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Dancing Tables by Liz Carroll

Dancing Tables, a jig by Liz Carroll, first showed up in a collection of Irish fiddle tunes. It was in Mel Bay’s Irish Session Tune Book.

I’ve used that often to see standard versions of popular tunes. The book includes favored variations, too. It has proven itself to be a good starting place for tunes.

Recently, Liz Carroll published her own Collected Original Irish Tunes. The way the tune is published there is a bit different from Mel Bay’s.

If you like her tunes it’s a great resource. The one I’ve been learning the past week or so is Fremont Center.

Getting back to Dancing Tables, here is the tab chart.

Fiddle tab chart of Dancing TablesAnd here is a pdf of Dancing Tables.

When I went to Amazon to get a link to the Mel Bay book, I saw the reviews were a little rough. And unfairly so, in my opinion. So I added my two cents worth. Below should be the link.

A Fiddler’s Quick Fix in the Morning

One morning not long ago I woke up with a head ache. Maybe it was from staring at those little dots of music at orchestra rehearsal. Or peering at the little screen on my lap top.

I took some ibuprofen, (my drug of choice), and made coffee. As I waited for the coffee to brew I was trying to remember a Liz Carroll tune. There was something about it that haunted me. But, I wasn’t remembering exactly how the tune went or what album it was on.

As I continued trying to focus through my achy head and morning bleariness, suddenly a new tune popped into my head. I’m saying it was an instant download from the Grassapelli influence. It was just there.

I got out my fiddle and Edirol. By that time the coffee was ready, so I poured a cup. By the time I had played through the tune two times and recorded it, my headache was gone. Hence. Quick Fix.

Elan Chalford original fiddle tune, Quick Fix, in fiddle tab

And here is the fiddle tab chart in pdf.

The 8th of January Redone

This is my second fiddle tab publication of 8th of January. This version is a little easier than the previous. If nothing else it gives you more options for playing the tune.

It’s known better as the tune for “The Battle of New Orleans” by those old enough to have heard it. It’s a great story song and a powerful melody.

When I started playing it I had the idea f using only pentatonic notes for the A part. That has been preserved in this version.

The B part of the fiddle tab chart allows the use of drones and a drum like figure along with the droning. Especially on the lower two strings, you can get a good effect.

In the key of G you will find it singable, if you wish. In D, not so much.

Later, I expanded the tune into a more complex form. I call it “The Eighth,” and used to play it in a medley with “Sevens” and “9 Points of Roguery”. Thus, it was the 7, 8, 9 medley.

Presently, I prefer playing “Sevens” to round out the medley of “Potato on the Door” and “The Golden Legs.” All three tunes are from Liz Carroll.

For right now here is “The 8th of January.”

8th of January in fiddle tab
Fiddle Tab of the 8th of January

For printing the fiddle tab chart use the pdf of the 8th of January.

Out on the Ocean

Out on the Ocean is an Irish jig I noticed when I got the Patrick Mangan album, Farewell to Ireland.  I liked the sound of it. I found it in one of my books and had it on the music stand for a while.

But, I didn’t really make it mine. There was one part I wasn’t satisfied with. I let the tune slide by, unfinished.

Then, I found a neglected CD in a pile of clutter. (Sorting through my clutter is a major hobby.) It was the live album by Martin Hayes,  Live in Seattle.

Aside from marveling what a great performance he turned in for that album, I heard that jig again. Now I had to learn it. It was close to being learned already.

The one part got straightened out to my taste and now I play it often. The tab version published here is my take on the tune.

Fiddle tab chart for Out on the Ocean, an Irish jigHere is the pdf of Out on the Ocean.

I’ve heard this jig at Irish sessions. One of the most popular is Swallowtail Jig.

O Holy Night

This is more of a devotional song at Christmas than a Christmas Carol. Usually it’s sung by a singer with real chops.

I got a request for this one by email. I hope I can find the message in my piles of messages so I can reply. This tune is not in my new ebook, 25 Christmas Carols in Tab. More about that is posted on the Fiddle Violin blog.

