Teaching and Learning Materials

Many listening aids and books have been developed for promoting old time fiddle music; specifically in teaching fiddlers how to play fiddle and in preserving many collections of fiddle tunes. However, few aids exist to help accompanists develop their skills in accompanying fiddlers. Through research and travels with performing and teaching, there have been continual requests for a graded approach to help fiddle accompanists develop and apply music theory, practice, instrumental and performance skills. To meet this need, two teaching series to assist fiddlers and fiddle accompanists in this learning process have been developed. The names of these projects are The Joys of Fiddle Music - Volumes 1 and 2, and The Fiddle Accompanist's Chord Chart Collection - Volumes 1 and 2.

My aim, with these learning resources, is to help the accompanist become acquainted with the basic flow of fiddle music, develop instrumental, technical and performance skills in accompanying, and provide a starting point in learning fiddle tunes played in contests, jam sessions, dances, and shows throughout North America. If you are starting as an accompanist on piano, guitar, or any other chording instrument, or wish to start developing an ear for this music, these series are for you. Both of these resources can either be used in a self help manner or in private music lessons with your teacher.

The first book and recording, The Joys of Fiddle Music -Volume #1 contains tunes with no more than two chord changes, and is in the four basic major fiddle keys (C, G, D, A) and the two basic minor chords (A minor and E minor).

The second book and recording, The Joys of Fiddle Music - Volume #2, contains tunes in the four basic major fiddle keys (C, G, D, A) along with three common minor fiddle keys (Am, Em, Gm).

In both books, performance practices in fiddle music, music theory explanations, guides for chord inversions, guides for playing scales and notated arrangements of fiddle tunes are printed. An accompanying tape/CD contains all tunes in the book recorded at both dance tempo and practice tempo. The fiddle track is found on the right speaker and the accompaniment track on the left speaker.

For The Fiddle Accompanist's Chord Chart Collection, the musical concepts can be applied to any chording instrument, including guitar and piano. The fiddle melodies are recorded on the accompanying tapes/CDs, encouraging the accompanist in listening to the recordings to learn these melodies by ear. The written chord arrangements (from basic to enhanced) show the accompanist how accompaniment arrangements can be built. Because of audio format, the tunes on this recording are done at dance tempo only.

The first book and recording package contains 27 tunes with no more than four chord changes in the keys of C, G, D, A, E, F, & Bb. The second book and recording package contains 28 different tunes with no more than four chord changes in the keys of C, G, D, A, Am, F, & Bb. In these books, each tune has at least three chord arrangements ranging from basic to enhanced levels. This not only enables the accompanist and teacher to utilize additional options for arrangements in these tunes, but also allows the accompanist and the teacher to:

  • Examine how each arrangement is built from basic to advanced levels.
  • Discover how these arrangements relate to different accompaniment styles in fiddle music.
  • Understand how music theory is applied in practice by the top accompanists in these tunes.

The accompanying tapes/CDs contain all tunes for each book at dance tempo, with the fiddle track found on the left speaker and the accompaniment track found on the right speaker. I trust that these learning aids will assist you in developing your music skills and give you a better appreciation of an art form that is making a comeback. May these learning packages bring you many hours of musical enjoyment!

 

The Joys of Fiddle Music Volume #1An excerpt from
"The Joys of Fiddle Music"...
Purpose of this Series:

"This series of Book and CD sets is designed to aid the beginning fiddle player accompanist in their development on Guitar and / or piano, as well as give the fiddler a practice tool if they have no access to regular accompaniment in their local area."

 

 

 


   


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Purpose of This Series
Background on Contributors
Acknowledgements
Special Thanks
  • Tips and Aids for Accompanists - Page 1
    • Basic Instrumental Technique for Guitar and Pian
  • Tempo Tips
    • Musical Form-The Structure of Fiddle Music
    • Basics in Accompanying Fiddlers
    • Practice Tips for Accompanists
    • Learning to Chord a New Tune by Ear and by Note
    • Helping Fiddlers Tune the Fiddle
    • Accompanists' Preparation for Concerts, Contests, Dances and Jambourees
    • Playing Accompaniment for Square Dancers, Stepdancers, Red River Jiggers, Contra Dancers and Folk Dance Troupes


  • Tunes With No More Than Two Chords in Notated Form
    • Don Messer's Breakdown (C) - Page 30
    • The Rakes of Kildare (Am) - Page 32
    • Westphalia Waltz (G) - Page 35
    • Put Your Little Foot (G) - Page 40
    • Heel and Toe Polka (G) - Page 42
    • Swallowtail Jig (Em) - Page 44
    • Bonaparte's Retreat (D) - Page 46
    • Jonah's First Change (D) - Page 50
    • On the Road to Boston (D) - Page 52
    • Woodchopper's Breakdown (D) - Page 54
    • Soldier's Joy (D) - Page 56
    • Chicken Reel (D) - Page 58
    • High-Lo Schottische (D/A) - Page 60
    • Long/Flop Eared Mule (D/A) - Page 62
    • Spanish Two Step (A) - Page 64
    • Clarinet Polka (G/D/C) - Page 68
  • Guitar Accompanying Appendix
  • Piano Accompanying Appendix

Assisted by: Jeanne Buckley, Fiddle and Fred Buckley, Guitar

 

