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crystal

folk players: How do you like to put your sets together?

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I choose tunes for the celtic session we have going here. I like to put three togeter. It's helpful when they're in the same key, but this doesn't always have to be. It's also helpful if they're in the same time signature. Again, this doesn't necessarily have to be. I just play tunes together and see what flows easily from one to the next.

What do you do?

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I like to put together a mixture of minor key/mode tunes (E Minor, E Dorian) with major key/mode tunes (D Major, G Mixolydian). One of my favorite sets is Morrison's Jig-Swallow Tail Jig-Connaughtman's Rambles-Kesh Jig. I like to play a set of polkas that is basically all the polkas I know: Britches full of Stiches-Bill Sullivan's-Ballydesmond 1 and 2. Basically, it all comes down to what your ears tell you. Play a tune, say Drowsy Maggie, and as you get to the end of it think about other tunes you know that might go nicely with it and launch into them.

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For putting together a medley for contra dances, I like to change keys from a five to a one;for example, go from a tune in D to the next one in G, then the third tune in C.

This gives a sense of grounding or completion which is satisfying to the ear.I call it the'Orange Blossom Special'effect, where you hold in E for a long time, then finally resolve back to A in the chorus.

Also, it is effective to go from a jig to a reel in a medley, but it's not effective to go from a reel to a jig for some reason.

Usually it's best to hold the same tempo thru out a medley,and not speed up.

Another good trick is to have the rhythm instruments hold out during the B part of the tune, right before you're ready to change tunes, then come in strong at the A part of the new tune.Also, you could have them do rhythm changes from time to time during the medley to break up the monotony.

Bob

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it depends when i do it. sometimes i stay in all the same key, however i really like when we play tunes in different keys. and i personally think a great tune to come after DROWSY MAGGIE is JENNY'S CHICKENS! i agree, listen to what your ears tell you. they know best.

FIDDLECHIC

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I think medleys work better if you move around the keys...I'm with Bob on this one. A medley in the same key can get a little bit snoozable.

It doesn't have to be heavy lifting; D to A is fine.

I do not recommend the old jig-to-reel or whatever time signature change. It never seems to work, at least to my ears.

mike

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