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First Bowing Podcast (transcription) Sawshuffle, Smoothshuffle, and Syncoshuffle.

Posted by fiddlepogo on Thursday, September 6, 2012

(listen to podcast here:  )

Hi, I'm Michael Springer, also known as Fiddlepogo on the Fiddle Hangout, and... in the interest of spreading helpful bowing information without causing endless bowing debates, I thought I would do a BOWING PODCAST- since I don't have a video camera.  And I will attempt to use my verbal skills to explain what my bow is doing, but I think you'll be able to hear pretty well what is going on.

    A lot of fiddlers use the "usual gang of" bowing "suspects" a lot... there's Sawstroke (I'm talking about sawstroke as a texture here- short-short-short-short-short), two note slurs, Nashville Shuffle, and ... Georgia Shuffle.

But over the years I've come to appreciate some bowing patterns that I find are just as useful as "the usual gang of bowing suspects", but are kind of sleepers- they don't get the credit they deserve.

The first one I'm going to talk about is Sawshuffle, and as the name implies, Sawshuffle is a hybrid between two of the other common bowing strategies, Sawstroke, and Nashville Shuffle.  The first part is mostly the "saw" part, and the second part resembles Nashville Shuffle quite a bit.

And I'm going to do it in a couple different ways to demonstrate different ways it can be used.

(plays Sawshuffle)

That's on a unison. It can also...

This is the first part of June Apple done one string lower

(plays Sawshuffle on June Apple)

And here it is on the low part of Growling Old Man:

(plays low part of Growling Old Man)

Slowed down, it's... here it is on a D unison:

Down up down uh-uh-uhp down-up.

Down up down uh-uh-uhp down-up.

(plays Sawshuffle slowly)


I find it's a useful strategy to use as a "meat and potatoes" bowing- many fiddlers use Sawstroke as a "meat-and-potatoes" bowing for most of the tune, and then just spice it up with a couple of other patterns.

Some fiddlers like Melvin Wine do the same thing with Nashville Shuffle... but you can also use Sawshuffle that way.

And, here I'm going to do it in Soldier's Joy.

(plays low part of Soldier's Joy- note- the ending lick is actually Syncoshuffle- force of habit- but note the nice contrast).

And it has kind of a nice chugga-chugga feel... it's umm.... not a particularly dramatic bowing, but it's pleasant and it... doesn't seem to get too boring too quickly, which is the problem I find with listening to a lot of Sawstroke or a lot of Nashville.

Ahh... in that part of Soldier's Joy I played, I used one Smoothshuffle, and so I'm going to go on and talk about Smoothshuffle.

Smoothshuffle is structurally very similar to Sawshuffle.

The first three short strokes are replace by one downstroke- 3 note downstroke replacing them:

(plays and says)

Dow-ow-own uh-uh-up down-up.

(transcription to be continued)

5 comments on “First Bowing Podcast (transcription) Sawshuffle, Smoothshuffle, and Syncoshuffle.”

Freischutz Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @8:16:07 AM

Bravo, Pogo, bella, bella. PS, your new avatar is so... distinguished. Compare to mine.

fiddlepogo Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @4:17:01 PM

Well, you've got a good one too. And hey, I have to act my age with my avatar... but you know... I have my distinguished and my silly moods and the avatar reflects that... just wait!

Freischutz Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @6:39:16 PM

I've got to get something from the Der Freischutz opera for my avatar.
He looks so contemplative, just calculating the entire sum of the Violin instrument, from its very first makers and players to where he stands now as he stares into the face of the one he holds.
Mine? I guess the king farted really loud or something.

fiddlepogo Says:
Sunday, September 9, 2012 @3:48:17 PM

LOL... yeah, there is an impish look there!!!

Freischutz Says:
Sunday, September 9, 2012 @4:00:04 PM

Only wish I had a lute. Big old Turkish Oud or something like that, or a nice Renaissance twelve-courser.
Your podcast was great. I don't play much in the actual fiddle style, I'm more of the classical, folk, world music type, but occasionally I do dable around with bluegrass and old time. Especially since I play the banjo, bluegrass and oldtime everywhere on that thing. I'll learn a really great tune on the banjo and want to fiddle it.
Also I have a book called "Fiddle Tunes for the Violinist".

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