Cold Frosty Morning
A Traditional Fiddle Tune Taught by Vi "The Fiddler" Wickam

Video 1

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Demonstration First Vi plays through the entire tune at a spirited tempo.
2. Overview This tune is included on Vi and Steve's albumn, "Not My Monkey." Vi says that this tune can be played slow or fast - it's up to you.
3. A Part, Phrases 1-4 Vi gives us the skeleton of the A Part of the melody, which goes back and forth between an A minor and a G chord.
4. Modal Structure of the Tune This tune is an A modal tune, or you can say it's an A Mixolydian tune. The mixolydian mode can most easily be heard by playing a scale on the white piano keys starting with G. Its ascending sequence is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7b-8.
5. B Part, Phrases 1-4 Vi plays the skeleton of the melody for the B part. The 4th phrase of the B part is the same as the 4th phrase of the A part.
6. Variations for the A Part Here Vi gives us a few ideas for variations that will make the melody more interesting for the player as well as the listener.
7. Variations for the B Part Now Vi makes suggestions for variations on the B part, including a drone on a higher note, followed by a low octave answer.
8. Slower Play Along Finally, Vi plays through the entire tune at a slower tempo, so you will be able to play along with him. He plays it straight the first time through, and adds the variations his second time through.


  • Sheet Music

  • Explanation of Scales and Modes

  • Explanation of Modes and Key Signatures

Music GlobeExtras

  • Enjoy Vi on the fiddle and Steve on the hammered dulcimer, playing this tune together. Hang on to your hat, because this version is fast.

  • Now compare this with the recording from his albumn "Not My Monkey." It starts out slow but gathers momentum and speed!

  • Next enjoy the banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and bass solos in this arrangement by Milltown.

  • Here is the story behind this Scottish fiddle tune.

  • A mode is defined by the series of whole and half steps. The mode is not defined by the tuning; you can play every mode in every key. In Video 3 of the lesson on "Tunings, Keys & Modes", Aubrey shows us how the myxolydian scale is characterized by the flattened 7th tone.
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