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Lee M

United States
5695 posts
since 3/19/09

03/18/2017 13:01:44 View Lee M's MP3 Archive View Lee M's Photo Albums View Lee M's Blog Reply with Quote

Watch this video.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/high-school-students-start-club-to-make-sure-no-one-sits-alone-at-lunch_us_58c6cdb6e4b0ed71826e51b8

 I saw it on Facebook and here was my response:

This article made me cry.. No, not because I sat alone at lunch in school, but for another reason. When I was trying to learn to play FIDDLE music, I was bad.. REALLY BAD... Nobody wanted a rank beginner like me in their jam and I'd just spend time on the outside of music circles wishing I could fit in.. It was emotionally painful to feel so rejected by people who were doing something that I Really wanted to participate in. Well, Eventually I DID learn to play the fiddle, and not too badly either.. Now I Teach.. At festivals, when I see beginners (myself) standing on the outside of the music circle I Always invite them in..Even if they only know ONE tune, then I tell them that we'll play THEIR tune, and if they don't know ANY tunes, I take some time and give personal one-on-one lessons.. I don't want ANYONE to feel the rejection that I felt. I know that it hurts.. Damn. Now, I'm crying again.
 

Can YOU relate to this?


Edited by - Lee M on 03/18/2017 13:36:51

Dick Hauser

United States
3929 posts since 6/23/07

03/18/2017 17:02:56 Reply with Quote

Nah.  I just get mad at myself and let that attitude motivate me.  For me, anger is a better motivator than anything else.   

Years ago a guy running a jam stopped asking me to come to the small 5-6 person jam.  I worked really hard and became a pretty good banjo player.  And I also did not accept any of his offers to rejoin the jam.

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UsuallyPickinPlayers Union Member

United States
1657 posts since 10/1/08

03/18/2017 18:11:22 View UsuallyPickin's Blog Reply with Quote

If everybody that was really bad when they started playing fiddle quit, there wouldn't be very many fiddlers....... Sucking at something is the first step towards competency. There are always those folks that are less than helpful to your journey, and as you say pass them by and lend a hand to another down the road. Well done sir. R/

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carlbPlayers Union Member

United States
1946 posts since 2/2/08

03/19/2017 04:46:28View carlb's MP3 Archive View carlb's Photo Albums View carlb's Blog Reply with Quote

That's the value of large, inviting jams. It allows the beginners to play with others in a welcoming atmosphere with players that are better then them. Many of us have learned to play instruments that way. They can see and hear what others are doing and try to apply some of it to their own playing. A few beginners in a large jam will not be disruptive.

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boxbowPlayers Union Member

United States
2060 posts since 2/3/11

03/19/2017 05:25:39 View boxbow's Photo Albums View boxbow's Blog Reply with Quote

I remember.  It only mattered sometimes. 
 

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Fiddler

United States
3477 posts since 6/22/07

03/19/2017 07:38:07View Fiddler's MP3 Archive View Fiddler's Photo Albums View Fiddler's Blog Reply with Quote

I remember vividly the kindness others gave to me when I was starting. Geessh! Was I terrible and insensitive!! I was a real jerk!! But, these folks welcomed me and nurtured me. I am who I am today because of them. Since this experience was such an important part of my fiddling path, I am highly sensitive and give the same respect to other novices.

Large jams are great place to learn. Also, playing for dances. When I was learning, the music for dances was provided by LOCO - Local On Call Orchestra. Yes, it was a crazy large group - anywhere from 10-25 musicians!. This was an open band - anyone was welcome, especially beginners. The format was that the more experienced musicians were toward the front, beginners at the back. I started at the back. One of the experienced fiddlers would drop back and play with the newbies. (It was the same with guitar and banjo.) Occasionally, one of the newbies would be tapped to move to the front if one of the experienced musicians thought you were ready. That was exciting when it happened to me! It meant that I had achieved a certain level of skill. Talk about an ego boost!!

I find that usually the most insensitive musicians are those who think they are better than what they really are. They have probably been playing 5-10 years. They only want to play with experienced musicians. They have aspirations to be "famous" performers and have a strong drive to be on-stage - both a real one and an imagined one. Along my music journey I have encountered some fantastic jerks. I have absolutely NO interest in supporting them or their music career - ever.

Now, I think that for experienced musicians to solely focus on novices is huge sacrifice and does not satisfy their own music needs. Sometimes, it is ok to focus on yourself, but at the same time, you don't have to be a jerk to those who are learning. There is a time and place.

So, kindness goes a long way.

Lee, as we enter into the festival season, thank you for this reminder and offering your experiences.