The song takes two pages. As a pdf file it’s just one file: O Holy Night pdf. Here are the images:

O Holy Night in violin tab

This has plenty of violin techniques. If you know the song, you can probably decipher the symbols. It’s a satisfying song to play. I hope you enjoy it.

Jingle Bells

This Jingle Bells is in the key of G. That’s a better key for singing than A. On the other hand, A would allow easy use of the open E string for drones.

Then again, maybe F would be the best key for singing. I like F for fiddle tunes, but beginners are not familiar with the finger positions for this key.

This is an example of how choices always leave something behind.

Jingle Bells in Violin Tab

For printing the tune out here is Jingle Bells as a pdf.

This tune is as happy and upbeat a Christmas song as you can find. For a more devotional song, here’s a link to O Holy Night.

Indian Point by Rick Mohr

Indian Point is a jig written by Rick Mohr. It has become a popular session tune. Mr. Mohr has used a musical device in this tune that is very effective. Maybe he did not set out to do this composer’s trick, but it is a neat one.

The contour of the melody and chord progression in the A part is speeded up to twice as fast in the B part. That doesn’t mean that notes go faster. It’s the change of chords, and the arc of melody that moves faster. I hope that makes sense.

I find this jig absolutely magnetic. I love to play it.

In the first chart you find the basic tune in fiddle tab as it is published elsewhere in music notation. The second chart has some ornaments I like to use when I play the tune. Look for the pdf file for printing and the mp3 file for listening. They are below each graphic image.

Indian Point in fiddle tablature

Here is the Indian Point in pdf. This is the Indian Point MP3 file.

Indian Point in fiddle tab

Indian Point with ornaments in pdf; and the with ornaments MP3 file.

Amazing Grace Fiddle Notes and Recording

The Amazing Grace fiddle notes are comments I make here, not musical notation. Fiddle notes might be tablature, but not musical notation targeted for fiddle.

Dale Morris had a very interesting approach to Amazing Grace. He talked about this when I attended the Texarkana Fiddle Camp way back when. (It was the first year of the Mark O’Connor Camp, whenever that was. I attended both.)

He said that he liked to slur notes together if they represented one word. The first word in the song is ‘amazing’. It is given one note for each syllable. Usually you hear this played with three bows. And that’s the way I’ve published the tune.

His reasoning is good and musical. If you are a beginner, though, it’s a little awkward to get the three notes together in one bow. Since I give this tune to beginners, I make it easier and more conventional.

If you are an intermediate or advanced player, you can stretch this first part out in one bow. In fact, you may choose to do a juicy shift to third position on the third note.

I’m showing the three ways of handling this beginning of the tune in the tabs below. Further along is a link to an mp3 file demonstrating the sound.

You will see an ornamented version of the song in the first fiddle tab chart. Even beginners are encouraged to push into new territory.

Fiddle tab chart for Amazing Grace

Now here is a fragment to show the beginning with the slur covering the first three notes.

Fragment of Amazing Grace with slurring

And finally, moving into third position for during first three notes.

Fragment of Amazing Grace with 3rd position move

For the best printing results, here is a pdf of Amazing Grace.

A three minute mp3 file demonstrates the comparative sound of all this: Amazing-Grace MP3.

Let Me Out

This is one of my original tunes with an Irish fiddle flavor. I have it in the Canine medley, which includes Little Begger Dog and Old Gray Fox.

One of my challenges is to find the happy medium between the way I play the tune with maximum ornamentation, and an accessible way for intermediate fiddlers.

Since I increase ornamentation the longer I play a tune, it is a matter of going back in time. How did I play the tune when I first put it on paper or recorded it?

I put a version or two of this on YouTube.com/grassapelli a while back. I’m not sure if it matches the tab chart. Tunes mutate when I’m not looking at them.

Of all the tunes I’ve written, this is one I enjoy playing more than most. I don’t know why. It just feels good.

Fiddle tab chart for Let Me Out
Let Me Out in fiddle tab

The better to print version: Let Me Out in pdf.