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Thrown in the spotlight last night

Posted by brya31 on Sunday, April 19, 2009

Well they finally caught on to me hiding out at the back last night.  Two of our veteran fiddlers made me sit between them and play my first song in front of everyone.  I was so nervous I was shaking, so I thought I know Angeline the Baker like the back of my hand, I will play it.  Well I started off ok, but then everyone jumped in and this completely threw me off my track.  At home I hear me and only me....sometimes the dogs bark, but for the most part it is me.  When everyone jumped in I could no longer just here me...actually I really couldnt even hear me, the fiddle on both side of me really had very powerful resonance.  I go thru it, but I wobbled all the way through and missed a few notes.  I am not sure how to take this problem.  Do I just keep goin at it with the folks till I get over my stagefright or do I find songs on the net and try to play with them.  I figure if I play along at home I will still have to deal with the stagefright when I am in front of the group.  Luckily this is a great group of folks and they dont care if I stink at tiddlin, LOL 



7 comments on “Thrown in the spotlight last night”

bsed55 Says:
Sunday, April 19, 2009 @11:14:12 AM

It takes some getting used to playing with others. One thing you can do is tilt your head so that your left ear has a more direct "avenue" to your left f-hole. You can also make sure you have enough bow hair tension. I'll put more tension on in a larger gathering. Last night I sat in a jam with only 6 others, so I didn't need much tension to increase my volume. Hope that helps!

bsed55 Says:
Sunday, April 19, 2009 @11:17:29 AM

Oh, and maybe sit closer to a guitar player when you can rather than between 2 loud fiddle bookends (hee-hee). I know they were just trying to help, but where you place yourself can help a lot.

John Gent Says:
Sunday, April 19, 2009 @11:34:58 AM

If you wear a hat with a full, all around brim, that helps hear yourself too. But BSED's suggestion about sitting near a guitar player really helps. Not only are you out of the direct shot of the melody, but it's easier (for me anyway) to feel that I'm in key and on beat. I'm a pretty new player, but my mentors stuck me in front of the mic's right away and I ain't looked back since.

bj Says:
Sunday, April 19, 2009 @1:47:17 PM

Well, GOOD! They must think you're coming along nicely to push you into the spotlight! Consider it the compliment it is, and work towards getting better at it.

Yes, playing along with jam recordings will help. Have you been recording the jams you've been attending? Those are the best recordings to work with. You can slow down mp3s in windows media player so you can get better at your own pace.

I like to sit near a mando. Gives me the same notes/melody, but different enough so that I can hear myself against it. Banjo is also good. I also love it when Carol, the bass player, shows. It's wonderful having that heartbeat going!

Rene Says:
Sunday, April 19, 2009 @6:00:52 PM

We went to a small (tiny ) jam yesterday with average musicians and I totally fell apart, couldn't play one thing. Terrible, hung my head in shame. Came home no one around and played smooth as silk. As I always say..."some days music some days noise". Hang in there, you have come too far.

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Monday, April 20, 2009 @5:48:09 PM

BJ's advice is spot on. These are new experiences for you, and you have to condition your brain to respond predictably under those live circumstances. The more you practice under those simulated conditions, the more comfortable it will be for you when you put on the spot. Eventually you will perform acceptably under those conditions, still a bit of a white-knucke experience, but eventually it will be comfortable and fun for you. It just takes time, but you are well on your way.

FiddleCat Says:
Monday, April 20, 2009 @7:34:16 PM

I know how ya feel byra. Last jam I went to they asked me start off a song and they were doing gospel. The only one I know was "Amazing Grace" and I've played that since my first 2 months of playing so that went pretty well.

As the night went on they played "Old Joe Clark" As it went around the circle I played along what version I know and keep up pretty well. The one banjo player signaled for me to take a break. I did and messed up a few times..extra note..wrong note...and missed notes. But I didn't stop! I found my place and keep going shaking my head and rolling my eyes when I knew I screwed up.

I was so excited that I made it through and so was everyone else. Mistakes and all!! These people are more interested in me joining in and having fun with them then they are in my mistakes. It sounds like you joined the same kinda people.

I think now that you did it once, it will continue to get easier. I just keep telling myself they were all in my shoes at one time and others will follow in those same shoes. I will make it a point to be just as understanding to them.

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