Western Swing Fiddle
Western Swing Fiddle with Tom Cunningham
Reels, Jigs, and Hornpipes!
Western swing music was most popular in the Southwest from the late '20s through the '40s. It is essentially dance music that is based on popular music of the time, fiddle tunes, big band swing, and also has influences from Mexican mariachi and norteno, and German polkas. Western Swing went on to have profound influences on later country music and rockabilly.
The top bands included Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, and Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies. Modern-day bands carrying on the tradition are Asleep at the Wheel and the Hot Club of Cowtown.
The fiddle is a central part of Western Swing, and we'll learn about how we can make our music sound more swingy, and study some of the important fiddle players including Bob Wills, Cliff Bruner, and Johnny Gimble.
Techniques will include swing rhythm and bowing patterns and slides. We'll analyze solos from some of the best players, and look at how to play multiple, harmonized fiddle parts to build up a fiddle section.
This is an advanced class, students will be expected to have finished a Fiddle 3 class at the Folk School, or to be able to play several fiddle tunes up to tempo.