July 12, 2017 at 6:18 PM #51350
This is an online fiddle lesson for the old time tune “Squirrel Hunters.” See the full lesson here: Squirrel HuntersJuly 12, 2017 at 9:24 PM #51383
Oh gosh…that’s great!!!!July 13, 2017 at 11:47 PM #51405
Thanks! This is one of my John Hartford favorites. 🙂July 14, 2017 at 7:22 PM #51447
Oh, THANK YOU for this lesson!!!! I’m soooo excited! I’ve tried, but I just couldn’t learn it on my own- especially the second part. Yay! Here’s my next song to learn!!July 14, 2017 at 9:01 PM #51449
Me too! John Hartford came to perform at our college I think when I was a freshman, maybe sophomore…anyway, it was really cool. He wasn’t that big a deal out on his own yet, I don’t think…he had just quit the Glen Campbell Show and was running around to perform all over on his own, I guess. He must’ve not been too big yet or he’d never have come to Cumberland, where I was at the time. It was an itty bitty college at that time and didn’t go all out for performers to come by and visit. But it was a great concert…The McClain Family, from up the road at Berea College, opened up…this was in our basketball gym…lol…they of course were super if you’ve heard of them…the one girl on bass was so good, I’ve never heard another upright bass player be able to do what she did…she mustve only been 20 or so. The kid on the banjo and fiddle was super and now heads a department on Bluegrass STudies somewhere…I think he left Morehead in KY and went somewhere in TN but I’m not sure…but they came to Cumberland and all around SE KY all the time because that was there place. Anyway…after they were done setting the place on fire, in strolls John Hartford…I guess people knew him from the GLen Campbell Show, but that’s it. He was lanky, slow, funny…put down that plywood and did all sorts of unusal stuff…it was a great concert. Did everything kinda slow…but danced too and played…very cool licks and stuff. Gosh…early 70s. I’ve never been a concert goer except in college because stufff was right there free for us then. GEt a bottle of Coke for 25 cents and head over to the basketball gym and see what was happening. I think the only concert I’ve been to besides the ones in college was when Michael CLeveland came to our local library a year or two ago up here and played for free…or free to the public, i’m sure somebody paid him out of some money. Ok…I think I did it again…off topic?July 15, 2017 at 7:05 PM #51492
Ha that’s a great story, Cricket! I love hearing about stuff like that. Hartford is a legend.
Kaeleigh, I hope to hear you play it soon!July 26, 2017 at 7:13 PM #52050
Have y’all seen this?July 26, 2017 at 9:19 PM #52055
I was so happy when somebody told him to turn the daggone metronome off…lol.July 26, 2017 at 10:10 PM #52059
Haha yes I’ve seen it… This is how I learned it! I teach the same break.July 27, 2017 at 5:58 AM #52064
I’m gonna learn that one day soon, John. Hoping things slow down for us around here in a few weeks.September 10, 2017 at 9:24 PM #53484
i finally got the chance to go through his lesson…a little harder to get than I wanted it to get…lol…but I love the sound and hopefully it will eventually come to me. Anybody else working on that one? Cool tune…I hope to get the time to work on it enough to where it sinks in, in its own way, and I can just see how much fun I can have with it. I’d live to know how to play that one…tricky rhythms, for me, and that pinky stuff has always been awkward for me. I’ll get it sooner or later…thanks for the lesson, John…I’m gonna live playing that one if…no… WHEN I get it under control.September 10, 2017 at 9:25 PM #53485
My ridiculous iPad changes my words…I’m too lazy to edit…hopefully it makes sense.September 11, 2017 at 9:24 AM #53487
Well as I went out a-tomato-picking this morning, plus a-bug-picking from my precious and rare weird tree-greens…lol…I had what I thought was Squirrel Hunters runnng through my head…normally a good thing, if I’m trying to learn to play something. But, then I realized I was thinking Rocky Road to Dublin, and I seem to have fused these two tunes together in such a way as I’m gonna have to sit down and unravel them to learn Squirrel Hunters, or either one, for that matter. Oh gosh…that, plus it’s just pretty hard fingering, for me. I tried it in different tunings last night and it seems there’s no cheating in this one…it really works best in Standard tuning as far as I can tell. So…I’m gonna have to do some serious thinkin’ ( ouch!) and then some serious practicin’ before I can get this one. Gotta learn it though…it might come down to where I might just have to print out the tabs to get this one straight into my head…usually I don’t do that, but my thinking is really a mess on this one right now. Listen to Rocky Rd. To Dublin here and see if it sounds similar…this is the way I’ve heard it, but about twice as fast as I ever heard it. Looking for it on YouTube I discovered, like every other old tune that once came from Ireland, there’s a million versions of it floating around…this is the one in my head that messin’ with my mental concept of Squirrel Hunters…anybody else see the similarities, it is it just me?September 11, 2017 at 9:51 AM #53488
