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Fiddle Lessons: The E Scale: “I'll Fly Away”

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All right, are you all ready for this?
Okay I'm gonna give you guys the last of
the beginning scales and
this gonna be the E major scale, so we're
gonna be in E and this.
It is a, a great scale and it's great hand
position for fiddle, because it's
a doorway, it's a gateway scale, it's a
gateway to complete mastery and
comfort all over the finger board, because
it's a, kind of a closed position scale.
That means, we're not gonna use any open
And it's a sort of a classic hand position
that we can use all over the neck.
But for now, we're just gonna stay in E.
So, first we're gonna, okay well, where's
the E?
We're going to find E on the instrument.
We know we have an E string.
That's our open E.
So, let's find an E an octave down from
that and, of course the D,
string is where we're gonna find our E,
because just one up from D is E.
Just like in the alphabet.
And that is our first finger, right like
So right, let's find that first finger and
play that E.
Just play a nice long bow.
Okay, so E major.
So we have just like the all other scales,
we have two whole steps and
then a half step.
So we, from one, E.
And then we go to F sharp.
And then G sharp.
Now that is a stretch, right?
So we're, we're playing.
What are we playing there?
We're playing.
Look at this.
We get, so we get first finger, E and then
we're playing
another whole step wide and then another
whole step.
So that's wide step and then we bring our
fourth finger up
And play the A note, and
we're gonna check that A note with open A.
All right.
that is quite the exciting moment there.
then we switch to the next string, which
happens to be the A string, right?
And then, we're going straight to the
first finger, on a B.
And again, a stretch to D-sharp.
And then to E.
Let's keep all those fingers down.
I hope you kept all your fingers down.
I hope you're not waving around there.
Hope they're all down.
Because we're coming back down the scale,
and you're gonna need those fingers to be
right where they were.
There's the D sharp.
To the C sharp.
To the B.
Okay now we could do the open A, but
let's, because we're sitting here and
we're like working on the stuff, and
nobody's listening, hopefully.
We're gonna just reach over with our
fourth finger, on the D string, and
play the A there.
Now we can, we can just stop for a second,
let's check it with an open A.
And then, close to that.
We're gonna put our third finger and play
the G-sharp
And then the F-sharp and
then the E.
So I'm gonna pay this a couple of times
real slow,
and get you to match, your intonation to
what I'm doing.
We're gonna start here, I'm gonna get it,
like, a full four slow beats for each
So here we go, E,.
F-sharp, G-sharp, get ready with that
fourth finger, here comes the A.
All your fingers should be down.
Okay, now we're gonna reach across, and
play the B.
And here comes the C sharp, second finger.
Here's the D sharp, third finger.
And here's the E.
Fourth finger, right next to the D sharp.
Second against it, open E.
All fingers down.
All fingers.
Okay, make sure, you're not to tense.
If it just feels like you, you're just
completely you know, straining.
Let go, let your hand shake out a little
bit and then come back.
Remember you're gonna want to have your
A little forward,
right, cuz that's how you're gonna be able
to get that position, right.
Cuz if you're like this, you know, ugh,
you know, how do you do it?
How do you, how can you get it?
It's just really hard to do and it's not
reliable, but
if you have your elbow around like that,
all of a sudden, boom.
Hand goes over.
And we've got, got it made here in the
shade, as they say.
So let's start with the E.
Find that E.
Try to keep your hand very relaxed.
Let your other fingers sort of touch the A
All right,
we're coming down, here we are, coming
down from the high E.
We got our fourth finger all set,
we've got the thumb around, everything is
Here we go.
That's a D-sharp, a C-sharp, and
reach over again with your fourth finger
for the A.
I'm gonna play this a couple more times.
I'm just gonna go up, you're gonna play it
along with me.
Here we go.
One, two, three, and.
Here comes that fourth finger.
And we're gonna do a little scale
We're gonna go.
We're gonna go like that.
So, here we go.
Going real slow.
Two, three, and.
To F-sharp.
Reach back with your first finger to get
the D-sharp.
Kinda slide it up to, for the E.
We're gonna try the whole thing a little
Here we go.
One, two, three, and.
All right.
And then one more time even faster.
[SOUND] Here we go.
One, two, three, and.
All right.
Okay, so that is kind of a tough scale.
But, the great thing about that scale,
it's a little bit like the A scale.
You can play this anywhere on the neck.
That same hand position.
You go.
You could move the whole thing up.
