Posted by Andah1andah2 on Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I never thought I would be blogging but it's strangely fun. I find myself watching much less TV with my free time and using that time to practice after the kids go to sleep. I'm not even watching the world series and I'm a Yankee fan. I'm DVRing it and will watch the highlights if we win. Thanks for all the responses to my blog, it's nice to know that they get read by someone other than me. I guess others have those neglected instruments also. I felt so guilty tonight that I went down cellar and played the Jo for 45 minutes. I would hate to lose the skills I worked hard to get. I hope to somehow keep both instruments going but we will see. The thread that BJ sited was pretty true and even I have fallen into some of those obsessions already.
Fiddle today was more bowing practice than left hand fingering. I'm trying to work on bow steadiness and keeping it straight. I am also practicing the very very small bow movments that my teacher (Pam) taught me. It is a series of 4 tiny stokes followed by 2 long strokes. DaDa DaDa DaahDaah. Those little stokes are tough because I'm expected to only use my fingers and wrist to drive that motion. Pam's fingers almost seem to sway back and forth themselves, along with her wrist in a graceful motion while still maintaining her grip on the bow. I can't get the fingers to sway without releasing the bow. I know, I know , I heard months ago on the banjo hangout. ... practice, practice, practice.
Thanks for the suggestion to play sitting as well as standing. I do try to do this. Sitting does seem harder because of your lap getting in the way. Standing though eventually puts a knot in my back muscles and I'm sure that will get better with time. Gotta stay relaxed. I ordered a gelrest to put over my chinrest for more comfort. We will see if it helps, it was only 15 bucks.
Today my favorite fiddle tune is...Black Mountain Rag
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @1:42:04 AM
Yeah, Stew, I like blogs also. They remind me of editorials from newspapers (remember those) and magazines, which i enjoy.
I findthat I can't play sitting, what with long arms and hitting my lap unless I turn. Plus, it seems to make my playing tenser. Standing seems more freeing. Oh well, there goes my orchestral career!
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @2:58:59 AM
I never really watched a lot of TV. And as for sports.... :OP Yucko!!!! I used to put puzzles together and do a lot of reading to pass my down time. Now my fiddling takes up that gap and more. And yep...sounds like you got bit by that fiddle bug, neat little creatures huh?!?! Glad to hear you got yourself a good strong start. More fun ahead!!
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @3:47:54 AM
I'm a Yankee fan, too, but I managed to get 2 hours of fiddle practice in,
plus another hour on mando and even a little guitar b/4 the game started. (Fiddle takes presidence.)
I should have played the fiddle longer, considering the outcome of the game.
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @4:45:49 AM
The important thing here besides the practice is learning to relax while playing. It takes a while to learn to bow. Try playing in front of a window or mirror so that you only see your hand while playing. Where in Maine are you...
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @9:25:06 AM
Yeah, Yanks lost but we'll bounce back. I'm a fan because I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY. In fact, my father is a Dodgers fan from way back and he hates the Yankees.
I usually try to get 60-90 minutes of practice in per day. I'm thinking of splitting that into 20 minutes on banjo to keep me at my current level and give the rest to the fiddle. Swing, I live in Belgrade which is just north of Augusta. I do some practice in front of the mirror which helps me. Have any of you Mainers ever been to the jam in Pownal?
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @4:28:26 PM
Three very good friends are from Atlantic Av between Hoyt and Bond. I used to live in Maine, though I was a bit further north than you are (The County.) I got a question for all you Maineiacs. Is the Fiddle Festival still going on in East Benton in the summer? That's one of the things that got me hooked on fiddle, though it was years ago I went. That can't be all that far from you, Stew.
One of the things my teacher had me do to force the motion into the wrist and fingers was to stand in a doorway, plant my bowing elbow against the doorjamb, and practice for ten minutes a day that way. Didn't matter what I played, though I started with scales. I still step into the doorjamb occasionally, if I find myself tensing up. Your elbow should be approximately halfway up the arc between pointing at the floor or pointing straight out from your shoulder.
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