View Full Version : The Fiddler's Fakebook

Jan-04-2006, 6:19pm
Is this the Fiddler's Fakebook that I have heard so much about - or if not - can someone give me a link to it?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec....2064606 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0825602386/qid%3D1136416653/202-9753565-2064606)


Jan-04-2006, 6:24pm
Thats it! I love that book. 500 fiddle tunes. Enough to last you a lifetime.

Also it is all notation and no tab, chords etc. So you have to be able to read notation.

Luckily many of the tunes are fairly simply with a Part A and Part B and thats it. This book has helped my sight reading abilities tremendously.

good luck!

Jan-04-2006, 6:29pm
Many thanks - just thought I would double check before buying as have had trouble getting hold of the "suggested" books over here in the UK!!

Thanks again.
It will be ordered soon...

Jan-04-2006, 8:00pm

There is also a Mandolin version of the Fiddler's Fakebook by David Brody (The Mandolin Picker's Fakebook). All the transcriptions are in mando TAB rather than standard notation. You'll find it under the author there on the same Amazon site. The mandolin version has fewer tunes (194 pages vs 304), so may not be as complete a tune reference, but I don't remember what the criteria was for reducing the contents. Maybe fewer variations of tunes were included in the mando version?

The Portland collections (at least I and II - there may be more) are also very good references.

Jan-04-2006, 8:38pm
(jmcgann @ Dec. 10 2005, 10:20)

Word up on the Fiddler's Fakebook-they are often odd composite versions of tunes (A part from one recording, B part from another) which may not be the best way to really learn a tune for the 1st time- i think it's a good source for variations but it may be more effective to learn your first settings of a tune froma single source, and then add on as you feel the need to come up with variations (or to see how other people play the tune).

A word of caution on the Fiddler's Fakebook. I have and like the book but found some songs are difficult to play because of the differences in the Part A and Part B.

Jan-04-2006, 9:41pm
As Jeff points out... there are the Fiddler's Fakebook, Mandolin Picker's Fakebook, Guitar Picker's Fakebook, and others I don't own. There is quite a bit of overlap in tunes, so you can get the whole band working on the same tunes. I don't do much mando tab, so I usually learn out of the Fiddler's Fakebook, but some of the chord progressions in these books need tweaking and even some tunes are just wrong: compare Cuckoo's Nest from the Fiddler's Fakebook with the one in Mando Picker's Fakebook or the recorded versions... Fiddler's has the A & B parts reversed. Still, these are probably as "essential" a tune collection as you'll find for BG & oldtimey stuff.

Paul Doubek

Jan-05-2006, 5:27am
Hi again.

Thanks for the responses. I think I'll go for the fiddler's fakebook - I already read music for both clarinet and harmonica - so it shouldn't be too hard to pick it up for mandolin - and I'm not a fan of tab unless it's necessary for learning something quickly!


Jan-05-2006, 7:06am
pettyman, incase you aren't aware, musicroom.com (http://www.musicroom.com) is a good source for mandolin sheet music and tuition books in the UK. Not as cheap as Amazon, but they have a good selection that you can't always find elsewhere.

Jan-05-2006, 7:11am
Yeah I've used them in the past - eaglemusicshop.com also have a reasonable selection! I actually prefer giving eagle my custom as they provide me with all my harmonicas and strings!!!

Jan-05-2006, 7:44am
Thanks for the tip, I've used eagle music for other things before, but never realised they had such a good selection of books. cheers!

Jan-05-2006, 7:48am
Yeah they're pretty good - you have to search a bit but they often have it - and they can order things pretty fast!

Jan-05-2006, 4:28pm
I agree Eagle music offers a really good service.I have bought mainly strings and picks from them.
My latest find for mandolin books and DVD's is 'Hamcor' its an ebay internet store based in Cornwall.They have the widest selection of hard to get mandolin books/DVD's especially american bluegrass books that I have seen in the uk. I got the Steve James blues mandolin DVD and the Greg Horne Intermediate mandolin book.I paid by paypal and got the items two days later.What a great service.

Jan-05-2006, 4:31pm
Many thanks for the info - think i might have bought from hamcor before! Definately rings a bell!


Feb-22-2006, 3:09pm
Based on the comments here I ordered the Fiddler's Fakebook. Really a must-have reference. I find the standard notation far superior to tab here ... he shows the bowing which for us translates to articulation. He shows position playing by small finger numbers above notes. The chords are not always right, I agree there, but the melodies are quite good. And he gives sources, many of which are easily-accessible, especially Kenny Baker for BG tunes. There are some difficult tunes here (Cotton Patch Rag, Beaumont Rag, BG in the Backwoods) nicely-transcribed, and two or three alternates for some tunes with regional variants (Dusty Miller, AK Traveller). Lots and lots of good ideas here. And I like that, as a mandolinist, you have to think for yourself how to "mandoize" the pieces.

Another nice touch is that he gives keys and modes, so you can work out the scale before playing the tune.

Finally, the format is very easy to use -- big landscape-mode spiral bound. The only quibble is that some tunes require page turning -- I guess I'll have to copy those pages and paste them next to the facing page.

Feb-22-2006, 5:14pm
I have the Fiddlers Fakebook -- I love to pull it out and read through new tunes!

Other books I recommend (that I own):
1) Mandolin Players Pasttime by Voyager Records (http://www.voyagerrecords.com/books.htm)

This is a nice collection of reels, jigs and hornpipes in lots of keys. #It has notation and tab, and the layout is very very nice. #There is also a CD available with a selection of the songs on it. #I have the book but not the CD.

2) #The Portland Collection (http://www.theportlandcollection.com)

This collection is notation-only, but it has lots of great contra-dance tunes in it. #A few of them overlap with The Fiddler's Fake Book and Mandolin Player's Pastime, but not many. #Again, there is a companion CD available with some of the tunes. #I have this CD, and I have learned a few of the tunes from the collection by ear. #Nice to be able to learn them either way. #This is a fat little book with a nice spiral binding.

As you can tell, I love fiddle tunes!

Have Fun

Rob in Oregon

Feb-27-2006, 12:54pm
This book has been pretty valuable to me and mine.