Up to F.
We could do it with the F sharp.
All the relationships stay the same.
Now, of course, when you go up to the
neck, the spaces are smaller.
I'll show you how that looks like.
Okay, starting in E.
If you wanna really drive yourself a
little nuts try crawling up the neck,
playing the E scale in all these different
And this is gonna give you kind of a sense
of how it
feels to be [LAUGH] a guitar player, but
no frets.
But, this is a great skill.
It's possible.
It's totally possible to master.
And it's it's very, very useful,
especially if you're
playing any bluegrass, or any kind of you
know, complicated, or
folk music with the singer who's gonna be
singing stuff in funny keys.
So definitely something you wanna look at.
Now we're going to about we're gonna
A tune in E, next, and we'll get, we'll
get to that, very soon.
It's gonna be a great old gospel tune,
I'll Fly Away.
But before we do that, I want you to go
back, play along with this video, and
really get comfortable with that E major
scale, using your fourth finger.
It might take awhile, but just remember to
try to stay relaxed, you know?
And just bring your, bring your arm
That's gonna help a lot, you know?
If you're, if you're trying to do it from
that angle it's just gonna be,
just misery, you know?
But it, once you get your arm to be in the
habit of coming around like that,
it's gonna be a lot easier.
All right.
Good luck.
Great, all right.
Well, we worked on the E scale, we've gone
up and down it.
We've kind of worked it over.
The E scale is such a great stepping stone
into kind of a mastery
of the fingerboard situation because it
can be used all over the fingerboard.
Let's try a tune using the E scale.
Let's try a tune.
Let's do the great old gospel Tune, I'll
fly away.
Now, I'll play it for you slowly with a
guitar track.
Here we go.
Here's the second part.
All right, so that was the melody to I'll
Fly Away.
All right,
so, we're playing a very simple music of
without all the fancy wrist movements and
things, you know,
of a great blue grass singer or Whitney
Houston, or somebody would put in there.
So we're gonna show you here,
I'm gonna come up close to the screen so
you can see what my fingers are doing.
You start with the first finger on the D
string, right?
Because the very first note is E note, and
that's the key we're in, so
we're gonna find the E on the D string
with our first finger.
That's our first note,
that's the some note.
And then we're gonna go and we're gonna
We're gonna play a C sharp note with our
third finger on the G string.
then the next note is a B, also on the G
then back to the E with our first finger
on the D string.
[SOUND] And then we're gonna take that
third finger, and put it in the same place
except on the D string, so we're gonna go
straight from that to there.
then we're going to do our fourth finger.
And it's tight there.
And then back to E.
So we've got the first raise.
Then we can play the.
You can see my bow going back and forth.
Or we can go.
you got three choices that you can do with
the bow.
We can make a drag in the bow, just stop
the bow.
And then keep going.
[SOUND] Or we can do separate bows.
Again, it's up to you.
Okay, so then the same melody in the
second part.
C Sharp.
B, E.
So that might be a hard thing.
Now, you get, you want to check your hand
position and
your elbow position because if, you're
going, if you're playing, and
then to get the fret, and you have to
All the sudden you have to launch to your
hand around in order to get that fourth
finger up.
We don't want that.
So we wanna make sure, you know, when
we're playing this that, you know,
we can just barely see, you can just
almost see that your elbow there.
And if you look down, it's just right
behind the edge of your instrument and
that you'll know that's a good position
for the elbow to be in.
You don't want it to be like that, you
that's gonna be bad because you'll never
be able to get that.
You'll never be able to get that so you
just, you know, let it, and this of course
it's kind of an uncomfortable position.
Don't go around all day with our arm
cocked like this normally, so
this is more, you know, it's just another
habit that we wanna go into and of course,
we could go walk around like that.
It would look pretty weird, but we would,
it would give us
the habit of getting used to, and
comfortable with arm like that.
So that could be a thing that we want to
if we weren't worried about freaking
everybody around us out.
So, what are we at?
All right, not lunging.
And then the same thing.
And you see how.
When I was playing that, my forefinger
wasn't wiggling around,
but it was getting ready to ha, to be
it's right there when I need it, and then.
Go all the way to the A string with our
first finger.
Play a B and then back to that G sharp.
And then F sharp and then.
So those are all notes that we've been
practicing that are in the E scale.
Just about every note in the E scale is
represented here.
>> [MUSIC]
B part, and here we go.
Okay, starting on the B, that's a little
coincidence there.
