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Fiddle Lessons: Solo: Constructing Melodies

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so let's say we're about to play a
bluegrass solo.
And maybe we don't wanna just follow the
melody, or
we're at the end of our solo and we're
gonna play a big flurry of notes.
Well, what?
What do we play?
What, what are we gonna play?
How do we know what to do?
And where we're going to go?
And how do we know if we're going to get
paid and all that stuff?
Well, I can't answer the last question,
but I can give you some hints on how to
proceed with how to put a little solo
So what we're going to do is raid some of
those fiddle tunes we already know.
We're going to go in and plunder, plunder
our fiddle tune stash for
melodic material that we can use to
construct a solo.
And that's great because the the fiddle
tune world is full of
beautiful melodies and fantastic rhythms
and great music.
So we know a few fiddle tunes already.
We know Sally Johnson, for instance, which
is a great fiddle tune.
a lick like that you might not wanna play
the whole thing.
But there are parts of it that fit really
You could just take a little bit of it.
The trick with
rating fiddle tunes and taking up pieces
of fiddle tunes is you want
something that feels like it fits into an
even amount of spaces.
If we're, you want something to feel da ba
da ba da ba da ba da.
You know, so you don't want something that
feels like da da da dut da.
Or you know, you don't want something that
feels like an odd number of beats,
cause then, what do you play after?
So you want little pieces that feel like
they make an even number of beats bars.
So you might even change the fiddle tune
Or you might, with the original tune is.
Right, you might just go.
Right, because.
Right, because then you can fit it in.
There's all kinds of things like this.
Why does that
work when an arpeggio like
that doesn't work?
That doesn't go anywhere, but if you, we
add a note.
Then we have,
the amount of notes that fits into a
little rhythmic pod.
Right, so we can add a note,
we could add another note in a different
Things like that, so we just kinda
go through and kind of get comfortable
with these little bits of melodies.
There's all kinds of ways to play, for
instance, a melody like that.
We could do that.
We could go.
We could do that, play that.
Or we could play
starting on the F-Sharp.
Or we could play
coming at like that or.
So there's a lot of different little
variations that fit into
the same amount of time.
And as we play around with these little
arpeggios and
variations, we're gonna find that we are
able to fit more of these things into
various spots in our solo.
So we're looking for all kinds of
runs in fiddle tunes that, that help us
get through a solo.
So obviously the Sally Johnson if we go
back to the beginning of Sally Johnson.
we have this little bit of really nice.
We could just take that much.
And just play that.
Kind of break that up.
Just get comfortable playing it with, by
So if we could, if we had a solo coming
One, two, three, four.
If you're
going to the four chord, we could borrow a
little bit from, Farewell Blues, right?
When we play Farewell Blues, we do that,
we can put a little bit of Sally Johnson.
then we've got the first part of our solo.
If it's really good enough, we might want
to remember it,
we could put it down on a little piece of
tape and learn the whole thing.
We might not play it the same way every
time, but if we have a reference to go
back to then we have a way of building on
stuff that we already do.
So we're always going back to fiddle tunes
with an idea that we may be able to take
pieces out of these fiddle tunes.
What else?
Fire on the Mountain, again, a great
fiddle tune.
And you can go back.
We have a couple of versions of that I
think down now.
You could just take that much.
Or that much.
Just lift out these pieces of fiddle tunes
make sure that they fit into like, an even
number of beats.
You can change them a little bit.
You can just goof around with them and
start fitting them into into your solos.