Searching YouTube for a particular fiddle tune to learn can be frustrating. Too much talking, poor audio quality, poor performance, numerous time wasting versions before finding a quality version can poison the search experience. In 2012 I began an effort to provide an alternative.
You can learn more about me here: Rex McGee
FidVid is a collection of demonstration videos of folk fiddle music from a variety of genres. Old-Time, Bluegrass, New England, Irish, French Canadian, Cape Breton, Scottish and Scandinavian tunes. I don't describe these as instructional videos, but they are well suited in that purpose for those learning by ear or watching left hand fingers.
I was an early innovator of the over the shoulder camera angle intended to allow the observer optimal visual learning.
The ability to control playback speed wasn't commonly available in 2012, so I record most tunes in 3 tempi as follows:
Reels. 120-130 beats per minute 3 times through, slow 1/4 speed close up of left hand one time through, medium 1/2 speed close up one time through then up to tempo with more variation 3 times through.
Jigs. 120-130 beats per minute 3 times through, 1/3 speed version once through with close up of left hand, up to tempo with more variation 3 times
Hornpipes. 90-100 beats per minute 3 times through, 1/2 speed with close up of left hand once through, up to tempo with more variation 3 times through
Waltzes. Tunes with more than two parts may be played through fewer times, and repeats may not be observed in the slow tempo version.
Little focus is given on the bow direction. Ornaments may not always be present on the slower tempo versions, but I do try to demonstrate a few options in the slow versions.
Inconsistency may be present in the repeats of sections, some intrinsic to the folk process and my approach in general considering there is usually not a biblical standard way to play any of these tunes.
Although it can be fun hunting around on YouTube for a decent version of a tune, many less experienced fiddlers can benefit from having a source with a predictable and reliable level of video and audio quality and without a lot of conversation/explanation. Less talk, more action, or, as my slogan puts it "Less Piddlin', More Fiddlin'.
The instrumental folk tunes in these traditions numbers in the tens of thousands. The initial priority will be tunes that are played and originate in the American South, New England, Canada, Ireland and Scotland, not necessarily in that order.
As our collection grows from a modest number of videos to its ultimate potential, a couple of different methods to locate videos are available. The Alphabetical Index will be quite useful once the tune count numbers in the hundreds. This will serve the user who knows the title of a tune they want to find. FidVid is a personal long term ambition and could be a lifetime partnership among members as together we preserve and promote a valuable cultural heritage.
As FidVid is a member supported project, more support means more tunes. Help keep our site ad-free with a monetary donation. If the mission of the site appeals to your fiddling interests, help me meet my personal goal of adding between 50 and 100 new tunes each year. 500 tunes archived by the year 2022 is a worthy goal needing much support!
Important : The forum is currently closed and viewable only to serve as a reminder of the potential it could have. Anyone with expertise and time to volunteer for administering a forum and maintaining a clean, spam-free environment, please contact me here: firstname.lastname@example.org