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Wade Frugé Rollups

ifiddlemag wade fruge Jul 10, 2020

Hi, I'm Mitch Reed with MitchReedMusicLessons.com, and I'm going to do a little video tutorial for iFiddle Magazine. And when I do these, I usually just show a little bit of Cajun technique, nothing too overwhelming, but just little bits of things that you would hear a Cajun Fiddler do that might be unique. And one of the fiddlers that I studied with that I thought was really special was Wade Frugé. And he was from a little community called Tasso, Louisiana. And one of the things that Wade would do, he would do these slurred triplets and he would call them roll-ups that, that's what he referred to them as. And I'm just going to show you a quick example of that and also show you how you can put them into Cajun waltzes and give it an authentic Cajun sound. So basically what I'm doing is I'm taking a first finger, a second finger, and a third, and I'm just playing it all in one bowing like this.[01:05] You can do it either way. [01:08] So that's his roll-up. [01:15]

I'll put it to a tune so you can hear an example of how it would go. So it would sound like this [01:23]

So basically the way I look at it, it's kind of a decoration for the third finger. So if you're playing a Cajun waltz and you have a long third finger, you can even do it in a two-step as well, You can do this roll-up. So let's just pick any random melody. [02:27]

So that third finger, that very first note is kind of long. [02:37] You can start that with a roll-up. [02:40]

It just gives it a little bit more rhythm, a little bit more life. Dennis McGee, who's another great fiddler, would slide the third finger, which I thought was really interesting. So same kind of thing. It's just a decoration to fill in and give a long note something, some kind of emotion. So he would... [03:16] That kind of thing. So this waltz that I've been playing is... Probably the oldest name for it would be Chère Bèbè Crèole, which was recorded by Dennis McGee. I think it's just an old French waltz that people played down here in Cajun country. So some people will call it different things. But yeah, I just want to share with you that third finger, how you can do some different things with it. So Wade Frugé had the roll up, Dennis McGee had the slide, and both of those things work really, really well. Even Cajun fiddlers did a little bit of vibrato sometimes, their own vibrato, so you can even give it that [04:15]. That kind of thing.

So they all work. Basically, there's no rules in Cajun music, but it is good to know. I always like to know what did the old guys do, you know? Because they were the ones who carried the torch and pass the music on to us today. All of Cajun music is totally handed down by just an oral tradition. It's all by ear. Nothing was written down. There's some books now, but the real tradition has all been passed down by ear and also recording. So people just mimicking recordings, but so it is good to know what the people did generations before us with the fiddle. So yeah.

Well, I tell you what, I'll leave you on this. I'll play another tune and I'll do a two-step so I can show you how you can also fit that roll-up in a two-step if you want. [05:32]

All right! Thanks so much for joining me today on iFiddle Magazine, an awesome magazine online. Check it out, and stay subscribed to it. I'll be sending some more little Cajun tips and Cajun bits of technique your way. Thank you so much for joining me, MitchReedMusicLessons.com. Thanks.

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