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Playing Since: 1958

Experience Level: Purty Good

cornfed has made 16 recent additions to Fiddle Hangout 

[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: retired

Gender: Male

Age: 68

My Instruments:
fiddle I thought that this was for that. But.. My fiddle is a Leon Bernadel shop instrument from 1933. It is one of those that might be described as a step up student instrument. It is red. It sounds red, or maybe maroon. I like it.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Tommy Peoples, Liz Carrol,Jean Carignan, Tommy Jarrel, Garry Harrison/Indian Creek Delta Boys, Volo Bogtrotters, Allen Street,

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 10/17/2010
Last Visit 9/28/2015


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 cornfed replied to topic 'Collage of Hangout Fiddlers' 9/25/2015 4:28:27 PM

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 cornfed replied to topic 'Do you view jams differently than you did, say, ten years ago?' 9/17/2015 7:25:44 AM

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 cornfed commented on blog entry 'Wander by My Woodshed' 9/15/2015 5:41:05 PM

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 cornfed commented on a video 'Eadle Alley' 9/9/2015 6:27:57 AM

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 cornfed replied to topic 'Why don't you post your music' 9/6/2015 5:47:21 PM

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 cornfed replied to topic 'Mike Seeger quote: The difference between Old Time and Bluegrass' 9/6/2015 5:41:00 PM

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 cornfed uploaded a photo '2015 Urbana Sweetcorn festival c-4a booth' 9/5/2015 12:12:33 PM

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 cornfed replied to topic 'My close touch with fame' 8/26/2015 7:21:41 AM

Musings on playing fiddle and a "meditative (?) state"

Saturday, November 06, 2010 @11:17:53 AM

I have been thinking about this topic for a long time, and thought that maybe it is time to put pen to paper (metaphorically, of course).

Do any of you experience a "non-consciousness" while playing? Let me explain what I mean. When you are learning a technique or a new tune, you are consiously working. " I have to move the bow like this." As you develop the technique or tune, you don't have to concentrate quite as hard. When you have truly learned it, you don't really think about it any more, except to think how do I start this off. There is a mental state even beyond that, in which something in your brain that you have no control over, begins to subtly change what you have taught yourself into something that is different and reflects YOUR tastes and skills and experience ( and maybe, in my case laziness). The more time (precious commodity) I spend "just playing", the more what I am playing becomes distinctly "mine". It is still the same tune, everyone can recognize it, but it is different from what I set out to learn in the first place. When I try to revisit what is the basic tune, it is very difficult to do, because it dosen't seem quite right.

I have found that when I am playing "socially" (jamming) I have to be careful not to sink too deeply into that mental state because when I am there I can't adapt to what others are doing. Conversly, I think that my best playing happens when I am "there"

What do Y'all think?? Does any of this apply to you? Or, am I a candidate for the funny house?

4 comments on “Musings on playing fiddle and a "meditative (?) state"”

Rene Says:
Saturday, November 06, 2010 @3:55:12 PM

I've been told I'm mental :) I play best when I slip my mind in neutral and let my fingers loose, it's hard to do at times but that is when "me" comes out in the song.
bj Says:
Sunday, November 07, 2010 @9:13:23 AM

Oh yeah, I can relate. I'm just now getting to that point with certain tunes (I've been playing just over three years) and can now actually talk during a tune. It has to be a tune I know really well, but if someone now asks me a question while I'm playing, I can answer it and keep playing. I'm not quite to the place you talk about but I am at the beginning stages of it. I can sometimes feel what you're talking about, or at least the edges of it, so maybe another year or so . . .
cheekee Says:
Sunday, November 07, 2010 @2:14:43 PM

is that the same as when you zone out, your body continues to play, then you realize you don't know what song your playing or if you have to play that A part a second time yet or not and then you make a mistake as you zing back into reality?
cornfed Says:
Sunday, November 07, 2010 @4:46:47 PM

Yeah, Cheekee, I think the two are certainly related

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