We spent most of the weekend at home, and a significant portion of it twanging on strings.
I’ve learned the tricky second bit of Lama Bada Yatathana, a beautiful Andalusian Arabic song. It’s a slow 10/8 (grouped 3-2-2-3) and I always thought the rhythm changed when the melody did, which was my excuse for not being able to learn it. Turns out it doesn’t, so without any excuse I’ve gone ahead and had a go.1 Here’s the version I was working from; the guitar chords are a bit over-the-top, but it’s a very clear arrangement so good for learning.
And for a complete change of pace, I’ve learned (on the mandolin) a delightful three-part jig called Banish Misfortune. I’ve been playing Darol Anger’s album Diary of a Fiddler on repeat at work, and it seems to have sunk in. (The album is a bit uneven2 but has some great moments.) I can’t seem to find him playing it online, so here’s another beautiful rendition, played on banjo:3
Anger makes one change from the traditional version (as far as I can tell from a quick youtube surf, anyway): he plays the third theme starting minor, switching back to major at the end of the slow descending scale. I like it, so I do the same (until I get a chance to play it with any traditionalists, anyway).
- I was actually looking for lullabies to learn — this one would be perfect, but I’m going to have to find someone who can teach me the Arabic pronunciation. [↪]
- Especially the rendition of With a Little Help from My Friends is weak: he plays with more reverence than the rather trite tune can support. [↪]
- The fiddle and mandolin arrangements have it in D, though, if anyone at home wants to learn it to play with me someday… [↪]