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Fiddle Lessons: “Billy in the Lowground” - Exploring Variations

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[MUSIC]
One
of the joys of fiddling really is to just
sort of think through a tune,
work through a tune, and, and just find
other ways to play it and ways to vary it.
And after awhile, you know, the practicing
part becomes just more interesting because
you're just exploring, all right?
So, I think I'll just do that.
I might offer a little commentary, but
a lot of the stuff is sort of self
explanatory as I go along so
you'll just kind of hear what I do when I
go through a tune.
It'll be a lot of stops and starts,
there'll be some bad notes, there'll be
some good notes but it, inside into that
[MUSIC]
Exploration process might be interesting.
So, here we go
[MUSIC]
Okay, here's a new lick.
[MUSIC]
All right.
[MUSIC]
Instead of.
[MUSIC]
Same thing or even, but I'd go backwards.
[MUSIC]
Now that really doesn't work.
[MUSIC]
That works.
[MUSIC]
There we go.
[MUSIC]
Oops, took an extra beat.
Now a lot of times when you're playing
variations on fiddle tunes
it's actually cooler to play the variation
first, and
then come back to the tune about halfway
through the second part.
And that's it's kind of the opposite of
like,
a lot of jazz where you play the melody
first and then play the variation.
But sometimes it's, it's really cool
because sometimes you can if,
if you get far enough out then, it's, it's
good to remind people,
bring people back into the tune.
So, you might go
[MUSIC]
Something like that.
[MUSIC]
Now what if I went down.
[MUSIC]
Maybe I'll try going
up to second position trying to play all
that.
[MUSIC].
That's a little easier, right?
[MUSIC].
Love that sound.
[MUSIC]
Oh, now there's the problem.
[MUSIC]
How do I get back down from second
position?
[MUSIC]
Well, I could use an open string.
[MUSIC]
I'm gonna have to be ready for it,
and it has to be set.
So.
[MUSIC]
That's kind of a specific move, so
I need to probably repeat that a lot.
[MUSIC]
Now work backwards.
From the lick.
[MUSIC]
Oh, that helps, and actually finding a new
bowing.
[MUSIC]
That helps me remember.
[MUSIC]
That actually sounds better, and
it feels better.
[MUSIC]
Yeah, all right.
[MUSIC]
Well that works too.
[MUSIC]
That's actually better.
[MUSIC]
That's better lift.
[MUSIC]
That's stronger now.
[MUSIC]
I'm not into that.
[MUSIC]
That's a nice one.
[MUSIC]
That's interesting.
[MUSIC]
That's happens to be a classic, fiddle
toroque, that little.
[MUSIC]
Mm, there's places where it doesn't work
too good.
[MUSIC]
Lot of string crossing on that one.
[MUSIC]
Better practice that.
[MUSIC]
That's nice.
[MUSIC]
That's kinda cool.
[MUSIC]
That kinda works.
[MUSIC]
Hm.
[MUSIC]
Huh.
[MUSIC]
[LAUGH] I just put that that little d in
sync.
[MUSIC]
Which is kinda outta the scale.
[MUSIC]
But it works great, of course,
so all right, so where, where are we going
with this?
Well, we're not going anywhere, right,
we're wandering around.
Searching, exploring, just like you,
you know, I, you walk out your door, and
take a walk around the neighborhood.
You don't know where you're gonna go, you
mi, you're just walking around.
So, that's what I'm doing, I'm walking
around the neighborhood, of Billy.
Which happens to be a fairly low
neighborhood,
cuz he's down in the low ground somewhere.
[MUSIC]
Huh.
[MUSIC]
[LAUGH].
[MUSIC]
Well, works, works with F natural.
[MUSIC]
And there's a good place to drop.
[MUSIC]
And
why did that work so much better than all
that stuff I was trying to pull?
What, earlier, because, I decided to go to
the open A string,
on a on beat, you know, I was playing
around with.
[MUSIC]
You know it's.
[MUSIC]
It's all kind of in there,
tangled up in there, in a jig saw puzzle.
But what if I just go.
[MUSIC].
[MUSIC]
So, I just, took a,
an open string, and just went right there
on the beginning of the last phrase.
So, that works fine.
I think I'm probably gonna come back to
that other trick, and
really work on it at length,
and you guys don't need to hear that, cuz
that's just gonna be like, boring as heck.
But this, hopefully this is a good little
window into, you know, what I do a lot.
When I get a chance.
When I get a few minutes to just think
freely on the fiddle, and
just work on tunes.
Hopefully this will encourage you to try
just goofing around, trying new things.
And not be too goal oriented at first.
You know, if, you never know really, what
you're gonna come up with.
We start, kinda going for one thing.
We just flipped over into some other
thing.
Turned out great.
Went really well.
So, you know, it, it whatever you get,
we're thankful for it.
[MUSIC]