Piano Can Be a Great Source of Inspiration for Fiddlers

Tapping into Texas boogie by way of New Orleans R&B legend Dr. John

Boogie-woogie, and other similar styles of New Orleans–based piano music, is a style that I love. It was a musical craze that swept the nation at one time. In fact, the first Blue Note Records jazz release featured Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons playing four-hands boogie-woogie piano. Even Stuff Smith, the great jazz violinist, co-wrote a collection of boogie-woogie tunes published by M.M. Cole in 1944 as the Stuff Smith Boogie Woogie songbook.?

Still on the surface, it may seem strange that a violinist is studying boogie-woogie piano. Most of the music I love to listen to and perform was not developed or played by a violinist, so in order to play the music I love, I need to learn the vocabulary from the musicians and the instruments that spawned the original style. I learn the music by playing it on the keyboard and then transferring the essence of it to the violin.

Dear Visitor,

This article, "Piano Can Be a Great Source of Inspiration for Fiddlers," is part of the Strings Archive, which you can access with a paid site subscription.

If you have a paid subscription, you are seeing this message because you have not logged in.

What do you want to do?

Log in using my current paid subscription account.

Subscribe now and get our best offer.

*This article appeared in Strings December 2010
  • 1

More must read articles