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Best Busking Tip Yet!!!!!

Posted by bj on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Saturday, first day of Spring, Jane and I got out to busk for awhile, which was actually our second time out this year. Looks like Punxutawny Phil was a little off in his calculations, I'm glad to report. And honoring the Equinox by fiddling my heart out seemed the right thing to do.

It was a fabulously warm and sunny afternoon and people were in a good and generous mood, and I really feel like both Jane and I were playing well. The amount thrown in the case seems to confirm that feeling on my part, it was a great day. Lots of spring in people's steps as they walked by, lots of kids dancing and bopping to the music, lots of smiles. I love it. There are few things in the world better than putting that smile on the face of a complete stranger.

But the funniest moment was when a couple who came by stopped in front of us, both with their jaws dropped open. They looked at each other and laughed, then he put in our case the bottle in a brown paper bag he was carrying. We kept playing, they kept laughing, and finally he decided to show us what was so funny . . . and we ALL laughed!

Fiddler's Elbow

Definitely a surprise, and a fun one! A serendipitous smile from the Spirit! Though I have to admit that my hat wasn't nearly as fun as the Wychwood fiddler's!

In other news, last night was the First Anniversary Jam for the Easton Phillipsburg Oldtime Jam Group. We had a great turnout, and it was one of those magical nights when we were ON.

First of all, we had six fiddlers, and three of them were my favorite all-time local fiddlers- Rick, David and Cory. Though I've played with Kay before, this is the first time she's come to our jam. Scully, who is a beginner, is game and hung in there, all things considered. I give him credit for putting up with our fast paced shenanigans and our neglect of our regular tune list, which is what he's been learning from. Figures Kay and Scully would come on a night when we were in HIGH GEAR! LOL!

John and Neil from the Pocono Bluegrass and Folk Society showed up, so I had John's absolutely fabulous clawhammer in my left ear and David's fiddle in my right ear. LOVED  IT! And Neil is so solid on guitar that I think I wanna enslave him and make him play backup for me whenever Jane isn't available. Mike is really coming along wonderfully on mando too. He was really doing some solid picking last night.

John and Rick and David all taught us some new tunes. I managed to get some of 'em, though I do find it harder to pick up tunes from a banjo melody line than from another fiddler.

Though I still need some work to bring my skills back up to where I want 'em to be after my lack of practice time the past couple months, I felt really good and strong playing the last few days. Were there oopses? You betcha. But in general my timing is getting stronger, I'm getting braver in bowing variations and recover really quickly when I get too brave, and on the tunes I know well, I am up to speed and then some. I finally feel like I might be able to PLAY  this dang devil's box someday.

9 comments on “Best Busking Tip Yet!!!!!”

tsaimichael Says:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 @10:56:26 AM

What a delightful story about Fiddler's Elbow! Happy Fiddling to you from the Pacific Northwest.

Rene Says:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 @3:46:22 PM

Loved the remark in the last paragraph "my timing is getting stronger", timing has been my curse, always felt like I was the only one struggling. Glad you've about overcome it.

Ozarkian DL Says:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 @7:06:32 PM

Durn yer Pa. rascal rodent Phil.....4 " snow on tha furst day'a spring here...grrrrr...Onliest thang wrong wit tha beer ( only 1 bottle ) but wit uh brand name like thet ... it's gott'a be tha best.

fiddleiphile Says:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 @7:12:58 PM


robinja Says:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 @7:50:24 PM

Should have been fiddler's wrist - LOL! Great tip, nonetheless! Happy Spring!

FiddleJammer Says:
Thursday, March 25, 2010 @4:47:02 AM

Congrats on a year's worth of jams, BJ. Great example of 'if you build it, they will come'.

M-D Says:
Thursday, March 25, 2010 @9:04:46 AM

LOL Great story, BJ. :o)

bj Says:
Thursday, March 25, 2010 @1:49:54 PM

They surely do come if you just hold the dang jam and show up. We even had three people there jamming during a snowstorm! And that was only around a month ago or so. Our jammers are a dedicated group, and we seem to pick up a new member at least once a month. There's a core group that comes to just about every jam.

Oz, I'm sad for you, but glad for us! It was a glorious day! And I have a daffodil just about ready to bloom out in the garden.

harwilli55 Says:
Friday, March 26, 2010 @7:26:11 AM

You sure a good writer and reporter. I can feel the fun and energy that experience must have had :-)

We have a large group of OT people in the area, a slew of jams, but no busking. Gotta work on that...though....a bunch of us will be playing/busking tomorrow for the annual 10k downtown....that will be fun.


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