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Nov 23, 2021 - 5:17:25 PM
9496 posts since 3/19/2009

Back story: At our jam tonight, we decided to play in C.... the other two fiddlers didn't know much in C so when it was my turn I played 'stripped down' versions of tunes.. that is, without drones or unisons or chords.. My intent was to simplify the tunes so as to not confuse the other fiddlers .. Much to my surprise I found three tunes (there are probably a zillion others) that sounded pretty good stripped down and they only needed TWO fingers to play.


Forty Miles From Georgetown Without Any Whiskey
Pike's Peak
Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase..

Ok.. what other tunes are you familiar with that can be played with just two fingers..(no one-note exceptions!!)

Nov 23, 2021 - 5:59:54 PM
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124 posts since 7/30/2021
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A tune that comes to mind over here is Irish polka "Britches Full of Stitches"?

(yep just tested to see, I used only first and second fingers)

Edited by - NCnotes on 11/23/2021 18:00:17

Nov 23, 2021 - 6:02:32 PM

9496 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by NCnotes

A tune that comes to mind over here is Irish polka "Britches Full of Stitches"?

(yep just tested to see, I used only first and second fingers)


Wonderful.. The tunes I mentioned only take the second and third fingers..!! I know there are many more..ANY two fingers count!!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 11/23/2021 18:04:11

Nov 23, 2021 - 6:21:01 PM
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124 posts since 7/30/2021
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And it's great to know in case anybody ever jams a finger playing basketball, etc...:-)

Nov 23, 2021 - 6:25:56 PM
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9496 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by NCnotes

And it's great to know in case anybody ever jams a finger playing basketball, etc...:-)


Yikes.. Don't ya just hate when that happens?  

Nov 23, 2021 - 7:00:35 PM

12517 posts since 9/23/2009

I can think of a bunch that only take 3 fingers...but I can't think of any that take two...lol...I'll think harder.

Nov 23, 2021 - 7:47:17 PM
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2468 posts since 10/22/2007

I recon Angelina Baker. If memory serves.

Nov 24, 2021 - 8:20:34 AM
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bsed

USA

4182 posts since 6/23/2007

quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

I can think of a bunch that only take 3 fingers...but I can't think of any that take two...lol...I'll think harder.


I do most of my playing with 3 fingers, since I rarely use my pinkie.

Nov 24, 2021 - 9:01:46 AM

12517 posts since 9/23/2009

Me too...I have gradually utilized the pinkie more and more over recent years, but sometimes I'd rather slide up ring finger and just let pinkie have the day off...lol.

Nov 24, 2021 - 9:20:41 AM
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5505 posts since 9/26/2008
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Perhaps there are more but the only one I can think of that I play is Angelina Baker. She lived on the village green.

Nov 24, 2021 - 11:25:20 PM

2803 posts since 9/13/2009

A lot of pentatonic tunes, depending on range and tuning.

D tunes just played on 2 high strings using first and third finger... go from a, b, d / e, f# to a'. Move over to a course to G... D, E, G / a, b, d / e. Or can tune the first string to D and have d, e, g. Gives octave and half, lots of tunes can fit that.

Similar for key of A, using only first and second fingers gives goes from third string E, F# / a, b, c# / e, f#. Even better if tuned AEAE; all 4 strings, A, B, C# / E, F#, / a, b, c# / e, f#. Hunt for the Buffalo, Pretty Gal with Hair All Down Behind pop into mind, but numerous others. Almost 2 full octaves, as long as doesn't need to go up to high a (of course could always use second finger to get that).

On related note... the OP key of C using only second and third fingers, gives  G / a, c, d / e, g, a.; can extend C pentatonic tunes playing out of AEAE gives A, C, D / E, G (a) / a, c, d / e, g, a.  Key of F can similarly be played out of ADAD.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 11/24/2021 23:29:32

Nov 25, 2021 - 4:19:08 AM

Jimbeaux

Germany

401 posts since 5/24/2016

In the notes to Back to the Cider Mill (Jerrell, Cockerham, Jenkins), Charlie Faurot notes that Oscar Jenkins only uses two fingers to fret the fiddle. I always found this really strange as he definitely has to use all four fingers in his particular style of banjo playing.

I think he played fiddle on one track in both of those rounder issues of that trio. There are also two tracks on slippery hill:
https://www.slippery-hill.com/content/too-young-marry-1

https://www.slippery-hill.com/content/black-eyed-susie-3

Black eyed susie is a good example of how he can get a lot of mileage out of repeating a single note, with and without slides.

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