Cowboy Waltz With a Dropped E

Sep 21, 2017

Hi, I’m Mitch Reed. Welcome to my vlog and on my vlog this week I’m going to talk about how you can play the Cowboy Waltz, an old-time fiddle tune, and you can play it in the old-time tuning which is where you drop the E string. So I’m tuned Cajun. Normally a Cajun fiddle is tuned D-G-C-F. So what I’ve done is I’ve dropped the E to a C.

So starting from the smallest string, I’m C-G-C-F [00:27], and this is the way Dennis McGee played it. So I’m just going to play it for you first and then I’ll break it down slower, and it’s a really fun old-timey way to play this tune. If you have the early recordings of Dennis McGee, check them out and you can hear how Dennis McGee and also Ernest Frugé did a lot of interesting chords, especially on the second part of this tune and a lot of different tunings that they used in those recordings. Okay. So it goes like this… [01:06]

All right. The Cowboy Waltz, La Valse Du Vache. So let’s just start, we’ll start with the A part first. So I’ve got this string… [03:00], small E string, that normally is tuned down to a G, Cajun tuning, but now I have it all the way down to a C. So if you play the A and the E strings together… [03:12]… you can hear this already, kind of this interesting chord. So it starts with a second finger on the E string. So you get this thing… [03:22]… kind of a little bounce there too. That’s kind of a nice little style, a pick-up style… [03:27]… So I’m doing that kind of thing… [03:30]. So that’s the first bit there. I’ll do it again… [03:38]… little hammer on in there.

The second part goes… [03:48]… So put the two together… [04:01]. Do it again… [04:11].

Awesome. And then the third phrase goes like this… [04:24]. Let’s break that up into two phrases.

So we do the third and fourth phrase. So the third phrase… [04:37]… and the fourth phrase [04:48].

And that’s our A part. So let’s play the A part together slowly, twice, you know, so it’s always repeated. So here we go… [05:07].

All right. So that’s our A part. Let’s go to the B part now. The B part actually goes down with the low string. So it goes… [05:51]. All right. Let’s start with this… [06:04]. That’s the first phrase of the B part… [06:14]. Do it one more time… [06:23].

All right. Then the next part, the second phrase of the B part, we’re going to do a double stop with our finger. We’re going to play first finger barred across the first finger position of the G and D string, and we’re going to rock the bow and do this kind of thing… [06:46]. There I’m just playing the note by itself… [07:08]… and I’m rocking catching the D and A string… [07:13].

All right. So let’s put that together with the first phrase. So here we go… [07:26].

All right. I think there’s just two not three, sorry, at the end of that. Let’s do it again… [07:44].

All right. Then it just does the same thing again… [08:00].

Ahh, it’s the fourth time that you do those two phrases that we broke down for the B part. The fourth time, hold that third finger on the A three times. So it’s a little tricky there, and then you go back to the A part.

So that’s your B part. It’s just those two phrases that we broke down, play them four times. Let’s put the whole thing together, we have the tune. Let’s play it slow, play along with me and let’s play it twice through that way you’ll understand how to repeat it and we’ll go from there. Okay, so here we go… [09:11].

Alright. Cowboy Waltz, La Valse De Vache, My Rope and Spurs, it’s known as a lot of different names. So it’s usually the old-timey versions were played a lot faster. But that’s a good tempo to pick it up and learn from. But definitely listen to those early recordings of Dennis McGee, they’ll definitely inspire you.

So thanks so much for joining me today. If you like what I did today, check out my website where I break down tunes. I break down tunes at a beginner level and an intermediate level. This was more intermediate today. But check it out, it’s MitchReedMusicLessons.com. Stay inspired, keep on fiddling, and hope to see you soon. Thanks so much for joining me today.

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