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Oct 21, 2021 - 6:17:29 PM
1484 posts since 7/26/2015

Most fiddle tunes I know of are in the following keys: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, or B flat major, or some other mode like aeolian, mixolydian, or dorian. Do y'all know of any tunes in ususual keys like C sharp/D flat, D sharp/E flat, F sharp/G flat or G sharp/A flat that could be played in standard GDAE tuning?

Oct 21, 2021 - 6:49:53 PM

DougD

USA

10336 posts since 12/2/2007

I think the East Texas Serenader's recording of "Babe" is in Eb but that's the only one I can think of. Should keep you busy for awhile.
I'd guess that fiddlers who also played in country bands, like Kenny Baker, could play in other keys, but probably not for fiddle tunes.

Oct 21, 2021 - 8:14:13 PM

2468 posts since 10/22/2007

A few days ago, I was playing along with a karaoke machine. One tune was in C#. Wasn't that an old anti-theft measure? Then there's the guy that tunes his guitar for five minutes, then snaps a capo on three. What key is he in?

I don't know. I just slide into it.

Edited by - farmerjones on 10/21/2021 20:14:51

Oct 21, 2021 - 8:32:12 PM

2576 posts since 7/12/2013

Pete Martin wrote a waltz in Eb

Oct 22, 2021 - 4:47:52 AM
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Swing

USA

2070 posts since 6/26/2007

Take any ole tune and play it in a different key... I used to play Ragtime Annie in C and thought it sounded better... lately I have been exercising by play tunes in F#/Gb, C#/Db, etc...

Play Happy

Swing

Oct 22, 2021 - 6:18:57 AM
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5505 posts since 9/26/2008

Fiddle tunes in those keys are called violin music. :-)

Oct 22, 2021 - 7:52:47 AM

124 posts since 7/30/2021
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At our jam this summer, when I got a tune in a minor key I was like, O Hallelujah! We are Leaving the key of D!!

Hmm there is that song by Vassar Clements - Lonesome Fiddle Blues - it's got a weird key change, a b flat, and some "accidental" notes in it...

Oct 22, 2021 - 9:53:13 AM

bsed

USA

4182 posts since 6/23/2007

Billy Mathews wrote a tune called Pagan Rite in Dm.

Oct 22, 2021 - 9:57:16 AM

bsed

USA

4182 posts since 6/23/2007

It's also occurred to me that the OT music canon could use a few more tunes in Bm and Emaj. You do hear those keys in Irish and Canadian tunes.

Oct 22, 2021 - 2:20:17 PM

5505 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by NCnotes

At our jam this summer, when I got a tune in a minor key I was like, O Hallelujah! We are Leaving the key of D!!

Hmm there is that song by Vassar Clements - Lonesome Fiddle Blues - it's got a weird key change, a b flat, and some "accidental" notes in it...


"Lonesome Fiddle Blues" is in Dm/F, hence the Bb note. It doesn't really change keys as that note/chord is part of the scale. 

Another minor key tune is "Garfield's Blackberry Blossom" in Gm

Kenny Baker has made several tunes in the key of E, my favorite being "Cross Eyed Fiddler" which I suppose is technically in E mixolydian (has a D chord). 

Oct 23, 2021 - 1:30:05 AM

1635 posts since 4/6/2014

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan
quote:
Originally posted by NCnotes

At our jam this summer, when I got a tune in a minor key I was like, O Hallelujah! We are Leaving the key of D!!

Hmm there is that song by Vassar Clements - Lonesome Fiddle Blues - it's got a weird key change, a b flat, and some "accidental" notes in it...


"Lonesome Fiddle Blues" is in Dm/F, hence the Bb note. It doesn't really change keys as that note/chord is part of the scale. 

Another minor key tune is "Garfield's Blackberry Blossom" in Gm

Kenny Baker has made several tunes in the key of E, my favorite being "Cross Eyed Fiddler" which I suppose is technically in E mixolydian (has a D chord). 


Recently i watched a link from this site of Vassar Clements teaching LFB. It uses  a G Maj chord, so i'm supposing it modulates to C major or A natural minor? Haven't analyzed it yet, but there is a distinct key change.

GBB is an odd ball, i learned a Stuart Duncan sort of version and i would say it is more G mixolydian , so more like C Major fingering wise. (i don't use any Bb at all)

And E mix would be similar fingering wise to A Major.

Oct 24, 2021 - 11:47:35 AM

RichJ

USA

570 posts since 8/6/2013

The first 8 years after taking on the fiddle I only played in standard. Once I started tackling tunes in the key of C which usually meant playing an F on the E string, playing in other odd keys like F, Bb or Eb didn't feel all that different. Maybe this came from noting those Fs on the E string made it seem easier to note those other funny ones like Bb and Eb on the A and D strings.

Oct 25, 2021 - 4:56:25 AM
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12517 posts since 9/23/2009

I'm figuring if you hear somebody playing in E-flat or G# or what-not like that, they probably just didn't use the little electronic tuner doo-floppy and that's as close as they got. Anybody who'd do a thing like that on purpose must be half nuts, is all I can say...lol.

Oct 27, 2021 - 8:48:23 AM

Jimbeaux

Germany

401 posts since 5/24/2016

The weirdest I get are a few tunes in F, Bb and E

E: Sleepy-Eyed Joe from John Ashby and sometimes I mess with a vision of Soldier's Joy in E that I found on Slippery Hill (Missouri fiddler, I think)
Bb: Wild Goose Chase from Clyde Davenport
F: Johnny court the widow (and sometimes I play Lee Triplett's Blue-eyed gal in F, though he played it in C)

Oct 27, 2021 - 2:23:29 PM

1484 posts since 7/26/2015

Just so y'all know, I'm looking for keys with a tonic of Ab/G#, Db/C#, Eb/D#, or Gb/F# and tunes that could be played in these keys without changing the tuning from GDAE.

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