Tag Archives: jig

On the Boulevard–a Jig by Liz Carroll

Play a Liz Carroll Fiddle Tune from Tab Notation

When I first heard On the Boulevard from the Liz Carroll album, Lost in the Loop, It seemed repetitious. The similarity between the A part and the B part seemed a little redundant. It was as if the B part was a replay of the A part an octave higher.

Then, I started playing the tune. When I got involved I found that the contrast between the tow parts was subtle but interesting. Now I’ve gotten to like the jig very much and have included it in the 2nd Sunday Session we have in Palm Harbor.

Maybe  you’ve heard the insensitive comment that all these Irish tunes sound alike. (Or, all these old timer tunes sound alike. Or, all these fiddle tunes sound alike. You get the idea.) Let’s not be that person. Let’s be open minded that we may not appreciate a tune when we hear it, but we know that some people may like it alot.

I got this tune from Liz Carroll’s book, Collected. It has 185 of her original tunes. When I play it as tabbed, I include a little tweak in the A part that organizes playing the first phrase four times for me. Otherwise, it is mostly as published in music notation.

On the Boulevard--Liz Carroll

For good results in printing, here is On the Boulevard as a pdf file.

Swallowtail Jig Revised

This morning I was with a student who was struggling with the B part of Swallowtail Jig. If you have my book, 43 Fiddle Tunes in Tab, you can see how it’s tricky at that spot.

For her, I changed two things to simplify the part. I changed the D# to a D natural. Most people play it that way. And I eliminated the cut getting into B part, substituting a quick bow move instead.

Some of the jigs I’ve posted here, Out on the Ocean, for example, are intermediate to advanced. This version of the Swallowtail Jig is intermediate. It’s more approachable for a relative beginner.

Fiddle tab chart of Swallowtail Jig
Swallowtail Jig in Fiddle Tab

The pdf of Swallowtail Jig makes a better copy.

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.

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.

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.

Connaughtman’s Ramble

I saved space on the pages of my book by using footnotes and tidbits of tab. These one bar or less fragments were meant to be substituted when desired.

In my many years of teaching I found that substituting a fragment, or a bar, was not an easy skill for most students.

Now that I am publishing online, I don’t have to be so frugal with space. I can simply publish two or more variations of a whole tune. No need for note of foot.

Here are two versions of Connaughtman’s Ramble. This is a well known session tune. It was brought to me originally by one of my students who got it at a fiddle workshop in Boston.

Fiddle tab chart for Connaughtman's Ramble-Basic
Basic version of Connaughtman's Ramble

The pdf of Connaughtman’s Ramble-Basic.

The advanced version has rolls and grace notes. These, of course, are not graven in granite. You can use some or all.

Fiddle tab chart for Connaughtman's Ramble-Advanced

The pdf of Connaughtman’s Ramble-Advanced.

Kilfenora’s Jig

The first time I heard Martin Hayes it was a compilation disc of many fiddlers. His playing was totally magnetic. I went right out and found Under the Moon.

First the album, then the collection of tunes. Kilfenora’s Jig was really was irresistible I’ve been playing it long enough now that it has evolved a little.

The version of the tune here is close to how I play it.

fiddle tab chart for Kilfenora's Jig
Kilfenora's Jig in fiddle tab

And the pdf of Kilfenora’s Jig.

Swallowtail Jig

One of the principles of music notation publishing is economy. Publish as much music as possible in the smallest amount of space. This principle was driven by physical constraints of material and human labor. It led to the use of repeat signs, target signs of several types, measure repeat signs, and more.

When I was putting together my book 43 Fiddle Tunes in Tab, I used these concepts to draw maps of tabs that were sometimes hard to follow. It gives me great satisfaction to straighten out some of these twisty pathways on this blog.

One such is the fiddle tab chart I made for Swallowtail Jig. There is one area in the B part that has stumped students repeatedly, (forgive the pun). In the chart below it is rewritten more intuitively.

fiddle tab chart for Swallowtail Jig
Swallowtail Jig in Fiddle Tab

And Swallowtail Jig as pdf for better results when printed.

Irish Washer Woman

About a decade back, I was playing regularly at retirement homes. The only jig ever requested was Irish Washer Woman.

I had noticed that many collections of American fiddle tunes included Haste to the Wedding. That being the only jig in a collection of hoedowns, you would think it a popular tune. No one ever asked for it.

One of my string colleagues reminded me why Irish Washer Woman is popular, especially with people just a little older than me. It was thematic in a John Wayne movie, The Quiet Man.

Playing Irish Washer Woman as often as I do, I got in the habit of abbreviating it I.W.W. This amused me also because the same letters stand for the now defunct workers’ union, International Workers of the World. People used to ridicule the organization saying the letters stood for “I Won’t Work,” or “I Want Whiskey.”

My last comment: I really play the tune in F when I do it with a medley that starts with Scatter the Mud, goes to Kilfenora Jig, then to I.W.W. But the rest of the world plays it in G. That’s what we have here.

The pdf of Irish Washer Woman.