Swallowtail Jig - Beginner Fiddle Song

History of this fiddle tune

Swallowtail Jig is a well-known fiddle tune and is meant to be a dance. According to the book Fiddler Philharmonic, it is sometimes also called The Dancingmaster. It was written during the Irish immigration to the United States in the nineteenth century. Of course the Irish immigrants wanted their music to live on and so it’s one of the tunes that became very popular in America. Since one should dance to the music, sometimes it’s repeated a couple of times and played together with other fiddle tunes like a medley.

A nice version of Swallowtail Jig is this one by a seven-person acoustic ensemble.

My recording of Swallowtail Jig

It’s been a real challenge because it’s pretty fast. I’ve had to work on bow control and string crossings to be able to play this fiddle song. And I’ve practiced Swallowtail Jig a lot with the metronome. In the end it turned out pretty well I think. Of course, it’s not even close to the above recording, but at least I’m happy with the result. :-)

I guess I am going to learn each and every tune that’s in this Beginner Fiddle Collection from virtualsheetmusic.com. I really love this collection of 25 fiddle tunes. They are fun and all come with piano accompaniment to play along. Since Swallowtail Jig was the fifth fiddle tune I’ve learned, I have still twenty to go :-)

So, till next time :bye:

4 thoughts on “Swallowtail Jig

  1. Hi!
    Congratulations on your nine months with violin. I really enjoyed this piece. I have already played swallowtail jig and really enjoyed this piece. You are doing great. I really like the tempo. It’s really good. It’s great that you had a piano accompaniament to this piece. And one advice – you can try using your wrist while playing this piece – it should be fluid.
    Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect yet – I have spend two weeks working on improving my bow arm. I see a huge progress, but my old bad habits are easily returning, so it requires much work to be done. When I am watching recordings of more advanced people than me, I can see simmilar bowing problem.
    You are doing such fun repertoire for 9 months. I remember I were playing Humooreaque by Dvorak (my second attempt to this piece), Minuet by Bethoveen and some final pieces from 1st part of Górski viollin school like Gaik by Lutosławski (very fun and easy modern piece, perfect to practice dynamics) Minuet by Blumenthal and duo – Martini Gavotte. I really liked those pieces.
    I wish you are doing good. Tommorow I am flying to Dublin for 3 days to pass medical universities entry exams. I wish I will do Ok. I want to visit a nice violin shop in Dublin to try some violins different than mine. I didn’t have opportinity to play other violins.
    Comming back to the Swallowtail jig topic, I really enjoyed your performance. It’s one of my favourite fiddle tunes – i like road to Lisdoonvarna as well. Good luck with your fiddling.

    1. Hi Emma, thanks so much!! You are so right about my bow arm wrist. It should be more fluid. Today I started with some exercises to achieve that. It somehow works, but as soon as I play a piece, my wrist is stiff again. I guess it will take some time to get it to be fluid all the time. It’s on my TO DO list :-)

      Haha yes I do have a fun repertoire. I don’t have a teacher so I can pick any piece I want or prefer, that’s maybe the advantage. I’ve already chosen the songs to work on next month and they are even more fun. I’ll tell you all about it in a couple of days. ;-)

      Waaaaw I wish you so much good luck with your medical entry exam!! I hope you’ll do great! ;-)

      1. Can’t wait for hearing repertoire news. I am fan of most violin repertiore – this instrument causes the music to be gorgeous. ;) I will be picking my next repertiore at the end of the March. Can’t wait for new pieces. I am little bored with my current repertiore, but there are many things that need to be done. I am starting playing it with accompanist at Friday. I am super excited :) Looking forward a new expirience :D
        As it comes to my medical entry exam, I have done my best, but I have any idea how many poinst I scored. Results will be available in July. I have a problem – when I will move to Dublin I would need to quit lessons, but I will have an opportunity to join an orchestra. From the second side – here in Poland I will have individual lessons and duet. We will see what the future will bring me :D

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