Practice Journey: Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her
In this all-level practice journey, we’ll learn this sea shanty through call-and response. Thanks to Fiddlehed Tom for the suggestion and for helping with sheet music. You’ll just need to know the G Major scale for this one.
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What the heck is a practice journey?
This is a practice session in which you focus on one thing, but integrate other things you’ve learned into the practice. You can take a journey on your own or with others.
Learn more here: A Travel Guide For Your Practice Journey
This explains the fiddlosophy of the practice journey and gives you a general template for how to structure your own sessions in creative ways.
Specific preparation for this lesson
Here are some suggested things you can practice to get ready for the practice journey.
Learn and practice these scales:
- For Intermediate students
Practice call-and-response on your own:
- Call-and-response Exercises 1.4
- Call-and-response Exercises 1.5
- Call-and-response Exercises 1.7
- Call-and-response Exercises 1.9
Go here for further ear-training: Call-and-response Central
Outline and replay
- Simple warmup/ Fiddle Yoga
- Learn through call-and-response
- Alternate between fiddling and singing
- A tip: Going From Bowing to Plucking
- Bow lifting
- Key of D
- Same fingering, but start on A0 instead of A0
- Try sliding the first finger: D1, A1
- [SLF: 0] Sliding The Left-hand Fingers
- G Major, upper octave
- Start on A3 (D) instead of D0
- First things first: learn the first line well in the upper octave
- Medley with other tunes in G you know
- Girl I Left Behind Me
- Kesh Jig
- Kerry Polka
- Bile ’em cabbage down in G
- Starting G2 or A1
- Or pick something from the list of G Root Tunes
- Play the tune, then improvise on your, then play the tune again
- Think of the improv section as a time to creatively practice the tune or the scale
- Add Tremolo to the scale or tune
- Alternate between singing and fiddling
- Octave talking (play phrase in the lower octave, then the higher octave)
- Play like a whisper
- Transpose to C Major, lower octave
- Same fingering as G Major upper octave, start on D3 instead of A3
- Challenging: C upper octave
- You’ll need to slide the fourth finger on e string up to second position to hit the high C
- Cheat for bars 2, 11: E4(B)-4(C)-E4(B)
Sheet music and tabs
Try not to use this at first. Learn through call-and-response as I teach you each part in the practice journey video. Refer to this if you get stuck.
1st line: (D0-0)-G0-2-D0-0-3-2 | D1-0-G2-G0
2nd line: G1-1-1-0-2-D0-0
3rd line: (D0-0)-1-1-0-G2-3-D0-G2
4th line: (G0-1)-2-D0-0-G0-1-0
1st line: G1-1-1-0-2-D0-0*
2nd line: D3-2-1-1-1-0-G2-D0
3rd line: (D0-0)-1-1-0-G2-3-D0-G2
4th line: (G0-1)-G2-D0-0-G0-1-0
*I altered this slightly from the sheet music.
Lower octave – G Major
Sign up for a Trial Subscription to access all audio, sheet music, tabs and other learning content for this lesson.
Record a video of yourself playing the tune. See if you can do something a little different or fun with it:
- Transpose to a different key
- Pluck it
- Alternate singing and playing
- Dress up like a sailor or a pirate 🏴☠️ ⚓️
- Dress your dog up like a sailor or a pirate 🏴☠️ ⚓️ (Warning: they’ll steal the show!)
14 responses to “Practice Journey: Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her”
I had to remove the video loop links. This feature is still unstable and being tested. Sorry about that…
Hi Jason and crew…. The links don’t work for me either. Nothing happens when I click on them. Mike was having this problem too.
Thanks for mentioning this folks, we will let you know once it’s functioning.
I missed the workshop I’m afraid, but the links on here don’t work for me. Each one I click just refreshes the page
What a beautiful, haunting tune! Jason I’m loving your teaching style, and it’s really working for me to develop my playing by ear.
I only subscribed about a week ago, and decided to work through from the beginning. When I pick up my fiddle and log in to fiddlehed each day, it’s like a gift to myself. It’s fun too, playing along with the drones and backing tracks.
Just wondering if Leave Her Johnny will be available as a pdf? I’ve been collecting the pdf’s from the lessons as I work through as a back up reference.
Thanks for all your work,
I loved this lesson! And I love learning by ear and especially adding in the vocals! Really wonderful! The only problems I experienced had to do with my technology…..I was coming to the lessons for the first time with an iPad and the volume was not loud enough to overcome my own fiddle in my ear. The drone was too loud for me, likely because of the iPad volume problem. Because of this, the transpositions came too fast for me. I was always playing catch up. But the call and response to learning a tune by ear is wonderful. And this is such a wonderful tune!
I look forward to more sea shanties. And the link you provided to the choir singing this song??? It was wonderful!
Thanks again for a creative session. ~~Cindy
Cindy, I use ear buds with only a bud in my right ear. Much easier to hear the iPad and myself.
It was a GREAT lesson learning by ear. I’m so glad I subscribed. The lessons work better for me then me learning completely on my own. I jam w/bluegrassers and am quick at playing by ear even for songs I don’t know, but those chop chords. UGH. Is it possible to add chords to your music sheets too? We did call & response games on instruments for fun when we were kids. It really helps develop you “ear.”
Good idea. We have chords for lots of other lessons. This one was thrown together a bit hastily though. just so you know, chords are G, C, D. I’m off for the weekend, but will try to add this next week…
I tried to access the video for this tune but it says “Video is unavailable. This video is private.”
I’m logged in and as far as I know, I’m paid up.
Should work now…
I really enjoyed this lesson thanks Jason! I hadn’t realised how much I rewind the video though when learning a new tune. I think I have one part, move onto the next & then immediately forget the previous! Needless to say when I woke this morning I can’t remember any of it!! I’ll print the sheet music & write out the tabs & it’ll hopefully stick!
I had fun with this lesson because it’s ‘live’ , the call and respnse is challenging and seems that playing is “off the cuff” – not knowing the tune at all. Was great to be a part of the making of a lesson ! Thanks, Jason
That was a lot of fun! More sea shanties!