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tpquinn

79 posts since 11/12/16

03/20/2017 16:50:06 Reply with Quote

Lee, I don't know you and I'm proud of you! And the rest of you who welcome others into the fiddle fellowship regardless of how well (or not) they play. One if my pet peeves is a person judging someone for their lack of knowledge, like they were born with the ability to do everything they are now capable of.  I can relate as I'm fairly uncoordinated and also dyslexic and if there was a kid to get picked last for anything, that was me. And now I'm 57 and learning to play the fiddle! Only because my teacher is very encouraging and patient. He's the kind that would welcome someone in.

Just a simple act of kindness to include a budding musician may make the difference as to whether someone continues to learn or puts it away with a feeling of low self-esteem.

Fiddler, LOCO sounds like a great experience. And Dick, I'd would never have gone back either.

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Lee M

United States
5695 posts since 3/19/09

03/20/2017 16:53:58View Lee M's MP3 Archive View Lee M's Photo Albums View Lee M's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by tpquinn
 

Lee, I don't know you and I'm proud of you! And the rest of you who welcome others into the fiddle fellowship regardless of how well (or not) they play. One if my pet peeves is a person judging someone for their lack of knowledge, like they were born with the ability to do everything they are now capable of.  I can relate as I'm fairly uncoordinated and also dyslexic and if there was a kid to get picked last for anything, that was me. And now I'm 57 and learning to play the fiddle! Only because my teacher is very encouraging and patient. He's the kind that would welcome someone in.

Just a simple act of kindness to include a budding musician may make the difference as to whether someone continues to learn or puts it away with a feeling of low self-esteem.

Fiddler, LOCO sounds like a great experience. And Dick, I'd would never have gone back either.


So, YES, you DO relate to the video.... We are not alone...!

 

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farmerjones

United States
1201 posts since 10/22/07

03/21/2017 06:01:29 View farmerjones's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

That vid is a great find Lee. Those kids show alot of character. Isn't it funny how as we age, some still need character. The trouble isn't the novice. There are three thousand people that begin to play violin/fiddle every day.  The trouble is the clique or hive mentality. As been said, the best fiddlers in every way, my experience have been the most accepting, classiest, show the most character. They are still students. They still learn and are eager to learn, and know things can be learned from novices, because they have a fresh view.  It takes stubborn perseverance. to learn fiddle. But that stubborn streak can end up being a set of blinders. Only OT. Only Irish. Only BG.  That's always been BS, to me. I've always said, i'll try Sinatra, Nine inch Nails, Buddy Holly, anything. And i try to emulate my mentors.

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tonyelder

United States
5260 posts since 8/7/09

03/21/2017 19:22:40View tonyelder's MP3 Archive View tonyelder's Photo Albums View tonyelder's Blog Reply with Quote

teaching... a great way to learn

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Old Scratch

Canada
99 posts since 6/22/16

03/22/2017 11:46:57 Reply with Quote

... on the other hand ...  it may be different where you are, but I find that a lot of the jams and sessions I go to these days are a little TOO welcoming.  The young newbies are given the same deference as the old hands, which is all very nice, but some of them seem to get the wrong message - not just that they are welcome, but that their playing is just as worthy of being listened to as that of someone who has devoted, say, forty years or more to their instrument.  Back in my day (never thought I'd be saying that!), the young learners tended to hold back, hoping to be good enough to be recognized. When the day came when one of the old dogs turned to you and asked you to play, it was quite a thrill.  You knew that finally all the hard work was paying off.  Now that I'm an old dog, I find I'm often stuck listening to one person after another trying to bumble through some tune that they half-know, and "you know, I haven't touched my [insert instrument of choice] since our last jam!" ... jeesh ....

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Lee M

United States
5695 posts since 3/19/09

03/22/2017 13:00:11View Lee M's MP3 Archive View Lee M's Photo Albums View Lee M's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch
 

... on the other hand ...  it may be different where you are, but I find that a lot of the jams and sessions I go to these days are a little TOO welcoming.  The young newbies are given the same deference as the old hands, which is all very nice, but some of them seem to get the wrong message - not just that they are welcome, but that their playing is just as worthy of being listened to as that of someone who has devoted, say, forty years or more to their instrument.  Back in my day (never thought I'd be saying that!), the young learners tended to hold back, hoping to be good enough to be recognized. When the day came when one of the old dogs turned to you and asked you to play, it was quite a thrill.  You knew that finally all the hard work was paying off.  Now that I'm an old dog, I find I'm often stuck listening to one person after another trying to bumble through some tune that they half-know, and "you know, I haven't touched my [insert instrument of choice] since our last jam!" ... jeesh ....


Great post.. My fiddle playing daughter cautions me from inviting too many beginners into a jam.. I have come to agree that my enthusiasm gets the best of a jam from time to time.. I often find myself trying to exit, gracefully, a jam that I've started because it has gotten so large that I can't even hear myself play...This year, at Clifftop, I'll still offer free lessons, but will also try to establish a beginner's jam where ONLY beginners are participating.. That should do two things.  One, the beginners will get a chance to meet others of similar skill levels (lifelong friendships can be formed in jams like that) and two, it'll keep them from overwhelming other jams.. You know what they say, "Be this madness, there is method to it.'"

