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Fiddle Lessons: "Sally Goodin"

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A little piece of pie!
A little piece of puddin.
I am going to give it all to my little
Sally Goodin.
One of the great fiddle tunes of all time
and one of the, some ways,
the simplest and some ways, the most
difficult, it covers the gamut
certainly one of the great minimal
melodies of all time and it's lived on and
on, it's, it's made its way into every
Genre of American fiddling.
Sally Goodin.
Possibly there's about 14,000 different
stories about Sally.
Started maybe Goodwin, maybe Goodan.
There's a million of them.
You can look them up.
There all really interesting and great and
just forms a whole, aategory of American
lore in the same category as something as
John Henry or anything like that.
Sally Goodin, a great American character
in some of the stories gave birth to 13
And so many of the Texas fiddle players
play 13 variations,
on the original melody so that you know,
in honor of all those kids.
But, for now, we're just gonna concentrate
on the first part and the second part.
We're also this little section is entitled
Fourth Finger Workout,
and, I just want to get everybody's fourth
finger going a little bit.
We want to find those some of those tunes
that have really that,
that, that we reach up and grab with the
fourth finger and play along
with the next string up, because that's
such an essential fiddle sound.
We've covered this a little bit.
I want to, just go over it again cuz it's
so important.
You have that sound where the fourth
finger again, bringing our arm up,
elbow over so that we have a nice, easy
that fourth finger needs to just be able
to come right over there.
And slide up.
That is the sound [SOUND] of fiddling
[SOUND] in America.
But in the context of Sally Gooden, it's
beautiful and it makes sense.
So I'm gonna do this a little backwards,
since we're talking about the fourth
finger, I wanna play the B part, the
second part of Sally Gooden, first.
And then we'll focus on the A part.
And we'll put it all together.
So this,
B part has some lyrics, there's a few
lyrics that,
that one that comes immediately to mind
is, going down the road,
the road kind of muddy, got so drunk, I
can't stay steady.
Also a great American pastime not
recommended by management,
or administration or the employees of this
artists works company.
But we merely engaged in reportage and
preservation of American tradition
I hear somebody got drunk and couldn't
stay steady.
All right so.
That means the B part goes like here.
Oh, that's a.
What does that sound like to you?
Does that sound like an arpeggio?
In A possibly?
A major arpeggio?
Okay, and we are,
Tthat third note is our fourth finger
going up and hitting against the E.
And then we have a short note on the E.
And then F-sharp.
And then, again, coming back with the
second and fourth finger thusly.
So, put that all together it sounds like
Let's try that and give it that kinda lilt
and snap, that it deserves.
Being a great American fiddle tune.
One, two three and
Try that one more time.
One two three and
And then the second half of that.
So we've got a little bit of notey stuff
We got a little, short note.
Again with the F-sharp.
this is another example of, that sort of
third this is, this tune is very much in A
major but
we have, what is that C natural doing it?
It should, wouldn't it be
It, it could be that, but it's not,
because it just doesn't sound that great.
What good, does sound good
because it's like an ornament.
That's a better sound.
It's very much, the sound of American
fiddle tune, people playing fiddle tunes.
So gonna play that one more time.
And then again with the fourth finger,
this time, reaching up on the D string to
match the open A.
Let's just take a moment.
To just, relax our hand.
Set our hand, find that A note on the D
string with our fourth finger and
play it against the open A calmly, without
muss or
fuss, and keeping this whole part of our
arm relaxed.
Do the same thing on the A string.
Matching the E.
We can take a little moment.
Stick out, tune up,
make sure our elbows are out.
Get those things matched up,
and then take a long bow down, and a long
bow up.
Like that and while we're playing that
we're trying to make sure that our arm is
relaxed and
that we're not straining or stretching,
we're just finding that place, where our
arm is comfortable.
How would this feel if it was comfortable?
That's what we're aiming for, and that
might take
days it might take a couple of weeks.
We don't want to overdo it, but we're
going for that comfort zone where
it just feels normal for our fourth finger
to come up and play that note.
So let's begin.
I'm just gonna play the boot part.
One, two, three and
Okay, now, we've got the second part.
We'll play that a little bit more at some
But now we're, we're looking at the A
Again, there are a lot of different
versions of this tune.
Everybody's got their own way of playing
One of the great things about fiddling is
that you do what you can do.
You play, play it how you can play it.
And it's about having a good time playing
not about who's the greatest of them all.
Although if you want, you could play this
I dont think anybody's gonna stop you from
So a good way,
a good simple way of approaching this A
is to start with one, two, three, four.
that would be the first half of the A
So, it's a lot of little squiggling around
on just two or three notes.
One, two, three, four.
Second part.
Third part.
So again I'm gonna play it piece by piece.
Go ahead and repeat.
One, two, three, and.
When that all gets put together,
it sounds like this.
One, two, three, four.
Now, we're playing it very cleanly.
We're playing it one note at a time.
We're gonna be playing it with the other
There's gonna be the usual fiddly double
So we're gonna play, we're gonna play it
against the open E, like this.
It's gonna sound like this.
One, two, three, and.
So that'll make it sound a little more
fiddly, dress it up a little bit.
Second part again.
Let's try it with a backing track.
One, two.
Three, four.
Sally Goodin.