top of page

A little bit of Galax (1995)

One of the tunes David teaches his class to play Galax-style was Old Joe Clark. To get them started, he tells them,

Let’s get a little fiddle call ... Okay, it’s a good time to talk about fiddle calls. That’s what sets the tempo; in the Galax style, you’ll start on the second fret and slide into that fourth fret ... Alright, here we go (he launches them into Old Joe Clark....).

Then, he explains:

Fiddling is having fun, doing quirky things with tunes and generally just trying to improve the quality of life on this planet! (laughter) by having fun with it. And the Galax style dulcimer, they come from a real good fiddling tradition down there so the better old time fiddlers such as Glen Smith .... if you ever get a chance, if you ever pass through that part of the country, stop. And in the barber shops and the hardware store, there’s people picking, on Saturday, in fact every day, there’s people picking, little kids, just tearing it up on the fiddle. People still play there. It’s amazing. It’s like no place else, and they recently put up a sign outside of town that says “The Capital of Old Time Music” or something, because all of a sudden they’ve realized, they’re different there.

I couldn't find film from the 70s on Youtube, when David first attended Galax, but I found this from a few years after David's classes in 1991. If you've never attended, but you want to get a feel for why he fell in love with the fiddler's convention, take a peek at this clip from a show called, "Amazing America".

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page