Arranging Fiddle Tunes to Teach Violin Techniques, Part 3
by Mary Ann Willis
From Mary Ann Willis:
Over the Waterfall
This tune is in D Mixolydian mode. A mode is a set of notes used to construct a song. One such set, for example, is the major scale. Mixolydian is like major except that the next to last note is a whole step, rather than a half step, from the final note. So the notes of D Mixolydian are:
D E F# G A B C natural D
Play this scale a few times to get this new pattern under your fingers.
We'll start with three accented chops - short, swift consecutive downbows - for our intro. Bring the bow down with somewhat of a crunch near the frog - sort of a crash landing - you can even turn the hair slightly away from you and skid the bow slighty down the string to an abrupt, almost pitchless halt. Lift and retake the bow for each downbow chop. Hold the third one out, sounding the A and F#.
After the intro, we have two pickup notes (lead-in notes before the beat) into each playing of both the A and B sections. Play these with separate strokes or the indicated slurs (corrective bowing) as needed, to land on a downbow on the following downbeat.
Be sure to conserve bow on the half notes so you have enough left to execute the shorter notes that follow.
We have a single grace note (written small) in bar 4 of section A. Flick the 2nd finger (or you can use the 3rd) lightly, as though you were touching something hot, for this barely perceptible ornament. Slur it into the following F#.
The B section is fun! Dip the bow for the open D pedal tones.
Play both sections twice and repeat the entire song as many times as you like.
The accompanying recording features Kelly Lancaster guitar and Dan Lewis, audio engineering.
©2005 Mary Ann Willis
For a more traditional setting of this tune, please refer to my "Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes - Volume One". -- Stacy Phillips
Mary Ann Willis bio -
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