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Two Year Baseline

Posted by ScottK on Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm now two years into my old time fiddle adventure.  In some ways it's been a frustrating two years, because I never have enough time to practice.  On top of my full-time high-tech job, I was playing clawhammer banjo in an old time string band with a weekly pub gig for most of the last two years.  So I had to spend a fair amount of my discretionary time playing banjo.  I love playing banjo and loved playing with the band, so that by itself was not a problem.  It just meant that my fiddle progress was going to be slow as a foregone conclusion due to limited practice time.  But I've hung in there and kept at it, practicing when I can.  This is usually 2-3 hour sessions on weekend mornings.   One plus about all the banjo and old time string band playing is that I have plenty of tunes in my head to work on as I progress.

When I realized I was at the two year mark in my fiddle journey, I decided to record a few tunes to mark my progress.  At this point I know a little over a dozen AEAE tunes, a little over a half dozen ADAE tunes, and one tune recently learned in AEAC#.  Nothing in GDAE yet.  (I learned one or two in workshops, but didn't practice them so they left.)  They're all still kind of rough.  Recognizable, but nothing to write home about.  Still, I'm playing recognizable tunes on the fiddle and I couldn't do that two years ago.   So I'm encouraged by that.  Hopefully two years hence I'll be able to post tunes that show noticeable improvement.  We'll see.  We folded our string band last month after our guitar player moved away, so I have more time to practice now.

So far I've posted a Calico version of Cripple Creek that I learned from the latest Canote Brothers CD "Dogs in the Dishes" and a tune called "Get Up in the Cool" in cross-A from Eck Robertson that I learned from the Macrae Sisters "Old Sledge" CD.  I highly recommend both of those CDs for fans of old time music!

I have a few more tunes to post and will add to the list as time permits.

All for now, Scott



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