaching DVD series, so definitely check those out!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 5 July 2019

A Trip to Barnard

Hello!
I'm finally catching up on all the videos I said that I would post! So here is Trip to Barnard. I learnt this whilst sharing a course with Paul Hutchinson.
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki

Friday, 28 June 2019

The Jingling Keys - reboot!

Hello!
I used this tune this summer as a bowing exercise. So this week, rather than a tune it's an exercise! So I've called the entry The Jingling Keys - Reboot!
So there are five bowing exercises here that accompany The Jingling Keys.
  1. Separate crotchets
  2. Separate quavers
  3. Slurred quavers
  4. Double Stops
  5. Spread triplets
Work your way through each of the bowings, don't stint!
Enjoy and good luck!
:))
Vicki

The Teaching Video:





The Jingling Keys melody played 4 times through gradually getting faster:

The video where I play four of the five bowings with the melody:


The Original Jingling Keys blog entry is here - Click here.


Friday, 21 June 2019

The Singi Sunset

Hello!
A little short video today - The Singi Sunset. It's nice and slow. Singi is a place up on the Kings Trail in the north of Sweden. I arranged this for nyckelharpa trio, so the video below is from one of the weekends at Halsway where we played it as an ensemble. (It goes into Barham Down in that video). The video tells you all about the trip that inspired the tune!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki



Friday, 14 June 2019

Spikens Vals

Hello!
I'm catching up a bit! This week we have Spikens Vals. This tune was shared to the group at Halsway. Of course I went home to investigate a bit more about it. So I've got a theme and two variations here. The tune is actually in G major, but the version we played at Halsway had a minor A part. So I've taught the fully G major version, then the version with the minor A part and then the version with a semi-minor A part! It's this last version that we mostly play. I think it's good to know all three though!
Enjoy!
:)
Vicki

Friday, 7 June 2019

Hassefallpolskan

Hello!
It's another silverbasharpa tune this week, Hassefallpolskan. Of course it works nicely on the standard nyckelharpa, but you get the real magic in the B part on a silversbasharpa.
Enjoy
:))
Vicki


Friday, 31 May 2019

Slängpolska (efter Calle Svankvist)

Hello!
It's a slängpolska this week. Again most definitely a silverbasharpa tune! Watch out for the extra beats. If you're on a silverbas, just give them a really good swipe and make it swing!
:)
Vicki

Friday, 24 May 2019

Hambo-Polska efter Sixten i Verpeshultaberg

Hello!
A silverbasharpa tune! It's from Småland and Sixten was a fiddle player. But it fits so well on the silverbas, so maybe the tune travelled!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki


Friday, 17 May 2019

Cadrill Kozaken

Hello!
This week we have tune from Småland. (I like doing tunes from Småland, they're different and they're from where my family is from). I learnt this tune on the säckpipa first and really loved it. I like to start off really slowly and play it faster and faster. I've included it filmed as a duo with the säckpipa. Enjoy!
:))
Vicki


Friday, 10 May 2019

Svängrumpa

Hello!
A jolly tune today. One that is played in a lot of sessions here in the UK. It was our encore piece for a while. Svängrumpa means swing your bottom, so make sure you swing your bottom when you play it! Enjoy!
:))
Vicki


Friday, 3 May 2019

Fiddling About

Hello!
We've just published all the tunes on our album and this is another one for you that never made it to #TuneFriday.  I haven't done this one yet because I usually play it on my fiddleharpa. But it is quite easily played on the normal harpa. So here it is for you! It's usually played for contradance, so make sure you play it with lots of bounce and back beat.
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki









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Friday, 26 April 2019

Långsammapolskan

Hello!
We've just released a brand new album called Twelve Months & A Day and I thought I'd should teach some of the tunes from the album. Quite a few of the tunes are already #tunefridays, but this one isn't! I actually play it on my fiddleharpa on the album because of the tunes in the set, but it's gorgeous on the normal harpa and also the kontrabasharpa tuned with an A drone. I'll put all the videos that we've shot about this tune on this blog too!
Enjoy!
:))
Vicki











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