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Fiddle Lessons: The Fingerboard

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Amazing that
such a small space could seem so like so
much wilderness at the beginning.
It's a, there's so many spaces to get lost
in such a small area but with exploration,
we can get very comfortable with the
entire area.
Now, those of you who have a guitar or a
mandolin, or
some kind of fretted instrument if this
was an instrument like that,
you would see all these nice little frets
going up,
getting the distance between them getting
thinner as you went up.
We don't have frets on this.
We, but we do have our imaginary frets
where the notes happen.
And it's our job to train our fingers to
fit into the spaces that
define those imaginary frets, making the
notes happen in a reliable way.
So again, you know, that involves playing
a lot of scales,
just doing it again and again, getting
your hands used to that position.
So again, a scale is a selection of notes,
usually somewhere around seven notes,
seven or
eight notes that sort of define a key,
you know, what key you're in is a huge
question for
most people and it has to do with a lot of
different things,
but it's usually the key, the idea of a
key is like your home base
where the tune comes to a rest.
There's a feeling within the cords of the
They, they tend to come to a rest.
Usually you can kind of tell what key it
is by listening to the end of the tune.
And it'll come to some kind of what we
call in music resolution.
Where it just feels like, okay, here we
We're at the, at the end of the tune, it's
all resting here.
So, we fit our scales into the key.
If we talk about, for instance, the key of
G, we talk about a G major scale.
We're talking about a series of notes
which have
all kind of the same relationship, all the
way up and down through that scale,
and the relationships stay the same
whatever key we're in,
even though the notes are gonna change, so
like a wave on the water.
So if we play, for instance, a G scale
starting on the note G.
G major, which means it's the happy sound.
We have, starting with G, and keep going
Whole step.
Whole step.
Half step.
Whole step.
Whole step.
Whole step.
Half step.
a very familiar sound, probably to most of
If we just think about those
relationships, moving around.
If we play a D scale, starting on the D
It's the same relationships even though
they're different notes, right?
So it's, again, it's whole step.
Whole step.
Whole step, half step.
Whole step.
Whole step.
Whole step.
Half step.
And of course the half steps are that,
where you put your fingers closer
the whole steps are where your fingers are
about a finger's width apart.
All right?
There are half steps in-between those
whole steps.
All right.
Which are skipped in order to make these
different scales.
So, no matter where we are, if we're
playing a major scale,
all those relationships are the same.
Say we start on an E note.
E meaning that we're gonna find the E on
the D string with our first finger.
Same relationships apply.
We got.
All step, all step, half step.
All step, all step, all step.
we do the same thing in F, different
notes, same relationships.
Whole step.
Whole step.
Half step.
That's a stretch.
But it's a half step.
Whole step.
Whole step.
You'll notice that because the way
the instrument is tuned, there's a lot of
sym, symmetry going on, symmetrical.
You have.
And then the same finger pattern.
In the second half of the scale.
That happens everywhere.
Here it happens even on the F.
And again, if we start on the first
Same relationship.
That makes some things very easy with this
It's, it's one of the things that we do
get out of you know, that,
that make this instrument easier than some
other instruments like for instance,
the saxophone which all the keys are in a
different place.
So that's kinda nice, because at some
point we can start moving these around.
We know, knowing those relationships are
gonna be physically the same,
we can say, okay, well, E.
We could move that anywhere on the neck.
Same exact finger pattern,
same major scale, different notes, but we
already know what pattern is gonna be.
You could drop that down anywhere in
the neck, play a major scale using the
same exact finger pattern.
Just go random.
So that's
a great thing about this estimate, that we
can make those physical finger patterns.
So that's gonna come in really handy later
on when we're playing fast Bluegrass,
serious Bluegrass, we have different
People doing stuff in different keys,
we can actually move that around just like
a guitar player or a mandolin player would
not necessarily needing the frets but just
being able to remember.
Our hands will be remembering the fret
I brought this instrument where we can
make those physical finger patterns.
That's going to come in really handy later
on when we're playing fast bluegrass,
serious bluegrass, we have different
people doing stuff in different keys.
We can actually do that now just like a
guitar player would.
Not necessarily needing the frets.
But just being able to remember.
Our hands will be remembering the fret
positions by themselves.