Here’s a lesson on how to play the first break from Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine show. The song was based off a fragment that Bob Dylan (who’s credited as a co-author) performed in the movie Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid.
This is a lesson for intermediate fiddlers; you need to know raised third finger for this tune.
I’ve made some “Learning Chunks” to help you learn more easily. These focused exercises contain sheet music, tabs and mp3 snippets to guide you on your fiddle journey. The idea is to start with small musical bits, get good at those, and then put them together into bigger pieces until you have the whole tune. I call it Micro-practice.
For those of you who read (or want to read), all snippets use this key and time signature:
Warm up with A major scale using A drone.
A part, first phrase
first phrase: D1-2-A0-1-1-2-2-3-[2-3-2]-2-1-[1-2-1]-[0-1-0]
A part, second phrase
second phrase: D1-2-2-1-2-H3-A0-0-1-2-3
Hey, to view the rest of the tabs, play-along tracks and sheet music for Wagon Wheel, just sign up for a Free Trial Membership. It only takes a minute and will allow you to access lots of other lesson pages.
A part, third phrase
third phrase: E0-A2-E0-1-0-A2-1-0-1-0-1-0-E0-A0-3-0
Here is a quick way for you to access the essential practice tools you need. Under each tab you'll find play-along tracks, tabs and condensed teachings to help you as you practice. This is an evolving idea, so let me know in a comment below if it could be better.
Here's a newer version of the Notefinder which is based on sheet music. If you're interested in learning to read, this will be an invaluable reference. I'll be posting lessons on this in 2020.
Note: the brackets indicate notes that are the same pitch but spelled differently. For example, AH3 (D#) sounds the same as AL4 (Eb). Without going into too much teory detail here, this will be determined by the key of the tune or piece you are playing.
Here's he original table version of the Notefinder. Sometimes people learn in different ways...
Sawmill tuning Notefinder
This is used to find notes in Sawmill tuning (when the G string is tuned up to A and the D string is tuned up to E). If you're a beginner...best to ignore this! Learn more about sawmill tuning in the Appalachian Fiddle course.
Here are some common scales used in fiddle tunes. Each runs through a series of variations: two bows legato, two bows staccato, four bows, tucka (4 shorts, two longs), hoedown (1 long, two shorts), throwaway bow, triplets, tremolo.
G Major, starting on D3
Practice a tune with its scale (Kerry Polka is in G major, so practice a G major scale). Practice scales before, during and after practicing tunes.
Always return to a good sound, even if it means playing quarter notes on the D string. You can do this! You just have to remember to pause on practicing the challenging thing and just get a good sound on single notes.
Why do this? Because it will bring you deep joy. And it will build your confidence which will inspire further practice.