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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: What, about fiddling, do you wish you had know much earlier?


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: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/55277

TuneWeaver - Posted - 05/23/2021:  14:49:50


In my case, I wish I had learned about the Nashville Shuffle YEARS before I found it by accident.. So, today I sent a demo mp3 to a budding fiddler, in which I played DRONES throughout the tune Yellow Barber...I don't actually play drones throughout the tune normally but I was trying to demonstrate the difference in sound when drones are used.. The fiddler is ready to learn the interesting sounds that drones can offer...
What do YOU wish you had learned earlier ( or NOW would like to learn to do?)..?

DougD - Posted - 05/23/2021:  16:16:36


How expensive strings are, and how fragile the little fellers are.


Edited by - DougD on 05/23/2021 16:19:28

Swing - Posted - 05/23/2021:  16:17:56


To start playing this damn instrument!!!

Play Happy

Swing

Brian Wood - Posted - 05/23/2021:  16:19:21


Brian Wood - Posted - 05/23/2021:  16:25:19


After thinking about your question I remembered that it took me years to get started fiddling because I got terrible neck pain from clamping down my chin. I finally realized I needed a shoulder rest, and that it was a combination of shoulder rest and chin rest that made the space right for my comfort. So I recommend experimenting or getting advice from someone to make your fiddle fit.



PS I've had trouble posting for some reason. Maybe I had too many script blockers on my browser hooked up in a series. Works now.


Edited by - Brian Wood on 05/23/2021 16:27:54

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 05/23/2021:  18:51:06


I only wish I would've had access to a fiddle back when I first got my guitar, just about closing in on 60 years ago now. Wow...what fun time I woulda had growing up discovering fiddle cool things as well as guitar and banjo. But, that didn't happen and I didn't end up with a fiddle to play until I was 55 years old...so...I kinda knew what I wanted to play, but had to wait until the age of 55 to start trying to figure it out...but now...didn't have all that before, but just feel extremely, unbelievably lucky that I got a hold of not one, but four fiddles, when I did. I love them so much...I do believe I love playing the fiddle more than my other instruments...and if I could go back in time, when I had the chance to get a musical instrument, with my calf money, back when I was ten years old...I would have bought a fiddle instead of a guitar...lol. But so glad to have my fiddles now and what little experience I've gotten with them.  I've gotten enormous happiness from my fiddles in recent years.  


Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 05/23/2021 18:52:27

ChickenMan - Posted - 05/23/2021:  19:33:09


quote:

Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

I only wish I would've had access to a fiddle back when I first got my guitar, just about closing in on 60 years ago now. Wow...what fun time I woulda had growing up discovering fiddle cool things as well as guitar and banjo. But, that didn't happen and I didn't end up with a fiddle to play until I was 55 years old...so...I kinda knew what I wanted to play, but had to wait until the age of 55 to start trying to figure it out...but now...didn't have all that before, but just feel extremely, unbelievably lucky that I got a hold of not one, but four fiddles, when I did. I love them so much...I do believe I love playing the fiddle more than my other instruments...and if I could go back in time, when I had the chance to get a musical instrument, with my calf money, back when I was ten years old...I would have bought a fiddle instead of a guitar...lol. But so glad to have my fiddles now and what little experience I've gotten with them.  I've gotten enormous happiness from my fiddles in recent years.  






If you read my bio, I fell the same way concerning guitar leaning and fiddle learning. 



Lee, funny the Nashville Shuffle came later in your world; around my neck of the woods, it's easy to tell the budding fiddlers by their stiff, stilted shuffle. It is the first thing they learn. Some don't grow out of it, but those that do can really play. 

farmerjones - Posted - 05/23/2021:  19:39:00


Indeed, I started at age 40, or 41. (2003) Sort of on a lark. I was just fortunate enough to have very supportive folks around me. Sort of nature and nurture in right amounts. I've always let it take me wherever it went. That wouldn't have happened if I were younger and less mature.

