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Fiddle Lessons: Trouble Keys: F# Db Bb

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How about those other keys?
Those keys that we never play?
The trouble keys.
Like F-sharp.
At some point, you're gonna have to deal
with F-sharp.
If you're in a bluegrass band because if
we play in B-
At some point, it's gonna go to F-sharp.
In order to get back to the B.
So those funny keys that are in the half
positions, where,
how are you gonna play those?
They're, they've got that-
Really, you know, the only way
to do those the only reason they're really
trouble is because we never play them.
We never work on them because they come up
relatively rarely.
A has its own set of problems, but we play
it all the time, G too.
So, there's a couple of ways, certainly in
keys like F-sharp,
which is very related to B.
B's got some also, you know, when you play
on the bottom two strings,
you're going to have the same kind of
A lot of times for B, I'll just go-
just move over to second position and
The same fingering, right?
that's a way to get by, and then I can
just go all the way up-
And then I'm pretending that I'm in A.
then it's actually, the easy part is on
the bottom two strings.
So, for keys like F-sharp, that's also a
good solution,
is to go up to that high second position.
Find your F-sharp on your D string with
your second finger.
And then go up.
Find it with your first finger.
And then just play some scales
Now usually the abstract business is right
around here cuz those are the important
notes on F-sharp.
That's where you're gonna be playing some
of those bluegrass licks.
All right,
F-sharp in bluegrass is you're usually
coming in as this kind of Mixolydian.
Dumping you back into B7, so that's where
we're gonna want to think about-
then, of course, coming back down to that
low position.
Where are we?
Let's see, where is that F-sharp, that
pesky F-sharp?
There is no F-sharp down there.
We go, it goes down as far as G, so that's
another crazy thing about F-sharp.
On top, on the E string, it's kind of
So really, what we're doing-
Spending a little time with those funny
keys is gonna do a lot for you, and
again it's not gonna sound great at first.
And that's why we maybe stop playing.
So we wanna just-
we're trying to acclimate our hand to
And, and we've got some of these strong
notes that are-
They're above the next string over.
So there's all kinds of problems there, a
little ringing problems with fiddle.
You just want to make sure, again, our
elbow is around enough
to make sure that we're comfortable down
there and play these notes slow.
That was in place, so
that we wanna go back and really work on
There's just no substitute for playing the
stuff slowly.
Same with all those other keys, D-flat.
Which is actually the same as C-sharp,
So maybe if we don't play it is a D type
We'll play it as a C type scale.
Is that easier?
It may be for you, or it may not be for
But both of them are you know, just pick
what feels, seems to make more sense for
you and play that for awhile.
Just get comfortable.
Pick a tune that
you like that is in a close key, like some
kinda, of,
you know, for D-flat you might pick a tune
that's in C, and
just move it up a half step and play it
slowly and
just get used to the sound of your
instrument in that funny key.
There's all kinds of ways to do it, you
just have to put in the time.
So maybe just spend a little time.
Don't try to do too many keys at once.
Don't try to F-sharp, and C-sharp, and
D-flat, all those keys at once.
Spend a couple of days on one key just
getting it comfortable, you know.
Don't take on too much.