Too much spam these days...
"Put clothespins on your bridge to control yar volume."
Wait, was someone telling me to be quiet? Hmmmmmph.
Not really a tip, but the best thing I've learned at the FHO was from groundhogpeggy - that the pileated woodpecker was sometimes called a woodcock. That's the kind of information you can really latch on to.
Always check the origination date of the thread, and consider it before you reply.
Sometimes it's okay. Sometimes it's not.
The best tip I've received was that I should study music theory.. I bought Music Theory for Dummies.. and learned a lot.
Sorry Im so on and off aroubd here. Life is just so distracting, but i always come back! The archives are incredibly valuable! I can't think of a specific technique, but being able to search through the archives for bowing patterns and conversations on them, is something I'm very greatful for.
Forcing myself to know where each note played lies on the scale of the tune's key - doing so widely opened the doors to music theory, learning by ear, and improvisation.
Best thing I learned was to use shorter bow strokes for playing faster
quote:Originally posted by Snafu1. A post on FH lead me to the wonderful book called “Hokum: Theory and scales for fiddle Improvisation” by Leon Grizzard which has helped me in countless ways.
Can you tell me more about the Hokum book? It sounds interesting. I looked at some sample pages at amazon but it's not enough to understand how the book works. What are the exercises?
Originally posted by Dick Hauser
The best tip I received was learning about the availability of Gordon Stobbe's "12 Things Your Right Hand Should Know". It taught me more about bowing than all the violin and fiddle instructors I studied with.
It's been years since I watched this DVD and I think I could benefit from watching it again. Thanks for mentioning it. It was great the first time but I was a beginner.
Cunparis, the best way to describe the Hokum book is it teaches the structure of fiddle tunes as it relates to music theory. When you play fiddle tunes, you are really just “practicing” music theory even if you don’t realize it.
A few thoughts - You need to be able to sightread and play fiddle off of standard notation and some experience playing a chord based instrument like a guitar will be handy. The goal is to gain the ability to improvise fiddle on the fly once you ascertain the key and rhythm. I’m still working on that!
Another way of putting it is most fiddle tunes and simple folk songs are really just arpeggios (played as single notes) of chords. There are lots of practice exercises divided up by key in the first part of the book. The second half of the book gets into really meaty subjects like dominant chords/scales, modes, minor keys, modes, pentatonic scales and a nice foray into blues. It is amazing what is packed into its 120 pages. Send me a pm and I can take a few pictures or scan a chapter into a pdf and send it to you to examine.
Thanks for the details. I found it at a good price on Abe's books (English books can be hard to find in France or they are very expensive) so I went ahead and bought it. It'll take a few weeks to arrive. I'm looking forward to it. I can read notation and I play a bit of ukulele so it sounds like a good match for me.
I received the hokum book and have been working on it. I was expecting more guidance on the exercises. I'm in the G major chapter where he says to play over some G-D chord progressions. So I created one in Band in a Box and I have it loop and I play over it. But what I'm playing isn't too interesting. So I don't know how far to go with it.
Another good non-fiddle tidbit from Groundhog Peggy - that there is a Jenny Lind cantaloupe! I'd never heard of it, but it looks interesting and I think I'll try growing them next year.
I might have said this before, but despite the fact I don't play much Old Time anymore (the fiddling world is simply too vast for me to focus on one genre) I just like hangin' here. Watching the vids. Listening to the mp3's. Enjoying reading posts from a bunch of good people.
I'm still waiting for THE tip that will help me forward.
For some strange reason, unknown to me, fiddle tabs don't follow the normal tab system. like found for example in mandolintabs.
So no sightreading for me as I'd hoped for...
Bruno, not to be a smart arse, but THE tip is to learn to read standard notation and leave tab behind. Give it a good couple of weeks of focused effort and you will get it down fairly easy. All the fiddle tune books are in standard notation. I’m assuming since tab was your first option that you will be playing in first position only since I have never seen tab used for tunes “down the neck”.
A distant second is to learn to play from ABC notation.
'Beaumont Rag?' 15 hrs
'Lil Liza Jane' 16 hrs
'Lil Liza Jane' 23 hrs
'Beamont Rag' 23 hrs
'Trouble on the Hillside' 2 days
'Strum Machine - Thumbs up!' 2 days