Triplets like Tommy Peoples

Home Forums Fiddle Lesson Forum Fiddling Techniques and Playing Advice Triplets like Tommy Peoples

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    • #7695
      Edward Ebel

      I’ve been listening to The Katharine Cornell Concert Album. Tommy Peoples playing “The Frieze Britches” has some of the tightest triplets I have ever heard. Since Kevin Burke (I think) knows Mr. Peoples, could he comment? I know how to do (what I thought were) good triplets, but listening to Mr. Peoples makes me realize that there is another level. Thanks!

    • #7696
      Casey Willis

      Hi, Edward. Do you happen to have a link to the song online somewhere?

      I will pass your question along to Kevin, including a link, if you can find one. Kevin is touring currently, but I’ll pass his response along when he does get a chance to opine. Thanks!!

    • #7697
      Edward Ebel

      Hey Casey,

      Thanks for the reply. Here is a link to another tune by Tommy that has the same figure. There is one specifically at 0:17

      Best Regards, Ed

    • #7698
      Pat Willey


      Tommy Peoples does play with lightning speed. The slowdown feature in YouTube might be helpful. I don’t know how long YouTube has had this function, I just sort of stumbled across it a few months ago (maybe it has always been there, and I am the last to know about it). You can access it by clicking the gear wheel at the bottom of the screen. That might help in listening or in watching the fingering.

    • #7699
      Edward Ebel

      Thanks Pat. I was not aware of the feature. I don’t think it will help (in this case though) with the fingering because I think (not 100% on this) that its all bow arm/wrist. But there must also be a bow pressure element mixed in. I’ve see him doing it (in the video I posted a link to) on the open D with no left hand. Listening to Kevin on one of his albums, he sometimes does the same thing. Maybe just a matter of speed.

      Kind Regards, Ed

      Thanks again for the speed tip.

    • #7700
      Roland White

      Hi Ed and Pat, Having listened to a lot of Tommy Peoples when I first started playing I tried to find out everything I could about his ornamentation. One of these techniques was apparently as the legend goes an invention of an ornament by Tommy himself. The way he does that bow triplet I was told is that he utilizes his pinkie on the end of the bow with a little flick at just the right moment and what comes out is a staccato like string interruption that is somewhat unique when compared to a regular executed bow triplet and has a subtly different but similar sound. A bit more on the percussive side. I have experimented with that as a lick, ornament, technique or what ever you want to call it with some success. I’ve always felt that a lot of the Irish Ornaments came about like a lot of discoveries which is by accident. That being said a lot of tradition has gone into the development of the Irish sound over the many years it has been played and I often will hear of other ornaments that are the more modern inventions of others, but most of the time they don’t have that snap or punctuation, or dynamic sound like the long standing traditional rolls, cuts, triplets. Very interesting topic as I really love sound of Irish music and the feeling it creates when a good musician has a tasteful approach to using them like Kevin. I think he has an austere use of them to some extent but don’t think for a minute that he can’t fire off a string of high speed rolls that will tickle your ears and senses. Thanks to both of you for your posts let us know how your quest to hone your ornaments goes and especially for being a part of FiddleVideo. Best regards, Roland, Forum Moderator

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.