LEARN

PICK UP AND PLAY

STEP 1: The Basic Chord Pattern

If you already know your alphabet and can count to 5, you are good to go. Here's how you find the chord pattern we use most often. 

There are 7 chords in the scale (A through G) or rather: A  B  C  D  E  F  G

When we say "this song is in the KEY of (some note), we are saying that the 1-chord is that note.

For example:

Key of "A" the 4 is D and the 5 is E -- 1-4-5 = A  D  E

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

A B C D E F G

Key of "G", the 4 is C and the 5 is D -- 1-4-5 = G  C  D

2 3 4 5 6 7 1

A B C D E F G

Key of "D", the 4 is G and the 5 is A -- 1-4-5 = D  G  A

5 6 7 1 2 3 4

A B C D E F G

Always start with the one (1) note, then count forward to find the 4 and 5. In the case of the G you can see we had to wrap around to the A to find C and D. 

THE BASICS

Starting with the basics you will be able to play most of the songs you will hear at the Jam.

NASHVILLE NUMBERING

The 1-4-5 number is called the Nashville Numbering system. It makes it easy to play any song in any key, once you know the basics because it is a simple pattern. For example if you hear, key of G and its a 1-4-1-5 you know you will play G-C-G-D. 

FIDDLIN' AROUND

If you are new at the fiddle, there's an easy way to get started, just learn the bow patterns first. These patterns are half of the fiddle sound. Fiddlin' expert Austin Scelzo has a great video on these different patterns.

Just Bowing (no fingered notes)

  • Straight Shuffle

  • Georgia Shuffle

  • 332 Bowing

The background music is in the KEY of (D) and the chord pattern is:  1  4  1  5