The B note on the A string, find your A
string and
then find your first finger, find the B
And then we're gonna go over, and
we're gonna find that G sharp on the D
string yet, and we're gonna,
while holding down the first finger.
So, we [INAUDIBLE] and but then,
first finger stays down.
we're gonna be playing the G sharp on the
D string.
All right, so.
Because we're coming right back to the B
note, and that's why we're doing that.
you can see how my first finger moved
right over, and
got just straight across, little, as
little extra motion as possible and.
F Sharp.
And then a long note.
those notes, the G Sharp and the C Sharp,
are right across from each other.
So, you wouldn't do badly, if you just
So, back to the beginning of the B part.
And then, something we've already played.
And then.
it's just, that ending of the B part, is
just like the ending of the A part.
I'm gonna go ahead, and do this slowly,
with the guitar track, one more time.
With the, my fingers the fingerboard right
up in the screen here.
So ,I'm gonna start this up.
Here we go.
All right, here we go,
three, four.
Okay, here's the B part.
So, that is, I'll Fly Away.
That's the fingering that you wanna use.
And if you wanna sing along with yourself.
Probably not a good idea.
Now you might have noticed that one of the
things that I was not doing,
was trying to make the bow, last the
entire time.
Now, that is one thing that you could try
as an exercise, to see how smoothly, and
how slowly you can move the bow, in order
to get these very long notes.
But you can also practice stopping,
and that is really an important part of,
the bow.
You know, the, it's hard to start.
Getting that bow to start,
without [SOUND] or [SOUND] all that stuff.
That is, requires some work.
But, and it's also hard to stop.
How do I stop, where do I stop, there's no
brakes on this thing.
Right, so, simply trying.
Okay, well that works.
Doesn't sound that great.
That sounds a little better, I just slowed
down, and let off a little pressure, and
let the bow rest on the string.
You could also try.
Bringing the bow off the string.
kind of a specialized taste, shall we say.
But that is another thing that you could
And I, and I see a lot of people that play
with plectrums.
They try to do that.
You know,
that's kinda a way that people start
playing using the bow,
if they're used to playing with the pick,
or something like that.
But I want you to just.
Just try stopping and see what happens.
Let the guitar.
The guitar's gonna keep going,
no matter what.
You're gonna be able to download these
guitar tracks.
Okay, we're about to flip over into part
two, here, so
I'm gonna leave you now, and just, we'll
be back in a moment.
All right.
I'm Darol, and welcome to part two of I'll
Fly Away, in the key of E, E.
So, now, I'm gonna play twice through the
with a slow guitar part, and hopefully
you'll be able to play along with this.
Watch my fingers, watch my bow, try to
just, you know,
kinda get in sync with what I'm doing.
Hopefully you'll be able to hear the
guitar on this.
Now, you'll also be able to download your
own guitar part, but
it's also good to play along with the
other musician and
it's just to kinda get, you know, it
Even, even over video it helps.
It's how we learn anything.
It's like copying.
So, here we go.
A slow version of I'll Fly Away.
One, two, three.
See how I'm stopping.
Long bow
Just keep the words in your mind,
that helps too.
That's one word.
All right.
Now, you should be able to you know,
repeat that in this video,
a few times, and just get, get comfortable
with that, and
then we have a faster version of the tune.
And you can go ahead and download that
guitar part also,
we have these two guitar tracks to play
Now yeah.
And we'd love to hear
as you get comfortable with that if you
want to submit a video
of yourself playing I'll Fly Away with a
guitar track or without it, that's great.
And remember the important, we have the
long, very long notes.
So, getting that G sharp
in tune is really important.
And also the C sharp.
And it's very close.
You can't tune it up with a, with a open
string, because it sounds like this
Kinda hard to hear.
But, but if you just play a scale.
keep those fingers down, you should be
getting comfortable with the G sharp,
and the C sharp, those high third fingers.
In a reasonable period of time, alright,
of course, that's different for everybody.
Reasonable is, kind of a relative term,
isn't it.
All right, well great.
Good luck with this.
I, try to have fun with it.
Try some different bowings if you're
getting bored.
Try different things, you know,
so much of this is about just getting
comfortable, playing and trying things.
So yeah, just, just enjoy as much as you
Don't take anything too seriously at this
point because it's just you know,
a lot of it is just kind of bone head
getting your hand to get in the habit of
doing what you're supposed to do.
All right.
Thank you.