This week we started learning Gordon Duncan’s Sleeping Tune. We’ll learn the B part next week, and put it all together into a set with the two reels we’ve been working on this term. We spent some time looking at tone, and how to use the bow to create the tone we want from our fiddles.
Two weeks ago we spent most of the evening looking at tuning, and things we can do to help play in tune. We talked about tuning our fiddles by ear, then checking the tuning with an electronic tuner, so we can learn to hear when the open strings are in tune.
Once you’ve started learning some commonly known tunes, going along and playing in pub sessions becomes possible. Pub sessions can be a great way to meet other players, learn more about tunes and music, and can also help to build confidence with playing. There are many different types of session. If you’re unsure about joining a session, it’s worth going along once without your instrument, and having a listen, and chatting to the session members. Most (but not all) sessions are open to anyone to join in. If you’re new to paying, you might want to consider looking for a slow session, where most of the tunes will be played at a gentler pace suitable for someone who is learning to play.
Some members of the class have been going along to the pub session at the Greenmantle on Monday evenings. If you’re on Facebook, you can join the Greenmantle session group, to keep updated with what is happening at the session. There’s also a webpage with information on tunes etc that they play regularly in the session.
This week we learnt a tune written by a 7 year old. The tune is Bryan the Seasoned Traveller, written by Miffy Finlay. It will go well with Brenda Stubbert’s Reel. We’ll be spending some time looking at how to bow this tune – there’s plenty of scope for playing around with the rhythm.
We learnt the second half of the tune tonight, and spent a while playing around with the rhythm. I’ll post the music for the tune onto the tunes page during the week.
We also talked about going along to the Big Seat by the Fire to play a set of tunes, at some point later in the term. Next week we’ll sort out a date we can do this. The Big Seat is on every 2nd Sunday in the month, in the cafe at St George’s West, Shandwick Place. There’s more information about it on the Scots Music Group website.
This week we started learning Brenda Stubbert’s reel, a tune by Jerry Holland. Well finish learning the tune next week, and I’ll post the music up then. It’s a lovely tune to play on the fiddle – there’s plenty of options for double stopping, and playing around with the rhythms. we’ll be look at this over the coming weeks.
What a lovely start to the term – a full class, with lots of familiar faces, and a few folk new to the group as well.
We started off tonight looking at our bow holds, and how to keep a relaxed grip, while still controlling the bow. We also spent a bit of time thinking about different tones we can get out of the fiddle. Then we played around with rhythm – finding the beats and off beats, and creating a short riff to play to accompany the first part of Brenda Stubbert’s Reel.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the term!
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