This is the first lesson in a series on the Orange Blossom Special. It’s a challenging tune that integrates a few advanced techniques: polyrhythmic string crossing, advanced fingering, and double stops.
I’ve had a lot of requests for this but have held off. It always seemed a bit show-offy. But I recently started fiddling with it and realized that if it was broken down enough, even a beginner could start with the basic pattern.
In this lesson I’ll introduce the whole tune and then walk through each of the five lessons we’ll do:
[OBS: 1] Overview and the basic rhythmic pattern
[OBS: 2] Adding advanced fingering
[OBS: 3] Learning the double stops
[OBS: 4] Putting together the A part
[OBS: 5] Learning the B part
In this lesson, we’ll learn the basic rhythmic pattern in a simple way. It’s tricky, but I think if you are an advanced beginner you can do it. Let me know how it goes in a comment…
This lesson is part of the Art Of Fiddling course. Students with an Ultimate Subscription can access all the AOF lessons. Subscribe here. And thanks for your support. 🙏
Here are some lessons you can take to prepare for this:
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Here's a newer version of the Notefinder which is based on sheet music.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.