Welcome to the Surrey Old-Time Fiddlers

We play for our regular dances on the first Thursday of every month (with the exception of July and August), at Clayton Hall, in Surrey.

Dance Time - 7:30pm - 10:30 pm

Admission - $ 4.00

Location - Clayton Hall - 18513 - 70 Ave. Surrey, B.C.

(Half a block North of Fraser Hwy & 184th Street)

(see map on side bar)

For more info, contact - Evan Sanyshyn - 604 576-1066
We welcome new members.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Fiddling Around with the iPad"

By Gordon Powell 
For those of you who were intrigued by Nathanael's article on technology and ABC format for fiddle tunes, here's another article to continue the discussion. 

Having recently bought an iPad, I was interested in how this device might help me find new music and improve my fiddle playing. (The iPad, for those not familiar with it, is a flat, portable, touch-sensitive, magazine-sized screen, that can connect with the Internet.) I had previously visited some ABC sites to look for new tunes, but didn't like how I ended up having to sit at my computer to play if I didn't want to print the page off. (Printing is fine if I want to keep the song, but not if I just want to sample it!)

Doing a search in the iTunes store for music applications, I came across an "app" called "Tunebook for the iPad" that was exactly what I was looking for, and it only cost me $1.99.  (http://appshopper.com/music/tunebook-for-ipad)  This mini-program allows me to open ABC format tunes on my iPad and view them as sheet music. The application will even play the tune for me so I can hear what it sounds like. The best part, is that I can set up my iPad on my music stand and play to my heart's content.  

Fiddle tunes in ABC format

Some other interesting links to view:

Words to many Old Time tunes:

Old Time Fiddling on Youtube

Old Time MP3s

    Fiddling with Technology

    (repost of an article published in the BC Fiddlers Newsletter,  by Nathanael Powell.) 
    As a high school computer teacher in Surrey, I am always interested in how to use technology to enhance our lives - in this case, fiddling.

    Our branch is looking to promote ourselves better through technology with a web log,  or "blog." A blog is an online journal that is easily updated and accessible by anyone as long as they have an internet connection. There's not much on there yet, just our meeting and dance information, directions to the dance hall and a few links. However, a blog has potential to be a great way to keep members connected. It would be a good place to post local events, photos, tips for new members, set-lists or tunes that the group plans to learn. It can be set up so that multiple people can author it, taking the burden off of one member. We're going to give it a go and see how it works for our association. Our blog can be found at http://surreyoldtimefiddlers.blogspot.com/

    With computers and the internet, it is also much easier to learn new tunes. One website that I recently came across is called Prairie Fiddlers (http://calfolk.ca/prairie/). They have an excellent tune index which lists many popular tunes played among Old-Time Fiddlers and include sheet music and sometimes a sound clip. I try to learn most things by ear, but it is nice to see the dots for tricky sections of some tunes. I did notice that some songs were different arrangements but for the most part it is a fantastic resource! Prairie Fiddlers also has some fiddling tips and tutorials that might be of interest. 

    Another great website is John Chamber's ABC Tune Finder (http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/cgi/abc/tunefind). I ran a search for several of the tunes that we play and I got results in ABC format (text-based notation for music) and various image formats which display standard sheet music. If you are trying to find the dots for a particular tune, this could be your last stop. However, unlike Prairie Fiddlers, there is no index so you need to know what you're looking for. Also, there are no sound clips but you can hear the tunes in "midi" which is a computerized sound format.
      Copyright 2009 . Surrey