Great job today in classes today! Those of you in fiddle group and group class 4 were given assignments for your home practice. Here’s a reminder of what you need to practice (in addition to what your teacher has given you in your lesson.)
We had some new vocabulary words today that I’ve put in blue.
1. Chops: Once you’ve got them, they are all about creating a really groovy rhythmic effect. Practice at least one day each week. Don’t forget; chops are WAAAY down at the frog, almost on the silver clip. It’s a heavy bow stroke, so be careful not to hit the string WITH the silver clip! Chops move a bit sideways towards your fingerboard rather than perpendicular to the string to create that “chh” sound. Remember that chops are the ONLY time you can play with a straight bow thumb.
2. Creating Solos: Talk with your teacher about creating a solo for Fire on the Mountain. Even if you are not a soloist this semester, this is a great thing to learn. Fiddle players usually do this on the spot when they are performing or jamming (which is called improvising).
Remember, the three good ways to make a fiddle solo out of the basic tune are to:
• Change the rhythm
• Add extra notes
• Add double-stops (playing two strings at once)
3. Off-beats/Back-beats: Practice these with a parent this week. Your parent can clap on the beat. See if you can play on the off-beat. For good back up playing, this should be done at the frog. Do them all up-bow if you can. Remember to start from the string with something a bit like a colle stroke. (Ask your teacher if you forget what colle means! ) For back up playing, these notes will eventually be double-stops.
4. Sally Gardens: We need to make sure we’re counting better on the phrase endings so we’re really together. Because it’s an air this tune is SLOW! Don’t be in a hurry! At the places that have long notes, have your parent count out loud to make sure your rhythm is good. At the dotted quarter notes, count 3 eighth notes before playing the next note. (This is called subdividing). Practice these spots repetitively at home!
Kirby asked you all to make sure you have Gavotte from Mignon memorized and sounding good for the next class. (Maybe take a look at the section with all the flats. The intonation can get pretty icky there!) Also start paying attention to the names of your pieces and the composer. It’s good to know what it is you are playing!