Category Archives: BRIMS Intro Fiddle

Tunes from Alex Caton’s Intro to Fiddle Class (BRIMS)
Fall 2009, Spring 2010


Well, our class did a bang-up job at the recital! Such a fun group. There were over 100 people who came out to hear all the various student classes… a fabulous turnout. Hard to say bye to Mimi, but excited for her new adventures and look forward to hearing about life in Turkey. Many thanks to all our BRIMS teachers – Mimi, Alex, Marina and Lori. Here’s a picture from our fiddle class… yes, apparently we like to sleep while playing (or maybe concentrate).

Next stop on the BRIMS tour will be busking on the downtown mall on Friday 5/7 at 7pm to raise funds for our upcoming trip to Ireland and then our annual fundraiser and silent auction 5/14 at C’ville Coffee. Hope to see you all there!

First of May

In honor of Alex’s May Day party, we learned the hornpipe, “First of May” last week in our combined class finale. I’m sure it was a wonderful party again this year, sorry our family had to miss it. I wasn’t able to track down the sheet music for the tune, but will look some more when I get the chance. If anyone has a transcription of it, please send it on.

Thanks for another wonderful 12 weeks of class, Alex!

Listen to The First of May

Humours of Trim

Catching up! So here is this clever little jig called Humours of Trim (or Humors for this side of the pond perhaps). Which naturally brought up the question, “what exactly is a humour, anyway and why are there so many tunes with it in their name?” Good question you might say. I agree.

First, according to some very diligent person on there are:
3 Polkas
3 Slides
8 Hornpipes
12 Slip Jigs
31 Reels
48 Jigs
with “Humours” in the title. So clearly it is not related to a particular rhythm.

Just as in our class, there seemed many theories but no hard answers. The one that worked for me was that the comes from the Middle English word for “fluids” or “moisture”. Based on the balance of 4 fluids in the body which determined one’s emotional state. So, in effect, the Humours of someplace would mean the general temperament of a particular area (or in the case of Humours of Whiskey, presumably one’s temperament after enjoying a good snort). I’m feeling rather sanguine about this explanation, so feel free to add to the discussion ๐Ÿ™‚

Apparently it could be considered a precursor to the somewhat popular Myers Briggs temperament sorter – enjoy the background reading.

Listen to The Humours of Trim

O’Keefe’s Slide

I missed last week’s class due to not getting started on my taxes early enough (for the record, I did get them finished without an extension). So here is last week’s tune, a delightful slide. Thanks to Alex for staying a little late to get a recording of it.

Also, Update on recital. Just Mountain Road and Cliffs of Moher. And Chris, don’t forget to practice your jig steps ๐Ÿ™‚

Listen to O’Keefe’s Slide

[Note: Notation updated 5/4/10. I had the incorrect tune previously. Sorry about that. Also, this one seems to be in a different key than Alex taught us – Am here instead of Em from Alex]

The Butterfly

Here’s last week’s tune, the well-known slip jig, The Butterfly. Featured in the movie, “The Secret of Roan Inish” (which is a wonderful movie). Interesting bowing patterns on this one. Up (stop) Up on the first two notes of the A part. Different to begin with an up bow, but there you have it. Listen for the other slurs in the recording below.

Also, good reminders about tone from the recent lesson – the triangle: position, speed, and pressure. Hmmm… now there are 6 things to remember while playing along with the tune… ack my brain hurts! Also, remember, no class next week for Spring Break. Work on Mountain Road/Silver Spear (reel set) and Cliffs of Moher for the recital.

Listen to The Butterfly

Timmy Clifford’s

Happy belated St. Paddy’s Day! My apologies for the delay getting Tuesday’s class recording posted. Played a whole bunch of tunes on Wed at Fellini’s as part of a BRIMS fundraiser and as part of our usual KGB St. Paddy’s celebration. Btw, there are some great shirts left over from the party… just let Jacie know you’d like one next time you stop by Fellini’s for dinner or a drink. We always have such a good time there… but I have to admit that my body can’t handle it like it used to. Anyway, here are the recordings of Timmy Clifford’s, one of my favorite jigs. Really glad Alex taught it. It was the first tune Katherine learned from Alex, so I’m sure that is one of the reasons I’m partial to it. Enjoy!

Listen to Timmy Clifford’s (fast)
Listen to Timmy Clifford’s (slow)

Mountain Road

Here’s the reel that Alex taught on Tuesday. Maybe we can surprise her and have the B part down by next week ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not sure if the notation below is consistent with the version she taught, so make sure you learn by listening to the recording!

Listen to Mountain Road
Listen to Mountain Road (slow version)

Also, you may not have heard Alex’s passing comment that the name of this tune is the same as the name of her fiddle camp. In case you’re interested or curious, here’s the link to her Mountain Road Fiddle Camp. Katherine, Karen and I have been going for quite awhile and always have a great time. Be sure to check it out!