Old Time Fiddling

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Although I admit these are the first fiddle books I have reviewed, they do look good! They were written to get any beginning fiddler - young or old - up and running quickly. Book 1 features an introduction to the fiddle and a brief tutorial about the parts of a fiddle, the care and tuning of a fiddle, and correct finger and hand positions for holding and playing the fiddle,before teaching students to read "tab". That's right - students do not need to know how to read music, as all of the songs are given in tablature format. For anyone unfamiliar with tab, it is a simple system enabling students to quickly learn how to play songs. Tab shows the letter of the string to be played (there are four strings, G, D, A, and E) and then the number of the finger to put on the string (the numbers 0-4 correspond to no finger (open string), the index finger, the middle finger, the ring finger, and the pinky). This simple tablature simply reads like a row of numbers (spaced to show rhythm) with letters above them show when there is a string change. While there are a few rhythm exercises and tips provided, most of the book after this point is simply pages of tablature music. Students will learn how to play O Susanna, You are My Sunshine, Tennessee Waltz, Red River Valley, Pop Goes the Weasel, and over thirty others. All books include a CD, which offers tracks of each of the songs as well as the rhythm exercises. These wonderful books provide a resource for students learning independently, or they can be used by instructors. Books 2 and 3 are also available, as are a Christmas and Gospel songbooks, which can be used following Book 1. Spiral bound. - Melissa

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