This is a public version of the members-only Fiddle with Darol Anger, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Fiddle with Darol Anger.
Join Now

Beginner Fiddle
Intermediate Fiddle
Advanced Fiddle
Jazz & Blues Fiddle
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Fiddle Lessons: The C Scale: “Wabash Cannonball”

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Beginner Fiddle

+Intermediate Fiddle

+Advanced Fiddle

+Jazz & Blues Fiddle

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Fiddle with Darol Anger.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Fiddle with Darol Anger. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Fiddle Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
All right.
Well, hope you guys are having fun,
tearing through these scales.
Now I'm gonna present another scale here
called the C scale,
which Starts of course on the note C.
And we are talking of course about the
major scale and C,
C for Chubby here, this is this is Chubby.
He's he hangs out, he's the namesake of
the great Chubbywise,
of course, the the original bluegrass
fiddle player in
Bill Monroe's original bluegrass outfit.
So yeah, he's a peg monster.
Here's is, it's just he keeps the fiddle
company when the fiddle's in the case.
So, that's good.
So, the C scale has some similarities to
all of the other scales and
especially we can see a similarity to the
G scale.
We, when we did the top G, see the top
part of the G scale the high part we
started of course on our G note with the
third finger on the D string.
Right, and that was our G scale.
Now when we do the C scale we're gonna
start on the C note,
which is on the G string.
Remember I've got an extra string here,
so don't be distracted by that extra fifth
You're gonna be playing on your bottom
string, which is your G string.
So, just reach over and grab that very
bottom string.
With your third finger, you're gonna play
a C natural, all right.
And it's gonna be the same spacings,
same fingerings as what we used on the G
string, one string over.
So here we go, we're gonna start
with our third finger, C natural.
Everybody match this note.
And then we'll go straight to the next
string, the open D.
And then the E.
And then we're playing the F natural,
The C, if we're talking about the key of
that is no sharps or flats in the C scale.
And that's why a lot of people start with
the C scale.
When we, we think about the C scale on the
that's all the white keys of the, of the
And that means no sharps on the flats, no
black keys, and that means we're going to
be playing an F natural, which again we're
going to be going from E.
And then we're gonna make a tight squeeze,
our first and second fingers together,
to make that F.
[SOUND] Back down to the E.
Back up to the two, and that's the low
if anybody of you had Suzuki, you'll know
it as the low two.
You kind of squeeze 'em somewhat together.
And then the next note is G.
So we have no space between the first and
second fingers.
And a space between the second and third
[SOUND] And then two, the next string.
Open A.
And then to the B.
And again the low to, to the C note.
Back down to B.
A, G.
F natural, to E.
[SOUND] Open D.
All right.
So, one more time.
Real slow.
We're gonna do four big beats, per note,
starting on the C note.
Here we go, one, two, three, play along.
C, three four, D two three four,
E two three four, F three four,
G two three, next string.
Open A, then B two three four,
C, play the C again.
Then go back down.
Three, four, D.
A, two three four,
G, C, F, E.
[INAUDIBLE] And then we go back to C.
Okay, now there's, there's a good version
of C scale.
I want you to get it to where you can play
it about.
Great, and, let's do that once together.
Just try to match the sound of my fiddle.
One, two, three, two beats.
Stay on C, back down.
Now just like the, the the D scale and
every other scale we are gonna have
other notes there, there's other,
we have room up here [SOUND] and then of
So we can't go all the way down to a C,
down here, we can't go all the way up to a
C up here, without leaving first position.
And it's a little early to think about
switching positions and
changing positions.
We're still trying to get our, you know,
fingers to do what they're supposed to do.
And just kind of sit comfortably in first
But I want you to just think about those
other notes that are still in the C scale.
Let's start with the high C, right.
On the A string second finger.
Keep going up to D, again E.
F natural.
So that's tight, that's a tight first