 

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tpquinn

79 posts since 11/12/16

03/22/2017 16:05:53 Reply with Quote

That's one of the problems we have in our society these days; a lack of respect for our 'elders', where 'children' don't interrupt 'adults' uninvited.

'Elders' and 'Adults' = experienced fiddlers

'Children' = much newer to the fiddle

I'm an egalitarian and believe everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others. They should be invited to the jam, but not necessarily to play. Easier to post than do, of course. I wish you luck with it.

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Old Scratch

Canada
99 posts since 6/22/16

03/22/2017 16:13:46 Reply with Quote

There is a widespread tendency to assume, when it comes to jams, sessions, festivals, etc., that 'bigger is better' - organizers will seem to feel that success can be measured in numbers of bodies.  I prefer to play with two or three compatible musicians, rather than with twenty or thirty of all different levels, genres, interests, and personality types.  And I prefer small festivals with some local acts and one or two mid-market 'big names' .....

(Cross-posted).


Edited by - Old Scratch on 03/22/2017 16:14:56

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farmerjones

United States
1201 posts since 10/22/07

03/23/2017 05:40:44 View farmerjones's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I think it matters not your age, everybody deserves a chance. A start.   I thank Lee for giving them safe harbor. yes

If you're 92 years old, you're a pup to a 95 year old. I also known some for 20-30 years and they still suck.  20-30 years of an untuned guitar. Or 20-30 years of bad timing. They're out there. You have to ask yourself, how bad do you want to jam? Weather or not you wish to contend with the situation.


Edited by - farmerjones on 03/23/2017 05:41:24

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tonyelder

United States
5260 posts since 8/7/09

03/23/2017 06:07:55View tonyelder's MP3 Archive View tonyelder's Photo Albums View tonyelder's Blog Reply with Quote

not every jam needs to be open, but there needs to be open jams

if you want the jam you go to - to be a certain way - and can't find one - start one, and let everyone know what to expect.

and by all means - respect your "elders"      ; - )



 


Edited by - tonyelder on 03/23/2017 06:08:54

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Fiddler

United States
3477 posts since 6/22/07

03/23/2017 06:21:14View Fiddler's MP3 Archive View Fiddler's Photo Albums View Fiddler's Blog Reply with Quote

Mquote:
Originally posted by tonyelder
 

not every jam needs to be open, but there needs to be open jams

if you want the jam you go to - to be a certain way - and can't find one - start one, and let everyone know what to expect.

and by all means - respect your "elders"      ; - )

 


GROOANNNNN  ...... And it's not even Monday.  (Sorry, Tony that is just too BAD)

 

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farmerjones

United States
1201 posts since 10/22/07

03/23/2017 09:06:22 View farmerjones's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

if you want the jam you go to - to be a certain way - and can't find one - start one, and let everyone know what to expect. 


But, but, but, there's the "no jam raiding" rule.  So one can't directly steel a player from another jam. But if there's no jam in progress. . . .well, catch as catch can.

 

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Old Scratch

Canada
99 posts since 6/22/16

03/23/2017 11:40:29 Reply with Quote

I have to steel myself before I go to a jam these days ... !

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tonyelder

United States
5260 posts since 8/7/09

03/23/2017 14:05:13View tonyelder's MP3 Archive View tonyelder's Photo Albums View tonyelder's Blog Reply with Quote

Quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
 
quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

if you want the jam you go to - to be a certain way - and can't find one - start one, and let everyone know what to expect. 


But, but, but, there's the "no jam raiding" rule.  So one can't directly steel a player from another jam. But if there's no jam in progress. . . .well, catch as catch can.

 



I know this was said in jest...  but I had a semi-serious situation with a good friend over this sort of thing. I was accused of "stealing" a banjo player for a new band we were forming. There were some very hard feelings over the whole thing.

No one stole anything or anyone. He was tired of playing the old tradition BG tunes, and wanted to stretch out and take on some more contemporary songs and arrangements. He was looking for the same thing we were. He could have played in both bands - if he had wanted to. I did.

She knew (deep down) that I was right. But I do understand the emotional let down when it seems things are falling apart around you - especially when you feel you've invested so much of your "self" into the work. But at the time BG was still fairly strong where we were in Alaska.

Here in the Memphis area - BG jams have pretty much disappeared - relative to what it used to be. Mainly, because the good players got tired of playing the same tunes year after year (or so I've been told). What can you do to keep jams fresh and exciting for everyone?

And old time music in Memphis is even more rare - never has been strong. There are literally - only a few of us. But they are good musicians - and I'm really grateful for that.

