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Fiddle Lessons: "Ginseng From Mr. Blake"

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[MUSIC]
Here's another short and
fun fourth finger workout type tune.
This has a funny title, Ginseng from Mr.
Blake.
It's something I just wrote, because I
wanted something that would help
us use our fourth finger and it also sort
of a tribute to the great Norman Blake.
I'm sure you're familiar with Norman
Blake, whose written so
many great traditionally, traditional
sounding and bluegrass songs.
Including a song called Ginseng Sullivan
about a cranky old guy who lives in
Georgia.
And he would like to go back to the
Mississippi Delta.
But he can't get back so he continues to
dig up ginseng root and
sell it to the highest bidder.
And he's during the course of the song,
he does a lot of complaining and it's very
charming.
Beautiful song, and great melody, and
so I'm sort of paraphrasing the melody a
little bit so
that we can use our fourth finger, so this
is another thing where we're going up.
To reach out with it using our fourth
finger, going up to
play along with the next highest string.
This is the classic fiddle sound.
[MUSIC]
So.
[MUSIC]
So we're gonna slide up.
[MUSIC]
So,
basically what we're doing is we're taking
our second finger and
then we're just going
[MUSIC].
You're going to try that.
[MUSIC]
A little bit of that will be very good.
Now we're not sliding here so much, we're
just kind of going straight up.
[MUSIC]
Without the slide, and
that's a little extra interesting factor
there.
Because we're, we wanna just be very
accurate.
[MUSIC]
One
way to ensure accuracy and practice that
is to, again.
Come up, and just put our fourth finger in
the right place.
You might have to do a little adjusting.
Just match it with the sound of the
fourth, with the open string.
And then just play some long notes.
[MUSIC].
While we relax our hand and arm as much as
possible,
trying to find that comfort zone.
[MUSIC]
That our fourth finger can live in while
we're doing that.
So we are basically spending some time,
some quality time,
with our fourth finger in the right spot,
in tune, and a relaxed place.
Not putting too many demands on it,
except that it just stay where it's
supposed to be.
So that's an important thing.
So, and we come back to the tune and sing
a Mr. Blake.
And it sounds like this.
[MUSIC]
So that's the first part.
One, two, three, again.
[MUSIC]
And then the second part is.
[MUSIC]
Right, try that one more time.
[MUSIC]
We can play that as a double stop.
[MUSIC]
Open A on the bottom and
F sharp on the top and then we move the
whole thing over to the D string.
[MUSIC]
Play the F sharp.
[MUSIC]
So that's the third phrase.
[MUSIC]
And
then the last phrase, again, the fourth
finger.
[MUSIC]
So, we're starting with the fourth finger.
[MUSIC]
And then coming back, and hitting
the fourth finger with the A string
[MUSIC]
Again.
So, a lot of fourth finger work, don't
have to do this too fast.
I'll play the whole thing.
[MUSIC]
So.
One, two, three, and.
[MUSIC]
Again.
One, two, three, and.
[MUSIC]
We can have that.
If we're holding both our fingers down,
we're holding that first finger down.
And then having the third finger in the
raised position playing that G-sharp.
[MUSIC]
Nice sweet sound there.
Again, if we're having trouble.
Finding that we're gonna to first find the
G sharp with our third finger.
[MUSIC]
And
then once we're comfortable with that
we're going to add the first finger.
[MUSIC]
And
then spend again a little quality time.
[MUSIC]
Relaxing,
making sure our wrist's in the right
place.
[MUSIC]
Maybe just moving a little bit.
You know, shaking.
Make sure that our, hand is relaxed and
just used to being there.
Okay, so now I'll play it with a backing
track.
This is Ginseng from Mr. Blake.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]