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    #1

    Smile stumbled over their fingering

    Hello. Would you please tell me what the underlined sentence means in the context below.
    Does it mean a few kids mocked Mr. Quinn's way of playing with their fingers?
    Thank you.


    from A Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba----
    When Grandpa Chase wasn't sellin', he was sawing away on his fiddle.
    Mr. Quinn, Piran's dad, plucked like wildfire on his claw hammer banjo.
    A few kids stumbled over their fingering, trying to keep up.
    Mom sang along to "I'll Fly Away" and "Rosewood Casket"

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: stumbled over their fingering

    Not mocked. "Stumbled over" refers to ineptness in trying to keep up.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: stumbled over their fingering

    When you play a stringed musical instruments the various positions you place your fingers on the string to achieve different notes are called fingerings.

    Some of the kids were playing (an unspecified) instrument, struggling to maintain the same tempo (speed) as Mr. Quinn.

    'Plucked like wildfire' means Mr. Quinn was playing very fast. It was hard for the less experienced kids to keep up.

    "I'll Fly Away" is a song with a relatively fast tempo to begin with, and proficient musicians will often play it even faster. You can watch the fingerings and plucking of Alan Jackson playing this song here. His left hand, up on the neck of the guitar, is fingering the strings. His right hand, over the sound hole, is plucking the strings.

    Here's a nice video simultaneously showing the the plucking and fingering of the same song on a banjo.
    Last edited by Skrej; 01-Sep-2015 at 02:30. Reason: typos, and typos

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: stumbled over their fingering

    That's what I thought. Do you have another question?

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