Transcribed from Bruce Molsky's playing on his album Lost Boy. Key of A, fiddle tuned to AEAE. This is not "Buffalo Gals" like you may be thinking, but a Mississippi tune that doesn't sound like a Mississippi tune to me. Love this tune! Like most of the tunes I pursue, this is one I want to have in my dance repertoire. Indeed, in his liner notes Bruce indicates that this is one of his and his wife's favorite tunes to play for a dance.
I transcribed both A parts and both B parts from Bruce's second time through, so I could get all the variations he uses there. This is probably my most advanced transcription to date, and it includes one of Bruce's extremely minute bowing techniques -- the bow pulse. You'll find two of these in the third measure. A bow pulse is a surge in bow speed and pressure while the bow continues in the same direction it was already moving. When implemented well, it sounds like a change in bow direction (and because of this, it can cause a lot of grief to someone trying to make an accurate bowing transcription from audio alone). Bruce creates these pulses with a flick of his bowing fingers, and they're all but invisible to the naked eye. I only discovered them when I was working, frame-by-frame, with a class video of Bruce's playing. If you aren't an advanced player, I recommend you just ignore the faster pulses until much later... simply ignore the Ps and replace the numbers under them with horizontal timing lines, so that in effect the previous note will be held for that extra time with no rhythmic accentuation. These pulses are very difficult to play up to speed, especially at 132bpm as Bruce plays this one!
But I do encourage you to assimilate early on the bow pulses in the 4th and 8th measures of A2 and the 8th measure of B2. This is a very standard (and rather easy) end-of-phrase accent that should be in your Southern-style repertoire. It might help wean you away from the practice of playing a generic (and weak) up-bow hammer-on/pull-off at the end of phrases -- something that has its place in the genre, but is chronically overused by beginning and intermediate players.
Occasionally you'll notice fret numbers in my tab that are slightly smaller than the rest -- this is intentional. It indicates a lighter emphasis on the smaller notes -- perhaps the term "grace notes" would apply here.
Comments, suggestions and/or corrections are always welcome! Write me at: doug at oldtimefiddle dot us
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