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And then there were three

Posted by Sassafrassa on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I have been practicing as much as I can fit into my crazy schedule, and I'm now working on THREE songs.  "Ida Red", "Say, Darlin', Say" and "Shortnin' Bread".  Plus, "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "Joy to the World" gets thrown in there on occasion. (So, I guess that's actually five?)  Scales to warm up every practice session...and trying to experiment with shuffle patterns.  Lots to try to absorb all at one time! Some days good...some days not so good...but I learn something every time I pick up my fiddle.

Bowing is starting to feel a little more natural, though I'm making some really horrendous sounds with that E string!  I'm bowing it accidentally when I'm trying for the A string. SCREEEEECH.  Kind of takes the enamel off your teeth when you aren't expecting it.  I am not gripping my bow with a death grip anymore, and it seems like my wrist is loosening up as well. (Till I start learning a new song, and then everything goes out the window...but I'm assuming that is normal.)

I'm trying a new left hand hold.  I started out with the fiddle way to far down in the dip between thumb and forefinger, and I was turning into crab woman trying to note the strings.  Watched the American Fiddle Method DVD over the weekend, and corrected my position--now much further up my thumb, and am trying to also straighten my left wrist holding the fiddle.  It's a bit awkward to note the first finger notes with the new hold, but I'm sure I'll adjust and get used to the new feelings.

My biggest problem as usual is just finding enough time to actually practice.  I wish I could stick a fiddle in my pocket to pull out and play when I have a few minutes here and there.  The pocket fiddle!  Hmmm. New marketing idea, perhaps?  Any takers??

Playing more tomorrow morning...hopefully adding another tune to my song list "Going Down Town"...the next song in my workbook.  By the way...thanks so much for all the support and feedback.  You have no idea how much it helps!!

6 comments on “And then there were three”

bj Says:
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @2:06:00 PM

I still tense up a bit when learning a new tune. Much less than I used to, but . . . yeah.

Not quite a pocket fiddle, but check out the wiplstix. It's quiet, but does play and sound like a "real" fiddle, and can be backpacked.

Re left hand position-- a VERY SLIGHT shift of elbow either forward or backward (VERY VERY SLIGHT) will facilitate those string changes with your left hand. Do not overdo or you will find out just how unergonomic this fiddle stuff is! And will need some Bengay or similar.

Sassafrassa Says:
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @2:43:48 PM

The first few times I practiced, I felt like my shoulders were going to explode! So much tension! It's much better now, and I feel like I'm really making progress in that department. I have played the last few times without my shoulder rest (mostly because it's a pain in the neck to put on and off), and I think I like it...I can feel the vibrations of the instrument next to my shoulder.

I will check out Wiplstix. I'm not sure what I'm in the market for, really, I just would like something that I can carry with me without too much worry.

carlb Says:
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @3:07:41 PM

Try Google search
"pocket fiddle"

Ebowalker Says:
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @4:48:52 PM

Really enjoy following your learning and your enthusiasm, I am learning from you! Keep blogging your progress!

Sassafrassa Says:
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @7:42:21 PM

CarlB--I did, and there are quite a few instruments out there. I guess I should have Googled first, blogged second. I'm sure I can find something....found something called a pouchette? I guess that President Thomas Jefferson had one!

Ebowalker--Thank you! I'll do my best to keep blogging. I'm really having fun, and you wouldn't believe how much I'm learning from this site!! Thanks for reading, too. All comments and suggestions are appreciated. ;)

Ebowalker Says:
Thursday, August 12, 2010 @3:17:54 PM

Sometimes people who are really good forget what it is like to struggle along...that`s why I love reading beginners blogs, because it reminds me how I felt and the enthusiasm...I remember when I played my first real (translation: grownup) fiddle tune (Stool of Repentence) and how I felt I could now call myself a fiddler! I am now getting back ito it and am still rusty and squeaky...

My biggest problem is I compare myself with others who are waaaay good and get discouraged, but like you, I have found FH to be particularily supportive and fun.
Good luck!

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