Golden Fiddle Waltz

This is an online fiddle lesson for the country fiddle tune "Golden Fiddle Waltz" by Randy Howard.
This lesson is by special request for my friend Carlos.

BluegrassDaddy.com is your best source for Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Gospel, and Country fiddle lessons!

Genre: Country
Skill Level: Advanced
Key of F

You may download and use any of the MP3s and tablature for your personal use. However, please do not make them available online or otherwise distribute them.

NOTE: If multiple fiddle lessons and MP3s are loading at once, this page will get slow! I recommend that you refresh the page each time you open a new video or MP3.

Video #1: Here is a video of me performing the country fiddle tune "Golden Fiddle Waltz."

Golden Fiddle Waltz - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Golden Fiddle Waltz - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Golden Fiddle Waltz - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

Golden Fiddle Waltz - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

Golden Fiddle Waltz - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

"Golden Fiddle Waltz" was written by Randy Howard.

Randy Howard won every major fiddle competition including the Union Grove, North Carolina World Championship in l979, the last and youngest person ever to win that honor. An eight- time National Champion, four times Tennessee Old Time Fiddler Champion, he also won the Grand Masters Fiddle Championship in 1985, and the National Mandolin Championship at Winfield, Kansas, in l990. He was equally skilled on acoustic and electric guitar. One of the world’s premiere fiddle players, he passed away June 29th, 1999 at the age of 38 after a four year battle with cancer. His final masterpiece "I Rest My Case" was released in the year 2001 on Sugar Hill Records. It features his original compositions and guests Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, David Grisman, Romane, Roy Huskey, Jr., Don Rigsby, and Kathy Chiavola.

Born in Milledgeville, Georgia, Randy was taught by his father when he was 8 or 9 years old.  His father taught him only the rudiments of the fiddle and then told him to go out on his own.  Randy's talent on the fiddle and other musical instruments including mandolin, guitar and voice took him across the country and even overseas, performing at festivals, competitions and joining country music legends such as Bill Monroe, Chet Atkins, George Jones, Vince Gill, J.D. Crowe, Shelby Lynn, Garth Brooks, Bela Fleck and Alison Krauss.

His mother, Faye Howard, remembers that Alison Krauss used to follow Randy around to just about every bluegrass festival at which he performed.  "Her parents would call to ask if Randy would be at certain events, he'd say yes, and they'd show up there,"  Faye Howard said.  Alison Krauss called Randy "simple one of the best fiddle players that has ever lived."

sources:  Kathy Chiavola, Union-Recorder

Posted in Advanced, Country Tagged with:

Best Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Golden Fiddle Waltz

This topic contains 41 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  John Cockman 3 months ago.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #17772

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    A beautiful waltz by a wonderful fiddler named Randy Howard.  This is by special request for my friend Carlos.

    Golden Fiddle Waltz

    #17782
    Justine
    Justine
    Participant

    Beautiful is an understatement, John! What a treat to listen to this arrangement.
    Advanced BGDU fiddlers will really enjoy this!

    #17784
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    I agree with Justine, that was great!!

    #17789
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    That was great John, thanks. I only just heard that song couple days ago, I searched up the best of Bluegrass fiddling and had the pleasure of listening to 50 or so videos while cooking, and when Randy Howard Golden Fiddle Waltz came around , I left the cutting board to get a good look. So pretty, I was like , humm, who is this guy ?
    And here you are now playing it and the lesson ! Nice :O)
    The B flat major to minor slides with the D flat and G minor and F oh wow! Cant wait till I am good enough.
    I will start practicing that D min chord Love that one
    Gu

    #17805
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Wow!  That’s nice!

    #17807
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    Hey John, you very much so honor Randy Howard by playing and teaching this song. Did you know him ? Your voice was trembling with emotion when you talked about his unfortunate 4 year battle. I feel sad about it now, and I didn’t even know of him till like 4 days ago. His music lives on and thanks for posting his history and info. I thought maybe you had had the pleasure of playing against him in a competition, or maybe he was judge ? just curious.
    I love a good true story.
    Hope your having a great day.And thanks for introducing to us one amazing fiddler.
    Gu

    #17838

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Thanks Gu, I never knew him personally, but he was one of the hottest fiddlers around when I was in school. So sad to think that he died so young. His “I Rest my Case” album was released posthumously, and contained songs that he recorded after he found out about the cancer. We are so fortunate that he worked so hard to leave that legacy. I was at SPBGMA and IBMA in 1999 when both gave him the Fiddler of the Year award. I wish I had known him.

    #18191
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I’ve been working on this a little bit…wow…very tough…very beautiful.  I’ve watched Randy Howard playing it on YouTube a few times as I struggle through…I feel I’m getting to know him through his beautiful playing…something wonderful was inside this man’s heart and it truly is a shame he left so young.  This is one of the nicest tunes I’ve ever heard.  I hope I can get it … But it’s gonna be a while, if ever.  Gotta try though.  This is a good lesson…I can’t imagine how much work went into getting this lesson together.  Gonna work on it!  Anyone else?

