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Mandolin Lessons: “Oifen Pripitchik” (By the Fireplace)

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Hey there folks.
I'm gonna send this one out to Mando Judy
who's been asking for
some Hanukkah tunes for the last couple of
years and I'm finally owning up and
coming up with some arrangement here.
We produced a, a Hanukkah celebration
back in Berkeley at Zellerbach Theater for
many years, called Klezmer Mania!,
which was a lot of fun.
Ten years we did it.
And so I became familiar with some of the
even though I'm not Jewish, I was around a
lot of Jewish folks.
And now that I'm involved with the Ger
Mandolin Orchestra,
I'm very close to the culture and loving
it and learning a lot.
So this is one that I did I played it on
guitar, and
I realized that if I changed the key it
works pretty good on mandolin.
I moved, it was D-minor before and I moved
it to A-minor.
It's called.
By the Fireplace, I believe.
Very sweet melody.
I'll see if I can get through it here.
All right?
So it's, it feels like it's odd meter
things happening.
I've seen it written out in 3-4.
One, two, one, two, three, one, two,
one, two, three, one, two, three, one,
two, three, one, but that feels pretty
odd, right?
I've written it out, duh, duh, one, two,
three, one, two, one, two, three, one,
three, one, two, three, one, two, three,
one, two, one, two, three, one, two,
three, one, two, one, two, three, one.
So there's occasional bars of two, as a
way of correcting and
making the, the notes feel like pick up
notes, to me.
And that's, that's kinda how I hear it,
but you know,
this is probably music that was never
really written down.
So let me go, come in close again on this
one so you can really see the left hand.
I think, is where a lot of crazy stuff is
I'm holding an A-minor.
That's an E7.
And I use the pinky on the, on the D note,
so that I can keep things ringing and
I go back to the bar.
That's a G chord.
And I just grab the C and the E note.
That makes it feel like a C chord to me.
Then it's an A7, A chord.
Then it's a D chord, but
with a G in the melody.
So I just drone the bot,
the middle strings.
A-minor I
play the bar with just the bottom middle
Back to the E7, A.
Now here I'm playing the C-sharp note,
which makes it feel like A7 all of the
That's a dominant chord and when you
introduce a C-sharp on an A chord,
you are then playing it.
You're no longer playing a minor.
So even to hint at for a second at the end
of that bar is plenty when
the melody is A and E.
There's your D-minor, A-minor,
B7, okay, and ending on that bar.
Bridge, E.
So on E7 here, for the B note, and
then I reach for the G-sharp and the, and
the E.
That's gonna be hard for many of you.
I, I'm, I'm not sure I have a good
solution for you there.
[LAUGH] You could release, the ba, the
bass note.
It wouldn't be the end of the world if you
had to let the low G-sharp go.
This is a hard move,
cuz you got a triple bar.
So this.
So the melody, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh.
Those are the downbeats.
And so what I'm doing is I'm placing the
bass notes just before them.
Duh, duh, duh.
And that gives us the harmony.
The bass note being C over the D note.
Then, I'm sorry B before the D note and C
before the E.
There's your C-sharp again which means
that we're on an A7 chord.
Funniest A7 you ever saw, right?
There's your D-minor again.
There's your A-minor.
I play it with the second finger, cuz the
first finger was occupied.
It just,
it's playing this F note, so I don't
really have an option.
There's my anticipated bass note again,
and one.
[LAUGH] You don't have to end on a minor
with a major so so there you have it.
Sweet Little, by the fireplace.
I will try to include some form of the
music up in additional study materials.
And have a great Hanukkah.
Thank you guys for being here, for
listening in.
Have wonderful holidays, everybody.
See you soon.