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Bringing Out the Octaves in a Melody

bowing bringing out the octaves in a melody e string fiddle lessons ifiddlemag octaves old time cajun May 05, 2020

Hi, I'm Mitch Reed with Thanks for joining me on I'm just gonna talk a little bit about some Cajun technique. So one of the things that you find a lot in Cajun music is the use of octaves, or leading up to the octaves. So I'm just going to play a little bit of a tune and kind of break it down and show you what I'm doing there, but it definitely is a Cajun sound. And if you're learning any Cajun waltzes this is something that can really bring out the Cajun style. So I'll just show you a little bit here. [0:37]

So what I mean by the octaves is walking up to them. [1:05] That is used a lot. So it's a first finger on the A string and a fourth finger on the E string. [01:14]

Then I go back to the third finger on the E string with the open A [01:20], another octave. In the old-time Cajun style, a lot of people would go to third position, but catch the open A string. [01:29] And then you have that high, high octave [01:33]

So a lot of Cajun waltzes go up to the octave. So that's one of the things you might want to do. It doesn't sound bad if you catch the open A strings. [01:58]

So there, I was just droning the A string, but if you add the octave to that, it really gives what I call the old-time style of Cajun music. [02:18] You could also use it on the other strings. It doesn't have to be the E and A. So there's a lot of times I'll use it. [02:40]

So that's the other thing is the use of the slide of the octave is also something Dennis McGee did, and Wade Frugé. And that can be a lot of fun too. There was an old tune that Wade Frugé played called The Little Calf is Dead where the B part is just sliding the octave. So it's like something like this [03:50]

So that's the B part of The Little Calf is Dead. So just wanted to share with you a little bit about some Cajun techniques. So octaves, you can even practice them. If you don't use them a whole lot, you can, you know, start on the E and A. [04:32] The can go to the third finger, [04:34] go to the next pair. [04:37] Practice it like that, but it takes a little while to get them in tune. Some days I get them, some days I don't.

So be patient, stay inspired and keep on fiddling. Thanks for joining me, Mitch Reed. Check out, but definitely check out iFiddle Magazine. It's a great magazine that you can learn a lot of technique and learn a lot of things from a lot of different fiddlers. So thanks so much for having me and for joining me today.