“Fiddle Tune Efficiency” article in NYSOTFA Newsletter

Greetings NYSOTFA members! Take a listen to the following examples. They coincide with my August newsletter article. Have fun. Feel free to email me with any questions.


From the NYSOTFA Newsletter:

Calling all fiddle tune enthusiasts! We know fiddling is an aural tradition. Tunes I’ve learned over the years by memory, I never forget. Tunes I’ve learned from paper…Every once in a while I’ll find myself saying “waaait a minute, how’s that tune go again?”

So, that being said, I’d like to share an exercise I give to my students called “interval training.” This exercise helps build strong “hand – ear” coordination. Excelling at this exercise will come in handy for two reasons: One, it will help you to better navigate your fingers around the fingerboard and two, it will help you be more efficient when learning a fiddle tune. By that I mean the more fiddle tunes you learn, the quicker you become in figuring out the “learn-able” phrases that make up the melody. The better your ears hear the intervals from note to note, the quicker you’ll be able to find those notes and the longer the phrase your ears will be able to absorb.

So, say “Sailors Hornpipe” in G major. First, run your G major scale -technically practicing the intervals of diatonically occurring 2nds. When your pitch is impeccable, move on to 3rd’s. Then 4th’s, 5th’s, 6th’s, 7th’s and then 8th’s -more often referred to as octaves.

As stated earlier, fiddling is an aural tradition. So, I will post these exercises on my website www.joedavoli.com so that you can hear them executed. I’ll also post a slowed down version of “Sailors Hornpipe” identifying the various intervals that make up the melody. As always, feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions.


G Major scale



Diatonically occuring G major 5th’s

Diatonically occuring G- major 6th’s

Diatonically occuring G major 7th’s

Diatonically occuring G major octaves

Sailors Hornpipe A part with interval analysis

Sailors Hornpipe B part with interval analysis

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