Wait Till You Hear This One

Old-time fiddle tunes and sources

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Bob Walters’ “Jump Fingers,” Gut Strings

In my last post I mentioned how I was hating the sound of my fiddle, and joked that maybe I needed yet another new kind of strings. Well, it turns out I did! My wife will laugh to read this, because it never lasts, but I’m now officially in love with  Pirastro Wondertone gut strings. In this video I play Bob Walters’ “Jump Fingers” on my gut-strung fiddle, once at moderate speed and then once slow with some comments about style. At the beginning I show what the strings look like and say a little about how they’re different. Here’s a nice speedy version of Bob playing it with piano backup from R.P. Christesen, on Slippery Hill. And here’s his more stately version from The Champion, slowed-down and pitch corrected.

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David Bragger teaches “Cripple Creek”

I was impressed by the clarity of David’s teaching in this recent free lesson he posted on Facebook, and I thought some of you might like it, too. I want to take a cue from him and get better at calling out bow directions as I play and generally keeping things moving along quickly in my videos. But who can compete with his home decor and fashion sense? Not me. Anyway, if you’re not familiar with David and his endeavors, check out Old-Time Tiki Parlor.

I’m hoping to have a new post of my own soon. Thinking of doing Bob Walters’, “The Beaux.” But it’s gardening season in Oregon, and all my free time lately seems to be spent out in the yard. Plus, I’m in the middle of one of those dreaded crises, where I can barely stand to hear myself play, and the I unfairly blame it on my fiddle. In this kind of mood, anyone’s fiddle seems preferable to mine. Do any of you go through that? It’s horrible. Maybe I should do a special post on it. I’m hoping it’ll pass, just as soon as I find the right strings . . .

Bob Walters and Dwight Lamb CDs now available!

I’m cranking up the rusty blog-posting machine again, finally, and the first thing I want to do is pass on some recent news items from Bill Peterson. You can get any or all of the stuff below by writing him at missourivalleymusic@sio.midco.net. I don’t have exact prices, but I can promise that they’re incredibly reasonable.  Read more…

Reviving the blog: now shorter and more spontaneous!

Gerard van Honthorst, "The Merry Fiddler," 1623

“The Merry Fiddler”: this perfectly expresses my new happy-go-lucky attitude towards blogging.

Well, the entire summer passed with only one post from Wait Till You Hear This One. And yet the world kept spinning on its axis, amazingly. The post below is about how I’m going to try to write shorter and more frequent posts, be more spontaneous, and just write about whatever fiddle stuff I happen to be interested in at the time, rather than trying to write some sort of detailed fiddle instruction manual. Hope those of you who’ve been kind enough to Like it still like it. Let me know.

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Why I hold my bow on the frog

In my last post, “Old Dubuque,” the camera angle of the video happened to show how I hold my bow with my thumb directly on the bottom of the frog. That’s kind of unusual, among fiddlers I know anyway, and it’s something I’ve thought about a lot, so I thought it might be an interesting subject for a blog post. Here’s a short video where I show how I hold the bow. The tune I’m using to demonstrate is “Art Wooten’s Hornpipe,” and I’m planning on doing a full post on that soon.

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