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Thread: Tunes in "F"

  1. #26
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Not a bluegrass tune, but I believe it’s in F. It’s a rare thing.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    95% of all the jazz tunes ever written that include a horn player are in B flat and F....
    Playing with a saxophone player and accordionist taught me to think and play in F.

  3. #28
    Registered User Bren's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelly View Post
    Loads of traditional fiddle tunes in F and, dare we say it, even in Bb! I am talking about Scottish tunes here.
    Some commonly played Scottish F tunes, off the top of my head, and not including tunes normally played in other keys:
    Andy Broon's Reel
    Donald Ian Rankin (jig)
    Aly's Waltz

    A personal favourite is John Sheahan's Impish Hornpipe.
    Also I am punishing my clumsy sausage fingers by practising Iain MacPhail's Grace Renwick Polka, 3 parts in Bb, Eb and F.
    Been at it since about a year ago, I'll maybe get it right next year .... It's more of an exercise at the moment.

    James Hill -type Hornpipes like The Acrobat do like flat keys then using the open strings for accidentals.

    Back to OP Nick, his own tune is a very good example of using the bluesy potential of F on mandolin in a bluegrass tune.
    I enjoyed it very much.
    Bren

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    I was going to suggest opening any Real Book for C instruments - tons of tunes in F! It is kinda fun to open a Real Book at random and sight read tunes.

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  6. #30

    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Cape Breton players love the key of F, and Bb or Gm as well. Here’s a set the Ottawa CB Session plays of some of the favourites, including settings for a couple of tunes that have been mentioned in this thread —Fisher’s and Archie Menzies. The barn-burner is the last one, which is in Bb—Jerry Holland’s classic reel “Mary Claire”.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/18Vt...E1vE3hH-O/view

    F is not a difficult key—just the one accidental, and you can play all the open strings. Bb is slightly more stretchy to get that Eb and there’s no “easy fingering” open E but it too is quite acquireable for intermediate-level players.
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  8. #31
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    I play the below in F commonly - I believe the originals are in F too but I may have moved keys for a vocalist

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  9. #32

    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    95% of all the jazz tunes ever written that include a horn player are in B flat and F....
    Probably not that high, but an awful lot, for sure. Anyway, as I said I was thinking in the bluegrass/oldtime. I realize there are lots of jazz tunes & other styles of music where the key of "F" is not uncommon.

  10. #33
    Registered User Geno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Kennedy Rag is a good old-time tune in F. Played here by Norman Blake & The Rising Fawn String Ensemble. Works pretty good on mandolin too.

  11. #34
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Dallas Rag, Sweet Georgia Brown, and Wild Hog in the Woods (Lazy Luke's version) are great F tunes.

  12. #35
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Hershel Sizemore's Stoney Creek is mostly in F: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNrvktgWjqA

  13. #36
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    95% of all the jazz tunes ever written that include a horn player are in B flat and F....
    And C, Ab, Eb, etc. Occasionally Db - and the related minor keys.

    Anyone that's played Italian Ballo Liscio music has played a lot of F major and D minor tunes. Same for Klezmer players....and trad jazz. even English Country Dance!

    If I recall, a small but interesting % of the "fiddle tunes" repertoire is in F.

  14. #37

    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" is in F. I haven't tried it on the mandolin but I've always played it that way on guitar.

  15. #38
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Dm - Little Sadie, Cold Rain and Snow (Doc Watson, Rowan & Rice)

    Jimmy Rodgers’ Gamblin’ Bar Room Blues is in Ebm but I usually play it in Dm
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  16. #39
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    As others have suggested, it depends on the genre. I just checked Slippery-Hill which is primarily old time. The search indicates 257 F tunes: https://www.slippery-hill.com/search...%5D=key%3A4366

    I have been playing a lot of Québécois tunes and there are plenty of F and Bb tunes but the majority of fiddlers of the moderate capability shy away from those keys. Cape Breton and Scottish genres have lots of tunes in those keys. There are amazingly few F and Bb tunes in Irish repertoire but I believe also that there are relatively few tunes that require playing in upper positions either.

    A friend of mine and I had been getting together last year and just playing in those keys. They take some getting used to but no more than any other challenge for our instruments though maybe a little more so on fiddle.
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  18. #40
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Crafton's Blues
    Crapshooter's Rag
    Hot Springs
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  19. #41
    Registered User Rob Ross's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Of all the variations and versions of Blackberry Blossom out there, Frank Wakefield's version in F from his album "That Was Now, This is Then" is my all-time favorite. To be honest, it is probably actually in D minor, and harmonic minor at that. Also note-worthy is that it is played at a very stately pace and not as fast as possible like most versions.

    "Beeswing" is definitely in Bb and was named after a famous 1800's English race horse of the same name. Play it like Kathryn Tickell plays it, as the second tune in a set starting with "The Skate", also in Bb.
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Sweet Georgia Brown is commonly played in F.
    Or Ab, at least by boporiented musicians. Another F (swing) or Ab (bop) song i Indiana/ Donna Lee.

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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocello8 View Post
    Hershel Sizemore's Stoney Creek is mostly in F: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNrvktgWjqA
    Isn't that a Jim&Jesse tune?