John, I see you use a lot less bow than the other John…lol…the Hartford one…or should it be said that you use a lot more bow…anyway, he’s like one swipe up for a hundred notes, one swipe down for a hundred more…glad to see you’re, I guess the way to say it is you’re adding MORE bow, not less. Glad to see that because there just ain’t no way I could ever do those long bows like he’s doing…it would sound awful if I ever got coordinated enough to try. I can’t tell exactly what you’re doing…is it shuffles? It’s going to fast for me to tell. Anyway…I’ve got my work cut out for me on this one…lol. Gosh, and to think it sounds so easy! When you guys play it…lol.September 11, 2017 at 9:52 AM #53489
Yes, I’m resorting to my last ditch efforts on this…printing off the tab!September 11, 2017 at 3:28 PM #53492
…and the printer isn’t working…?September 11, 2017 at 8:39 PM #53493
I’m having problems printing music too and it’s not my printer. John is checking on it but if you are having trouble too that is not your printer, it may be something going on with the web site.September 11, 2017 at 9:11 PM #53494
I just printed out the music for this thread & worked just fine…September 12, 2017 at 6:52 AM #53498
Maybe I should try it again…very busy week, here for me to be trying to play something that seems beyond my abilities…lol. I can’t get the tune to feels like it fits my hand.September 12, 2017 at 8:59 PM #53541
Bruce fixed his problem with an Adobe Acrobat update/fix. Cricket, is yours printing?September 12, 2017 at 9:03 PM #53545
Cricket, you’re right… That version of “Rocky Road to Dublin” is exactly like Squirrel Hunters. So strange… Here is the version I am used to…September 13, 2017 at 6:52 AM #53575
Oh gee whiz…well besides not having much time this week and feeling very mixed up with Squirrel Hunters…I can’t make it fit my hand, my bowing, my thinking…I love the tune, but I think maybe I’ll lay it aside for a few weeks and try a fresh start with it later on.September 13, 2017 at 11:56 PM #53618
Working out the bowing is one of the toughest things.September 14, 2017 at 6:53 AM #53624
I’m gonna get back to this one later…it needs to organize itself in my mind when I’m thinking about other things…lol.October 12, 2017 at 1:18 PM #54342
Not sure how this snuck by me but I just found it…ha, another onthe “must get to” list…I love this type of chord structure…reminds me a lot of a tuen called Loch Laven Castle
October 12, 2017 at 11:14 PM #54364
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by fiddlewood.
Strangely enough, I’ll be driving by Loch Laven Castle next May. I just looked up the tune and I can hear the similarity!October 12, 2017 at 11:52 PM #54369
Haha, small world…
I’ve never heard anyone else play it…I found the music to it somewhere and learned it from that.
Someone once told me I played it too slow (evidently it’s a very fast pipe or penny whistle song), but we did it at a medium clip in a bluegrass band and kind of tied it to another tune called Hog Eyed Man.October 13, 2017 at 6:26 PM #54377
Let’s face it: there’s really only one big fiddle tune, and everything else is just a variant?October 14, 2017 at 7:06 AM #54379
I guess it’s time for me to try to print this tab again…lol.October 14, 2017 at 4:25 PM #54380
Ok…well what was I thinking? I printed off the tab, had a candy bar ( butterfinger this time, not as good as Snickers but my egg allergy has been worse lately, so gotta go with butterfinger for a while) and a cup of coffee, outside on the porch…klunked my way through that tab and thought…” how did I think that was so hard a few weeks ago?” Seems doable to me now, though, with al little practice. Hoping I can work on this enough to possibly record it for my tune next Friday. Goes to show ya if we feel overwhelmed with something, come back to it later.October 15, 2017 at 7:38 AM #54386
But…ain’t noooooooo way I’ll ever get it as fast as John…John C. Or John H., either one. I can about play it…stumbly and clumsy, but playing it. If I get it good enough to feel confident enough to record…it’ll be a world record speed…world record SLOW speed…lol. I might just do that one of these days, though.October 15, 2017 at 11:05 AM #54389
People say this is in Mixolyduan mode, but I think it’s just weird…lol. But I don’t say that in a bad way…I absolutely love this tune. But this morning here after getting in my okra, etc., I decided to fiddle around with Squirrel hunters on the dulcimer…lap dulcimer…and, in case anybody’s not real familiar with them, I’ve got the old style, without the half frets, which means I cannot play anything unless I’ve got my strings tuned to the right mode for that tune. So, everybody says Mixolydian in this, maybe because it has such an unusual and weird tonality they figure, well, must be Mixolydian. But I tuned my dulcimer mixolydian ( DAD, no, not my dad, the strings…lol), and the notes were not to be found in that mode. I went to Dorian mode…DAG, and found it there…although in Dorian, the drones, the D and A strings ( I keep my dulcimer tunes going out of D modes, to keep from breaking a lot of strings), but anyway, those drones, the D and A strings, sound minor against the last notes of the two parts of the tune. Now, John Hartford says in his video, if I’m remembering right, he prefers a major sound, and I think I do too, because it’s the first way I heard