Posted by bj on Saturday, July 3, 2010
Now that it's going on three years for me playing fiddle, I thought that a retrospective on my foibles, quirks, screw ups, misperceptions, misconceptions and outright oopses might be fun or useful or cathartic or boring or . . . something.
Saturday, July 3, 2010 @10:41:45 AM
You're right about the saw stroke.
But I can't say I like that version of "Katie Hill". He's sure got a different mental image of her than I do. His Katie Hill seems to dance mostly on her toes...
No accounting for taste I guess.
Saturday, July 3, 2010 @10:59:19 AM
Carl said this tune was "Sally Johnson" in the comments section. He's in the vid and knows the players, I believe.
Saturday, July 3, 2010 @1:11:26 PM
BJ, they are contested tunes of the same more-than-general sameness often called the same tunes but named differently in the north and south. Don't get involved in the madness :-)
Saturday, July 3, 2010 @1:24:11 PM
That was a great blog. It pretty much covers everything a beginner has experienced or will be experiencing. And I thought I was the only one! LOL
Saturday, July 3, 2010 @1:41:25 PM
bj wrote: "Carl said this tune was "Sally Johnson" in the comments section."
I think the two names "Sally Johnson" and Katie Hill are commonly interchanged on the East Coast - with "Sally Johnson" being the most common name.
Here's Clark Kessinger playing a tune he introduces as "Sally Ann Johnson"
I think Henry Reed has an entirely different tune named "Sally Ann Johnson" - in the key of D.
West of the Mississippi, "Katie Hill" and "Sally Johnson" are two slightly different tunes. The difference being that Sally Johnson has an E-Minor in the A part while Katie Hill doesn't. Otherwise they're not much different except that "Sally Johnson" is the tune the Texas contest style players have adopted and embellished in the way that only they can do.
Ozarkian DL Says:
Saturday, July 3, 2010 @6:28:12 PM
A great reminisce BJ, it's always a constructive, educational, learning experience.
Sunday, July 4, 2010 @5:42:17 AM
"t takes exquisite left hand / right hand coordination to sustain over long periods of time at dance speed." Lighten up your touch for both hands. Don't press so hard on the strings and don't press so hard with the bow. Then, it takes less coordination and yields more speed.
Great post, BJ.
Sunday, July 4, 2010 @9:41:41 AM
bj, thanks for your fiddlistory here. I can relate lots to the bit about cats.... AND once I changed some 10 year old strings last summer, she's singing sweetly as I can play. I have also organized the occasional jam with friends here. What fun and I can even lead a few tunes, bravely, these days. WHAT is a saw stroke? I do a rather sawing bowing to a friends lively Cajun tunes. Simply sawing out the chord notes in a lively and enthusiastic way.... SUCH FUN as I make it up as it goes using my ears to tune me in. I'm considering self-employment is some form and now I'm totally terrified with my viola fiddle calling to me more and more these days....//o-\\. Happy 4th and hope your hose is healthy around those dang fireworks. I'm sitting in a fog that is blowing softly in the West wind. I hope this means it'll clear later. I have a date on the deck with a new chaise lounge and love to fiddle outside unless the neighbors are mowing or some such. Jan
Sunday, July 4, 2010 @10:45:51 AM
Thanks, Terri. The tension thing is a constant battle, though I'm LOTS better than I used to be. But I think the coordination between the left and right hand is important when sawstroking no matter how loose you are. It just . . . is.
And Billy, thanks for saving me from the booby trap . . . ;-)
Jan, sawstroke is simply bowing one note per bowstroke. It's the most basic bowing there is.
And yes, the garden hose is ready. My neighbors may burn down the rest of the town tonight, but MY house will be SAFE. I think I'll fiddle while Easton burns.
Sunday, July 4, 2010 @3:22:54 PM
i'm self employed
but got laid off.
Monday, July 5, 2010 @3:21:16 PM
Totally with you on all of the above points BJ, Love it I don't know how many times i have blamed poor Ruby for my bad playing. It amazes me that she doesn't have self esteem issues to contend with.As for the cat thing my cat hates the flute but as soon as i get ruby out she is asleep in her case or chasing my bow while i am trying to play.
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