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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    Although some folks say it's in Dm, ol' Bill's Lonesome Moonlight Waltz is in the key of F.

    Rick Skaggs along with many others do Rank Stranger in F. Not exactly sure where the Stanley Brothers did it. I think it ranged from somewhere in the cracks between E and F and sometimes as high as F#
    Monroe did several songs in F, especially with his brother Charlie. One number on the Master of BG album, Right, right on, is in F.

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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    Though Doc moved it, Beaumont Rag is actually supposed to be in F.
    In Western Swing it's played in F. Watson moved it to D, capoed at the 2nd fret. Some people after him left the capo off, and played it in C, an extremely inconvenient key, leaving nor room for backup guitar. I play it on both guitar and mandolin, and the key of F is perfect on both instruments. On backup guitar, beause it allows many nice three and four chord forms.

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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Kelley View Post
    I really enjoyed your tune. Nice and bluesy. Fishers Hornpipe was usually played by fiddlers in the key of F. I tabbed out a mandolin version years ago. It lays out very nicely in F.
    Mark O'Connor's arrangement (on Appalachian Journey) uses both the traditional keys F, and D. Another "F or D" tune is Rickett's Hornpipe

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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    And C, Ab, Eb, etc. Occasionally Db - and the related minor keys.
    I recently checked a fairly large sample from the Real Book and found that the most common keys are Eb, F, G, and Bb. When I started out on the guitar in 1957 I relied (far too) much on sheet music. My impression was that Eb was the most common key of all.

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  29. #48
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    On fiddles and mandolin, tunes in F have a different flavor than the same tunes played in D.

    Why?

    It all has to do with the relationship of the open strings to the key you are playing in. In the key of D, the open strings reinforce the root/5th sound of the key and the I D (d & a), IV G g & d), and V A (a & e) chords. These open strings will often continue to ring after you have played them, or else the resonate sympathetically throughout (at a low volume in a muted Hardanger fiddle effect.)

    When you play the same tune in the key of F, the relationship of the open strings to the key and chords has changed, adding the "tint" of the maj 3rd, 6th into the background wash. F (d 6th, a - 3rd, e - maj 7th), Bb (g - 6th, d - 3rd, a - maj7), C (g - 5th, d- maj7, a - 6th, e - 3rd).

    Now if you are playing with a full group, this effect will be completely drowned out. And, it is much more apparent when playing fiddle (as is slurring and bowings) than on mando. Also, if you are playing everything in closed positions (with no open strings) you have removed the background tint entirely regardless of the keys, unless you have made the conscious advanced technical choice to simulate open string ringing, by keeping your fingers down on certain notes for sympathetic sounding - this overlaps with crosspicking).

    However, if you are playing solo or a stripped down ensemble, key choice can flavor the tune. This is ADVANCED playing technique when you are intentionally tinting your own background wash.

    The most common example of the flavor the key can have on a tune: "Fisher's Hornpipe", which can be heard in F in some genres, and D in others.

    (I always preferred the sound of "The Sailor's Hornpipe" played in Bb rather than BG/OT "D", of UK "C".)

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  31. #49
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    On fiddles and mandolin, tunes in F have a different flavor than the same tunes played in D.

    Why?

    I) It all has to do with the relationship of the open strings to the key you are playing in. In the key of D, the open strings reinforce the root/5th sound of the key and the I D (d & a), IV G g & d), and V A (a & e) chords. These open strings will often continue to ring after you have played them, or else the resonate sympathetically throughout (at a low volume in a muted Hardanger fiddle effect.)

    When you play the same tune in the key of F, the relationship of the open strings to the key and chords has changed, adding the "tint" of the maj 3rd, 6th into the background wash. F (d 6th, a - 3rd, e - maj 7th), Bb (g - 6th, d - 3rd, a - maj7), C (g - 5th, d- maj7, a - 6th, e - 3rd).



    However, if you are playing solo or a stripped down ensemble, key choice can flavor the tune. This is ADVANCED playing technique when you are intentionally tinting your own background wash.

    The most common example of the flavor the key can have on a tune: "Fisher's Hornpipe", which can be heard in F in some genres, and D in others.

    II) (I always preferred the sound of "The Sailor's Hornpipe" played in Bb rather than BG/OT "D", of UK "C".)

    Niles Hokkanen
    I) This effect is more pronounced on an ovalhole or violin, and much more on guitar (esp. a dreadnought) where three of the open strings form a major triad. Which may explain the popularity of capoed G forms on guitar (at least on strongly rooted tunes with few chords).

    Which, at the same time, makes it surprising that so many guitarists capo to play in the key of D. I play St Anne's Reel on both guitar and mandolin, always open on guitar. On mandolin I may very well play it in Eb.

    II) Most documents on the internet seem to notate Sailor's Hornpipe in G. When Bill Keith brought it to Monroe's band he was doing it as part of a medley in A along with Devil's Dream. Kenny Baker insisted on Bb, probably because the open d and a strings work very nicely as pivot points or phrase turns. When playing Sailor on guitar (also in Bb) I keep my fingers down on cross-string passages for the effect mentioned above and use various left hand devices, PO's and slides, on scalar passages.

  32. #50
    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tunes in "F"

    A bunch of hymns are in F.
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