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jefferylong

United States
751 posts
since 3/19/09

04/16/2017 05:02:10 View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

I need some tips on Contest Fiddling. Recently, I entered the Senior Fiddler's Contest @ a local event. Best I can figure, out of 7 senior fiddler's, I came in either dead last or next to dead last, and 2 of the 3 judges were friends of mine? NEED HELP PLEASE!


groundhogpeggy

9522 posts since 9/23/09

04/16/2017 18:46:21View groundhogpeggy's MP3 Archive View groundhogpeggy's Photo Albums View groundhogpeggy's Blog Reply with Quote

Wow, that's hard to believe...you must really have some great fiddlers in your area...I've seen you playing the daylights outta your fiddle on YouTube...maybe you just played the wrong stuff at the contest????  I hear they are very picky about what you play, but I have no idea since I haven't been within 200 hundred miles of any fiddling contests as far as I know.

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/16/2017 19:10:03View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Groundhog Peggy . . . yes, pretty good bunch of fiddlers . . . all Bgrass fiddler's and Contest fiddler's. Only an hour from Nashville so you can imagine. Appreciate the kind words. All I know is Oldtime Fiddle & it is different from what I heard @ the Contest. They seem to do a lot of what I would call Texas Swing . . . dont really know why they call it an Oldtime Fiddle Contest?

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UsuallyPickinPlayers Union Member

United States
1657 posts since 10/1/08

04/17/2017 06:49:26 View UsuallyPickin's Blog Reply with Quote

Well ..... contest fiddling is about technical prowess more than style. Get a Mel Bay book by Craig Duncan and peruse his arrangements. Very "notey" smooth and slick ... the melody never disappears but it surely gains complexity. Don't take the judges voting to heart ....... R/

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AZJohnB

United States
162 posts since 6/27/07

04/17/2017 06:54:36View AZJohnB's MP3 Archive View AZJohnB's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

You need to play in the judge's preferred style.  

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farmerjones

United States
1201 posts since 10/22/07

04/17/2017 07:26:20 View farmerjones's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Mark O'Connor says to play what the judges like.

Low level contests are fun if they keep it friendly. (if there's jamming)   High level contests are a different thing. The whole competitiveness runs counter to me. I know it's tradition.  There's entering. Then there's chasing. I will probably enter more contests, but if i needed a trophy i'd order one from Amazon. smiley

 

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/17/2017 07:44:37View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Thanks Richard. I will check the book out.

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/17/2017 07:50:05View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

John . . . I'm not sure exactly what the judges style is? I think maybe Bluegrass or Texas Style? I know the winner plays a lot of Texas Swing. I guess I need to broaden my scope, or maybe wait for a year their's only 5 contestants . . . then I could @ least come in 5th. 🤓

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/17/2017 07:57:10View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Farmer Jones . . . i Guess this would be a low-level contest, although it does draw many of the Nashville pickers, being as it's such close proximity. I do enjoy the jamming . . . lots of That and I get to see lots of old friends. Hey, that's a thought . . . order a trophy from Amazon . . . The Dead Last Fiddler. Maybe even start a club . . . The Dead Last Fiddler's Society.

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ChickenMan

United States
3040 posts since 9/26/08

04/17/2017 09:54:12View ChickenMan's MP3 Archive View ChickenMan's Photo Albums View ChickenMan's Blog Reply with Quote

Contests are rarely "old time" these days. I think Cliftop is a genuine old time contest.
You are correct in saying 'Texas swing' even though that isn't exactly correct and I would expect the TS police to chime in (don't - we know it's not), in that modern 'contest style' owes much to the creativity of the early 'Texas style' fiddlers. Lots of groups of 3 notes repeated over the 4 beats - anything but old time (maybe closer to Ed Haley who stretched the boundaries of OT a bit). If you really want to be competitive, you're gonna have to buckle down and change styles ☺️

Edited to fix an auto correct!


Edited by - ChickenMan on 04/17/2017 09:55:31

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/17/2017 11:27:15View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Chicken Man . . . Thanks . . . i Can see I've got a lot of practicing to do. Any ideas on where I can find samples of Contest Fiddling?

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farmerjones

United States
1201 posts since 10/22/07

04/17/2017 13:57:25 View farmerjones's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by jefferylong

 Any ideas on where I can find samples of Contest Fiddling?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bcpFD7Y5HE

Remember this is a "judges round." Proving she is good enough to be a judge. Oh yeah!

