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Second jam session

Posted by Andah1andah2 on Sunday, January 17, 2010

 Went to the jam again this past week.  I brought my handy recorder with me and taped a bunch more tunes.  I don't think I'm adding many more this week.  I am practicing what I have right now and that's plenty.  One thing you learn quick at a jam is that you really don't know a tune as good as you think once you need to play it over and over at a faster speed than your used to.  Sure, everyone might start out slow out of courtesy, but eventually before everyone falls asleep they pick up the pace.  Another thing is that you need to develop stamina to play a tune all the way through.  One or two times through AABB isn't enough.  Usually it goes around the horn 4-5 times before it ends.  In the first round I'm with it, the 2nd time I'm ok, the 3rd time I'm playing keep up, the 4th time the wheels are coming off and stuff is starting to hurt, when the foot goes up on the 5th time through I'm watching from the sidelines.

Of course, I can't resist at least one more tune so I started Johnny Cope yesterday.  Got the tune down but it will need much more work of course.  There is a part there where I believe you need to hit the D note on the A string followed quickly by a F# on the E string and that is tough because it's one of the first times I needed to use 2 fingers at the same time on the left hand.  

I taped myself on the VCR yesterday to see how I'm playing.  The mirror thing is tough because your trying to play and look at yourself at the same time.  It is easier to watch yourself later and make adjustments.  

My big issue still is the darn wrist.  With much practice I have my wrist going pretty well in terms of the long bow stroke, but getting the wrist to make the 8th notes with that "chitty chitty" movement has proven elusive.  When I think I've got it, the video shows that I'm really just contorting my hand and fingers rather than moving the wrist.  

One thing my wife noticed is that I must be a lit less tense because I'm not making those funny faces when playing.  You know, those faces that one might make if there wasn't enough fiber in your diet.

3 comments on “Second jam session”

bj Says:
Sunday, January 17, 2010 @5:49:08 AM

You might be surprised if you really watch people like Natalie MacMasters and April Verch. Even they can occasionally get "fiddle face". It's a common malady. Though yeah, beginners have it constantly.

frogeyes Says:
Sunday, January 17, 2010 @2:14:29 PM

i find this too i find that i can know a tune inside out but when i am around others it can all go out the window the more you expose yourself to these situations the easier it becomes as for the faces thats all part of it everyone does it

FiddleJammer Says:
Monday, January 18, 2010 @5:46:19 AM

Let go of your face. If you spend energy on controlling your face, I believe it takes away from your focus on the tunes. Really. Just ignore any comments about it from the peanut gallery. I'm fond of saying "I can be pretty or I can play the fiddle, but I can't do both at once." :-)

Good on ya for doing all the right things!

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