Archive for January 18th, 2010

New links!

Check out the links in the right column of the page. You will find great resources of tune recordings, available for free. There is also a site from which you can stream documentaries about folk life in the USA, including some great films about music (jail songs, cajun fiddle, Chicago blues…all kinds of good stuff.)

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Tune 8, and feelin’ great! Important lessons gleaned from comparing yesterday’s experience to today’s: 1) getting exercise helps both the kinks in your mind and in your back. 2) It’s way easier to learn a new tune when you are not mildly hung over.

Today’s tune of choice is Cripple Creek, which I don’t know much about except that it’s popular in both the bluegrass and Old Time repertoires, and mostly played in A. I found this video, by Ian Walsh, to be helpful.

As for tunes 1 through 7, Jerusalem Ridge and Minor Swing have been getting special treatment. They’re just such good tunes, and so challenging, that it’s hard to stop working on them. But Hangman’s reel is there, calling in it’s AEAC# voice and threatening me with a noose should I go a second day without practicing it.

Also, After some confusion regarding the sequence of notes in that first part of Sally Goodin, I looked up a few other versions using the Fiddle Hangout search (now in my new links page!) and came to the conclusion that despite a general ‘shape’, it’s a pretty fluid melody. My favourite interpretation so far has been by Gayle Hopson.

Day eight insights:

Overall, I have to say that despite the occasional fatigue, learning a tune a day is a great exercise. The time it takes to warm up  is decreasing with each session and I’m finding it’s getting easier to zone in on specific elements (keeping fingers close to bridge, intonation, a certain passage…). And of course, learning tunes seems to be becoming a bit easier, too. But most importantly, it’s all becoming more and more meditative; the focus is stronger and deeper.

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