Improving Beginners Class

Thursday 29th March

We played through our repertoire from this term, particularly focusing on bowing. We also looked at some of the chords that can be added into these tunes, and worked on how to play chords on the fiddle.

Thursday 22nd March

The class learnt the tune Old Joe Clarke

Thursday 15th March

Tonight we played through The Reel of Tullochgorum and Put Me in The Big Chest. Then we played the scale of G (2 octaves).

We learnt the tune Ae Fond Kiss

Thursday 8th March

In tonight’s class we played around with the D scale. We played the D arpeggio – the open D, F# (2nd finger on the D string), open A, and D (3rd finger on the A string). We also found notes in the arpeggio in higher and lower octaves (playing a low A with the first finger on the G string, a high F# with the first finger on the e string, and a high A with the 3rd finger on the e string). The notes in the arpeggio are the notes that make up the D chord, so they all harmonise with one another. We tried playing around with these notes, with all of us chosing any note in the arpeggio to play, and listening to how the notes blended together in the group.

We  played the D scale as a round Рhalf the class started the scale, and the second half of the class started the scale when the first group were playing the F# (second finger on the D).

At the end of the night we split the 2 groups up, and alternated around the circle, so each person had someone either side of them who was playing different notes. We tried playing while focusing on the overall sound of the group playing together.

We also played through the notes in the scale of G, over 2 octaves, starting on the open G string.

Thursday 1st March

Tonight we worked on the bowing for Put Me in the Big Chest, focusing on playing with a down bow on the beat.

Thursday 22nd February
Tonight we learnt the reel ‘Put Me in the Big Chest’. We worked on emphasising the notes that fall on the beat, aiming to play these notes on a down bow.

Thursday 15th February
Mid-term break

Thursday 8th February
Tonight we worked on embellishments we can add into tunes. We tried playing a hammer on, a simple grace note, and a percussive chord.
Here’s Hanneka Cassels demonstrating how to play a hammer on.

We also played around with the scale of D, playing it as a ’round’ so half the class was creating a harmony over the original scale.

After the mid-term break we’ll be learning the reel ‘Put Me In The Big Chest’, which has a triplet in it. This is three notes played very fast. Here’s Bruce MacGregor showing how it’s done:

Thursday 1st February
Tonight we worked on the Reel of Tullochgorum, looking at working out a bowing pattern that gives us a down bow on the main beats in the bar. We also looked at adding chords into the tune. The written music is in the new Fun Fiddle tune book.

Thursday 25th January
We worked on our bowing tonight, revisiting how to transfer the weight of the arm through the bow, to help the bow connect with the string.

Thursday 18th January
For the first class of this term we learnt the Reel of Tullochgorum. Here’s a video of the tune being played by Fiona Cuthill of Glasgow Fiddle Workshop. She plays it once at speed, and then a second time more slowly.

We focused on playing the tune with down bows on the beat. We’ll do some more work on this tune next week.