The Joys of Fiddle Music Volume #2An excerpt from
"The Joys of Fiddle Music"...
Purpose of this Series:

"This series of Book and CD sets is designed to aid the beginning fiddle player accompanist in their development on Guitar and / or piano, as well as give the fiddler a practice tool if they have no access to regular accompaniment in their local area." 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Purpose of This Series
Background on Contributors
Acknowledgements
Special Thanks
Dedication

  • Tips and Aids for Accompanists - Part Two
    • Note Taking for Accompanists
    • Blank Accompanist Form Templates
    • Tuning the Guitar to the Piano
  • Music Theory Applied With Applicable Fiddle Tunes (found on CD 2B)
    • The i-iv-V7 Chord Progression
      • Bandura Waltz (Am)
    • The Diminished & Diminished 7th Chord
      • Rock Valley Jig (C)
    • The Supertonic Minor Progression (I-ii-V7)
      • Catfish Jig (G)
    • The Relative Minor Chord Progression (I.vi-V7)
      • Temperance Reel (G)
      • The Flat Seventh Chord (bVII)
      • Louis Riel Reel (Em)
      • Paddy on the Turnpike (G)
      • The Trip to Doryman (Am)
      • The Southwest Bridge (Gm)


  • Standard Fiddle Tunes With No More Than Three Chord Changes
  • The Standard Three Chord Progression (I-IV-V7)
    • Black Velvet Waltz (C)
    • Maple Leaf Two Step (C)
    • Life in the Finland Woods (G/G/C)
    • Irish Washerwoman (G)
    • Turkey in the Straw (G)
    • Ragtime Annie (D/D/G)
    • Faded Love (D)
    • Liberty Two Step (D)
    • St. Anne's Reel (D)
    • Arkansas Traveller (D)
    • Fisher's Hornpipe (D)
    • Snow Deer (D)
    • Jole Blon (A)
    • Rubber Dolly (A)
    • Boil the Cabbage Down (A)
    • Devil's Dream (A)
  • Guitar Accompanying Appendix
  • Piano Accompanying Appendix

Assisted by Jeanne Buckley (Fiddle), Cammy Romanuck (Fiddle), Fred Buckley (Guitar) and Lucas Welsh (Guitar).

The Fiddle Accompanist's Chord Chart Collection Book 1An excerpt from
"The Fiddle Accompanist's Chord Chart"...
Purpose of this Series:

"This collection of chord charts and accompanying recording is from requests of fiddle and accompanying students at various fiddle camps throughout Canada and the United States who desire to be more comfortable in accompanying long established fiddle tunes, whether they be traditional in origin or composed by fiddlers of yesterday."

ORDER OF TUNES - BOOK ONE

  • KEY OF C
    • Black Velvet Waltz
    • Rock Valley Jig
    • Don Messer's Breakdown
    • Buckfever Rag
  • KEY OF G
    • Scan Waltz
    • Jimmie's Favourite Jig
    • Vail's Breakdown
    • Prairie Winter Blues
  • KEY OF D
    • Aurora Waltz
    • Ripple Rock Jig
    • Patronella
    • Walkin' Uptown
  • KEY OF A
    • Lisa Lynn Waltz
    • Irishman's Heart to the Ladies
    • Big John McNeil
    • Joys of Quebec
  • KEY OF E
    • Scotch Style Jig
    • Popcorn Reel
    • Panhandle Rag
  • KEY OF F
    • Arizona Waltz
    • Early Bird Jig
    • Herring Reel
    • White River Stomp
  • KEY OF Bb
    • Dawn Waltz
    • Cadeau's Jig
    • Mitton's Breakdown
    • Casey Jones (The Barn Dance)

Assisted by Calvin Vollrath (Fiddle).

The Fiddle Accompanist's Chord Chart Collection Book 2An excerpt from
"The Fiddle Accompanist's Chord Chart"...
Purpose of this Series:

"This collection of chord charts and accompanying recording is from requests of fiddle and accompanying students at various fiddle camps throughout Canada and the United States who desire to be more comfortable in accompanying long established fiddle tunes, whether they be traditional in origin or composed by fiddlers of yesterday." 

ORDER OF TUNES - BOOK TWO

  • KEY OF C
    • Cross Country Waltz
    • Rocking Chair Jig
    • Pointe-au-Pic Reel
    • Alabama Jubilee
  • KEY OF G
    • Interlake Waltz
    • Donegal Jig
    • Walker Street Reel
    • Golden Slippers
  • KEY OF D
    • Reginald's Waltz
    • Muckin' at Jordie's Byre (Jig)
    • Soldier's Joy
    • Snow Deer
  • KEY OF A
    • Waltzing Through the Leaves
    • The Blackthorn Stick
    • Mason's Apron
    • Centennial Two Step
  • KEY OF Am
    • Bandura Waltz
    • Geese in the Bog
    • Pride of the Ball
    • Who Stole The Kishka?
  • KEY OF F
    • Frisco Waltz
    • Sir Mackenzie Bowell Jig
    • Blind Man's Reel
    • Jean Snider's Fox Trot
  • KEY OF Bb
    • Centennial Waltz
    • Marg's Jig
    • Clear the Track
    • Jolly Dolly Polka

Assisted by Calvin Vollrath (Fiddle).