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Thread: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

  1. #1

    Default Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Ok, everyone keeps telling me to learn a fiddle tune. Can someone give me a suggestion? While I'm learning with my lesson book I want to also learn something that most mandolin players would recognize (that we could possibly play together) rather than the 'fake' song exercises in my book that no mando players have heard of. I can read notation and that's what I'm looking for, not tab. Thanks!!! I don't listen to bluegrass or roots music so I'm clueless on finding a song that would be known.
    Proud owner of a Breedlove Premier Series Limited Edition FF!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Probably the most common fiddle tune in America is Soldier's Joy. Other common ones are Ragtime Annie, Arkansas Traveler, Bill Cheatham, and Turkey in the Straw. There are a lot of resources online as well as in print if you read music. Also, standard tuning on a fiddle is the same as a mandolin so you can use the same sheet music.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    A couple months ago I read through this entire thread

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ew-fiddle-tune

    Lots of ideas there, and numerous links to great web resources with sheet music etc.

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  6. #4
    Economandolinist Amanda Gregg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Good luck on your journey, Melissa! Collecting tunes is a great hobby. I second Eric's suggestion for a first fiddle tune.

    By the way, ideally you would memorize these tunes, i.e. be able to play them without looking at any music.
    Amanda

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Yes Melissa, use Eric's suggestion. Pick anyone of those tunes to learn. You can find a tef file for them on this site so you can hear the melody and slow it down. You can do a search on YouTube with song title and the word mandolin, and most likely find a few examples of someone playing it.

    In my opinion there is almost nothing better than learning some fiddle tunes on the mandolin. It teaches so much. And right away you have something in common with most other pickers. Many, if not most, of the great mandolin players started out learning fiddle tunes, at least in the genres of bluegrass, country, & old time.

    I've attached some sheet music for you, of course, it has both notation and tab. There is a couple versions of Arkansas Traveler. And http://www.MandoLessons.com has lesson videos of these tunes which are very helpful.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Turkey_In_The_Straw.pdf   Soldiers_Joy.pdf   Bill Cheatham.pdf  

    Arkansas_Traveler.pdf   Arkansas Traveler.pdf  
    Last edited by Nashville; Mar-15-2015 at 3:46pm.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Thanks all! I will look through/listen to these fiddle tunes and pick out one. Just wasn't sure where to start and as I'm still learning I didn't want anything mega complicated. I am definitely enjoying my musical journey!
    Proud owner of a Breedlove Premier Series Limited Edition FF!

  11. #7
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Whiskey Before Breakfast is right up there with Soldier's Joy in being very commonplace.

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  13. #8
    Registered User Manfred Hacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Two of the first fiddle tunes I learned were
    St. Anne's Reel
    Liberty
    I still play them all the time. Especially St. Anne's Reel has a beautiful melody and sounds great at slower speed, too.
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education - Mark Twain

  14. #9
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    There are only two fiddle tunes, Soldiers Joy and the other one.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

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  16. #10

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    A book that has some nice arrangements of fiddle tunes is Ray Valla's Bluegrass Mandolin Method. Contrary to what the title suggests, it's not really a method book, but more a collection of fiddle tunes with some playing advice. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/078...f_rd_i=desktop
    Soldier's Joy is in this book as well as Liberty. I especially like the arrangement of Cattle in the Cane.
    Thanks!!! I don't listen to bluegrass or roots music so I'm clueless on finding a song that would be known.
    Even if you don't lsiten to BG you should Know "Sailor's Hornpipe"

  17. #11
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    I like this site Dr. Fiddles Old Time Tunes in that MP3, Midi and sheet music are provided. Also, Slippery Hill is a good source no sheet music but tons-o-tunes

    Mike

  18. #12

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Just had a quick look at the book I recommended. It seems the examples there are more variations than the basic melody.So it's rather designed for the advanced player.
    Anyway, you can find most tunes on the net. Another one I like is "Red Haired Boy" http://archive.mandolinsessions.com/dec06/Anthony.html
    You can play it either at breakneck speed as bluegrassers like Tony Rice do, or as a slower hornpipe like Roland White http://rolandwhite.com/redhairedboy.htm

  19. #13

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    There are only two fiddle tunes, Soldiers Joy and the other one.
    Old Joe Clark...

    Seriously, this is a very good tune to begin within as well as Boil Them Cabbage Down. You should begin to listen to Bluegrass music....alot so you can begin to develop your ear and learn how these tunes set up.

    I found fiddle tunes hard to learn from a sheet of paper because they all have a groove that you'll need to know in order to play them properly (these tunes swing and standard notation will um....note that....but tab won't and a lot of the tunes out there are in tab). Don't resist the tab, I dislike it as well but it is easier to learn the tune from quickly and with your background of reading music you will know what note it is anyway. I've been able to transition from mandolin to guitar easily BC I think in terms of notes rather than number when using tab.

