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Expand your Violin Technique with "Boil the Cabbage Down"
More on Jehile Kirkhuff | East Tennessee Blues

Expand your Violin Technique
with "Boil the Cabbage Down" - Part 2

by Mary Anne Willis

"Anyone, any age, who wants to expand his/her technique beyond simple first position melodies, can use this 12-part series. I adapted each of these popular fiddle tunes (various Mel Bay fiddle publications contain the authentic versions), to introduce cool left and right hand effects! My students enjoy playing them, as well as the resultant increased agility around the fiddle. This series is an alternative to the drudgery of Sevcik, Mazas etc. - to help inspire the beginning student to tackle intermediate techniques. You can play along with the violin track on one speaker, or the rhythm track on the other."
Mary Ann Willis

Boil that Cabbage Down

with hammer-ons

The hammer-on, borrowed from the guitar, is used a lot in Cajun music. You start on a note below the destination note, playing it on the beat, then "hammer" the destination note's finger down after the beat.

We'll be hammering-on from 1st to 2nd finger, 2nd to 3rd, and open D to 1st. In this example the hammer-on begins in every case with the note directly below the main note.

The bowing pattern is usually called the Nashville shuffle; do it identically to the original, only instead of playing a quarter note on the long bows, you'll now be playing two slurred eighths.

Boil that Cabbage Down

with open A drones

Droning is a way to accompany yourself. In this case we'll be droning with the open A string while playing the melody on the D string.

Finger the song on the D string only, keeping your fingers clear of the A string. Position the bow squarely on both strings. Your left arm and hand will be in D string position (or maybe even a little more toward G), whereas your right arm and bow will be between the D and A string positions.

You can also play the song with slides and drones, and/or hammer-ons and drones. A good exercise is to write it out both ways, combining the appropriate elements from the versions here.

Hear a sample MP3 of Boil the Cabbage Down

"This recording features Kelly Lancaster on guitar and audio engineering by Dan Lewis."

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