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Fiddle Lovers Online


Jan 22, 2023 - 2:49:01 PM
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Creole

USA

61 posts since 4/19/2022

So I am able to play songs using the 12 first beginner notes with the typical lines or dots on the finger board. Wanting to move on and learn the to read the notes in between the lines. Any one have a recommendation on a book? Video? Music theory I guess this would be called? Thank you.
Doc

Jan 22, 2023 - 4:39:29 PM

doryman

USA

403 posts since 2/10/2020

I'm not really sure what you are asking. Do you want to learn sharps and flats?

Jan 22, 2023 - 6:24:06 PM

Creole

USA

61 posts since 4/19/2022

Yes...I think maybe it is  the Dorian scale? 

Edited by - Creole on 01/22/2023 18:25:01

Jan 22, 2023 - 6:49:20 PM

2875 posts since 10/22/2007

If you're playing in any other key than C, you are using sharps or flats.






Otherwise . . . mandolincafe.com/archives/niles.html

Edited by - farmerjones on 01/22/2023 18:57:52

Jan 22, 2023 - 6:51:47 PM

319 posts since 12/2/2013

To play the Dorian mode you flat 3rd and 7th degrees of the scale.

Jan 22, 2023 - 7:34:24 PM

Creole

USA

61 posts since 4/19/2022

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

If you're playing in any other key than C, you are using sharps or flats.

Ok so the flats and sharps will have the Flat or sharp symbol on them but be in the same place on the sheet music?  Or do I look to the Key Signature  #?




Otherwise . . . mandolincafe.com/archives/niles.html


Jan 22, 2023 - 7:36:48 PM
Players Union Member

Earworm

USA

423 posts since 1/30/2018

What tools & resources have you been using so far, in your learning? Maybe it would be helpful for us to know more about this first.

Jan 22, 2023 - 7:59:33 PM
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6096 posts since 9/26/2008

Yes flat and sharp symbols will mostly be at the front of the lines, indicating the key generally. So a C# will visually be in the same place on the staff, but you play it a half step higher. Add that and an F# and you've got key of D major (Ionian?) or E Dorian or even A Mixolydian, but the scale is the same notes for each.

Jan 23, 2023 - 5:18:12 AM

Swing

USA

2242 posts since 6/26/2007

Learn the intervals and then you really won't much difficulty playing in different keys

Play Happy

Swing

Jan 23, 2023 - 5:59:36 AM
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RichJ

USA

801 posts since 8/6/2013

Understanding the tonal separations occurring in a simple do-re-mi scale is essential to understand why sharps and flats occur in written music. Tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone. The piano keyboard is very helpful in seeing this because every note for several octaves is right there staring you in the face. Of course you might then ask how come there aren't black keys between every white one? A VERY good question and that's when you become aware B and C notes and E and F notes are ALWAYS separated by a semitone rather than full tones like all the other white keys on the piano. Tones and semitones are made on the fiddle by varying the separation distance of the fingers. When the second finger touches the first on the fingerboard (high position) the note it produces will be a semitone higher then what the first finger is playing. If the second finger is separated from the 1st by a finger distance (low position) the note will be a full tone higher.

Ok there I go again, another blah, blah session. All this takes a lot more time to write about than illustrate in person. Still it's worth taking the effort to understand. Really not that difficult - I think...maybe.

Edited by - RichJ on 01/23/2023 06:00:34

Jan 23, 2023 - 10:16:09 AM
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doryman

USA

403 posts since 2/10/2020

quote:
Originally posted by RichJ

Understanding the tonal separations occurring in a simple do-re-mi scale is essential to understand why sharps and flats occur in written music. Tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone. The piano keyboard is very helpful in seeing this because every note for several octaves is right there staring you in the face. Of course you might then ask how come there aren't black keys between every white one? A VERY good question and that's when you become aware B and C notes and E and F notes are ALWAYS separated by a semitone rather than full tones like all the other white keys on the piano. Tones and semitones are made on the fiddle by varying the separation distance of the fingers. When the second finger touches the first on the fingerboard (high position) the note it produces will be a semitone higher then what the first finger is playing. If the second finger is separated from the 1st by a finger distance (low position) the note will be a full tone higher.