    #18198
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    I will try after Anna Lee and Jerusalem ridge up to speed .
    :O)
    Gu

    #18276

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Thanks Cricket and Gu! I know that Carlos is working on it too, even though he is not on the forum much. After learning and teaching this one, I felt pretty close to Randy too. It was kind of a depressing weekend, teaching two songs performed by guys who died from cancer soon after. I am thankful for YouTube that gives me access to so much great music for free.

    #18290
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Youtube is a great thing to at least keep people’s music alive and well…

    #18291
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Good luck to anybody else planning on learning this one… I hope we can all get it down.  Gonna take some effort, for me!  It’s probably beyond my skill and experience level, but I’m all for stretching it as far as I can get it.

    #18296

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Stretch and grow!

    #18309
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    For a second I thought that exclamation mark was the letter, L.  Stretch and grow, stretch and growl…lol…either way!

    #18312

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Hahaha either way! Here is our theme for the day, featuring Sam Bush’s last good haircut:

    #18315
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Good coaching session!  Gotta reach a little bit higher!  Stretch, grow, growl, reach!

    #18332

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired! GROWL! That song does it for me every time.

    #18352

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    That is a popular tune that I never hear in a jam around here. Still, I know that it must be played somewhere!

    #18360
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I never hear it either, except on YouTube.  I think other than that, one must be old to have heard it in real life jams, I say, at 61 years old…lol. And we’ve already established that nobody here is old.  It’s a cool tune.

    #18384
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I can sorta almost quasi-get through the first break without crashing to pieces…lol…coming along very slowly.  

    #18567
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    And I’m crawling through the first break of GFW, slowly.  After a little more…or a little less crashing, more security in that, I guess it’ll be time to have a look at part 2… A lot harder, I think, but at least I hope I have a foundation.

    #18749
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I got a chance to practice Golden Fiddle Waltz tonight…I think I should start on the second break tomorrow…I’m being entirely too easy on myself!  Oh boy…I have some work to do!  

    #19141

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Cricket, I have noticed that sometimes it does just take a tune a few days to soak in. I like that term!

    #19149
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Speaking of tunes sinking in, I’m hoping…not fiddling, for a day or two more!  I did run through some of the other, pretty easy, stuff I need to play soon, and, WOW…if you push yourself beyond your limits…your usual stuff definitely improves!  I was pretty happy with how my old stuff was sounding.

    #19151
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    To quote john on his measure-by-measure lesson: “So there’s that ridiculously hard break…”  Something to that effect…I do remember the words, ridiculously hard, because it made me laugh…yeah…I’m glad John sees it as ridiculously hard, because it sure seems that way to me!

    #19161

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Haha you are right, Cricket, that’s about as hard as bluegrass gets. When I label a tune as “advanced,” I’m not kidding! Good news: Bobby Hicks’ “Faded Love” break is not nearly as hard as it sounds. But it is hard enough to get the “Advanced” label!

    Thanks Rock. Your lips are sealed.

    #19175
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I gave to hurry up and get back to this so I can try the Faded Love.  I’ve always like that one but never really learned to play it.  I’m sorta stuck now with hardly any time to play.  Happens that way sometimes.  I think G F Waltz is about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.  Even fumbling through making a mess of it is still very touching.  It’s just a great tune!

    #26412
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    Well, I’ve managed to memorise up to around meas. 35 or so, and get it almost in time & tune.

    Hoping to get this last turnaround down  today so I can at least fire up the rhythm loop and iron out some timing details.

    Pretty amazing what this slower more difficult tune is teaching me about technique, bow pressure/speed, double stops, & such that I didn’t ever pick up from faster tunes.  Found I’ve been overplaying the instrument far more than needed, and that the angle of the bow hair has a lot to do with the tone I produce.

    I have an awful long way to go yet but am happy with the progress so far.

    #26416

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Go, Dave, Go! This is a tremendous tune. A friend of mine learned this and played it for me at the Music Fest in Sugar Grove this year. It feels so good to create something that helps fiddlers learn and get better! I learn a lot in the process as well. I can’t wait to hear you playing this!

    #26422
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    I sure do miss Cricket, ?, she was studying and played this one quite well. Very inspiring, hope to get there too some time this year before Christmas season comes around. Then it s deck the halls with bows and holy songs. ?
    Gu

    #26491

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    I miss her too!

    #26956

    4tupper
    Member

    John – some tunes include more difficult playing techniques.  For Golden Fiddle Waltz, clean double stops are important.  It would help if an instructional/practice package (i.e. notation/tabs/video) was available for the double stops in this tune.  After a person has can play the double stops well, they can move on to learning the complete tune.

