Learn to Fiddle Country Style

This post is a follow up to a post I made a couple of weeks ago about Shuffle Bowing and some entries in the comments section between John Finney {Old Cowboy} and myself from the Fiddlehed Office Hours post a few days ago.

John and I have been messing with shuffle bowing, particularly the Nashville Shuffle (long-short-short) bowing. In addition to the resources I listed in the Shuffle Bowing post, I’ve did some more digging and came up with three more resources I think may be helpful.

The first is a video by Lora Staples where she explains how to apply the Nashville Shuffle bow pattern to your fiddle tunes.

The second resource is a web page I found on Google sites from the Old Time Frederick website called Fiddle Lesson 1 – Bile ’em Cabbage Down. This lesson is used to help the beginner get accustomed to hearing chord changes, finding the notes, and applying rhythmic bowing styles. Shuffle Bowing is briefly discussed and there are several videos which will help distinguish shuffle bowing from playing the tune “straight”.

Bile ’em Cabbage, version 1: single notes
Bile ’em Cabbage, version 3: shuffle and slide

The last resource comes from a 1965 album called Learn to Fiddle Country Style with Tracy Schwarz. In this 48 lesson album of brief lessons/instructions/samples, Tracy has two on the Nashville Shuffle stroke and the Nashville Shuffle version of Cripple Creek.

I think this could be a good resource, so I bought it, but not just for these two lessons. In this album, Tracy takes a simple tune (the old-time classic, “Cripple Creek”) and walks listeners through different ways to add variations, including adding more notes, drones (playing on two strings), or changing bow strokes. He also demonstrates different techniques such as vibrato. If you visit Amazon, lessons can be bought individually or the entire album can be purchased on vinyl, on CD, mp3 download or through the Amazon Streaming Music service. I purchased it because it is the first resource I have found where different techniques are applied to the same song; it’s not a new song every time you learn a new technique. I think it will be interesting to hear how a song “changes” with each new technique, and thought it might be helpful in “filing” the different techniques in my head if I can hear them applied to the same song. I think this album is worth checking out.

If you enjoy this website and decide to purchase the Learn to Fiddle Country Style, please consider using my link to Amazon. Whatever small commission I make goes directly back into maintaining this website. Thank you.

So, there are some more Nashville Shuffle resources. Let me know what you think.

  1 comment for “Learn to Fiddle Country Style

  1. old cowboy
    June 10, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    I have been trying to learn shuffle bowing for the past few weeks and thanks to fiddlehed I am getting better at it. Been practicing on Old Joe Clark.

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