Hi, I’m Mitch Reed…welcome to my vlog! This week I am going to talk about how you can take some Christmas songs and give them a Cajun flavor.
So, very often times, I don’t know if this has happened to you yet, but you might bring your fiddle to a Christmas party this time of the year and people ask you to play a Christmas song, and if you mainly play Cajun music or Creole music, you might not know any. So, I wanted to just show you how you can learn a few of the real simple classics, just give them a little shuffle bowing or a Cajun rhythm and then you can kind of have fun with them. It’s like you’re playing a Cajun tune with a Christmas theme. And you can make people really excited. When I have done this in the past at Christmas parties, of course late at night and I have people who have been drinking and things go a little easier you know, but people go crazy when you do this. So it’s a lot of fun and it’s something that I love also teaching kids; how to take Christmas songs and give them a Cajun flavor or a Creole sound or something like that.
So let’s look at that. Let’s just start with Silent Night. So what I thought I could do is I’ll play it just straight kind of and then I’ll give it the- this one is a waltz, so I’ll give it a Cajun-waltz style. So we have Silent Night…[1:35]
Alright! So let’s give it more of a Cajun-waltz style. So here we go…[2:30] Alright! You can have fun with that one. So, Silent Night Cajun Waltz.
This is one that I teach a lot of the kids and they love this. You could take Jingle Bells and really all you have to do is give it a shuffle, kind of a Cajun shuffle. So Cajun shuffle to me is a little bit more laid back than maybe a bluegrass shuffle. So maybe a little bit slower we could say…[4:18] So something like…[4:19]
Alright! So that one’s a lot of fun. Let’s take another one, this is one I really like a lot. It’s called God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and it’s kind of cool. I’m going to play it in D-minor because I’m tuned down but it almost has, like, kind of maybe a Mardi Gras song feel to it or a Je M’endors or something like that. So let’s just see what happens. So I’m going to start on that D-minor chord…[5:44] …also with the shuffle…
Wow! Okay! I don’t even know where I went there. So yeah, that’s a really fun one to play. So the straight tune is…[7:24]
So really all I did was add the fiddle shuffle or a Cajun shuffle…[8:06]
Much like the…[8:15]…Cajun Mardi Gras song.
So these are all fun tunes that you can play at a party, Christmas party, or just play for yourself and your family at home. It’s fun to take a song that you’ve heard your whole life and then try to make it sound Cajun. I think it’s a good exercise as a Cajun fiddler or a Creole fiddler.
So I’ll do one more. The last one, I learned it from Michael Doucet and I really like how he does this one and it’s the tune It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. I’ll play it straight and then I’ll play it with the Cajun style…[9:00] Alright! So let’s give it that Cajun waltz again. So…[9:49]
Alright! Thanks so much for joining me today. I just thought this would be fun; it’s the beginning of the Christmas holidays. This can be a good exercise too as a musician, to try to take tunes and put them into a certain style, a Cajun style, tunes that you grew up hearing. So, hope you had fun, I hope you enjoyed it, I hope that was inspirational in some kind of way…it may have been comical, too!
So check me out on my website mitchreedmusiclessons.com, feel free to send me a line, any requested tunes even for the vlogs, any ideas or anything like that. And yeah! Stay inspired, keep on fiddling, have a happy holiday and I’ll see you soon. Thanks so much.