    I think that this tune would highlight any playing problems a fiddler has.  I prefer working on one problem at a time, so for me, getting the double stops sounding right would be the first problem.

    I am a new member and consider myself an intermediate level fiddler.  I had doubts about joining, but everything is working out fine.

     

    #52638
    Lily-Rose Burgess
    Lily-Rose Burgess
    Participant

    I’m 17, and I’ve been teaching myself the fiddle for a little over 2 years. This is literally the best website ever, because I’ve always loved this waltz so much, and despite it being beyond my skill level I always wanted to learn it. In fact I wanted to learn it so badly, that I did. I’ve been solidly trying and dedicating so many hours to it that I actually got the hang of it!! Thank you so much John, for taking the time to teach this song. It really is so beautiful.

    Lily-Rose

    #52650
    rodger
    rodger
    Participant

    Lily-Rose, I’m sure you must have seen this on youtube, but I’ll post it just in case or for others who may not…can you imagine writing something like this?

    & might as well post this as well, for the perfect fiddle wrist…El Cumbanchero

    #52656

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Thanks Lily-Rose! I hope to hear you play it someday.

    #52663
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    That is a very nice fiddle tune.  I’m so sorry I worked out n it so hard and then lost it…got too busy helping sick people, etc., to practice.  Someday…I’ll tackle that one again.  Good luck with it, Lily-Rose…I hope you’ll play it for us!

    #52863
    rodger
    rodger
    Participant

    Well, for motivation, here’s another spin on Golden Fiddle Waltz.  I guess everyone hears the timing slightly different in some phrases.  This feller does a great job.  This is my goal for the next year to see how far I can get on this one, and hopefully nail it down.  I can finally get Maiden’s prayer to where it’s not really painful, so maybe…just maybe on this one.  It’s good to have a goal for development, and this is definitely one I’m going to hit daily until I get it, although I may have to wait to after Christmas to take it on seriously.

    #52864
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    If anyone is SERIOUS about wanting to learn to play this lovely waltz on the fiddle then I suggest they take a gander at the link below… and spend some quality time with the teach by following his fabulous lessons.  No other fiddle site will provide you with such comprehensive lessons for this particular tune.  This is by far THE BEST version on the tube.  Even RH agrees!

    https://bluegrassdaddy.com/golden-fiddle-waltz-fiddle-lesson/

    Wonderful playing, by the way, John!  Filled with tons of emotion.  Thank you for such a great lesson and a fantastic website.

    Visit:  Support_your_fiddle_teacher.org

    #52865
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Thanks for the link, Rodger…I believe I’ve heard that plus two or three others on YouTube…I do like to see what various musicians do with tunes.  I’m finding more and more I can learn a thing, but can’t ever seem to actually play it until I get my own spin attached…get a feel of how I gotta play it.  That could just be my lack of fiddling experience dictating my playing…not sure. I know some folks can learn note-by-note and take it from there…seems I can’t feel like I can play a tune until/unless I learn the notes, then let it cook a while on the back burner, then stir it around in my own way later.  Dwight Diller, the banjo player in WV, told me once that he thought, just as the old saying goes…you have to eat a peck of salt with a person to really get to know them, the same goes for playing a tune…maybe I agree with him…lol…or maybe I’m just no good.  But as retirement has gone for me, it’s been a few good learning times usually followed by forgetting times, in many cases…there’s just been a lot of stuff we’ve had to help out with…we’re the only ones doing good enough to help.  Everybody has had a rough way to go with illnesses, hospital stays and doctor visits, losing their homes and needing someplace quick to live, etc.  Anyway, I think I’m gonna have to someday start from square one with this again and it’ll be a while and a lot of work from there to get it…I was almost there once, couple years back.  Ain’t easy for us old and busy folks….lol.  This one’s probably just too hard for me…I can see how it has to be in F to really work out.  Well, Scott…I’m betting John is the only one out there with an online lesson to this…unbelievably painstaking to get a lesson together like this! Very thorough and what a great job he did.  Rodger…I hope you can get to it by Christmas and see what you can do with it…let us know!  Learning this would be a real accomplishment.  This is one of those things that divides the pros from the kiddos…except some kids actually already burn this one up…lol…ugh…that’s amazing, and kinda scary…lol.

    #52870
    rodger
    rodger
    Participant

    Cricket, with this or any of the challenging projects, if you just take it one bar at a time & master that measure, then move on to the next one, don’t rush anything & expect it take awhile…eventually you can get it.  But you have to be committed to do that…the returns for the work you put into it will be success..it’s like digging a root cellar (another project I’m trying to do)  if you get that one shovel at a time, one after the other, eventually you will have it.

    & yes, by all means follow the lesson sheets & lessons.  Be about impossible to do it otherwise.

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