Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Fiddle Lovers Online

 All Forums
 Other Fiddle-Related Topics
 Other Fiddle-Related Topics
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: introduction ... beginning fiddler

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Quincy - Posted - 01/16/2021:  23:03:40

Good morning,

I am a 42 year old woman from Belgium.

As a kid I played the trumpet and I followed classical music studies after school. This meant first you had to learn to read the notes and only then you could pick an instrument.

My teacher was an incredibly talented trumpet player. I one day heard him play in a church and that's how I decided to choose for the trumpet, I thought I could reach that too, but I was still a kid and had no idea what it took. I never reached a further level than playing an acceptable version of Il Silenzio, but I was also engaged in a woodwind- and brass band where we played a lot of film music (Star Wars, Jaws, ET, ...) and I loved my second or third voice trumpet parts : I have good memories about these times.

Anyway, to make a long story short: my trumpet is on the attic of my parents now, all rusty, so I can't play it anymore.

I always adored the sound of a violin and during my student days I did nothing but listening to Vivaldi, because of the violins. I had a box with I think 40 cd's and played them over and over again.

I never thought I would ever play a violin myself back then. I had the idea a violin is for geniuses and practically impossible to learn. Anyway, I can't remember how this image was created in my mind, but it was like each time it came to my mind and I thought it over, something said to me: are you crazy, you cannot play a violin, it's incredibly difficult and complicated.

Then one day I saw the movie Cold mountain and I fell in love with the music . By searching the soundtrack on YouTube, I found other fiddlers performing: normal everyday people, kids even, adult beginners - and slowly I began to ask myself: but what if?

It still took me a couple of years, but then eventually, this summer, I bought myself a cheap 90 euro "violin set". I just had to know.

I managed to play Twinkle twinkle little star in a week and although during the first days I got a headache of my own sound, I was surprised it seemed less impossible than it had been in my head for years.

So I ended up on another forum and followed the advice I got: I made an appointment with a luthier to rent a decent instrument and pretty soon after, at the end of July, I started my first classes with a private violin teacher, who teaches me to play by ear and intuition / feeling rather than by reading the notes. This approach works great for me.

I follow an hour of classes every two weeks.

The goal is to play mainly folk music and popular pieces from film and tv series.

I'll see how far I can get and which other styles/ genres I can try out later on.

Right now , the piece I am practising is Ruby with the eyes that sparkle.

Making my dreams come true ;-)

I hope to learn a lot here!

Best regards,


Edited by - Quincy on 01/16/2021 23:09:33

banjopaolo - Posted - 01/16/2021:  23:39:20

Welcome Quincy!

Istarted violin as a boy when I found an old violin in my grandma house, never knew that it was there, she told me that was of a relative I was so amazed that she gave it to me so I started lessons...

I played for some years then when I was in high school I stopped and started playing guitar and bass with rock bands, violin wasn’t so cool in those years!

But anyway music was my main interest so, beside rock I started listening to jazz and also classic music, and to go to all kind of concert: so once I Saw the Alban Berg string quartet playing Bartok quartets and Wow! I decided  I would have played Viola all my life

So I got a Viola and started classic training in conservatory until I got my diploma! But I always played beside classic music folk rock jazz and whatever... now I’m a violin teacher in public school here in Italy and I play in many different context (when it is not lockdown)

I Still own that frist grandma violin and play it of course (you can see it in the video I attach)

If you need help don’t hesitate to ask!

Best wishes for you and your violin...

Edited by - banjopaolo on 01/16/2021 23:53:24

Flat_the_3rd_n7th - Posted - 01/17/2021:  05:33:08

Welcome...enjoy the journey...

Ruby, etc, as played by Stobrod in the movie is actually this old tune:

DougD - Posted - 01/17/2021:  06:35:43

Welcome, Quincy.
Yes "Pigsfoot" among other good tunes is from the playing of Marcus Martin of wetern North Carolina:
BTW, you can ignore that stuff about blacksmith's tools and pig iron. That's an urban myth created by people who thought they were very clever. The title (and probably the tune) is African American in origin, and refers to a real pig.

bsed - Posted - 01/17/2021:  09:38:03

The violin/fiddle playing is accessible to ANYbody. That's why there's so many of us. At this point you should get with a teacher for a couple years to learn the fundamentals. It'll feel slow to you, but after 2 years of instruction you will really be ready to start picking up ideas much faster.

The other advice is to figure out what music you want to play. Listen to it every day! That counts as practice!

bf - Posted - 01/17/2021:  12:02:50

Hi Quincy,

I picked up the fiddle at 42. I spent a few years learning without regular instruction. Once I found a teacher that was a good match, and began participating in regular jams with others my learning really accelerated. COVID has put a pause on playing with others, and I can notice the impact it has had on my playing. Things that have helped me are regular practice, even if only 10-15 min a day at lunch, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, and playing with others. Recording myself, even if just with my phone, to listen to when I’m not focused on playing has also been helpful. Picking up the fiddle is absolutely something you can do. Enjoy yourself and keep at it.

Quincy - Posted - 01/17/2021:  12:16:42


Originally posted by DougD

Welcome, Quincy.

Yes "Pigsfoot" among other good tunes is from the playing of Marcus Martin of wetern North Carolina:

BTW, you can ignore that stuff about blacksmith's tools and pig iron. That's an urban myth created by people who thought they were very clever. The title (and probably the tune) is African American in origin, and refers to a real pig.

Well I fell for it, I thought that was the explanation, I read about the original song title somewhere. I'm surprised then about the origins, I would have rather said native American then.

I love a bit of history.


Edited by - Quincy on 01/17/2021 12:22:03

East Texas Fiddle - Posted - 01/17/2021:  13:07:40


Quincy - Posted - 01/18/2021:  23:04:29

Many thanks for the warm welcome, I have been exploring this site...what a treasure! There is so much to explore , love it!

Fiddler - Posted - 01/19/2021:  07:28:05

Welcome, Quincy. You will have a great time on your "fiddle journey!" This forum is a great resource with lots of experienced folks who can (or will!) offer you tons of advice and load you down with more details about tunes, care and maintenance of your instruments, music theory, techniques, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

I am self-taught - no formal lessons. I started in the mid-70s after a friend took me to a festival in northern Arkansas. I wanted to be in the middle of the jam circles - not standing on the perimeter. I was drawn to the collaborative nature of the music. I saw people from all walks of life and all income levels playing together and enjoying creating something ephemeral and impermanent. This was the 70s - so, shaggy hippies playing along with rednecks along with professionals (doctors, bankers, lawyers, etc.) and having fun. I HAD to be a part of that! Since then, I have met some incredible musicians, some of which are now long-time friends. I have had some wonderful life experiences that have changed me. I even met my wife through music and dance!

I want to wish you the best and hope that your journey is full of wonderful experiences and kindred spirits. Look forward to seeing you around FHO.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories