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good fiddle tunes

plum 02 Jan 04 - 06:20 PM
The Borchester Echo 02 Jan 04 - 06:34 PM
Mark Clark 02 Jan 04 - 06:41 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 02 Jan 04 - 06:52 PM
Helen 02 Jan 04 - 07:11 PM
Mooh 02 Jan 04 - 09:28 PM
KateG 03 Jan 04 - 07:16 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 Jan 04 - 07:07 PM
Mooh 04 Jan 04 - 10:24 PM
Mooh 04 Jan 04 - 10:31 PM
plum 05 Jan 04 - 05:12 PM
Cap't Bob 05 Jan 04 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 05 Jan 04 - 05:33 PM
greg stephens 05 Jan 04 - 06:48 PM
Sorcha 05 Jan 04 - 08:41 PM
Golly 06 Jan 04 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,sorefingers 06 Jan 04 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Oryx 06 Jan 04 - 11:18 AM
greg stephens 06 Jan 04 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Julie B 16 Feb 04 - 08:29 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Feb 04 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,Julie B 19 Feb 04 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,Ely 19 Feb 04 - 08:50 PM
Annie 20 Feb 04 - 12:12 AM
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Subject: good fiddle tunes
From: plum
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:20 PM

i've been teaching myself the fiddle for about 6 months now, and the internet's great to get tunes from.
But as there's so many i'm not really sure where to start and was hoping the muddie buddies might be able to recommend some.
I'm mainly into traditional stuff from the british isles, but i'm not averse to a bit of bluegrass or something like that
thanks guys


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:34 PM

Try these sites:

Session tunes

Dance tunes


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Mark Clark
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:41 PM

Hi, Charity,

It looks as though you're pretty new around here. Welcome to the community.

You'll get lots of good advice but let me start out by saying that to play fiddle you need to listen, listen, listen and then listen. Try to immerse yourself in fiddle music. Hang out with fiddle players, put fiddle tunes in your MP3 player, buy fiddle music and listen. Take fiddle music with you everywhere you go. Fairly shortly you'll start to recognize tunes even when played in a different way than you're used to hearning. You'll also start to get a feeling for which tunes are presently within your grasp and which tunes demand more skills. Always try to hang out with people who play better than you do.

As you've discovered, there is a lot of fiddle music available on the Net but be aware that some of it is probably wrong. Either mistakes have been made in transcription or it's a personal arrangement of someone's. You should familiarize yourself with the literature of the fiddle in the genres and regions that interest you. Once you've done that, finding good tunes to learn will be much easier.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 06:52 PM

Charity, here's a brilliantly conceived site that should keep you going for a few weeks, and a bit more fun than learning tunes on your own!

BBC Virtual Session"

Just a pity they never change or add to the tunes, but I suppose you can't have everything. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Helen
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 07:11 PM

Hi charity,

Go to the Links page (look for the word "Links" at the top/middle of this page and select Violin family from the "Instruments" box. There are a few links there.

I don't play fiddle, but this is a really terrific site:

Old Time Music MIDI Archive - 19th and 20th Century dance

and you can see more links on the Links page, using the heading of Online Music (Midi, MP3 etc)

Helen


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 09:28 PM

The Fiddler's Fake Book (Oak Publications) is a worthy place to start if you read standard notation. It has a wide mix of tunes from various styles and a discography. The tunes aren't written with every nuance or embellishment but there's a few pages of discription at the front of the book describing various approaches to the playing of the tunes. Good luck!

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: KateG
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 07:16 PM

I'll second the Fiddler's Fake Book as a good place to start. In fact, my husband and I need a second copy even though neither of us plays fiddle...he plays mando and I do keyless flute and mountain dulcimer and reading off the same copy gets tricky since our bi-focals aren't compatable.

Another good source of tunes are the three volumes of The Waltz Book. Waltz's are generally played slower than jigs and reels and many of the tunes are lovely and very accessible for the beginner.

Above all, have fun and find other folks to play with.

Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 07:07 PM

Mooh's overstating his case, Charity! the Fake Book is fine, but it doesn't come close to the BBC session as a starting point. The tunes are there in standard notation, but you also hear them, recorded live, and played in sets with plenty of repeats. As a learning tool, this site couldn't have been better thought out.

For a huge, easily searchable collection of tunes, all with conventional notation and many with midis, try JC's Tunefinder.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Mooh
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 10:24 PM

I might also suggest a pair of books, Mel Bay's Celtic Encyclopedia Mandolin Edition, and fingerstyle guitar edition. Both have dozens of nice arrangements of celtic tunes.

I'm also partial to Simon Mayor's mandolin books, The Mandolin Tutor, The New Mandolin, and New Celtic Mandolin. I haven't seen his most recent book because I was hoping to have him autograph a copy personally for me, as he did the other books. Lots of tips for mandolinists but he's also a fiddler so there will be some common applications.

There are dozens of books of tunes for harp, pipe, fiddle, whistle, box and what have you which would turn up from an internet search, but it's hard to beat O'Neil's (spelling). If you're a beginner though, some of the beginner tune books for other instruments would give you some variety, like the Clark or McPeake whistle books, or the Ossian Publications book, The Celtic Harp, or Sylvia Woods book Hymns And Wedding Music For All Harps. I can't seem to find my pipe books at the moment (I tend yo loan things out), but I think you get my point.

Good luck!

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Mooh
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 10:31 PM

Oh yeah, and if you like to play song melodies there are lots of song books like the Soodlum series of Scots and Irish songs, hymn books, and so on.

www.thesession.org

www.cyberhymnal.org

www.oremus.org

www.sosyourmom.com/Oneils

www.nataliemacmaster.com

www.chiffandfipple.com

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: plum
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 05:12 PM

thanks a lot guys - all very useful
especially bbc virtual session
any particular tune titles you would recommend? there's so many tunes on all these sites and i just end up picking the ones with the most interesting titles, which i'm guessing is not the best way to go about it.
doesn't matter about difficulty - whatever it is i'll get there in the end!


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 05:26 PM

There is a band called "Wild Dismay" that has a grate selection of tunes. Their tunes are all available at this site:

http://www.blackflute.com/music/tunes.html

I think you will enjoy this site.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 05:33 PM

Unless you are looking specifically for solo material the best starting point is probably the session standards.

For English tunes get yourself copies of "One More Dance and Then" (direct from Pete Coe or from Amazon) and The English Country Dance Band CD (from Musical Traditions).

To recommend hardcopy material it helps if we know where you are, although that doesn't always stop people recommending stuff that's only published in a different continent.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 06:48 PM

The Fiddlers Fake Book is a great resource, but not if you are interested in the music of the British Isles. The English stuff is weak to the point of non-existent, and this appears to be a deliberate policy. Whether from ignorance or some political axe-grinding I couldnt say, but there are some very contoversial and totally ridiculous editorial comments saying there were very few fiddlers or fiddle tunes in England. Sad, really, because there were countless thousand fiddlers and countless thousands of tunes, thousands of which have come down to us. But you wont get that impression from the Fiddlers Folk Book. Alas.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 08:41 PM

Some of my favorites that I don't think are too difficult...Swallowtail Jig, Over the Waterfall, Road to Lisdoonvarna (w/o ornaments--with is a little more tricky)Gal/Girl I Left Behind, Salley Gardens (the aire, not the reel), Redwing, You Are My Sunshine, Snow Deer, Old Joe Clark, Shady Grove, Angeline the Baker, Westphalia Waltz, Red Fox Waltz.

For now, tend to stay away from Rags and Shetlands tunes...the beat is NOT where you expect it to be...and syncopation can be a bit difficult, esp. if you have no way to hear the tune....hornpipes are also tricky with the long/short rhythm. I STILL haven't mastered the Scotch Snap (short/long) of strasthpeys.....

Don't go for speed, go for accuracy of notes....


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Golly
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 09:11 AM

I would like to add weight to what Greg Stephens said re English Fiddle tunes. The fiddle fake Book does have some but when i think of all the seminal tunes from England they could have put in there ..oh well! My partner found reading the dots a help and she recommends the Mel Bay book on Irish fiddle by Pete Cooper as well as a Book and CD by Matt Cranich who I think was professor of Irish fiddle at Cork University. The fiddle--est way to learn is by listening to players you admire. Buy the CD, get a slowdown application off the net and play along.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 09:59 AM

Fiddlededee tunes
Flop Eared Mule 4/4-Put Your Little Foot 3/4 - O'Keef's Slide 12/8-
Classical
All the tunes from Suzuki Bk 1 and 2.

