[The song I play at the beginning of this Quick Tip is called “Miller’s Reel“.]
Hi, Vi Wickam here, with another Quick Tip of the Week.
Now, you’re playing the fiddle, and you think, “Hey! I should play in a band!”
Because what’s more fun than making music with your friends?! Or maybe you’ve been playing fiddle for a while now, and one of your friends is like, “Hey, we’ve got a bluegrass band, we want you to play with us!”
And you’re like, well- I know fiddle tunes! But I don’t know what to play when I’m playing in a band…
So the first rule of playing in a band is don’t play too much. As fiddlers, our tendency is to want to play a lot.
I’m guilty of this too- because I’m also a fiddler. So, don’t play too much!
Don’t ever play over the top of the vocalist. If you play over the top of the vocalist, that’s the quickest way to get fired as a fiddler.
Keep what you’re doing simple. You can play long, slow notes. You can play rhythmic accompaniment- like […]. Or some other sort of chopping-type of accompaniment.
But they key is- don’t get in the way. Don’t play too much, and then when you get a solo, make sure you know the melody to that tune.
Because the melody is always the most important thing when you take a solo on fiddle. If you don’t know the melody, go learn the melody before you try to take the solo.
Those right there are the most important things, because when you are playing in a band, 90, maybe 95-98% of the time, you’re not playing a solo.
As fiddlers, I know we’re used to be the soloist, we’re used to being the center of attention. We want to play the solos all the time!
But that’s not how it works in a band. In a band, we’re going to have fun, we’re going to enjoy the other players. And we’re going to give them the spotlight, too!
Especially when there’s a mandolin or a guitar, acoustic guitar, flat-picking acoustic guitar, we’re going to be really quiet. We might not even play a single note during the solo. In fact, it’s probably better that way.
Find some friends! Join a band! Or start a band! Because it’s fun.
That’s your Quick Tip of the Week. I’ll see you next time!