Fidget Spinner

 This is an online fiddle lesson for "Fidget Spinner" by John Cockman.

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Genre: Teaching
Skill Level: Intermediate
Key of D

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"Fidget Spinner" is a tune I wrote to illustrate an improvisational technique. Since most songs incorporate modal chord progressions, a major scale will almost always sound good no matter what chord happens to be played behind it.

For example, in the key of D, the modal chords would be D, Em, F#m, G, A7, Bm, and C#dim.

When the song changes chords, it is tempting to change scales in order to improvise over the new chord. However, there is great freedom in recognizing that the notes of the major scale (D in this case) are nearly the same notes that appear in the other modal chords.

“The Fidget Spinner” is just a random string of eighth notes over seven measures that I can play as a “loop” over top of some typical chords. Since my chord progression is based on 8-bar verses, the seven measure loop doesn’t quite fit. Because of this, I get different chords every time the song loops, finally ending after 56 measures.

The point is this: You don’t have to play a new scale just because the chord changes in order for your improv to sound good. In most cases, you can stay right there on the major scale, and just let the natural chord progression of the song take that scale to new and uncharted places.

Video #1: Here is a video of me playing "Fidget Spinner."

Online Fiddle Lesson

Online Fiddle Lesson

Posted in Intermediate, Teaching Tagged with:

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  John Cockman 3 months ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #50017

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

     This is an online fiddle lesson for “Fidget Spinner” by John Cockman. BluegrassDaddy.com is your best source for Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Gospel,
    [See the full post at: Fidget Spinner]

    #50034

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    First try for “The Fidget Spinner” at Fiddle Camp

    #50035
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    That’s unbelievable!  How do you all do that?  Amazing!  I’m so impressed!

    #50049

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    They are pretty quick! I gave them about two minutes to learn it individually before we made that video.

    #50059
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Wow!  I’m more sure than ever now: it’s the North Carolina DNA…that just wouldn’t be possible for anybody else.

    #50090

    Robin123
    Participant

    Wow! I’m very impressed:o)

     

    #51042
    John Tait
    John Tait
    Member

    Thanks John.  This is very helpful and interesting.

    What you are suggesting is transpose this sequence of notes to other keys such as G, A and C, and you have instant “improvisation”.

    I assume you could also slow it down to play a 3/4 tune.

    Cheers.

    #51104

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    That would work! Most people enjoy noodling around in the major scale, and are unaware that what they are doing would make a great improv over a modal chord progression.

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