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Fiddle Tune Standards

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by JakeCox, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. JakeCox

    JakeCox TDPRI Member

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    Ok... hopefully this turns out to be a great thread with a ton of input.

    I've recently been conformed to the dark side. That's right... I started playing country. Haha. For anyone who wants to think that this is an easy road, think again. I've been playing music for 21 of my 27 years, and nothing has just rang my brain out and hung it to dry like this. Haha. It's definitely a new monster for me. Being a guitar player, I naturally started listening to the greats like Danny Gatton, Brent Mason, Johnny Hiland, Jerry Reed, etc... After many failed attempts at trying to figure out the method to the madness, I've come to the conclusion that I need to once again start all over and learn the basics, learn some bluegrass, go pick with some older guys, get schooled by them, and get schooled some more until I START getting the hang of it.

    My question is... What are the "stock" fiddle tunes that every picker is going to know? I know a few groups of guys who do this, and I at least want to walk in with something to offer. I didn't grow up on this stuff, so I need a little guidance in this department.
     
  2. troy2003

    troy2003 Friend of Leo's

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    Not a fiddle tune-but Wildwood Flower and Under the Double Eagle. Fiddle tunes-Red Haired Boy,Old Joe Clark,Red Wing. These songs are played at EVERY oldies jam I go to
     
  3. JakeCox

    JakeCox TDPRI Member

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    Thanks man.
     
  4. troy2003

    troy2003 Friend of Leo's

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    There's quite a few bluegrass tab sites. Doc Watson had some simplified tab of a lot of tunes too
     
  5. Valvey

    Valvey Tele-Holic

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    Doc Watson was the first to record fiddle tune melodies on the guitar so his stuff is the mainstay of that genre. Black Mountain Rag, Billy in the Low Ground, Salt Creek/Bill Cheatham, Beaumont Rag, etc.'

     
  6. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think you are wise by going back to the beginning. I played a duet doing Carter Family stuff for 3-4 years and really gained an appreciation for Maybelle's style. Songs like Dixie Darlin', Bear Creek Blues, You Are My Flower etc have some great guitar playing. Those licks fit anywhere in country and sound authentic. The Stanley Brothers have some great songs too.

    As far as fiddle tunes on guitar I agree with Doc Watson as required listening. And no one's mentioned Boil Them Cabbage Down or Orange Blossom Special yet-just don't ask me how to play 'em. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  7. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Steve Kaufman series

    Steve Kaufman's 4 hour Bluegrass Workout book (with 4 CDs) has about 50 of the most played fiddle tunes around. The CDs have slow and fast versions of each tune. He plays the melody and then gives you a chance to play the melody by just doing the chords for you. It's $45 which might sound like a lot but I think it is worth it - 4 CDs and all those tunes for the price of about one guitar lesson with a pro. Worked pretty good for me.

    Here's a link:
    http://www.flatpik.com/instructional-materials/four-hour-bluegrass-work-out-volume-1
     
  8. Jimmyspaz

    Jimmyspaz Tele-Holic

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  9. JakeCox

    JakeCox TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the help guys. Anyone know of any albums that have several of these tunes on them?
     
  10. troy2003

    troy2003 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a double cd from 1972. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Called Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Has guest artists like Doc Watson,Roy Acuff, Merle Travis, Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs. Awesome collection of tunes. I believe there is a part two also
     
  11. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Salt Creek
    Bill Cheetham
    Dixie Hoedown
    Red Haired Boy
    Whisky Before Breakfast
    Big Mon
    Stoney Creek
    Big Sciota
    Cattle In The Cane
    Devil's Dream
    Billy In The Lowground
    Cripple Creek
    Flop Eared Mule
    Soldier's Joy
    Chicken Reel
    Sally Goodin'
    Jerusalem's Ridge
    Blackberry Blossom
    8th of January
    Leather Britches
    Forked Deer
    St. Anne's Reel
    New Camptown Races
    Big Sandy River
    Beaumont Rag
    Gold Rush

    And the list would go on and on
     
  12. 1962guitargeek

    1962guitargeek Friend of Leo's

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    ...and don't think you can get away gigging with a fiddle without the Orange Blossom Special...

    and maybe Cotton Eye Joe
     
  13. 1962guitargeek

    1962guitargeek Friend of Leo's

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    Beat me to it...:oops:


    Boil Them Cabbage Down is one of the simplest tunes...here's what it sounds like in the hands of a master...


     
  14. 1962guitargeek

    1962guitargeek Friend of Leo's

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    This one is a fun little ditty...I enjoy playing it.

     
  15. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

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    Please remember that bluegrass is songs, not fiddle tunes. If you go to a BG festival, most of the bands on stage, out of a 15-song set, will do maybe one instrumental tune, if that.

    I was playing in a regular BG jam for awhile with some serious players. We would play for 3-4 hours and not do a single instrumental. It was all songs, half of them in B or Bb. Now that's a workout for a fiddle player!

    If you want to learn BG, go back to the recordings of the classic bands - Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers. Learn those songs, and learn kickoffs and breaks to those songs.

    I think that the reason that fiddle tunes are so popular at BG jams is that a lot of people don't sing, so when it comes around to their turn to choose a tune, they choose an instrumental.
     
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