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farmerjones

United States
1201 posts since 10/22/07

04/17/2017 14:02:04 View farmerjones's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85I46Mkodjc

Speaks for itself.

All this being said, better to play something you know solid than stretch your ability too thin.

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/17/2017 15:50:46View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Thanks Farmer Jones . . . thats a big help.

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Slolearner

United States
446 posts since 6/12/10

04/18/2017 06:01:19 Reply with Quote

The Grand Masters Fiddle Contest is held in Nashville every year in September. If I lived in Jackson, I would be there every year.

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/18/2017 06:44:44View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

George . . . their are a number of fiddler's Contest in the area, but no Oldtime. Even the Dave Macon Festival is mostly Bgrass. I look forward to Clifftop each year.

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Old Scratch

Canada
99 posts since 6/22/16

04/18/2017 07:43:45 Reply with Quote

This is kind of an illustration of what some of us don't like about contests: fiddlers altering or even turning their backs on their own (individual and/or regional) styles in order to conform to contest convention.

Anyway ... carry on!

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gapbob

United States
330 posts since 4/20/08

04/18/2017 08:17:47 Send gapbob an AOL message Reply with Quote

I would ignore that contest stuff, why put effort into playing stuff they expect to hear, rather than what you want to play?  Just look on the contest as an opportunity to entertain some folks with what YOU enjoy to play.  

(Go find some dances to play for!)

Winning isn't much of anything and doesn't mean anything when it comes to being good.

Entered a contest in Collinsville, IL, nearly 20 years ago—when I went up to get my fifth place check, the gal handing it to me said, "I'm sorry." (The guy who runs that contest, George Portz, is a so-so fiddler who is rumored to rearrange the results after the judges' scores are tallied.)


Edited by - gapbob on 04/18/2017 08:29:03

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/18/2017 08:52:27View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Old Scratch . . . AMEN

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/18/2017 08:53:58View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Bob . . . i Do play for a local Barndance I thoroughly enjoy.

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Old Scratch

Canada
99 posts since 6/22/16

04/18/2017 19:37:03 Reply with Quote

I think Bob's got the right idea, though: "Just look on the contest as an opportunity to entertain some folks with what YOU enjoy to play." I played in a number of contests in the past, but it was always because it was a community expectation that I would do so, as my way of contributing (for once), and I looked at it in the way Bob suggests. And when I've watched contests, what I've always enjoyed most is when some old-timer from the backwoods appears, and plays in a style that you know isn't going to get him anywhere with the judges, but is unique and compelling.

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/18/2017 20:04:43View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Old Scratch,
That would be me . . . the oldtimer from the backwoods. 🤓

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Old Scratch

Canada
99 posts since 6/22/16

04/18/2017 20:24:56 Reply with Quote

That's you?! I thought I recognized you! Okay, then - just keep playing what you're playing, Granddad! Seriously - I would try to go with the attitude that I'm just going to get up and entertain the folks for a few minutes, and let the Contest-Fiddlin' hot-shots get themselves all wound-up about who's better than who .....

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Old Scratch

Canada
99 posts since 6/22/16

04/18/2017 20:37:32 Reply with Quote

I just listened to a few of the recordings you have up on your home-page - they sound great to me. I really like your style, and it is distinctive; I think it would be a shame to try to change it just to win the favour of some hangin' judge at a fiddle contest!

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jefferylong

United States
751 posts since 3/19/09

04/18/2017 21:21:24View jefferylong's MP3 Archive View jefferylong's Photo Albums View jefferylong's Blog Reply with Quote

Old Scratch . . . Good point, and thanks for the kind words.  ☝️



Edited by - jefferylong on 04/18/2017 21:22:41

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groundhogpeggy

9522 posts since 9/23/09

04/19/2017 19:07:42View groundhogpeggy's MP3 Archive View groundhogpeggy's Photo Albums View groundhogpeggy's Blog Reply with Quote

Jeff, I didn't wanna say it, but I'm glad Old Scratch cane out and said it...it's your personal choice, of course...but in my opinion, your style, your playing, your uniqueness...its some very nice stuff you have there...I'd hate to see you go messing with your style too much...in my humble opinion.  Old time sounds pretty natural coming from your fiddle...I heard you playing and singing Lost John once and I bout flipped...I mean...it couldn't get any better!

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