Beat 4 of the scottish reel groove?

Home Forums Fiddle Lesson Forum Beat 4 of the scottish reel groove?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Casey Willis 8 months ago.

  • Author
  • #15638


    Hello, My students and I are trying to apply the “1, 4, 7” Scottish groove to tunes. We can get beats 1 and 7. Beat 4. Help! We can’t seem to feel it, get it at speed, understand this at anything remotely resembling a “reel” speed. (Ugh, no pun intended there)! I observed several of Hanneke’s Reel performances and sometimes I hear it and see it’s got something to do with the bow maybe being down on beat 4 (the “and” of 2) somehow? Is this beat 4 thing more for the accompaniment? Is it subtle? Is it ‘Not all the time” depending on the composition and tendency of the tune? Help us to not sound like elephants and embarrass the ranks of scottish fiddlers!

    I think maybe part of our issue is we are choosing tunes for which there are only bagpipe examples on youtube at times and so there is SO MUCH variety in how to play a tune we are getting lost. We are attempting Major David Mason and Black Cocks of Berriedale.

    Any advice is appreciated.


    Laura Gallucci

  • #15686

    Casey Willis

    Howdy, Laura.

    Sounds like you’re really diving in on the subtleties of Scottish playing…great stuff!

    Have you checked out this video? That might help??

    I’m no expert on the whole Scottish thing, but if you’re starting out on a down bow and using 8 strokes to create a grove over a reel measure, that fourth beat you will want to emphasis will be the second up-bow stroke.

    The fourth stroke falls right between the second and third beat of the 4/4 measure. It’s almost as if you’re pushing the third beat.

    I hope that makes sense. It definitely takes a little time to work up…you’re having to count out the 8 individual bow strokes that lay over the 4/4 measure…and then emphasizing the 1st, 4th and 7th stroke. So the first and seventh strokes will be down bow (again, if you’re starting on a down bow)…and the fourth stroke will be an up bow.

    Keep us posted!!


You must be logged in to reply to this topic.