Cotton-Eyed Joe

FIDDLE LEVEL ONE

Welcome to Cotton-Eyed Joe Fiddle Lesson Level One.  Before you start the lesson, please watch your instructor, Jim Wood perform the song so you understand what you should be able to play at completion of this song level.

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02:02

Cotton-Eyed Joe — “Cotton-Eyed Joe” has remained one of the most popular fiddle tunes of all time, and it roots go well back into the early nineteenth century.  It was a standard in early minstrelsy, Southern string bands all played it, and it still lives on as the most famous of the Texas dance hall fiddle tunes.  An African American folk tale tells of a slave named Joe, who, upon the losing his only son in an accident, grieved to the point where his hair and eyes both turned solid white.  After a few months had passed, Joe witnessed his dead son’s body and the tree trunk from which his casket was made as they morphed together and magically became a fiddle. When Joe played the fiddle, he could hear the voice of his deceased son singing, and he was able to face his grief and begin to live again.

 

Below you may download the sheet music that Jim is playing on the fiddle.  Just click the Sheet Music Icon and print.  You can also download the guitar chords and piano accompaniment by selecting the appropriate icon and print.

Cotton-Eyed Joe

Sheet Music

Cotton-Eyed Joe

Guitar Chords

Cotton-Eyed Joe

Piano Accompaniment

In this video Jim will provide step by step instructions to play this song.  Remember to use the video AB looping feature to repeat any sections of the song and refer to the sheet music! See the short video player instruction link to the right to learn how.

Lesson

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05:49

The below fiddle track is the song played by Jim to allow you to play along.  Remember, you can slow the tempo in the lower left side to progress slowly and build up speed.  Reminder to be sure to reset the speed to 1X when leaving the video.  The music is displayed and scrolls as need, so maximize your screen for best visibility.  You are now on your way to fiddling!

Fiddle Track

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01:56

 

 

You are now ready to play along with Jim backing you up on the instruments!  Again, slow the speed to get started.  When you can play along with Jim cleanly and in tune at the speed of 1X, you are ready to proceed to the next lesson!  Congratulations.  Remember to set the speed back to 1X prior to leaving the lesson.

Backing Track

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01:57

Congratulations!  You have successfully completed the Level 1 Lesson!  You are ready to learn the Nashville Shuffle bowing technique in Level 2.

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