But if you're looking for words of wisdom, I continue to preach, "Don't wait until you're better to play with others. You get better by playing with others. Sooner the better."

UsuallyPickin - Posted - 05/24/2021:  05:26:13


I had to be shown the importance of a good setup to ease getting better tone out of an instrument. Thank you Brian Christiansen. Secondly was how buying a quality bow both a Pernambuco and a carbon graphite helped in smoothing out my bowing. An yes I do wish I had started fiddling a decade or three earlier. I did make the attempt, but I allowed life to get in the way. R/

doryman - Posted - 05/24/2021:  08:58:15


quote:

Originally posted by farmerjones



But if you're looking for words of wisdom, I continue to preach, "Don't wait until you're better to play with others. You get better by playing with others. Sooner the better."






Of course, there are some who are not inclined to play with others, but for those who hope to play with others "some day," I 100% agree that "some day" should come sooner that later!  

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 05/24/2021:  09:23:45


I don't think I answered the question correctly. What do I know now that I wish I had known earlier...about fiddling that is???



Hmmm...I guess I wish I had known that a loose bow shuffles better than a tight bow. At least in my own case.  That's the answer for fiddling...as far as anything else in life plus fiddling, I just wish I had been a faster learner...lol...regarding everything in life, plus fiddling to boot.  What's that tune??? "Walk old shoe, heel come a-draggin'???"  Yep...that's the way it always seems to go...heel being the necessary knowledge before one should do their walkin'...lol...usually.


Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 05/24/2021 09:28:18

LukeF - Posted - 05/24/2021:  10:14:36


For years I had shunned the violin because I thought that the only genre of music for violins was classical music. I can only take classical music for a few minutes before I start to get bored. Then about 8 years ago I discovered bluegrass and old timey music, which has become my favorite genres and started taking fiddle lessons. I wish I had discovered this earlier. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of a fiddle in a bluegrass jam.

farmerjones - Posted - 05/24/2021:  10:44:55


Luke, I felt the same way about pianos. I was in the paradigm all pianos were out of tune. I never considered digital pianos that were always in tune. Live and learn smiley


Edited by - farmerjones on 05/24/2021 10:45:28

pete_fiddle - Posted - 05/24/2021:  11:28:16


"What, about fiddling, do you wish you had know much earlier?"



That the Devil Is Real...And He Really Does Want Your Soul....devil

TuneWeaver - Posted - 05/24/2021:  13:22:10


Billy, I hadn't learned the Nashville Shuffle sooner because back in the 70's I didn't know that I didn't know!! Had no peer group, and no instructors around (pre internet).... I just wanted to play tunes and had NO IDEA how to get them to sound 'old timey'...

DougD - Posted - 05/24/2021:  13:39:30


Well, the "Nashville shuffle" is not the way, IMHO.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 05/24/2021:  13:57:14


I personally do like Nashville Shuffle...but I spend as much time jumping out of it as I do jumping back into it, probably.  Yet I do believe it's a great groove setter and the "Mother of all bowing strokes," to quote Sadam Hussein, well, sorta paraphrasing his (in)famous quote...lol...I think N Shuffle will take you a long way...just my own humble opinion.  I knew about it before I could ever play it...but the names were changed to protect the innocent, so to speak.  I mean, N. Shuffle is a new term to me, but I've heard it played forever and ever.  Well, not exactly "new," but recent.


Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 05/24/2021 14:01:15

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 05/24/2021:  14:02:22


I seem to be in a quoting mood...which might mean it's time for more coffee...gotta be careful when I go that way...could end up quoting anybody...lol...out of context usually.



