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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:47 am 
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I've recently acquired a violin, mainly to help my 6 year-old daughter to practice her violin.

I'd like learn a few fiddle tunes and maybe get my daughter to play them as well. Can anyone suggest a few beginner fiddle tunes?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:53 am 
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The first tunes I learned were one string tunes...mostly on the A string. Things like Boil 'Em Cabbage Down or Shortening Bread are good ones for this. If you don't have the American Fiddle Method, I recommend it. It has some great beginning tunes with the fingerings so you know where to go if you aren't great at reading music. Here are some pictures of the pages, courtesy of Amazon...Boil 'em Cabbage Down and Shortening Bread are both included in the page examples.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0786668652/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am 
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I like to start beginners off with Mairi's Wedding. Dead simple, and kids seem to like it.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:51 am 
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I second Izz. American Fiddle Method is good. The DVDs are absolutely brilliant and the books are good.

Tunes to start?

Bile Them Cabbage
Cripple Creek
Old Joe Clark
Dirty Old town
Britches Full of Stitches
Lough Erin's Shore
Oró, Sé do Bheatha 'Bhaile

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:57 am 
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I'll probably get virtually slapped for this, but the Kerry Polka(Egan's), Out on the Ocean, the Sligo Jig(Lilting Banshee?) are three good starter tunes.

I'm assuming you're talking about Irish tunes?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:10 pm 
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You can try sharing tunes on the fiddle, but if you don't already play the fiddle there's a very good chance that you'd only be teaching her a bizzare variation of the tune.
Your struggling on the fiddle might only be sharing bad intonation and unproductive techniques.

So,
if you don't already actually know how to play the fiddle, learn what ever tune well enough that you can sing it in "mouth music" (perhaps learn it on the whistle as well) and then let her take it to the fiddle.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:30 pm 
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Hi PJ

Why not try the opposite tack and play some simple tunes on the pipes and get her to play along with daddy.

David

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:21 pm 
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hyldemoer wrote:
You can try sharing tunes on the fiddle, but if you don't already play the fiddle there's a very good chance that you'd only be teaching her a bizzare variation of the tune.
Your struggling on the fiddle might only be sharing bad intonation and unproductive techniques.


Very good point. In fact, she's attending classes. I'll be helping her practice. I'm also planning to get one class a month from the same teacher. I've no illusions about learning to be a violinist but I'd like to learn a few fiddle tunes that I could, eventually, play with my daughter.

Davy - I've already tried the pipes. Too loud. Even when it's just the chanter. I've already got the fiddle and have always harboured the secret desire to learn to play it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Since they tend to be less notey than their Irish counterparts, American old-time tunes can be a little easier for beginners to pick up. And it's fun to take a simple tune ("Cluck Old Hen" as well as "Old Joe Clark" and "Bile Them Cabbage" etc.) and try to shuffle it (adding that long-short-short long-short-short) bow pattern that makes old time sound like old time. If your daughter is using Suzuki Book 1, some of those tunes ("Go Tell Aunt Rhody" for one) can be turned into fiddle tunes by adding shuffles, slides, double-stops, which will either please or really annoy her teacher. :devil:

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Last edited by JS on Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:31 pm 
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hyldemoer wrote:
You can try sharing tunes on the fiddle, but if you don't already play the fiddle there's a very good chance that you'd only be teaching her a bizzare variation of the tune.
Your struggling on the fiddle might only be sharing bad intonation and unproductive techniques.


That's the folk process, sunshine.

Rob

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:03 pm 
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Rob Sharer wrote:
hyldemoer wrote:
You can try sharing tunes on the fiddle, but if you don't already play the fiddle there's a very good chance that you'd only be teaching her a bizzare variation of the tune.
Your struggling on the fiddle might only be sharing bad intonation and unproductive techniques.


That's the folk process, sunshine.

Rob


You obviously have no idea of what hylde was saying, Rob. Neither person can play, therefore trying to teach someone to play when you are not able to yourself is kind of like the blind leading the blind.

I actually had no idea you played a stringed instrument, Rob. isn't the flute forum your usual haunt?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:07 pm 
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Oh, I managed to divine HY's meaning okay, just thought it was a bit of a smackdown, is all.

I've been known to scratch at a fiddle the odd time myself. Would've sawn it in half by now, only the bow is too dull! Cheers,

Rob

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:55 pm 
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Rob Sharer wrote:
Oh, I managed to divine HY's meaning okay, just thought it was a bit of a smackdown, is all.


"Smackdown"?

My experience from when my daughter was that age and I was trying to learn violin (after years of playing Early winds) to help out with her Suzuki studies was the kid was not only a musical sponge for picking up tunes by ear,
she'd mock me by playing them with perfect intonation and timing while dancing around me like a little pixie
as I struggled to saw something out that only by a stretch of imagination might be recognizable.

That was only after she'd learned the tune from a recorded source however.
If she'd have used my fiddle playing as an example ...

Na, if you're going to give an example to a child of what a tune should sound like its best to either sing it or play it on an instrument you can actually play already.

My daughter thought it was nice that I was trying to learn fiddle with her, but she also thought my attempts were hilarious.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:44 am 
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Smackdown as in stiflingly negative response. I for one have every confidence that PJ will manage to claw up to a respectable six-year-old skill level in short order, dire predictions of others aside, thus becoming a force for good in the daughter's practice routine. As a fiddle teacher myself, I only wish more parents would get so involved. More power to your elbow, PJ!

Cheers,

Rob

p.s. Sally Gardens, the song, is a good tune at this level. Key of D.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:08 am 
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Thanks to all for the suggestions for tunes and for the helpful comments. I didn't take hylde's comments as a smackdown. I hadn't fully explained the context and hylde made a very valid point.

My intention is to help my daughter practice, not to teach her (she's already got a teacher). She loves going to her violin class but getting her to practice is often a battle (although once she starts practising, she enjoys it). I tried playing along with other instruments but went with the fiddle because it gives her the idea that she's showing me what she learned. I'm planning to take one class per month with the same violin teacher so that she can show me the correct technique.

I also hope to get the teacher to introduce a few Irish fiddle tunes into my daughter's repertoire (and mine too, for that matter).

Thanks again to all and keep the suggestions coming.

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