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May 30, 2022 - 2:35:59 PM

Creole

USA

19 posts since 4/19/2022

So I have pretty much gotten through one of the Essential Elements Books on reading music for Violin. Have just about had enough of Partial songs like Old MacDonalds and Hot Cross buns..yes really. :) Looking for something to head out into the horizon now and continue into Fiddle songs for a beginner on Fiddle. Suggestions? I am building towards playing Blue Grass and maybe Cajun eventually. What did you learn from at home with out lessons? I started with Fiddling for the Complete Ignoramus...realized quickly, it is easier to read music and bought the Essential Elements 2000 Plus book for $4.00. Any advice? Thanks Ya'll

May 30, 2022 - 3:21:06 PM
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2068 posts since 12/11/2008

I wish I could give you better help. But you might want to try a video or two from David Bragger. Meticulous instruction. Even if you aren't familiar with a particular tune he's teaching, the tune will still be a good one and worth learning..

May 30, 2022 - 4:16:51 PM
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WyoBob

USA

413 posts since 5/16/2019

I'd recommend "FiddleHed".   He has lots of free videos on YouTube.   I've been a subscriber of his on this site: https://fiddlehed.com/  for a couple of years and think he does a great job.

May 30, 2022 - 5:07:40 PM
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Swing

USA

2146 posts since 6/26/2007

I think that you could really benefit from YouTube videos... learning by ear will help you in a big way... most of the videos are very good and clear... additionally you can slow down the video so that you can grasp what is really being played.. while books are okay, you really need the hear the music. try it, and learn to use it ...

Play Happy

Swing

May 30, 2022 - 6:06:19 PM
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Snafu

USA

139 posts since 2/2/2014

Not meaning to snipe but you ask for book advice for fiddle tunes in standard notation and you get learn by ear advice. Sigh…it is just what we gravitate to here, can’t help ourselves I guess…

Back to your question, I would get a copy of O’NEILLS 1850 tunes (Irish fiddle tunes). Mel Bay has a bound version (Suggest the yellow cover version, others will say otherwise) that I had redone into spiral binding at my local Staples for about $6. O’Neills is probably public domain by now so is also out there as a bootleg.pdf if you are willing. I also suggest looking into the Contra music books. Contra tunes encompass old time, traditional fiddle and Irish tunes.

Over at the website: thesession.org if you go to the tunes tab there are tens of thousands of free tunes in standard notation and some .pdf’s members there have compiled of “standard” tunes to learn first.

If you want some “starter” tune compilations for fiddle please pm me.

May 30, 2022 - 6:52:16 PM
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Mobob

USA

205 posts since 10/1/2009

Check out Mel bay publications, lots of tune books in many genre at all levels. Keep an eye out for sales, often at a discount.

May 31, 2022 - 4:42:34 AM
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RobBob

USA

2833 posts since 6/26/2007

Mel Bay has The Fiddler's Handbook, with way more than you probably will ever use and all of their books are 30% of right now. Scales, double stops, etudes in different styles. For the reading fiddler, it is a good resource.

May 31, 2022 - 5:16:41 AM
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Players Union Member

Earworm

USA

342 posts since 1/30/2018

I've heard The Fiddler's Fakebook recommended many times - maybe someday I'll get around to getting myself a copy. It's got a lot in it though.

May 31, 2022 - 6:00:41 AM
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2442 posts since 10/1/2008

There are countless books available that will help you enter into Bluegrass fiddling. In truth much is learned by listening. A couple of good books with transcriptions of classic breaks and tunes are Bluegrass Fiddle Styles or Hot Fiddle Licks for Bluegrass Fiddle. The Fiddle Fakebook mentioned above is also good. The Cajun Fiddle by Craig Duncan, which I do not have, is likely a good book as well. I have several 'grass books and have found them helpful. R/

May 31, 2022 - 7:44:24 AM
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Creole

USA

19 posts since 4/19/2022

quote:
Originally posted by WyoBob

I'd recommend "FiddleHed".   He has lots of free videos on YouTube.   I've been a subscriber of his on this site: https://fiddlehed.com/  for a couple of years and think he does a great job.


Hey Bob...thank you.  I am currently getting Emails from Jason at FHed.  Was wondering if it would be worth trying.  I have enjoyed his Youtube vids for years and feel they gave me the confidence to come back to playing.  Thank you to all for great advice as I continue the journey.

Edited by - Creole on 05/31/2022 07:51:38

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May 31, 2022 - 8:35:16 AM
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DougD

USA

10661 posts since 12/2/2007

I don't play Bluegrass or Cajun fiddle, and I didn't really learn "at home," but here are some thoughts:
I think I'd look at some of the beginning book/CD sets from publishers like Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. Like this: halleonard.com/product/1403298...ss-fiddle
Or maybe Brian Wicklund's "American Fiddle Method." Maybe some people have experience with some of these and can comment.
If you're interested in Bluegrass and maybe Cajun you can reasonably skip books of somewhat dusty old Irish tunes (fun to have though), or websites devoted to Irish music .
Also, I wouldn't purchase the "Fiddler's Fakebook" unless you have a chance to look at it first. Despite the title, its in no way a fakebook. Its a collection of tunes in various genres, transcribed from recordings that were available and popular in the mid 1970's. Many of the source recordings weren't widely available at that time, but are now. Maybe some folks have found it useful, but I've never gotten much out of it.

May 31, 2022 - 11:04:58 AM
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771 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Creole

So I have pretty much gotten through one of the Essential Elements Books on reading music for Violin. Have just about had enough of Partial songs like Old MacDonalds and Hot Cross buns..yes really. :) Looking for something to head out into the horizon now and continue into Fiddle songs for a beginner on Fiddle. Suggestions? I am building towards playing Blue Grass and maybe Cajun eventually. What did you learn from at home with out lessons? I started with Fiddling for the Complete Ignoramus...realized quickly, it is easier to read music and bought the Essential Elements 2000 Plus book for $4.00. Any advice? Thanks Ya'll


If you're looking for something with more of a teaching element to it, Mark O'Connor's method books can give you both technical treatment and an introduction into American fiddle music. I haven't had much experience with it myself, but I know some teachers who like to use his method books as supplemental material. The books come with recordings. 
http://www.oconnormethod.com/Store.html

If you're looking to dive into tunes, some of the sources listed above (like O'Neill) can be useful. Mel Bay has  books that contain some nice tunes and some useful information. I would say, though, that you'll find a better selection of tunes if you look for earlier source material and not the regurgitated and watered-down or overly ornamented versions that show up in some of the more modern collections or method books.

To learn about the style and culture in a more scholarly way, you're more limited to video and radio interviews of old fiddlers. The early fiddlers didn't tend to write much about playing. It's a lot easier to find historical context for classical music because some of the great players wrote memoirs and discussed their methodologies. 

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