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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Could you recommend your favorite tunes for practicing

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Frank_L - Posted - 06/23/2020:  02:00:27

I decided to start a new topic because it maybe could be interesting for more participant. I am getting old and instead of serious practicing I mostly prefer just playing various tunes for pleasure. But still I found some tunes good for practicing of individual skills i.e. intonation, typical bowing or shuffle, double stops, slides and ornamentation, speed, phrasing, getting used to not typical keys and so on.

Some of my favorites I play both for pleasure and practicing:

Coleman’s March – intonation
Booth Shot Lincoln - bowing
Devils dream – bowing, speed
Ashokan Farewell – intonation
Cherokee shuffle – speed, improvisation
Logger's Breakdown – Bb key
Faded love – double stops

A would appreciate any comments or recommendation and more tunes to enlarge the list.

UsuallyPickin - Posted - 06/23/2020:  06:04:31

For key workouts
A Cherokee Shuffle Washington County
Bd Daley's Reel Done Gone
B Rebecca
C Billy in the Lowground East Tennessee Blues
D St Anne's Reel Whiskey Before Breakfast
E Panhandle Rag ( Hicks) Brown County Breakdown
F My memory fails Tune for Andy ? A Monroe Waltz Mississippi or Lonesome Moonlight
G Down Yonder Leather Britches
In truth I play some and play at others I generally run a two octave scale a few times in the key I am about to approach to wake up my fingers and memory .... I mean I can't blame my fiddle.... R/

RichJ - Posted - 06/23/2020:  15:20:43


Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

... two octave scale a few times in the key I am about to approach to wake up my fingers and memory .... I mean I can't blame my fiddle.... R/

Great idea, I need to work those in more often, maybe on a daily basis. Then work in some arpeggios and double stops. 

Swing - Posted - 06/23/2020:  16:09:52

I work on playing tunes in the third position... this means that you have to finger every note, no open strings... once you get used to this, it allows you to easily explore octaves and gives a broader range to most any tune....especially if you are using a five string fiddle

Play Happy


Humbled by this instrument - Posted - 06/23/2020:  20:07:32

Oh my list changes daily. Today I played these tunes.

Soldier's Joy/The Potter's Wheel.
Garry Owen/ Road to Lisdoonvarna.
Nine Pound Hammer--singing as I played.
Big City (by Merle Haggard), again taking breaks to sing whilst then bowing out those sonourous double stops.
Scotland the Brave/ William o' Cheatem.
Saint Patrick's Day

I don't practice scales much at all anymore, or bowing patterns for that matter; however, I've been using a Georgia Shuffle for Garry Owen-- a 6/8 tune--and enjoying the flow I get. I didn't plan to use it, but as I was sight reading the dots my bow just sorta did what it did.


Grass Stain - Posted - 06/25/2020:  08:06:53

If I am going to practice technique, clarity, or double stops I play a waltz usually. Faded Love is my favorite slow song to play or listen to. (If you haven’t heard Bobby Hicks play this it is definitely worth a listen) If I am trying to practice speed I usually gravitate towards a bluegrass break rather than a fiddle tune.

Fiddler - Posted - 06/25/2020:  09:38:32

It depends on what I am working on.

Intonation (D,G,A,C, F, Bb) - just about any waltz in those keys

Arpeggios - Rachel (Texas Quickstep)

Bow crossings - Miller's Reel, Cincinnati Hornpipe

Shifting Positions - Jack Danielson's Reel (Cyril Stinnett)

Phrasing (just about anything)

In other words, I'll find a tune that has a passage or phrase or pattern that I want to work on.

Edited by - Fiddler on 06/25/2020 09:39:51

boxbow - Posted - 06/26/2020:  06:23:01

Big John MacNeil - string crossing

sbhikes2 - Posted - 06/26/2020:  18:54:34

Woodchopper's is pretty good for a little arpeggio work.

ChickenMan - Posted - 06/27/2020:  06:51:50

Done Gone - Bb/Gm is good for intonation and strong crossing AND it covers the entire range of first position from open G string to the Bb (pinky finger) on the E string.

Otherwise, what ever tune I'm learning or working on which is currently "White Horse Breakdown" a Kenny Baker tune that has string skipping (G on the D jumps to the octave G on the E) and an F natural which is odd in a G tune.

Humbled by this instrument - Posted - 08/07/2020:  16:38:37

In-a-gadda-da-vida because it is so pleasantly melodic....

GeoB - Posted - 08/07/2020:  20:44:12

I enjoy sonatinas for intermediate players.
Irish ballads, Napoleon Crosses the Rockies and Hartford/Clements duets. GAS standards and if I'm feeling quirky a dab of Gilbert & Sullivan.

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