Playing for dancers

We started off this week’s class by playing through Shetland Times and Tatties, and added in some grace notes and chords. We looked at techniques that will help us to be precise with our timing when we lift the bow from the fiddle. Then we added some dynamics into the tune.

Playing for dancers

We learnt Egan’s Polka, and talked about playing for dancers. There are a number of things to think about if you want to play in a way that encourages people to want to dance.

  • playing with a bouncy style
  • rhythm
  • timing
  • tempo
  • dynamics
  • colour – if you’re playing in a group, bring instruments in and out
  • leaving spaces in the music

It’s also helpful to think about the musicians themselves. Some of the things you do when you’re playing can significantly affect the atmosphere at an event:

  • musicians visibly enjoying themselves
  • musicians having eye contact/interaction with the dancers
  • musicians moving in time to the music, with energy (have a look at this video!)

We finished off the class by playing through all the tunes we have learnt this term.


Playing your fiddle for dancing
Photo ©Ros Gasson 2013

We’ll be meeting in the Diggers again on Monday 2nd December from 8pm for an informal session. If you’re interested in joining the class next term, why not join us at the session?


String Circle fiddle class – January 2014

The new term starts on Tuesday 14th January 2014. Enrolment opens on 9th December.




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