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Fiddle Contests

Posted by fiddlerdi on Saturday, September 1, 2007

Last weekend I played in the Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships. I got second place. That doesn't make me happy. it makes me mad at myself because I entered. I guess I still have some left over issues from my classical past that says one must strive to be the "best". I told myself I should have just played and asked not to be judged.  That would be playing more for the right reason. Just to share my playing with other people. But I didn't. I had to try to be the best and when I wasn't, I disappointed myself, because I put my playing in the hands of other people to be measured against others. I have criticized my performance over and over in my mind. I have told myself that I am losing my edge. I try to justify why I wasn't focused, why I didn't practice enough and on and on.

So I am officially done with contests now. I try to fool myself that I should play  the contest just to stay in shape, to test my nerve, to have a goal to prepare for. I will be so glad to be over it for the future. I guess I wanted that temporary rush to my ego that says "Aha you are better than others". What does that mean? It's such an empty idea. Everyone who plays is the winner. Everyone that takes time to share their music with others and to help others is the winner. I am the one who teaches my students that there will always be those greater and and those less great. I'm the one that teaches my students to play for their own enjoyment and to inspire others. I'm the one who says just go up there and have a good time. I need to take a dose of my own medicine and get over it. i will be so glad when that day comes that I can actually live up to the standards I believe in. I wrote about this because I wanted to share it with some people that might understand how this feels. I think there may be a few of you out there.

I thought I'd add a couple of comments to this after getting some good feedback.

I always play to win. I can't be any other way, but that doesn't mean I'm a poor loser. I really like the guy who won. He's a great fiddler and has been playing and working with fiddles for many years.. He's a really nice guy and so knowledgeable. Not to mention hilarious. He'd never won this contest though he's played in it a lot and he deserved it. So it's not that I was upset about not winning. I've won before in 2002 and hadn't played again till this year. It's the desire to compete that I can't seem to shake. That's the thing I am trying to come to terms with.

8 comments on “Fiddle Contests”

Swing Says:
Sunday, September 2, 2007 @8:40:18 AM

I think that you are being unfair to yourself.... not  because you came in second ( it did sound like you were disappointed that you did not come in first), but you were looking for something that did not happen.  

I play contests now and then, usually because they are local and becuase I get to meet some terrific people and players... I enjoy getting up and playing in that format and really care less about where I place.  I am pretty good and often place well when I do compete. Remember, many contests are judged by people who have very specific ideas about what is a winning fiddler and on a given day you and I may not be what they are looking for.

I would say that you should go to contests,  but with the entire intension of having a good time.... share your wealth with others, if you can play backup guitar for other contestants then do so.... yes, you said, get a dose of your own medicine.....

Play Happy