Fiddle Improv

Let’s Improve Our Fiddle Improv

From skyandsea876 on Flickr

Cracker Jazz or Hillbilly Jazz is fiddle based music that expresses the improvised line in fiddle style. The comparison to bluegrass is obvious. In bluegrass each instrument is allowed only limited scope for improv, usually eight bars, sometimes equal to the length of a fiddle tune.

Fiddle Improv for Listening

What was formerly dance music becomes … Read more

Continue Reading

Fiddling Call and Response

Call and Response on the Fiddle

Gandy dancers demonstrating their skill at the Florida Folk Festival
Gandy dancers demonstrating their skill at the Florida Folk Festival. Call and response evolved from labor.

Not many years ago I was at the Florida folk festival at the same time as Darol Anger. I had not met him at that time, as I did at the Mike Block String Camp. I was hanging out with the crowd that … Read more

Continue Reading

Fiddling On the Off Beat

Shuffles and other Fiddling Off Beat Tricks

Maybe the first difference you can hear between a real fiddler and a violinist playing a fiddle tune is the accent on the off beat. By the way, Liz Carroll produced an album titled On the Off Beat, which is a playfully clever title. I begin teaching my students about this not long after they play Bilem Cabbage … Read more

Continue Reading