What exactly does Derek Lillywhite do at the end of his "Cornish Dance" recording to pull off that neat effect? I've slowed it down and listened closely but for the life of me I can't figure out what's going on there, and it's definitely not what's written down on the score! Any help from the better ear players among us?

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Hi Mike, Good to see you!

It is a bit tricky to hear, but it sounds to me that he is playing just slightly behind the piano!!

If this is what you mean?? 

Cornish Dance Ending 100%
Cornish Dance Ending 20%

MIke, if you're talking about the last note, I think that is a zither-banjo doing what it does. The fundamental note fades but the first overtone, one octave higher, continues to sound and even gains amplitude. This might have been aided by the accidental, or perhaps deliberate, momentary touch of a shirt sleeve to the string at the node of the wave where the overtone would be sounded, but probably not. 

Hi Ian,

that's actually from "Bolero", which for some reason is in the same track as CD#2. The song I'm talking about finishes around the 3:15 minute mark :)

@Jody

Been playing around with my new (old) Windsor zeebee and trying to replicate his performance. I love the tone with the CE standard set and their new "Mapex" bridge (which is a bit heftier than the Cammeyer style), but I haven't managed to replicate the effect around the 3:05-3:10 mark (not the recordings Ian posted), but so far to no avail. There's a couple of slides in there, and in the last chord he seems to strum the strings backward with the flesh of his fingers? Or perhaps there are harmonics involved?

I will dig out my old DL LP and give a listen and reply in due course.

Mike Moss said:

Hi Ian,

that's actually from "Bolero", which for some reason is in the same track as CD#2. The song I'm talking about finishes around the 3:15 minute mark :)

@Jody

Been playing around with my new (old) Windsor zeebee and trying to replicate his performance. I love the tone with the CE standard set and their new "Mapex" bridge (which is a bit heftier than the Cammeyer style), but I haven't managed to replicate the effect around the 3:05-3:10 mark (not the recordings Ian posted), but so far to no avail. There's a couple of slides in there, and in the last chord he seems to strum the strings backward with the flesh of his fingers? Or perhaps there are harmonics involved?

My turntable's stylus keeps mis-tracking, causing the right channel to cut out and buzz, but I think I can hear enough to give an educated guess. The first two slides give the characteristic sound of a Cammeyer Vibrante and Vibrante Royal, when the lower strings are played on higher frets. It has a long scale and in my opinion needs lighter strings than most Windsors want. I also think that the CE bass string may be heavier than ideal for a Windsor (what model have you got?). As in all Things Banjo: "it depends". Anyway that is the sound of three strings each made of a different material, supported by the unique acoustics of a Vibrante. You might be able to approximate it by playing the strings near the juncture of neck and pot, a long way from the bridge. The final chord sounds like a 12th fret harmonic to me. The right hand may be as you describe or it may be an upward glide with a single finger pad or it may be picking upward in the usual way. I'm not sure. 

Mike Moss said:

There's a couple of slides in there, and in the last chord he seems to strum the strings backward with the flesh of his fingers? Or perhaps there are harmonics involved?

It's a Popular N. 7. No complaints from the 4th so far, the 3rd and 4th sound clear and the bass section of Dancer's Dream is clear and effective, though that might be a result of the combination of the strings and the new bridge. I'm playing the chords as fingered as I suspected part of the effect would have to do with playing the notes on the lower strings up the neck.

Jody Stecher said:

My turntable's stylus keeps mis-tracking, causing the right channel to cut out and buzz, but I think I can hear enough to give an educated guess. The first two slides give the characteristic sound of a Cammeyer Vibrante and Vibrante Royal, when the lower strings are played on higher frets. It has a long scale and in my opinion needs lighter strings than most Windsors want. I also think that the CE bass string may be heavier than ideal for a Windsor (what model have you got?). As in all Things Banjo: "it depends". Anyway that is the sound of three strings each made of a different material, supported by the unique acoustics of a Vibrante. You might be able to approximate it by playing the strings near the juncture of neck and pot, a long way from the bridge. The final chord sounds like a 12th fret harmonic to me. The right hand may be as you describe or it may be an upward glide with a single finger pad or it may be picking upward in the usual way. I'm not sure. 

Mike Moss said:

There's a couple of slides in there, and in the last chord he seems to strum the strings backward with the flesh of his fingers? Or perhaps there are harmonics involved?

Sorry Mike, I looked at my Lillywhite "Reminiscences" Album and the track I posted was labelled Cornish Dance No1.

Email me the correct section and I will post it along with a slowed down version as before.

Ah, now I know what went wrong!

Here is the correct clip from the end of Cornish Dance. It sounds to me like a simple reverse rasp across the strings at the last chord, but there may be more going on as I haven't had a look at the score yet.... over to you Jody! ????

CORRECT CORNISH ENDING 100%
CORRECT CORNISH ENDING 20%

 At 20% it sounds like reverse rasp done with the flesh of the index finger, rather than the thumb nail. It still sounds like harmonics at the 12th fret and I can now hear that each of the four long strings are played in succession. These are impressions. I might well be wrong.

thereallyniceman said:

Ah, now I know what went wrong!

over to you Jody! ????

 

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