That should keep you busy for a while.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Oryx
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 11:18 AM

One of the best ways is to buy folk CDs. Sometimes they're dreadful but often they have great tunes. This has the benefit that you can listen to the style and look for the music once you know what you like. It also means that you get discover whole sets of tunes that go together. Try Altan for Irish fireworks and nice songs, Pete Clarke for Scottish, Martin Hayes - can't think of any more off hand.

As far as tunes go, I love ones with weight, drive and rhythm - particularly in minor keys. Try Drowsy Maggie, Man of the House, Cooley's Reel, The Red Crow (On Best of Altan), The Gravel Walks - all nice reels. For happier, major key reels, try Mason's Apron, Devil among the Tailors, Morpeth Rant, Flowers of Edinburgh, Sally gardens.

For weighty, exciting jigs try Tenpenny Bit, Rakes of Kildare, Dusty Windowsills, Lilting Banshee.

Hornpipes: Belfast Hornpipe, Boys of Bluehill, Off to California, Trumpet Hornpipe (AKA Captain Pugwash).

Airs: Ashokan Fairwell, Sheebeg and Sheemore, Floating across from Skerry, Niel Gow's lament for the death of his second wife.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 11:30 AM

A very interesting question this, without narrowing the field down too much. Having played in bands that play Irish, American, Scottish.English and Cajun, I've heard and played a lot of tunes. I've had a little think, and I reckon that, of the many thousand possibilities, the tune that really lets an audience know they're hearing fiddle music is the Irish tune Cooley's Reel. However, playing this will not be a trick available to a beginner in the first week or two. For really top class VERY easy tunes, I'd say have a crack at Cripple Creek(USA) or Winster Gallop(England).


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Julie B
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 08:29 PM

A friend of mine has been looking for the music for Dusty Windowsills but has had no luck. Does anyone know if it's on the web somewhere? Thanks.

Julie


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 08:35 PM

Several at J C's Tunefinder, which should always be the first stop when looking for such things. A good plan to look in the text versions of each file, though, as inevitably there are duplications as people copy abcs made by others onto their own sites, and not all transcriptions are accurate.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Julie B
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 07:46 PM

Great - thanks Malcolm.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Ely
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 08:50 PM

I'm also trying to learn fiddle (got the bow for Christmas!!). I don't have the money/schedule to take lessons right now so I'm picking out things by ear and hoping I don't develop too many bad bowing habits.

"Riding on a Load of Hay" (Em) is surprisingly easy. Other than that, I'm working on "Dixie" (C), "Off To California"/"Whiskey Hornpipe" [G], "Colored Aristocracy" [A], "Booth Shot Lincoln" [A], "West Fork Girls" [D], "Amelia's" [D, by John McQuillan], "Where the White Lilies Grow" [D, a two-step], "Rosin the Bow" [D], "Banks of Inverness" [A], "Cluck, Old Hen" [Am], "Whiskey Before Breakfast" [D], and a few others. D and A are easy keys for me so I'm trying to learn some G and C tunes so I get a better feel for those scales (I'm also playing just scales to learn where notes are, since I tend to be a muscle-memory person). "Princess Royal" (the faster one in G, not the minor one) is giving me fits. I know a lot of tunes in my head so I have a lot to practice with, I just have to get them to the strings.

I'm American, by the way, so if you're looking mostly for British/British Isles tunes, sorry.


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Subject: RE: good fiddle tunes
From: Annie
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 12:12 AM

For USA: I learned D tunes first and Angeline the Baker was a good starter tune. I got a lot out of watching other fiddlers. Listening alone didn't get me the info I needed for bow movement. Soldiers Joy, Liberty, Over the Water Fall....and the good thing about these is they are so standard that when you run into other beginner fiddlers, there's a good chance you'll have common ground. I had trouble learning waltzes at first (like the first 10 years) because it required more bow discipine. I found it easier to learn moderately fast tunes than slower tunes. Depends on the style you favor though.


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