Western Swing is centered around the FIDDLE!
Just NOW found the PERFECT reason to start this thread!
Paul Anastasio's offering FREE short Fiddle tutorials & even back-up guitar tutorials, with support material available to download!
I felt privileged to take some of his Fiddle workshops at Fiddle Hell last year. Paul's extremely generous with his knowledge and a GREAT teacher! He studied under "the father of Jazz Violin" - Joe Venuti.
Here's a few examples of the INVALUABLE INFO to learn & DON'T FORGET there's guitar tracks, too!
Excerpt for Wikipedia:
Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands. It is dance music, often with an up-tempo beat, which attracted huge crowds to dance halls and clubs in Texas, Oklahoma and California during the 1930s and 1940s until a federal war-time nightclub tax in 1944 contributed to the genre's decline.
The movement was an outgrowth of jazz. The music is an amalgamation of rural, cowboy, polka, old-time, Dixieland jazz, and blues blended with swing; and played by a hot string band often augmented with drums, saxophones, pianos and, notably, the steel guitar. The electrically amplified stringed instruments, especially the steel guitar, give the music a distinctive sound. Later incarnations have also included overtones of bebop.
Western swing differs in several ways from the music played by the nationally popular horn-driven big swing bands of the same era. In Western bands, even fully orchestrated bands, vocals, and other instruments followed the fiddle's lead. Additionally, although popular horn bands tended to arrange and score their music, most Western bands improvised freely, either by soloists or collectively.
...I probably wasn't thinking there could be a connection between 'Western Swing' and the music I like to play, back when I took his other workshops, but I can see I WAS WRONG - EVERYONE can benefit from the music knowledge of this style!
...jumped at the chance to subscribe to his channel! 🤗
If anyone is interested in a crash course to understanding IMPROV and the SWING GROOVE, the short videos linked in the previous post are essential, because Paul explains the connection with chords and the scales they belong to!
Now, before some amazing music videos, how about a cool double-stop lick tutorial and a "Hot" lick tutorial - to use wherever you go?
Jason Roberts shows how to do it for all Fiddlers - EVEN 5-STRING (or VIOLA)!
Some HOT licks for "Right or Wrong", tutorial with Elana James (from Western Swing RULES)!
No tutorial, just great demos of "Kansas City KITTY" (how could I resist), "Avalon", "Sweet Sue" and "Right or Wrong" - by Paul Anastasio, Summer of 2021... how Texas dealt with Covid! 😁
Really happy I found this video to share from TEDx Talks, "New Western Swing" with Katie Glassman!
Katie Glassman's love affair with the fiddle began at the tender age of nine. Inspired by old-time Texas music, she began playing by ear, and was soon winning honors throughout the West. But Katie is no one trick pony when it comes to fiddling. She studied classical and jazz violin at the University of Colorado in Boulder, graduating with a bachelors in music performance and a certificate in jazz studies. In 2007 she became only the second American to attend the Centre Musique Didier Lockwood in France, the world's foremost jazz violin school.
Have to admit, I feel a little hint of French Cabaret & Musette influence in Katie Glassman's music - ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!
I've seen many places where the lines blur between "Gypsy Jazz", "Swing" and "Western Swing" Fiddle music!
...5-string Fiddle or VIOLA seems to come in handy, too!
← "Western Swing", painting by Connie Chadwell.
If you have any interest in playing Western Swing music, check out the new course at Peghead Nation, taught by Chad Manning!
You can see an introduction video & details here:
Spade Cooley - the best fiddler ever to murder his wife.
This was going to be my first multi-track video recording
No idea how to do one yet, though.
Maybe Cooley's wife yodelled?
@Gordon Shumway -
...that's California & Hollywood for you - gotta love it. 🤭
I have historical/family ties to Santa Barbara & always loved the early Hollywood Westerns - so along side of those, I always seem to associate "Western Swing" with when "Dude Ranches" started to become super popular.
Here's a bit about "Dude Ranches" - the 1st was in 1880 in the Dakota Badlands, Teddy Roosevelt helped make them popular. Soon, Ranchers realized pure hospitality wasn't as good as income - the Dude Ranchers’ Association was formed in 1926 to help promote them as a business. Some even became popular film locations for Hollywood in the 30's & 40's.
Only 90 or so miles away from Los Angeles, these ranches - with names like the Lazy W, Yucca Loma Ranch, C Bar G Ranch, and Three Sage Hens - were centered primarily around Victorville and neighboring Apple Valley. While LIFE magazine photographers had originally been sent to these ranches in '37 to cover rodeo-going stars like Clara Bow and Tex Ritter, they quickly honed in on a more interesting story. Heavyweight boxing champion and Wild West enthusiast Joe Louis was in town, and he was spending a lot of time at a place called Murray's Dude Ranch.
If you're up for an old Blk/Wh - here's a film (1 hour) you can watch on YouTube, about a Dude Ranch that needs to liven things up & hires some terrible actors... Dude Ranch (1931)!
Texas was definitely big on Western Swing music - certainly had some Dude Ranches, maybe a bit more on the wild side?
...I happen to know my Mother had a GREAT time at a Dude Ranch in Arizona when she was younger - can't remember which one, just the photos.