Lorrie Gunn - children's lessons & play-along videos expert

How to Play Pop Goes the Weasel

Learn how to play another popular children's song with your violin

In this video, Lorrie teaches you how to play "Pop Goes the Weasel" with a surprising acting performance!

Released on June 2, 2021

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hello, fellow violin lovers. Please join me today to learn how to play a really fun song called Pop Goes the Weasel.

Now, before we get started, I would like to warn you that things have become pretty lean here around the studio, and we've had to take on a few sponsors. So, please bear with us through our announcements. And should you make it to the end of the video, there will be a special surprise for you.

Let's get started.

The first part of Pop Goes the Weasel, we play two notes on the A string with no fingers. O, O then first finger down. One, one. Then two on the A. Rotate your bow to the E string no fingers, back to the two on the A, and then zero fingers.

Okay. That's the first little section. Let's do it one more time. O, O, one, one, two, E, two, O. Okay.

The next part. O, O, one, three, two, O, all on the A string. So, let's do that. O, O, one, three, two, O.

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Very, very good. So, I'm going to repeat the first part again that we played on the A string. So, two A's. O, O, one, one, two, E, back to the two, O. Now, here's the part in the song where the words are 'pop goes the weasel,' so we're going to play a first finger on the E string for 'pop' one. That's right. Now, move your first finger over to the A string and play that.

One. Three fingers down. Lift up the third finger, play two. Zero.

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Now the second part of the song is going to be a little bit higher up on the E string, and we're even going to use the fourth finger right here. So the words are 'penny for a spool of thread, a penny for a needle, that's the way the money goes, pop goes the weasel.' So, let's start with that penny part. We're going to put our third finger down on the E string. Okay, here we go. Okay. We play three and another three. One, a three, two. Here's where you put your four down, four, two, O, O, [laughter] very good. Another O, three, three, one, three, two, O.

Excellent. Now we're going to move over to the eighth string and play three, two, three, go to the E string one, two, three, ha. That was, the part that was 'that's the way the money goes.' And now we add a 'pop, goes the weasel' to the ending and that's where we go on one on the E string, one, over to the A string. One, three, two, O.

Hello. I am Eloise here at the Weasel Preservation Society, and we would like to remind you that weasels are just wonderful creatures that love to eat. They eat all day and they chew, oh boy, do they chew. Oh, stop that now! Oh! So do not forget your weasels. And please always be aware of the Weasel Preservation Society.

So, that is the entire fun song. It was popular in England and also in America in the 17 and 1800s, people would dance to this song. Let me show you a really fun thing you can do for the part of the song that goes pop, okay, and what it's called is left-hand pizzicato. So what you want to do is put your first finger down. I'll show you really close on the E string, and then you're going to use your four to pluck the string. Pluck! [laughter] So, when we get to that part of the song, you would simply lift your bow off the string, pluck, go to the A string and play the rest: 'goes the weasel.'

Well, thank you so much for playing along with me and learning this song. I hope that you have fun practicing it and perfecting it.

If you want, there is a free sheet music download for the music in this video from virtualsheetmusic.com.
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