This post is a continuation from two previous articles on bringing Irish jigs to life on the fiddle.

See post one for basic bowing technique for jigs

Post two for more ideas on bowing variations for jigs

Which brings us here to a variation stuffed, tastefully ornamented, double-stopping, triplet-crunching version of The Killaloe Boat.

Bar one has a couple of double stops and makes a good strong start to the tune.  They shouldn’t be played too heavily.  The bow is mainly rooted on the A string and just drops onto the E note on the D string quickly.

In bar two there is another way of dealing with the crotchet plus quaver.  Just get rid of the quaver.  This may not always work, but is worth trying out.

The reversing of the bowing pattern occurs in bar 4, and reverts back for the start of the next bar

In bars 5 and 7, an interesting technique is used.  It is another way of breaking up the one-two-three, one-two-three rhythm with the emphasis always on the 1st and 4th beats.  The two middle notes of the bar are tied together to make a single note with the duration of two quavers.

In bars 9 and 10, I’ve included a couple of rolls.  These can be inserted at the on dotted crotchets in the first half or second half of a bar, although here the examples are both in the first half.  For example, one could be included on the G in bar two.  See a) below.  Also the first bar could have the roll on A during the second half of the bar instead – see b).

Bars 13 and 15 – The same idea here as bars 5 and 7, but with pauses added to further emphasise the accented off-beat.  For the pause, either lift the bow off the strings for a more forceful subsequent note, or just stop the bow on the strings.

At bar 17, a roll on the high A makes a good start to the B part of this tune.

Triplets have been included in bars 18 and 19.  Well, they don’t exactly look like triplets, but they sound pretty similar!  The effect is the same as a triplet – a crunching percussive sort of sound.  In order to accommodate the usual down-up-down triplet movement, there are two ways of including them.  If they occur within an up-down-up series of quavers, you need to start with the up-bow quaver and then do the triplet as in bar 18.  If they occur within a down-up-down set of quavers, then you start right away with the triplet as in bar 19.

In bar 21, there’s a cut situated between two tied A notes.  The cut serves to mark the second A.  Without it, it would sound like a single, longer A note, like the tied A notes in bar one of bar 5.  This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, as in bars 5, 7, 13 and 15.

At the end of bar 24, there is a G note that slides into A at the beginning of bar 25.  You need to play this G with the third (ring) finger, and not the usual second (middle) finger.  Then, when the slide is complete, you will be in the correct position.  The third finger is not used to playing G on the E string.  Don’t worry about getting it perfectly in tune.  The start point of a slide is far less important than the finishing point, when it comes to intonation.

Bar 25 includes a slurred group of 3 quavers, and also a variation during the second half of the bar 28.  The usual dotted crotchet is converted into 3 quavers.

In bar 29, there is a double-stop containing open A and high A.  The open A just needs to be dropped onto quickly.  The main note is high A, the lower one just gives a little extra emphasis.

The final bar 32 finishes on a unison double stop involving open A and A on the D string.  It’s nice to slide up to that D string A using the third (ring) finger.  This is a really good way of ending a tune.

I hope my ideas have been useful and will help you find your own bowings and variations.  Feel free to experiment with your own ideas.  The ideas in this article are just the way that I would approach this tune.  On another day I would come up with different ideas.  None of it is set in stone.  So take from it what you want, as well as looking at other sources, such as recordings.