Not like F sharp.
There's F sharp, here's F natural.
And then, see so you can see space.
You can see daylight between the first and
second fingers.
G, A, if we were brave, we can go up to B.
You're almost to C, almost there, but we
can't quite make it.
So let's not even try right now.
We'll get there, don't worry.
Let's start from A down
to G, F, E, D to C.
And then quickly.
And then B again, right.
Just like the B up here.
So that's a high two, right.
So we have a narrow space between the C
natural and the B.
And then down, A.
So the idea is that we're practicing these
And we're thinking you know, high two, low
two, stretch here.
We're looking at our hands.
We're seeing these shapes happen.
You know, it's like, space, tight, space,
tight, tight,
space, tight, space, space here.
So, this is the kind of thing that we need
to sort of internalize
in our hands and in our nervous system.
It takes a while.
You know, when we started this, this
instrument it's you know,
because we have to do it all ourselves.
We can't be looking.
You know, we can't see the frets.
You know, there's no fret.
There's, as Missy says, there's frets, but
they're imaginary.
We make them up, so we're thinking about
those, those lines where
our fingers have to go, but we have to do
it all ourselves.
We have to hear it, you know, so that's
makes this instrument kind of have a steep
learning curve at the, at the beginning.
But if we stick with it, it will be very
You will be richly rewarded in heaven,
maybe, so, or maybe sooner.
Anyway, so when we, you know, once you get
comfortable with that.
I want you to go ahead and
play the C scale from the lowest note that
you can get to on your string and
the highest note that you can get, in
first position.
So, right.
So we started on a G note.
That's the lowest note that's in the G, C
And there's C.
D note, forefinger, and then come back
down, A note.
And then maybe come back up, so
that we keep establishing that C tonality
in our fingers.
All right, so there we have the C scale.
So again not the easiest scale in the
Because it's,
it's a little frustrating you can't quite
get to the C on the E chord.
But there's a lot of fiddle tunes in C
that, that we know.
So definitely a very good scale to know
pretty early on.
All right.
One, two, three.
And that of course is the world famous
Wabash Cannonball,
one of the great country music hits of all
Play it in the key of C.
[COUGH] So we're gonna use our C scale and
our knowledge in C scale to play.
We're gonna play that tune.
So again even though it's the beginning of
the tune
we're not gonna start on a C note.
We're gonna start on a G note which is
part, big part of the C scale.
Let's start there.
And of course, probably we wanna just
think about what the words are.
There's a lot of words to this, but let's
just think about the, the chorus.
It's not the jungle in, in Africa,
it's the, the hobo jungles, which was
a word that referred to the train yards
through whether the hobos hung out and,
you know, would jump on and off the train.
So that's the jungle.
So oh.
So we're starting on oh.
Then we're gonna start on the five note.
Which is a G note in the key of C, right?
Cuz we count up from C.
Thats the fifth note, in G, the C scale.
So it's like a arpeggio, right?
It's not so much a scale right there.
If we go up and
then we just hit all the in notes the
important notes of this C scale, G.
C of course.
And G.
And then back down to E.
Rumble and the roar.
Try it one more time.
One and go.
So, I think.
Let's start.
The melody with an upbow on the oh,
because oh is kind of on an upbeat.
And then re-take, do another up bow.
So let's try that again.
One and go.
Okay, so starting on E.
These are gonna be fast little notes, as
she rides.
E, F.
Natural G.
So G to B
Again, another little arpeggio.
Right? So. [MUSIC]
G, G, A, D.
And then to the E.
Again with me.
One more time.
Now let's tack on that little pick up.
Remember we're starting on the E.
Two, three again.
One more time.
And then we play the whole thing.
I would play those first new notes as a up
bow again tied.
Try that.
Through the hills and by the shore.
Okay, so, D.
To C.
G again.
One, two, from D.
Now, there's a bunch of different ways.
That you can vary this slightly in the
melody, you could go.
You could do that.
Down to E.
Then back up to G.
Or just stay on.
this is what we're gonna do, we're gonna
stay on the G for now.
And then if you wanna play that E in there
later, you can.
Because this is not classical music.
We can play around with it.