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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Fiddle Tunes


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.flatpickerhangout.com/archive/49950

michael523 - Posted - 09/20/2018:  16:16:17


So how can I jazz up a basic fiddle tune melody to make it more interesting without just playing licks and having people have no idea what the song is??
Thank you, michael

UsuallyPickin - Posted - 09/22/2018:  07:11:32


Well …. the simple answer is don't change the tune so much it isn't recognized. Keep it simple and return to restate recognizable parts of the known melody. Adding techniques ie. sliding into and out of tones adding harmony tones, syncopating and cross picking. Flashy licks are great for closing a line. Playing the melody or parts thereof in a different range on your instrument. The thing that is difficult for me is doing all this at the same time. So keeping track of the chords and changes and what those chord tones are will help remain in the area of the melody even when not specifically playing it. R/

Dick Hauser - Posted - 10/06/2018:  12:04:33


Have several variations. The first variation played would provide the simple melody the listeners could easily understand. After hearing this simple version, it is easier for listeners to handle more complex versions of the melody. I also like to hear a tune end with a very recognizable version of the melody.


Edited by - Dick Hauser on 10/06/2018 12:06:53

Dick Hauser - Posted - 10/10/2018:  15:46:38


You won't find anything better than Steve Kaufman's "Bluegrass Guitar Solos Every Parking Lot Picker Should Know". Book and 6 CDs. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced version of each tune. And Steve verbally explains how harder things should be played. The price may seem expensive, but when you realize you are getting three versions of twenty songs, you are getting 60 lessons for about $60, so each lessons costs about $1.00. I have shelves full of banjo, guitar, and fiddle books. That is the best instructional on those shelves. I wish someone would produce instructionals like this for banjo and fiddle.


This is NOT a sales pitch. I am only a customer. BTW, get Series 1 of the 5 series set. It contains the most commonly played tunes. This is NOT just a repertoire book. Steve explains lots of mechanics of flatpicking. He is probably the most prolific developer of guitar instructional material.

wannabedoc - Posted - 10/21/2018:  10:33:09


I agree with DH and UP on this, and give a big thumbs-up to Steve Kaufman's material. After working through many of his arrangements, I've become better at recognizing what other flatpickers are doing, which has made enabled me to not only learn more things directly from recordings, but to also come up with my own variations.

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