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Fiddle Lessons: "Salt Creek"

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[MUSIC]
We're
gonna look at a tune now that is a huge
favorite among bluegrass musicians,
and it's been around for a long time.
It was more or less introduced to the
world by the great Doc Watson.
I'm talking about Salt Creek.
And if you're an intermediate player, you
may already know this tune.
But so often, it's so great to come back
to these tunes that we might have learned
before we really knew what we were doing,
how, how to play it, and revisit these
tunes and kind of take them apart
in the light of some other considerations
that we might know.
Some musical skills that we might have
acquired since we learned that tune and
to see if we can make something special
and new out of the tune.
Now, we've been working a lot on this
rhythmic bowing,
and we've been playing some tunes with
this nice Mixolydian mode, of course,
Salt Creek is another one of those
Mixolydian tunes, right.
It's got [SOUND] it's in the key of A,
[SOUND] but
it's got that really strong G-natural in
it.
[MUSIC]
It's got all those G's in it,
so that makes it Mixolydian.
And I like to, you may, most people, you
know,
when you hear people playing Salt Creek at
a jam, it's usually like about-
[MUSIC]
Something like that.
I'd like to take this down to the kinda
tempo that we've been doing
on some of these other tunes.
And really look at this tune, in the
context of being more of a rhythm number.
So this might be kind of an alternate
version of Salt Creek for some of you.
Those of you who don't know the tune, this
can be a good starting point to
put together your own version of Salt
Creek and to build it up from,
to a fast tempo from a very solid rhythmic
place.
So, let's look at, at Salt Creek a little
bit.
Obviously it's that that, it starts
da-ba-dum-ba-da-ba-da-ba-da-ba, right?
[SOUND] Right there, we've got that long
note [SOUND] so
we could put a little bit of a pulse in
there.
[MUSIC]
Right, and a pulse on the D note.
And then we have-
[MUSIC]
Right.
[MUSIC]
Or we could do that.
That might be more fun.
We could actually use that G note to push
off the G note and
make it a little more bluesy.
[MUSIC]
Right.
[MUSIC]
Play that.
So we have this string crossing [SOUND]
which we can use as an opportunity
to get a little bit more rhythm going in
the bow.
[MUSIC]
That would be
a really good lick to just cycle a lot
with a metronome.
[MUSIC]
Take each of these phrases.
[MUSIC]
Slow it down to this kind of tempo.
What we're talking about 80 right now.
And then, of course, we have the first
lick again.
[MUSIC]
So I'm going to suggest you use
a slightly different lick for the second
part than what you might be used to.
If this is your first time learning Salt
Creek, congratulations,
this is going to be a very beautiful thing
to play over Salt Creek.
So even though we're talking about this
tune being in the Mixolydian mode,
we're going to use a G-sharp for this part
of the lick,
we're going to play a little two note pick
up.
[MUSIC]
So once again.
[MUSIC]
And then, the second part.
[MUSIC]
And
that is, sounds a little bit complicated.
But you can just take it apart, note by
note.
[MUSIC]
I'll play it one more time.
[MUSIC]
You play.
[MUSIC]
And then the last lick is just like the
beginning of the A part.
[MUSIC]
So that last part, B part is-
[MUSIC]
One more time.
[MUSIC]
It sounds complicated, but once you get
it, it's great.
Because it just flows so beautifully.
It sounds like this flowing-
[MUSIC]
It doesn't have to be that fast.
It can be-
[MUSIC]
So just take it apart, take it slow, and
you have this beautiful version of Salt
Creek.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So
here's a little bit of Salt Creek in the
slow version.
One, two, three and
[MUSIC]
And here's Salt Creek a little faster.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Well, we've gone through a very healthy
batch of our first bunch of intermediate
tunes here.
We've looked at some flowing rhythms.
We've looked at some minor scales, and
just really bitten off
a big bit of fiddle here and
it would be good to see a video from you
on one of these tunes.
Sally Johnson, The Greek medley, Rush
Euphoric of John's Creek or
of Salt Creek, and if you wanted to throw
in just a few
moments of some of that rhythmic bowing if
there's anything you're
having trouble with or trying to figure
out how to make feel right.
Put a little bit of that in there.
But one, one of these tunes would be great
to hear and
see how you're doing on this stuff, and
I'll give you some evaluation,
and help if I can on some of this stuff.
So, this is, this is a big, big step in
the musical process here.
And this is really gonna, you know these
super charge your playing and
really get you down the road here, if you
can get some of this stuff together.
So I'm excited to see what you come up
with.
[MUSIC]