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Playing Since: 2005
Experience Level: Novice
[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]
Occupation: science teacher
1. Czech Strad copy from Bob Smakula's shop. Cheaply made, but got me started.
2. Unknown make (stamped "Germany") bought from concertina maker Rich Morse. Has about 20 repaired cracks, and needs to be set up one of these days. Real fiddlers tell me it's pretty darn good, and I like it a lot.
3. Auction beater Nippon fiddle to fix one of these days.
That will take a lot more space than we have here! For 9 years I was folk radio DJ on the Purdue U. radio station. What fun!
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Last Visit 7/23/2017
How I started fiddle (finally)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 @5:22:13 PM
|I won't clog up the Forum with my musical story, but will place it here. I hung around with fiddlers in northwestern Indiana all through the 1990s. They taught me many tunes, first on dulcimer and than on anglo concertina, which I can play reasonably well now. Yes, I heard many great players at the Indiana Fiddler's Gathering, our own Mr. C. Smith among them! Also Liz Carroll, Johnny Frigo, etc. I got to know emcee Dave Samuelson when we worked as volunteers on the folk radio show at WBAA/Purdue U., and he taught me a lot about music.|
It was Cajun music that first brought me in...at Augusta Cajun week in 1997 I got the bug and bought the cheapest fixed-up fiddle Bob Smakula had in stock in his shop up the road from Elkins, W.Va. I diddled with it and did a few short workshops, but no one I counted as a friend among the fiddlers at home would give me lessons.
Finally, in 2005 work had brought me to the Pittsburgh area, and I took Mark Tamsula's class through the local folk society. It was fun, and I took a few private lessons from him also. This year work finally let up enough for me to take another class. I had also got a better fiddle that is easier to play (though it needs a real setup), and that has made a huge difference. So I am really in my first year of playing when you add up bow-to-fiddle time. I'm after a good bow next, and will post about that hunt.
on “How I started fiddle (finally)”
Thursday, June 19, 2008 @7:58:19 AM
Hopefully you don't run into the walls I did! Though my walls have clownfaces painted on them (and it's usually me wearing the clown makeup . . . )
I'm on the other side of the state. There's a jam in the middle next month that I'm planning to be at. It's called BillFest II, and info is on this site.
Hope to see you there. Maybe we can find the beginner's circle and make awful music together!
Thursday, June 19, 2008 @1:35:00 PM
Good story Ken. I know what you mean about trying to find a fiddle instructor. I live right off of Purdue's campus and fiddlers just arent here. I will be going to the fiddlers gathering next week. Crazy they have a fiddlers gathering here, but no one here sales fidles or teaches fiddlin. I did find one guy who I have had training with twice but I am not real comfortable with his instruction. Oh well, glad to see you are back at it.
Thursday, June 19, 2008 @4:55:01 PM
Not sure how much of a drive it'd be for you, but there's a sweet little festival with lots of jamming near Bradford, PA in early August. http://www.hotafest.com/index.php?home
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @7:08:41 PM
Thanks bj and FiddleJammer! Local festivals are a boon to any of us. May you all find musical opportunities nearby!
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