The Pleasance, Edinburgh, Scotland
Workshop for fiddlers as a part of the Scots Fiddle Festival.
Celtic fiddle is about making people want to dance. We'll start by learning the generic, stripped down versions of several classic tunes (reels, jigs, strathspeys, hornpipes). As the class progresses we'll add layers of dance-inducing devices into the tunes. Slurred bowings are one of the most requested concerns of students; we'll delve deeply into this area by learning the bowing patterns which provide the best groove. We'll work on different ways of putting rhythmic accents on specific notes and phrase endings to add excitement. After introducing several kinds of Scottish- and Irish-style ornaments, we'll work on using them to add rhythmic drive to the tune. We'll always use efficient practicing methods that yield the quickest results. As we go, I will often point out how tunes are constructed in organized patterns based on a few simple harmonies. I'll teach the class primarily by ear, but sheet music of tunes and bowing styles will be given for home study. We will encourage a fun, supportive learning environment in which no-one will be singled out. Audio recorders welcome.