Ok there I go again, another blah, blah session. All this takes a lot more time to write about than illustrate in person. Still it's worth taking the effort to understand. Really not that difficult - I think...maybe.


This is why I'm a big fan of piano lessons for a couple of years.  I know that there are many people who figure this all out without visualizing a piano keyboard, but I don't know how they do it!  The idea of "modes" would be nonsensical to me otherwise, for example. 

Jan 23, 2023 - 11:03:49 AM

RichJ

USA

801 posts since 8/6/2013

quote:
Originally posted by doryman

This is why I'm a big fan of piano lessons for a couple of years.  I know that there are many people who figure this all out without visualizing a piano keyboard, but I don't know how they do it!  The idea of "modes" would be nonsensical to me otherwise, for example. 


Couldn't agree more John. I took a few years of piano lessons when I was around 7. Of course now i wish my mom made me take violin lessons instead. of piano lessons. When I started fooling with a fiddle 60 years later all that piano stuff came back and helped me understand key signatures, relationships between various notes and reading notation to learn a lot of simple fiddle tunes. I eventually turned into being mostly a by ear kind of fiddler, but often use a picture of the piano keyboard to help figure relationships between various keys and musical notes.

Edited by - RichJ on 01/23/2023 11:05:06

Jan 23, 2023 - 12:19:02 PM
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RB-1

Netherlands

96 posts since 9/28/2020

Intersting, as I never had any piano lessons.

But I started fooling around with mandolin at age 7 as well.

When attempting a do,re, mi scale I discovered that most notes were 2 frets apart but some were not.

And, most important of all, it didn't matter where you started, the pattern remained the same.

At 14 I got my first violin ( I never heard fiddle by then) and found most I knew from the mandolin worked on the violin too.

Fast forward 55 years, I never stopped playing mandolin, meanwhile discovered Bluegrass, 5 string banjo, guitar and dobro and don't want no other music anymore. Never learned to read standard notation, but using tablature later on where needed, especially when teaching..

But when Covid struck and we all went into some sort of isolation, I picked up the (meanwhile) fiddle and 3 years in, I'm super happy about what I've achieved so far.

Wat counts for me now is technical progress (how to) as I know exactly what I want to play.

My advice, get a mandolin too and use it to visualize the place of the notes....

Edited by - RB-1 on 01/23/2023 12:34:35

Jan 23, 2023 - 2:19:22 PM
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Creole

USA

61 posts since 4/19/2022

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Yes flat and sharp symbols will mostly be at the front of the lines, indicating the key generally. So a C# will visually be in the same place on the staff, but you play it a half step higher. Add that and an F# and you've got key of D major (Ionian?) or E Dorian or even A Mixolydian, but the scale is the same notes for each.


YOU nailed it...that is what I have been searching for.  Perfect thanks.

Jan 23, 2023 - 2:21:24 PM
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Creole

USA

61 posts since 4/19/2022

quote:
Originally posted by Earworm

What tools & resources have you been using so far, in your learning? Maybe it would be helpful for us to know more about this first.


I have older books from Essential Elements.  It tells very briefly about Key Signatures etc.  So was wanting the info Chicknman came up with. 

Thnks

Jan 23, 2023 - 4:30:46 PM
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doryman

USA

403 posts since 2/10/2020

quote:
Originally posted by RB-1

 

And, most important of all, it didn't matter where you started, the pattern remained the same.

 


But the pattern doesn't remain the same for different modes. 

Jan 24, 2023 - 12:33:29 AM

RB-1

Netherlands

96 posts since 9/28/2020

quote:
Originally posted by doryman
quote:
Originally posted by RB-1

 

And, most important of all, it didn't matter where you started, the pattern remained the same.

 


But the pattern doesn't remain the same for different modes. 


I was talking about patterns of major and minor scales, the ones that are the first things a beginner should master, IMHO.