it and I think the usual way it’s played, probably because of John Hartford’s influence. But I’m thinking going to those major chords in the backup, for the endings of the A parts and B parts of Squirrel hunters might have the effect of kicking this thing out of Dorian just on those final two notes…then it goes back to Dorian, without the major chords. I don’t know, I’m just thinking, which usually gets me into some kind of trouble. But now I’m wondering, when I do this thing at my recording breaking slow speed…lol…sorry, that’s what I gotta do…I’m wondering if I would like to try keeping the Dorian mode alive and see if I get used to that and like it, or going with the major chords that it’s usually done with. Do I wanna destroy a mode…lol…or is it worth anything to defend a mode? Can I distinguish which sound I like best, it am I already prejudiced by what I’ve heard for the years I’ve heard this one played, here and there? Oh gosh…life can be so confusing with a dulcimer as a family member! A final question…I grapple with…would I like to slow down my world record slow speed with this tune even more, by adding in the dulcimer, and if so, play it with the same fingerings as on the fiddle, but on the viola, which would kick it into the key of D, like my dulcimer, instead of A on the fiddle? And if I tried that…would it break my fingers…lol? Would it slow it down even more???? Ok…gotta make more coffee and think about these awesome decisions! Thanks again for the lesson, John…I’m having a great time wrangling with all of this, and so glad to feel like one way or another, I’ll be able to play this one!October 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM #54390
Nope…forget all that…I just realized I wasn’t playing 2Low on fiddle…back to the drawing board…I messed up really bad…maybe it is in Mixolydian after all…I’ll have to retune the dulcimer and see…MY BAD, as the young-uns say!October 15, 2017 at 11:30 AM #54391
Ok…just retuned the dulcimer keeping that 2 note low…I’m finding it in Aeolian mode, but not Mixolydian. Sorry for all the confusion, but y’all should know better than to think I ever do anything right…lol. And, apparently I can match up the dulcimer if I go down one string on the viola, except I just realized I mighta put that dulcimer into C a while back…so maybe that’s why my figuring on where to play it on the viola is off by one string, I have no pitch tuning fork at hand to see what keys I’m really in…keep it downstairs in the recording area, which seems like another planet and I just don’t wanna take the time to grab my space suit, etc. right now…but, still, regardless of key, the point is that in Aeolian, there is the same issue with that funky-sounding last note…it can’t sound major while stuck in the mode on the dulcimer, which makes me want to think about that last note…mess with that and see which way I’d like to do it. Can you tell how much fun I’m having this morning???? Yes, I love this sort of thing…maybe that’s what drew me to love this tune. One of these days I’ll play it and show n tell…it’s a very cool tune and very, well, interesting! Got my mind going in all different directions!
October 15, 2017 at 3:16 PM #54394
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by cricket.
Maybe those squirrels don’t like being put in any mode, except one kind of nutty? Sounds like it’s in some mode that hasn’t been invented yet, so maybe you’ll have to invent it Cricket?October 15, 2017 at 5:04 PM #54399
Haha Cricket, you’ve got some great ideas. The tune is actually in the key of A Dorian, which is the same as G Major. If it were Mixolydian, the 2L in measure three would be a 2 instead. If it were Aeolean, the E1 in measure two would be a 1L instead. So, you probably want to keep the dulcimer tuned to G and don’t capo the banjo.
I like the idea of playing it out of D on the viola. If you do that, then you’ll want to tune the dulcimer to C.October 15, 2017 at 5:21 PM #54401
Thanks, John. Seems to be such an odd tonality it makes it hard to figure out…not sure how or on what I’ll play it…had to stop working on it to help paint a toy car and make paper airplanes, etc., or else I’d do nothing but play around with this tune. I’m wondering if the mode might sorta move around on people, according to how they are playing it…lol. It’s flatout strange. Yet lovable. I hope I can keep getting the time to practice it so I can try something with it by Friday. Not sure I’ll have it down by then, but I hope so.
October 15, 2017 at 5:28 PM #54404
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by cricket.
I should add that it doesn’t matter to me what mode we are in…half the time I’m not even sure what key I’m playing in…but I just got curious, especially when I watched some youtubes of different people playing it and they were saying Mixolydian…I’m like….hmmm…that’s the Old Joe Clark mode…and it just doesn’t sound that way,..it’s way weirder than that sound.October 15, 2017 at 8:38 PM #54408
There you go…but personally I’d suggest you try it in pie ala mode, and at least you’d get to have some coffee with that.October 15, 2017 at 10:02 PM #54411
Sounds good! I’ve got plenty of berries in the freezer, but no a la mode, I’m afraid!
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