Strange thing....  My wife talked me into going with her to a ukulele jam Tuesday night. There were over 50 folks playing uke's. And during the jam - they were announcing other jams in the area on other nights - 3 nights a week.

HA!   ...go figure.

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Fiddler

United States
3477 posts since 6/22/07

03/23/2017 15:00:38View Fiddler's MP3 Archive View Fiddler's Photo Albums View Fiddler's Blog Reply with Quote

It's the same in the DFW area. Ukes are in right now. They are unusual. They are tropical and exotic. There is a "lore" that goes back to the 20s. On top of that, they are easy to play, lightweight and inexpensive.  (I wonder how many people wear straw, boater hats, white wing-tip shoes, bow ties and racoon coats while playing??)

Mountain dulcimers had their heyday several years ago. Same with tenor banjos and mandolins. Same phenomenon.

I feel that most of the people who are part of these "trends" are doing it more for the social aspects than for the music. This is NOT a criticism, just that it is serving their needs. I'm glad folks have found a creative outlet and people who support them.

Yes, jams need to evolve if they are to keep the interest and needs of the players. Otherwise, people will move to another jam or form their own. I know of several bands that formed out of jam sessions for exactly this reason. Isn't a "band" essentially nothing more than a closed jam that occasionally gets gigs?

Just wait for the next shiney apple. Who knows, maybe open-back banjos will be in.

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Lee M

United States
5695 posts since 3/19/09

03/23/2017 15:28:22View Lee M's MP3 Archive View Lee M's Photo Albums View Lee M's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder
 
Quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
 
quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

if you want the jam you go to - to be a certain way - and can't find one - start one, and let everyone know what to expect. 


But, but, but, there's the "no jam raiding" rule.  So one can't directly steel a player from another jam. But if there's no jam in progress. . . .well, catch as catch can.

 



I know this was said in jest...  but I had a semi-serious situation with a good friend over this sort of thing. I was accused of "stealing" a banjo player for a new band we were forming. There were some very hard feelings over the whole thing.

No one stole anything or anyone. He was tired of playing the old tradition BG tunes, and wanted to stretch out and take on some more contemporary songs and arrangements. He was looking for the same thing we were. He could have played in both bands - if he had wanted to. I did.

She knew (deep down) that I was right. But I do understand the emotional let down when it seems things are falling apart around you - especially when you feel you've invested so much of your "self" into the work. But at the time BG was still fairly strong where we were in Alaska.

Here in the Memphis area - BG jams have pretty much disappeared - relative to what it used to be. Mainly, because the good players got tired of playing the same tunes year after year (or so I've been told). What can you do to keep jams fresh and exciting for everyone?

And old time music in Memphis is even more rare - never has been strong. There are literally - only a few of us. But they are good musicians - and I'm really grateful for that.

Strange thing....  My wife talked me into going with her to a ukulele jam Tuesday night. There were over 50 folks playing uke's. And during the jam - they were announcing other jams in the area on other nights - 3 nights a week.

HA!   ...go figure.


!!!!...Time goes on.. Things change, but I'd just didn't see that coming... Ukes EVERYWHERE..

 

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Fiddler

United States
3477 posts since 6/22/07

03/23/2017 16:49:11View Fiddler's MP3 Archive View Fiddler's Photo Albums View Fiddler's Blog Reply with Quote

Will we need a Uke Defense Policy? ... Or a Uke Disaster Plan?  What about anit-uke deployments? 

The humanity of it all!!!   Do we need to gather in the Park and protest?

.... But then we endured Tiny Tim and Miss Vickie

Sing along now and in falsetto voice ... with uke! (click the link)

Tiptoe by the window
By the window, that is where I'll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me.

.....

For all us aging codgers, sorry for the earworm!

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Lee M

United States
5695 posts since 3/19/09

03/23/2017 17:00:52View Lee M's MP3 Archive View Lee M's Photo Albums View Lee M's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler
 

Will we need a Uke Defense Policy? ... Or a Uke Disaster Plan?  What about anit-uke deployments? 

The humanity of it all!!!   Do we need to gather in the Park and protest?

.... But then we endured Tiny Tim and Miss Vickie

Sing along now and in falsetto voice ... with uke! (click the link)

Tiptoe by the window
By the window, that is where I'll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me.

.....

For all us aging codgers, sorry for the earworm!


I read a lot about Tiny TIm years ago.. He was an outstanding person. ..and I was impressed by him.

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tonyelder

United States
5260 posts since 8/7/09

03/24/2017 05:49:05View tonyelder's MP3 Archive View tonyelder's Photo Albums View tonyelder's Blog Reply with Quote

Next, there will be a Uke Hangout.

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farmerjones

United States
1201 posts since 10/22/07

03/24/2017 06:16:29 View farmerjones's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder
 

Next, there will be a Uke Hangout.


One of the signs of the apocalypse.   smiley

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