Most important when starting is to try and find the notes to well known, simple melodies within these scales. These melodies inevitably must be different between the USA and the Netherlands, back when I was a child, but the principle remains.

While theory (as in thinking and reasoning about chromatic scales, harmonies, rhythm, modes, etc.) comes handy when progressing beyond intitial stages, but at first one should leave such complexity to a later stage. When beginning, forget about "modes" or any other theoretical concept, just listen, find the notes and play as far as your memory allows. Just that. Then carefully expand your abilities.

Again, I want to stress how much learning mandolin first helped me in recognizing the same notes on the violin. Different, yet similar enough for a (left hand) head start.

Now for bowing.....wink

Jan 24, 2023 - 3:25:12 AM
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2092 posts since 4/6/2014
Online Now

For me, the pattern remains the same for each individual one of the 7 modes. And i just shift them up or down, or change to a different modal pattern as required..A bit like changing Chord shapes on a fretted instrument.

Jan 24, 2023 - 4:44:27 AM
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14146 posts since 9/23/2009

If you play a lap dulcimer (one without the cheater frets that allow you to escape the confines of a mode here and there) you are pretty much forced into learning the modes...at least by sound and tuning on the dulcimer...I realize that's different than learning the actual notes/written music.

Jan 25, 2023 - 5:16:03 AM
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RB-1

Netherlands

96 posts since 9/28/2020

quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

If you play a lap dulcimer (one without the cheater frets that allow you to escape the confines of a mode here and there) you are pretty much forced into learning the modes...at least by sound and tuning on the dulcimer...I realize that's different than learning the actual notes/written music.


That's exactly why I recommanded a mandolin instead.

Since it's fingerboard is chromatic, you will find the visual clues, when figuring out a major scale (IMHO the first one should master) by ear.

Furthermore the discovery that, after playing the first four notes of the scale, the next four (actually 3, the last will be the octave) will be on the next string above with your index finger exactly next to the place where the scale's first note was will beone of many similarities that can be applied in many other ways.

First there is the fretboard with all the notes available. On the fiddle it's the same, only there are no frets, so you'll have to find the right fingerpositions by ear....

For ease of reading I made the diagrams with equal distances between the frets, but in reality the frets are progressively closer when going up the neck (=towards the bridge)

A simple do-re-mi scale in the key of G would look a bit like this (the first note is played on the open (not fingered) string:

You'll soon find there are only four fingers on the left hand, so you'll have to shift your hand and begin with the index finger again, but now on the E (la) note. Nowhere near a smooth , easy proces, but nevertheless, for demo purpose it works.

Would you like the do-re-mi scale that starts one note higher (the A), it would look like this:

Instead of the open G string your first note will be an A, stopped by the index finger where on the mandolin the 2nd fret is. On the fiddle you'll have to do this by ear. But help is nearby, when you bow both G and D strings you will hear, while moving your index finger around near where that 2nd fret would be, there will be a moment where both notes (the A and D) will sound together in a "clean" way. Now you've hit the right spot. Mind you (!), your instrument should be perfectly in tune or else everything else fails.

From there work your way up with middle, ring and little finger until you'v hit the "fa". Checking it with the open D string, you should hear one note without any harsness, adjust pinky until about right. Then move up tho the top end of the scale.

But moving this hand up and down the neck actually is an advanced technique and wont be nescesary for many fiddle melodies. Therefore these next examples of playing a scale, using 2 adjacent strings. First a G-scale, starting with the open g string. Using only 3 fingers (index, middle and ring) this is the simplest way of achieving this. When reaching the "fa" note, the next one (sol) is played on the next open (D) string and from there the pattern as played on the G-string repeats itself:

When applying this newly gained ability on playing an A-scale, we can't get away with playing an open string for "do". Instead, we're starting the "do" with the index finger on the "A" note. "Re", "mi" & "fa" are stopped by the middle, ring and little finger as in the diagram.  The "sol"note is stopped by the index on the D-string, next to where the "do" was stopped. From there, the other fingers follow the same pattern as on the G-string

So much for now. If you like it, let me know.

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