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Could you recommend your favorite tunes for practicing

Jun 23, 2020 - 2:00:27 AM


Czech Republic

10 posts since 4/2/2008

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.

Jun 23, 2020 - 6:04:31 AM
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2336 posts since 10/1/2008

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/

Jun 23, 2020 - 3:20:43 PM



431 posts since 8/6/2013

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. 

Jun 23, 2020 - 4:09:52 PM
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2009 posts since 6/26/2007

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


Jun 23, 2020 - 8:07:32 PM

3561 posts since 12/8/2007

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.


Jun 25, 2020 - 8:06:53 AM

8 posts since 3/20/2020

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.

Jun 25, 2020 - 9:38:32 AM



4138 posts since 6/22/2007

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

Jun 26, 2020 - 6:23:01 AM
Players Union Member



2621 posts since 2/3/2011

Big John MacNeil - string crossing

Jun 26, 2020 - 6:54:34 PM
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644 posts since 8/10/2017

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

Jun 27, 2020 - 6:51:50 AM

5096 posts since 9/26/2008
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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.

Aug 7, 2020 - 4:38:37 PM

3561 posts since 12/8/2007

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

Aug 7, 2020 - 8:44:12 PM



23 posts since 7/22/2020

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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