Ureka! This post will eventually lead to the 4th Gifts of Gifts. I'm still working on it feverishly folks. Something that's going to change the relationship between the Cajun accordion and the Cajun fiddle forever!
We have discovered a new way to tune the fiddle (at least I think it's new) that allows even the novice fiddler to play like a freakin CHAMP! These tuning(s) will allow one single fiddle to cover any of the different key accordions whether they are played on the push or the pull (in their two primary keys). It will allow the lone Cajun fiddler to be able to play both lead fiddle and segundoniare fiddle very easily during the songs as long as the accordion player doesn't switch got dam accordions.
Standard fiddle (G,D,A,E) and Cajun Fiddle (F,C,G,D) tunings will no longer be the popular choices or even relevant to Cajun music anymore. I'll hold on to the information for now. If I give it out at this point, we'll have everybody running at once to play Cajun fiddle. Can't have that just yet.
I'll give a hint though....the last little string for the two above tunings stays the same as it does when these tunings are used for the "D" and "C" accordions, the other 3 big strings all change. Every got dam one of them! I'm ecstatic about it people. Shaking like a leaf. Well maybe shaking because of all that whiskey I drank last night. God does come in mysterious ways....even in a bottle a whiskey.
PS...Oh, and David Greely, I'm completely on to you now man! I know your secret. I'm just going to name one song and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about...."The Corner Post". That goes for you too Steven. You changed the got dam tuning of the fiddle didn't ya......didn't ya? Well, so did I and I found it on my own without a college music teacher to help me! Hell Hath no Fury compared to what I'm about to do! You guys kept it a secret! That just blows my mind how someone would do that in order to elevate yourselves above the rest! I felt that something fishy was up with you two. But it was just a gut feeling. Now, amongst my people, it shall be common knowledge.
Sorry about letting my emotions make it seem like I was trying to take down David Greely and Steve Riley a notch or two. It's not their fault. They were just doing what was done before and possibly, even something new. After all, "we" came up with a new fiddle tuning system, why couldn't they? Below, is a list of (8) Dennis McGee tunings according to a blogger named "tcajin". To see all of these fiddle tunings blew my mind. And "our" new tuning system only showed up matching two on McGee's list! There are more! Believe that like you believe in Jesus! Within the list I shall throw in a few of the tunings from our new system of accompanying an accordion player who mostly plays in in the (Primary 5th)(ex: key of G on the C accordion).
Starting with the "big string" on the left as you hold the fiddle, or as you hold it in front of you looking directly at the strings. I have no idea why some people read the strings starting from the little string from right to left (EADG or DGCF)? To me that only causes unnecessary confusion. In America we read from left to right, got dammit! Even the French from France read from left to right!
1. GDAE (standard tuning)(old time Cajun players before the accordion)
2. FCGD (down tuning) Balfa's
And there we were all this time thinking that "Cajun Tuning" of the violin was only FCGD! Pahahaha, it couldn't be farther from the TRUTH! Again, it was ignorance on both the old and new musicians part that kept this information from circulating. It was just too much information to articulate easily in normal conversation about Cajun music. And conspiracies, jealousy, and confusion were born because of it! Too bad most Cajun musicians weren't college edumacated music majors. We could have communicated our musical experimentation to each other more easily. LOL, or could we have? Label your got dam accordions!
Well folks, I have been delving into playing Cajun fiddle for about 6 years using those standard GDAE and FCGD tunings and not really having much success. I was recently let to borrow a second fiddle from a relative and it quickly set me on a path of pure madness to hack the Cajun fiddle code without asking or talking to other Cajun fiddle players. Finally, I had two different fiddles that I could tune alternatively and play against all those "C" and "G" songs done on the "C" accordion in my "SHARED" Classic French Music youtube list.
To keep a long story short, I became a recording studio quality fiddle player in one got dam day after cracking the Cajun fiddle tuning code! As of one hour ago, I'm pretty sure anybody could become a great fiddle player if they had two fiddles, a tuner, and listened to Cajun music often and used my system. But you don't have to burn the songs to memory. That's because these new tunings allow you to pick up the song by ear instantaneously! These new tunings very effectively allow one fiddler to play 1st and 2nd fiddle on the same fiddle and the transition from one to the other is very easy and subtle!
