Playing in jig rhythm

Playing in jig time

Playing in jig rhythm

Tonight we worked on playing in jig rhythm. Jigs are in 6/8 time.There are 6 quavers in each bar, and the quavers are split into 2 groups of three. When we’re learning to play in jig time, initially it’s helpful to get into the habit of emphasising the first quaver in each group of three, which will emphasise the 2 beats in the bar. If we play the quavers on individual bows, this gives us a pattern of emphasising a down bow at the start of the first 3 quavers, then emphasising an up bow at the beginning of the second set of 3 quavers. This is a useful pattern to practice with the bow. Once it has become a habit, and a way of playing subconsciously, it will free us up to start thinking about throwing in different patterns to emphasise different beats to add interest throughout the tune.

We learnt a Jig called the Kilfenora Sexy Jig. We worked on bowing the tune with a dotted rhythm. To do this, the first quaver in each set of three is played slightly longer than written, and the second quaver is played slightly shorter.

We looked at ways we could emphasise the C# at the start of the tune, including adding a chord with the open E string, sliding into the note, and adding a hammer-on. Any combination of effects could be used together. We also looked at possibilities for a few chords elsewhere in the tune.

After the break, we worked on playing from the subconscious. We stood in a circle, and played the tune without looking at our fiddles. Looking at others in the group helps us to get feedback , and is particularly important when you’re in situations where you can’t hear everyone who you’re playing with. We also tried out playing the tune fast and scrunchy, then slow and melodic.

We ended the class by playing through the Eagle’s Whistle, then Tongadale Reel and Brenda Stubberts.