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Fiddle Lessons: Solo: Bluegrass Kickoffs

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At some point
as a fiddle player in a band, we are going
to be called upon to kick off a tune.
So, I just wanted to cover that a little
bit, it's,
pretty important because a step you
probably used to say to me
you know, you must start well and you must
end well.
That's extremely important because and
what happens in the middle is,
is not that big a deal.
Well obviously he was kidding about what
happens in the middle but it is really
truly that if you don't want a tune really
well then it's gonna affect the whole
feeling of the tune and, and certainly
affect the musical performance.
So, one of the really important things
about kicking off a tune is clarity.
And another nice thing about bluegrass is
that there are just a few,
traditional ways of kicking a tune off
that once you know them
you can pretty much drop them in on many,
many different tunes.
They that's just sort of a traditional way
of doing this.
And we, we, we talked about the dots
there, and
that wide you wander tune and that is a
great way to kick off tunes
especially if they're like songs, things
like that, kind of a mid tempo.
We can again do this this thing where
we're playing the three notes-
and usually it's nice to do them, as
little down bows down in the down part of
the bow down here near the balance point.
It just sounds very much like that solo we
took on Why'd You Wonder.
But it sounds really great for tunes like
oh Sweet Heart of Mine,
Can't You Hear Me Calling, right.
Things like that.
So just being able to get a nice solid-
attack on those three notes.
We could do that in G and be able to it in
Alright that's also very nice.
You notice that we're starting on the
third of all these chords.
Alright so in G we would start in the B-
And then go straight to that five note.
Same in A start on third and go to five.
All right and then of course we use the E.
If we're kicking off in some other key
like B flat for instance.
Again, start on the third.
All right so
it would be good to practice all those,
you know, being, getting ready good
at dink, dink, dink, ba, and those dink
dinks have to be in, the same time.
Now this brings up another very important
in that we have to be clear to what the
tempo is.
So usually we need to check with whoever's
singing the tune,
that they know what tempo they wanna sing
it in, and so we might even
just wanna walk over to the singer and go,
Okay wh-what are you doing this in?
Okay, just give me a count.
Ch, da, da, just a little bit.
You know, one, two, three.
And then you, when you go back to your
microphone, keep that in your head,
ta, and then count.
Go, one, two, three,
and don't go, one, two, three
because nobody's gonna know
where the beat is.
You wanna say one, two, three that's super
important and
if you can get everybody on the same page,
get everybody looking at you, clear.
One, two, three.
That is gonna
make a huge difference in how everybody
comes in, and
then it's gonna make the whole tune feel
great from the beginning.
Other styles of kickoff include the
buh-duh-duh duh duh, right?
It's almost the same thing, it's just a
little fancier.
So, what is that?
Also starting the other third.
We could do it that way.
We do that in g, a, and b.
Or, we could find another set of notes.
We could start from, the D note, if we
were in G.
that's also very common way of approaching
a kick-off like this.
We could do it in A.
Go right up the ladder.
So I'm doing that
So it's, down up down.
Then we go into the first note,
which is a big fat down bow.
go on up,
So that's a really common [SOUND] and you
want to get that nice and crisp.
All right, so.
Right, all those kind of things.
Again we count.
One, two, three.
Yeah, however we do it.
And then there's one more very common one
that it's nice,
because its a little bit of a scale.
If its in G we kind of start from like a
like a D note, the five note.
right so its one two three
Right, so that would be an A,
would be the same thing starting from the
five note of the A.
One, two, three.
And so forth on up the key ladder.
So those three, kick offs, if you vary
them slightly,
start from different notes, get little
melodies starting from those different
notes and just be, practice being really
Make sure you're with the tempo that the
singer wants to sing it,
that is gonna go a long way toward you
know, getting the feeling of the band, and
then the band starts to trust you.
And then you start kicking off more tunes.
And then you're in front.
And then you, mm, I guess, you don't
really make anymore money, do you?