The secret was tuning the fiddle in "thirds" to resemble the thirds and fifths of the Cajun accordion! The old GDAE and FCGD were tunings that made ignorant fiddle players tune their fiddles in "fifths". Now that I know how to tune my fiddles to match the Bb, C, and D accordions, I'll never use those crappy standard and down tunings again.
I'll also say that I think other Cajun fiddlers know this secret of mine and they've been holding out with the information to keep an edge over other fiddle players and keep them in the dark so they could never really get great at the Cajun fiddle style. Or....I am the first to make the discovery! And that would be UUUUGE! Until I can start talking to other "heavy hitter" local Cajun fiddlers and find out what they know, I'll have to keep these new tunings to myself. If I find out that they've been hoarding or hiding these break through hack tunings, I'm going to post every got dam one of them right here on the Cajun Accordion Discussion Page for all the world to see. There's one thing that you don't do. You don't keep information from Greezy with the underhanded plan to become the best and stay the best while others suffer and struggle from not knowing your secret. "If everybody has what you have, THEN WHAT'S YOURS NOW WORTH?" Not a got dam thing thats what, you're no longer special when everyone can do what you can do.
P.S. All of this came about because not very long ago I grew the balls to label my accordion with it's push and pull notes with a permanent marker. It has been a very rapid and interesting journey since then. I've learned more in one year than I did in 25. Label Your Got Dam Accordions!
If you all have your accordions labeled by now, then we shall give you an exercise to do on your "C" accordion that will bring to light the basis of our BLUE MAX "Resonant Thirds" fiddle tuning. We're still working on the name of the system lol.
These tunings will be, by all practical purposes, studio tunings. These fiddle tunings enable the fiddle player to not only tune to the certain key that the accordion was built in, but also to the key that Cajun songs are played in. In other words, if the accordion is a "C" accordion, it's two primary keys of playability are "C" and "G". The fiddle would be tuned to either one and the tuning is different for both.
And now for the "Exercise and Enlightenment"
Take your "C" accordion complete with all the fingers labeled and pull on the button combinations I will list below.
Buttons 1(G) and 3(D)
Buttons 3(D) and 5(A)
Buttons 5(A) and 7(D)
Buttons 7(D) and 9(A)
ABCDEFGABCDEFGABCDEFG (find a G and count back three, a D and count back three, an A and count back three, an E. This is what is meant by thirds. GDAE can also be found by counting forward by using fifths or counting 5 forward counting the "G" as number 1. If you turn GDAE backwards to EADG and count forward using the alphabet scale, you're now counting in THIRDS!! That's why some people say EADG and DGCF! Now you know.
You may notice that even though their labeled musical notes are different on your accordion, they sing together with each other nicely (they are in harmony)! This is the resonant thirds frequency phenomenon set forth by the hand of God and Science at some point during the process of all creation.
Well, we took those resonant thirds, found a provable pattern on the accordion key board, and applied them to tuning the Cajun fiddle to the key of G for playing with an accordion player that mostly plays in the Primary G (on the pull). Once we had that down pat, we applied the same provable system again to tune the fiddle to the key of "C" to accompany an accordion player that likes to play songs (on the push) which would be in the accordion's Primary "C". This new Resonance Tuning is so forgiving that learning the Cajun fiddle, to us, is now somewhat of a parlor trick. It's so very easy, yet still looks difficult to the uninitiated eye. Fellow musicians, the Base of Cajun music has always been and is now OFFICIALLY known as, the resonance of thirds and fifths, for both the accordion and the fiddle!!!!! THIS IS THE 4TH GIFTS OF GIFTS. The recognition of the patterns that were always there for us to see. You're Welcome! Have a Hap Happy New Year!! The new fiddle tunings will be made public at a later time at no cost to you the Cajun musician.
The first black Cajun musician to ever be recorded was not Amede Ardoin, but the unsung, former convicted fellon fiddle player by the name a Douglas Bellard. By the way, Douglas Bellard has been accused of poisoning Amede Ardoin out of pure jealousy. Seems that Bellard wanted to join up with Amede and play fiddle with him, but Ardoin chose another and left Bellard hanging. Then Amede Ardoin went on to record and became the "new" first black Cajun to be recorded. Bellard got royally screwed. Could it have been revenge on Bellard's part?
Does anyone else hear the accordion base seconds being played in the background by Kirby Riley? Who in the hell was Kirby Riley? Anybody know?
And why in the living hell is he only playing the base seconding on that accordion in this recording.
Steve Riley, if you read this, do you know who Kirby Riley was?