Hi, I’m Mitch Reed. My vlog this week is on how to make things sound Cajun… what kind of ingredients or spices to add to any standard melody and give it a Cajun style. So that’s a good question. A lot of people have been asking about that and so we can use a couple of real standard tunes as an example. I think what gives Cajun or Creole fiddle its sound is slides for one thing. Of course, taking a note and sliding to it.[0:33]
The other thing is the double strings. It kind of has that lonesome sound, especially what we call the unisons, which is the same note but One of the notes is you slide to meet the other notes for something like this [0:53] or[0:55].
So the things like that you hear it in other fiddle styles, old-timey fiddle, bluegrass, things like that, but its a huge part of the Cajun and Creole sound so if we just take a standard melody we can take its the holiday season we can take +++++++ [1:22]
It’s a Scottish song, so let’s give it some Cajun. First thing I would do is double the strings so… [1:55] You can do an octave right there, and I’m totally taking this from Michael Doucet who did this on the BeauSoliel Christmas record. I was so impressed with that how he gave a Scottish tune a real Cajun sound. he made it sound like an old Cajun tune if you’d never heard it before. So those are the things there like the double [2:27]
That’s an octave there[2:38] first finger on the A string, the fourth finger on the E[2:42] Alright, so again I did a couple slides [3:18] and then [3:21] with that doubled sound [3:29] that is one of the main things I think that really identifies cajun music.
Mr. Dewey Balfa always said that when people would ask him, you know, “what are you doing on the fiddle that makes it sound like that that other fiddlers aren’t doing?” And the first thing Dewey would say was “I’m always doubling the strings. If I’m playing the melody on one string then I’m catching an open string.” And that’s part of the Cajun sound. it’s a heavy drone sound. and they do it in other styles of fiddle but in Cajun music, it’s really, really a big part of the sound. So that’s the first thing, and definitely some slides.
So let’s take another one… let’s take something real standard like maybe Amazing Grace… I’m losing the melody… I’m hearing Silent night instead of Amazing GraceI’ve been practicing Christmas songs obviously… so let’s take Silent Night; it’s Christmas time so… 
So nothing wrong with playing it like that. It’s a really nice sound, but if you want to give it a Cajun sound [5:45] lets basically turn it into a Cajun waltz because it’s in 3/4. But the thing about Cajun waltz is it has a shuffle too. It has a continuous kind of bow rhythm. When I think of a traditional Cajun waltz, I always think of this rhythm.[6:01]
So there again taking those double strings, some sliding unisons, and just some slides[6:51], I did a kind of interesting slide [6:55] stuff like that gave it some blues. so then all of a sudden you have what sounds like a Cajun waltz. I’ll leave you with one. this is another fun one you can take. a lot of people ask me about Jingle Bells. It’s Christmas time and… Really the thing with Jingle Bells is to give it a shuffle.[7:22] You know if you give it that shuffle [7:29] that’ll also turn it into a fiddle tune so yeah let’s end with this one [7:45]
So I’m just doing a little Cajun so anyway, just throwing you some examples out there just what you can do around this holiday season. Have some fun, Cajunize some tunes, it doesn’t have to be Christmas
I think the one that’s a good one too, is You are My Sunshine, whatever key you want to do it in.  So Cajunize that, again that shuffle bowing 
F and again, those same things like doing  doing some octaves, sliding some unisons, kind of hit that cajun bounce your bow, not bounce your bow but kind of find that rhythmic ++++++++++++ so it’s a lot of fun.
Have fun with the fiddle. That’s how you keep loving it, you can have days with it where it drives you crazy. Definitely, have fun, don’t take it too seriously. Stay inspired, play every day- that’s the key. Hope this gave you a little bit of inspiration and some ideas.
So thanks for joining me today and hope to see you pretty soon! If you want to check out my website MitchReedMusicLessons.com, I will break down some Cajun Christmas stuff and there’s a ton of Cajun and Creole tunes for beginner levels an intermediate levels. Alright, thank you so much! Have a wonderful day.