    Last, take note...that a lot of people play fiddle tunes differently than from written music and you may learn one version but be prepared to hear something quite different at a jam, here's where the listening will help you.

  20. #14

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Flop Eared Mule
    Salt Creek
    Redwing

    Ditto,
    RTA
    RHB
    WBB
    OJC
    Trust a tune you can abbreviate to three letters.

  21. #15
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Good suggestions.

    The only thing I'd say is start going to jams, and hearing what they're playing. It's fun to learn tunes that nobody else plays, but if you want to play along, you gotta play along!

    Some parts of the country (or state or city or whatever) might have their own favorites. When someone calls a tune, make a note of what tune it is, and add it to your list. It helps to have a good version to learn from, too.

    I've mentioned this book a few times here: "Bob Grant's Fiddle tunes for Flatpickers: Mandolin" (amazon, elderly, etc...) The book has standard notation and TAB, and great, clear playing on the companion CD. I pretty much started here, and learned all the tunes in the book.

    here's the list of tunes: (tunes in BOLD are especially popular in beginning circles... there are plenty of others, but these are the ones from this book.)

    1. Old Joe Clark
    2. Old Joe Clark (Alternate B Section)
    3. Salt Creek

    4. Sally Goodin'
    5. Bill Cheatham
    6. Cherokee Shuffle

    7. Fire on the Mountain
    8. Sweet Liza Jane
    9. Devil's Dream
    10. Red Haired Boy
    11. Big Mon
    12. Old Dangerfield
    13. Cattle in the Cane
    14. Cluck Old Hen
    15. Texas Gales
    16. Billy in the Low Ground
    17. Boston Boy
    18. Sailor's Hornpipe
    19. Whiskey Before Breakfast
    20. Soldier's Joy

    21. Eighth of January
    22. Liberty
    23. Liberty (Alternate A Section)
    24. Fisher's Hornpipe
    25. Arkansas Traveler
    26. Blackberry Blossom

    27. Temperance Reel
    28. Turkey in the Straw
    29. Kentucky Mandolin
    Last edited by terzinator; Mar-17-2015 at 9:59am.

  22. #16
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    I'll add "Over the Waterfall." I think it sounds good on a mango-family instrument. I play it on cittern. I also really like "Red Haired Boy."

  23. #17
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    I think it's worth pointing out a link that Crisscross referenced above. Mel Bay's online magazine "Mandolin Sessions" is no longer active, but it's still available. Wendy Anthony's column "Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire" is a nice resource for someone looking to learn some "standard" fiddle tunes.

    Go to mandolinsessions.com and click the "Back Issues" link. I believe Anthony's column started with the Feb 2005 issue.
    Marc

  24. #18
    Registered User tkdboyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Angeline the Baker, great jam tune and you can make it as unique as you want to. This is a real in depth lesson way beyond just the "Fiddle Tune"
    Great version.
    And some good stuff here: https://youtu.be/Ov4NKsrtWR0?t=5m36s
    Link to tab/notation here

  25. #19
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Here's a bunch of D tunes we'll be playing in the rain tomorrow morning. Seems we always start our jams with Angeline the Baker.

    Angeline the Baker
    Chinquapin Hunting
    Cricket on the Hearth
    Dubuque
    Camp Meeting on the 4th of July
    Hawks and Eagles
    Soldier's Joy
    Over the Waterfall
    Spotted Pony
    West Fork Gals
    Sara Armstrong's Tune
    Sadie at the Back Door
    Cumberland Gap
    John Ryan's Polka
    Home with the Girls in the Morning
    Whiskey Before Breakfast
    Liberty
    Arkansas Traveller
    Western Country
    Pig Ankel Rag
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  26. #20

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cowles View Post
    Also, standard tuning on a fiddle is the same as a mandolin so you can use the same sheet music.
    Being tuned the same as fiddle doesn't enter into it. The beauty of standard notation (as opposed to tablature) is that it can be read on any concert-pitch instrument (with octave adjustments, if necessary).

  27. #21

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Angeline the Baker is a great tune. Check out the link below. Enjoy!


  28. #22
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Lovely

  29. #23
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Yes it is.

    This was the first video I stumbled onto when learning AB. Needless to say I found another version to copy but this one stuck in my imagination. The solos, the twin parts and the bit @ 2:22 - all excellent

  30. #24

    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    I'm working on Soldier's Joy right now... Anyone know what the metronome speed is? Starting out slowly of course.
    Proud owner of a Breedlove Premier Series Limited Edition FF!

  31. #25
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    Default Re: Good/Popular Fiddle Tune

    Around and about 90 bpm is comfortable speed. You could start out in the 80's.

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