Tag Archives: fiddle playing tip

Down Yonder

Down Yonder is a good old time tune that you don’t hear so much any more. My first serious exposure to it was when I listened to the “Circle Album.”

Doc Watson asked, “How does that go, Vassar?” and away they went. That version got published by Oak Publications. Alas, it is out of print.

Scotty Stoneman’s version is in the Phillips Collection. Like Vassar’s it’s advanced and rakish, a no-holds-barred music event.

What I’m offering here is quite basic. But, there are a few tricks worth noticing.

The kickoff is a particular bow technique that requires good control of the bow while playing near the frog. Here’s the tip: Keep the bow close to the string for the repeated down-bows.

Once you get going, the plan of slurs or separate bows should feel natural and easy.

Fiddle tab chart for Down Yonder

And here is the pdf of Down Yonder.

Ashokan Farewell

Here’s a tune that needs no introduction. You can occasionally find a fiddler that hasn’t learned this tune, but not often. This is the way I present Jay Ungar’s popular tune to my students.

We have even played this in an orchestral arrangement at the Richey Community Orchestra. Lately, I added a high harmony part as an extra version.

Fiddle tab chart of Ashokan Farewell
Fiddle Tab of Ashokan Farewell

The one fiddle playing tip that most fiddlers miss is the slide with the third finger on the A and then the D string. I caught this from Jay Unger’s teaching video.

Here is the pdf for Ashokan Farewell.