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Fiddle Lessons: Turnaround Kickoffs

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of the things you're gonna wind up being
called on to do in bluegrass,
quite a bit probably, is to play kickoffs.
Which are just very short little turn
Chord progressions that lead into a tune.
You usually start with like, the five
So if you're in the key of A, you'll start
on the E chord and
then just lead right back into the one
chord very quickly.
And then usually leaves a couple of bars
just for everything to settle and
then the singer starts singing.
Some rules for those kind of things you
wanna be clear, you know,
you really wanna be clear.
You're starting the tune off, and
of course the fiddle has a real talent for
not being clear.
It's very easy to be unclear and
kinda screw up the beginning of the tune.
So one thing you wanna do.
When you're doing a kickoff,
any kinda, any kinda kickoff whether it's
turn around or not, is you wanna count.
You wanna give everybody.
You know, this is not like classical music
where everybody's supposed to just start.
You know, this is like, this is like dance
music where you want everybody to
be with you right when you start.
So, a good count, and I've talked about
this before.
One, two.
You know short.
When I say one, two.
See, you know because nobody's gonna know
where the beat is.
If they could, the beat could be anywhere
in that
long vowel sound that you're given.
So you wanna go.
First, you get set in yourself and you
figure out.
You get set.
In yourself where the beat is.
You might wanna check with singer.
That's always a good idea.
Where the singer wants it.
You look over the singer and say, give him
the eyeball.
And then make sure everybody is looking at
Nobody's like paying for their beer or
anything like that you know.
And then you go, okay, everybody ready?
Okay, one, two, three.
So you'll notice I didn't go.
I didn't do that.
I didn't, you know.
[NOISE] I couldn't you know,
as long as your clear you can pretty much
get away with a lot of things.
But you really want to make sure that
everybody understands where you're
starting and that you're starting on
whatever beat you're giving.
You know so a good place to start is
always the dat-dat-dat,
we talked about that.
That' s a good way to start.
Going down is a good way to start.
You could go.
As long as you snap that last note.
As long as you're really being clear.
Let's try another one.
One, two, three.
Let's see, what else could you do?
You know, just something good and clear.
Yeah, that might work good.
Okay, let's try this.
One, two, go.
And usually go down you know,
get out of the way of the singer.
Cause the singer is going to be coming in
you want to not still be going up,
you don't want to be going.
While the singer is trying to sing.
Let's try something in B.
How about that?
Now getting a B is a little tough because
you know, we're playing the five chord.
That's F-sharp,.
So we wanna pick something that's
very strong that's not too, not too
We might want to start in the second
Something like that.
And of course,
we wanna check our notes before we start.
So again, we're counting off.
We catch the air.
What, how fast are we doing this?
Okay, you wanna do this fast?
How about really fast?
Really fast?
>> [LAUGH].
>> Okay.
Medium fast, half fast.
We'll find out.
One, two, three.
Let's try another one.
One, two, three.
So you're trying really hard to stay on
that rhythm.
Whatever that guitar player's playing,
stay with the guitar player.
Keep it super strong.
a couple of turnaround pickups in three.
And again being clear is very important.
So again we're getting the tempo from the
One, two, three.
Let's try another one of those.
Now let's try.
We could try
Very scary but doable.
Let's try it.
All right.
Well, I broke a hair on that one.
I musta played it really good.