I recently Googled “Old Time Fiddle” and on page thirteen I found a little gem of a website called 100 Fiddle Tunes, a blog started in 2011 by Elan Chalford, a fiddler, fiddle teacher, fiddle tune writer, and blogger who also blogs at A Fiddle Blog.
While still unfinished (Elan seems like a very busy man), 100 Fiddle Tunes is a place where Elan has thus far listed sixty-eight fiddle tunes published as fiddle tab charts, a very good find for those who prefer tabs over musical notation. For each tune, he makes some comments, gives a few tips, and has a pdf version which can be easily downloaded.
Here is a sample of his listing of Bag of Spuds:
Playing Bag of Spuds
“The back and forth bow movement is like Growling Old Man and Grumbling Old Women, which could be shortened to Grouchy Oldsters, don’t you think? The bow action creates a sound that is…Growly, would you say?”
“In the last bar of the A part and the B part is a fourth finger grace note. It should be played very lightly, not spending any time on the string at all, to speak of. A similar, and more usual note with the third finger is in the first and fifth bars of the B part. Same instruction, play very quickly and lightly with this note.”
“In the B part also there is more back and forth bowing from the A string to the D string. The tune has a unified feel and a good deal of repetition.”
“There is no reason you can’t play Bag of Spuds on the lower strings, and also on the A and E strings, as is the more common practice. For an audience, it creates new interest to hear the tune performed higher or lower than they have already heard in a performance. And, as Joe Walsh says, we need to keep our audience from getting bored.”
So, if you like to use Tabs to learn fiddle tunes, here is a good resource for you!