Fi Fi Poncho

Jan 13, 2017

Hi today, I'm going to break down Fi Fi Poncho, a great old-time fiddle tune, Cajun two-step. And I'm going to try something new. I put some tape on my fingerboard. I put tape for the first finger so that's where my first finger is always going to go. Second finger, third finger, and I'm not doing any fourth finger. I'm just going to use open strings instead of a fourth finger. So this video is for beginners. And what you want to do if you're a beginner fiddler, get some tape. Really all you need is... First of all, is a handkerchief because rosin dust makes you sneeze. Okay, let's get back on track. So first piece of tape, just for the first finger, a second piece of tape just for the second finger, and a third piece of tape just for the third finger. So that's the way the fingers work. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to play the tune. I'm going to play it normally first, just so you can hear it. And then I'm going to angle the camera right on the fingerboard so you can watch where I put my fingers here. So also my fiddle is tuned down to Cajun tuning. So it's D [01:23], G [01:24], C [01:25], F [0126]. Okay. So I'm going to play it first. So this is Fi Fi Poncho, and it goes like this. [01:33]

All right. Fi Fi Poncho. So we're going to break it up into two parts, an A part and a B part. The A part we're going to break up into phrases. So I'm going to lower this camera. All right. And now you can see, hopefully, this is my first time, so we'll see how it goes. You can tell me, feel free to comment. So this is where my first finger is going to go. That's where my second finger and my third finger. And we're going to be using the E string, the A string, and the D string. Now what might be a little confusing is they do have some slides in here. So I will at times be close to the first piece of tape with my second finger and then slide to the second piece of tape. And that is just the second finger slide. And we have a lot of those in here. All right.

So let me play just the first phrase that goes like this. [03:22] I'll do it again [03:31].

All right, so let's go through it slowly together. You can see I'm starting with the first finger on the D string [03:45], second [03:47], open A [03:49]. Now I'm going to do one of the second finger slides on the A string [03:53]. Now I'm going to do just a regular second [03:57], first [03:59], open [04:00], now another second finger slide on the A [04:04], second [04:06], and then open A [04:08] twice.

All right. So let's play that together slowly, rhythmically. So here we go. [04:16]

All right. So that's our first phrase. Let's go to the second phrase and it goes like this [04:31]. So this second phrase starts with a second finger on the D string [04:44], to a first finger [04:46], then a second finger on the D string [04:56], first [04:58]. Now our first finger slide on the A string [05:03], second finger [05:05], first [05:07], open [05:09], second finger slide on the A string [05:13], second [05:15], and then open A twice [05:18].

Okay. So let's play that together rhythmically. So here we go. [05:25]

All right. Let's try those two phrases together now. So here we go. [05:37]

Awesome. Third phrase is just like the first one. [05:56] So that's our third phrase, just like the first one. So let's put those three phrases together now okay? So here we go [06:09].

All right. So the fourth phrase, I think might just be like the second. [06:40]

Maybe just a little different, but not much. So that's our fourth phrase. So again, we have that walk down second finger on the D [06:55], first [06:56], first finger slide on the A [06:59], second [07:01], first [07:03], open [07:04]. Then the second finger slide on the A [07:07], and another one [07:09], and then open A twice [07:11].

And that is our whole A part. So let's take that and play it together. Y'all okay. Sorry. I keep moving this around. This is new. Just figuring out if this angle will work. Okay. I could lower it even more. Let's see if that helps a little bit. Okay. Let's try that. So here we go. We're going to do the whole A part and it does the whole A part twice. So those four phrases twice. Here we go. [07:42]

So that's our A part. So let's move down to the B part. This is going to be our second part, the B part. So it starts out like this. [08:54] That's our first phrase. So that's going to start with a second finger on the A string two times [09:07], an open E [09:09], back to second on the A string twice [09:14], E [09:16], back to second on the A [09:19], open E [09:21], second on the A [09:23], first [09:25], and then open A twice [09:27].

So it's kind of doing the same thing over and over again. Let's try it real slowly, rhythmically together. Here we go. [09:34]

Yeah. That's our first phrase of the B part. Then it goes like this [09:48].

All right, so let's walk through that. So that's first finger on the A string twice [10:00], open E [10:02], back to first thing on the A twice again [10:07], open E [10:09], first finger on the A twice again [10:11], open E [10:14], third on the A [10:16], second [10:18], first [10:19], and then open A [10:17].

Awesome. So let's play that second phrase of the B part now [10:25].

Awesome. All right. I think we have the whole B part. Cause the third phrase is just like the first [10:43].

So the fourth phrase, let's see [10:50].

Yeah, so we have the B part it's really just those two phrases played four times is what it is. So let's play the whole B part together slowly. So we're really going to do those two phrases four times, if you want to count it that way. So here we go. [11:16]

And that is our tune. So my advice is to play this slowly for a long time. Take your time with it. What we just did is a great tempo. Just take your time with it. Don't be in a hurry to play it fast. You want to have the muscle memory down where you don't even have to think about the finger anymore. You just go right to it and keep it slow and get control. Have good tone, good rhythm. That's the most important thing. And then you can start worrying about speeding it up and then also catching some open strings to give yourself some drone strings. I'll play it again and I'll play it a little faster with some drone strings. So all I'm going to do now is... this would be the next thing to work on, but like I said, if you're a beginner, don't be in a hurry to do any of this stuff. Just take your time and get the tune right. That's the most important thing. So I'm going to play it a little bit faster now, and I'm going to catch some open strings. When I'm on the A, I'm going to catch the E. When I'm on the D I'm going to catch the A so it goes like this [14:22].

All right. Fi Fi Poncho. Thanks so much for joining me today. Let me know what you think. Just trying something new with the camera angles and the tape on the fingerboard, trying to make it easier for you to see exactly where to put your fingers. And we'll do some more videos with this. So definitely let me know what you think and thanks so much for joining me today. Hope you liked this tune, Fi Fi Poncho by special request. Thank you. Have a great day.

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