Squirrel Hunters

This is an online fiddle lesson for the old time tune "Squirrel Hunters."

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Genre: Old Time
Skill Level: Intermediate
Key of A

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Video #1: Here is a video of me playing the old time tune "Squirrel Hunters."

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Viewing 20 posts - 21 through 40 (of 49 total)
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  • #53575
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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.

    #53618
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Working out the bowing is one of the toughest things.

    #53624
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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.

    #54342
    fiddlewoodfiddlewood
    Participant

    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

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by fiddlewoodfiddlewood.
    #54364
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Strangely enough, I’ll be driving by Loch Laven Castle next May. I just looked up the tune and I can hear the similarity!

    #54369
    fiddlewoodfiddlewood
    Participant

    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.

    #54377
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    Let’s face it: there’s really only one big fiddle tune, and everything else is just a variant?

    #54379
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    I guess it’s time for me to try to print this tab again…lol.

    #54380
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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.

    #54386
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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.

    #54389
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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!

    #54390
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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!

    #54391
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by cricketcricket.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by cricketcricket.
    #54394
    rodgerrodger
    Participant

    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?

    #54399
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    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.

    #54401
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by cricketcricket.
    #54404
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    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.

    #54408
    rodgerrodger
    Participant

    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.

    #54411
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    Sounds good!  I’ve got plenty of berries in the freezer, but no a la mode, I’m afraid!

    #54412
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    That expression always reminds me of the hot summer night when I was working at Jerry’s Restaurant, and these two pre-teen boys were giving me a hard time ordering…” I just want an a la mode, that’s it!”  And I’m saying, “Well, what kinda junk you want that a la mode to be hangin’ onto?” It was busy and I didn’t have time for their silly little jokes. Then, boom boom boom…this guy cones into the crowded restaurant shooting.  Back in…I guess 74-75…one of those years.  Made me a nervous wreck…which I still am to this day…lol.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by cricketcricket.
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