 


Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 05/24/2021 14:02:58

doryman - Posted - 05/24/2021:  18:57:43


quote:

Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

I only wish I would've had access to a fiddle back when I first got my guitar, just about closing in on 60 years ago now. Wow...what fun time I woulda had growing up discovering fiddle cool things as well as guitar and banjo. But, that didn't happen and I didn't end up with a fiddle to play until I was 55 years old...so...I kinda knew what I wanted to play, but had to wait until the age of 55 to start trying to figure it out...but now...didn't have all that before, but just feel extremely, unbelievably lucky that I got a hold of not one, but four fiddles, when I did. I love them so much...I do believe I love playing the fiddle more than my other instruments...and if I could go back in time, when I had the chance to get a musical instrument, with my calf money, back when I was ten years old...I would have bought a fiddle instead of a guitar...lol. But so glad to have my fiddles now and what little experience I've gotten with them.  I've gotten enormous happiness from my fiddles in recent years.  






I can't believe that you didn't start fiddling until you were 55.  To me, it sounds like you grew up fiddling.  I know several folks who started to play the fiddle at 50+ years, and NONE sound as good as you.  This give me hope, since I didn't start until I was 60 (I'm 61 now).  I've listened to several of your songs and have tried to emulate them.  It's a sound I strive for.  I particularly liked your video where you hold forth regarding the Nashville shuffle.  

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 05/24/2021:  21:11:59


There was nothing I wish I'd known before I started. I always had a hankering to play fiddle/violin. And when the wife got fed up with my relentless piano-playing I decided to try an instrument I could take outside the house and only bug the neighbors. Sure, I already played steel string acoustic guitar pretty well, but I wanted to branch out. Never regretted it, either.

46davis - Posted - 05/24/2021:  23:09:34


That it took me so long to get into fiddling. I went through guitar and mandolin before I got a fiddle and dared into that previously untouchable world of fiddle and violin music.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 05/25/2021:  04:30:34


Well it seems to be some special club of all of us who played some other instrument(s) before finally getting around to the fiddle...lol...why did we do that?????

But here we are today, anyway...I appreciate, but sure I don't deserve, the compliments, Doryman. I think really if you know the sound you want, you will get it. To me, I think playing an instrument before you know what you want out of it is what tends to slow people down. Don't forget Grandma Moses...we can do stuff at any age we feel like...yeah we won't get the 20 years' experience we would have gotten earlier in life, but we can crunch down on that by just knowing what we want from our instrument and going for it. Also, one thing I do is stay simple...I know I can't play Soldier's Joy hornpipey with a bunch of rapid-fire notes, so I just play the basics and try to get into the tunes in the most simple ways I can think to do them...I leave the notey stuff and the fancy stuff to the young folks...lol. Good luck, and happy fiddling!

RichJ - Posted - 05/25/2021:  05:11:18


quote:

Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

Well it seems to be some special club of all of us who played some other instrument(s) before finally getting around to the fiddle...lol...why did we do that?????



But here we are today, anyway...I appreciate, but sure I don't deserve, the compliments, Doryman. I think really if you know the sound you want, you will get it. To me, I think playing an instrument before you know what you want out of it is what tends to slow people down. Don't forget Grandma Moses...we can do stuff at any age we feel like...yeah we won't get the 20 years' experience we would have gotten earlier in life, but we can crunch down on that by just knowing what we want from our instrument and going for it. Also, one thing I do is stay simple...I know I can't play Soldier's Joy hornpipey with a bunch of rapid-fire notes, so I just play the basics and try to get into the tunes in the most simple ways I can think to do them...I leave the notey stuff and the fancy stuff to the young folks...lol. Good luck, and happy fiddling!






To my way of thinking Peggy is proof of the old saying "Less is more".

pmiller510 - Posted - 05/25/2021:  05:11:55


Bow hold and wrist action are the two things I wish I would have gotten at the beginning. Sadly, I think I was told/shown how to do both early on, but I didn't get it at the time. Eyes/brain weren't open and/or developed enough at the time. Apparently it took me another 13 years before I was able to see/comprehend what I was being shown way back then.

