The Standard Reel gave you a steady 4 beat rhythm, repeated every bar. Variation 1 gave you a second 4 beat bar with some skipped beats. For that variation you alternated the first bar and second bar continuously.
Today, we are going to extend that by throwing in a third bar – a very simple heavy downstroke followed by three silent beats. Your pattern repeat will be four bars repeated continuously: First, Second, First, Third.
Download the stroke chart to see what I mean: Reel Variation 2. Now listen to the rhythm as I play it and count it out for you, and join in.
Practice along to another lovely melodeon performance from Saul Bailey, two wonderful melodies often used for Morris dancing: The Cuckoo’s Nest and I’ll Go Enlist for a Sailor.
Try the standard reel and each of the variations and see which ones you like best with these tunes. Can you change your rhythm from one variation to another when Saul changes from the first tune to the second? Have fun!