Quincy - Posted - 05/25/2021:  06:48:38


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

How expensive strings are, and how fragile the little fellers are.






For some reason I only broke two strings so far, on my 90 euro violin shaped object from China.



When I started renting an instrument and it became winter I had to use the tuning pegs several times , and never broke one string.



Do you break them mainly while tuning or while playing?


Edited by - Quincy on 05/25/2021 06:48:59

DougD - Posted - 05/25/2021:  07:13:09


I sometimes do break strings, either tuning or playing, but not very often. However you have to change strings when they lose their sound or don't play in tune anymore. I change far less often than some people, who may change strings every few months or so. That's what gets expensive.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 05/25/2021:  10:03:00


Fiddle strings are expensive...unlike guitar strings, which are actually affordable. I have a series of fiddles when I put on new strings...take them off one, give those one-time-hand-me-downs to the next fiddle in line...take that one's off, put those on the two-time-hand-me downs to the next...the last fiddle gets the oldest strings. I rarely ever break a string, but it's so annoying when it does happen because it breaks up my chain of hand-me-downs. Next time I change strings, I'm switching to a different number one fiddle...so it's all gonna get off whack. The fiddle that used to be my second-best has become my favorite...so...well, the next string change will be a little messed up until I can get them all back onto a schedule. Anyway, that's how I attempt to save money on fiddle strings. Guitar strings are cheap but I'm so lazy about changing the strings I usually wait until they are nothing more than rust...lol. I like the sound of old guitar strings better than new ones anyhow.

Old Scratch - Posted - 05/25/2021:  15:03:09


I assume you've got your fiddle-string changing schedule on a spreadsheet (whatever the heck that is)?

Here's what I wish I'd known: what a difference a fiddle that is 'easy to play' can make. I stumbled on one the other day - I'd like to say, after years of looking, but that's kinda the point: I never bothered looking - but in the subsequent couple of days, I feel like my fiddling has improved by years.

TuneWeaver - Posted - 05/25/2021:  17:28:43


quote:

Originally posted by Old Scratch

I assume you've got your fiddle-string changing schedule on a spreadsheet (whatever the heck that is)?



Here's what I wish I'd known: what a difference a fiddle that is 'easy to play' can make. I stumbled on one the other day - I'd like to say, after years of looking, but that's kinda the point: I never bothered looking - but in the subsequent couple of days, I feel like my fiddling has improved by years.






Every now and then one stumbles upon a fiddle that is SET UP exactly the way that is Meant for ME..



I call those, 'push button' fiddles... Perfect string spacing, perfect string to board distance and perfect tuning and perfect strings for my fingers.. YES.!!

farmerjones - Posted - 05/25/2021:  20:11:20


quote:

Originally posted by Old Scratch

Here's what I wish I'd known: what a difference a fiddle that is 'easy to play' can make. I stumbled on one the other day - I'd like to say, after years of looking, but that's kinda the point: I never bothered looking - but in the subsequent couple of days, I feel like my fiddling has improved by years.






Y'know, there is quite a bit of setup that makes a fiddle easier to play, but don't forget about  that bow. Problem being not much can be done to improve a crap bow. A crappy bow wears me out. A good bow is a pleasure. 

alaskafiddler - Posted - 05/26/2021:  12:06:54


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

How expensive strings are, and how fragile the little fellers are.






And bow hair.



I wish I had pursued learning how to rehair bows much earlier.



I think the going rate here is $60.

bsed - Posted - 05/29/2021:  16:22:14


I'm always amazed at them that can tell you what chords you're playing over--fiddlers, that is. I REALLY wish I had started on a fretted instrument first. I'll bet a small fortune most of those fiddlers did---which is to say that 'fiddle' was not their first language.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 05/29/2021:  18:20:16


Yes...I think I can speak for so many fiddlers who started on a fretted instrument and wish it had been the other way around...lol.

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