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A "new" fiddle . . .

Posted by bj on Saturday, October 23, 2010

I've been spending time with a really nice guy, Terry, who works the antiques show circuit. He's very smart. He's determined that the way to this girl's heart is through her fiddle addiction. He might be right.

Terry's also a very unusual guy. He listens. Wow, a guy who actually listens to what a woman has to say, what a TOTAL rarity! Geez, I can't ever remember dating a guy who listens!

Terry gave me a present the other day.  It's a french JTL student fiddle. He had listened to me talk about buying fiddles at the flea market, learning to fix them up and eventually sell them and he had come across this fiddle when shopping the flea markets. So he bought it for me after checking to make sure it didn't have any soundpost or bass bar cracks. It doesn't. Like I said, he listens. And he said he wants to help me get my new endeavor rolling.

This isn't a high end fiddle, by any means. The wood is plain, and the purfling is painted on. It's a student grade model. But JTL fiddles, even the low end ones, have a reputation for producing pleasing sound when set up properly.

When he gave me this one, it didn't have a bridge or a tailpiece or strings. The soundpost was rattling around inside. Yesterday I did a quick and dirty "setup" on it by setting the soundpost, slapping on a tailpiece and a bridge off another fiddle without making any alterations to it, and putting on an old dead set of prim strings. I just wanted to hear what it's got. Ended up having to do some hillbilly pegwork just to get the pegs to take a tuning. It really does need pegwork, since these pegs have ridges and double holes drilled and look like what did it and ran, but I got them working well enough to take a tuning with some sandpaper and determination, though it does take awhile to get it tuned. Luckily it stays in tune well enough. Thank The Big Kahuna for the stability of Prims!

So I put the bow to her. Just a bit nasally, yes, since she's been shut away so long. But WOW. Nice sweet tone. VERY nice sweet tone! I can't wait to bring it to the jam Tuesday so I can hear it away from my ear. I'll have a bridge cut for it by then, at least, and even though it will be my amateur effort, at least the feet will fit, I can at least get THAT part right!

I can't wait to hear her with a real cut bridge, and good pegs, and the one corner glued down, and a wittner tailpiece instead of that awful wood one with those awful add-on finetuners, and . . .

This one might be a candidate for a better second fiddle than the one I've been playing. Since it isn't all that valuable, I can bring it out to the places where I don't want to bring my good fiddle, but still have a fiddle that sounds good to me.

Of course, I'm still working on a couple others that need a whole lot more work, and may sound better yet. But there may, if things keep going well with Terry, eventually be a bit of sentimental regard attached to this one.

Meanwhile Terry said he wants to find me an even better one . . .



27 comments on “A "new" fiddle . . .”

harwilli55 Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @7:31:11 AM

Wow bj...Good Find !! Listening men who actually hear....plus one who will play ( no pun intended) into your addiction ....sounds like life is good !!! Reel him in !!

mudbug Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @11:31:24 AM

Hey, BJ! Congradulations on your...........um...........wait a sec.........what was it you were talking about?

eerohero Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @11:44:12 AM

Hilbilly pegwork, thats it. Ive seen that so often at the auction purchased fiddles, it makes me laugh every time. I did that kind of pegwork ones myself and deeply regret it.

Men, who are listening, yeah, thats really rare, you`re lucky, I guess.
What more can you ask of Life....I will send you some auction Mandolins/fiddles to repair as soon as find some at auctions here.

its been kind of quiet on that front, Auctions are very few nowadays here
I just cant figure out why.

eerohero Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @11:52:16 AM

I forgot to mention, that listening to people in general is the most important and the most difficult matter ever excisted, everyone is so anxious to talk about them selves, and how great they are.

This is an ancient secret, which every Human should know, yet they all seem to forget it, as soon as they can, strange,huh?

this is also a Ground stone for a thing called Charm, without it you will never receive that precious lifestyle, you`re lucky, bj.

robinja Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @12:58:31 PM

So, what instrument does Terry play? If none, which one will he play?? ;^)

bj Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @1:02:11 PM

Eero, I didn't touch the pegbox, just the pegs, and they're not worth saving, they're really chewed up and have already been repurposed from another fiddle. The hillbilly repair didn't hurt the fiddle any.

mudbug, there really are two topics here, so take your pick. :-)

And Harlan, I have a feeling Terry's the one doing the reeling . . . and I think I just might let him catch me. Someday.

bj Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @1:03:13 PM

Terry does currently play electric bass, but I'm grooming him for the part of banjo slave . . . every fiddler needs a banjo slave, right Judy?

eerohero Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @2:19:27 PM

be careful with that "Slave thing" it may cut out the freedom of a Man,right off...

bj Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @2:28:08 PM

It's a joke . . .

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @2:52:11 PM

Hmmmmpf. I listens to womens. Ten years ago one of 'em told me about...what was it...? Anyways, prolly nothin' important. So good luck with this new thing ya got, may you play well together, create music beautiful to behold, beautify your beholdments creatively.

Cyndy Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @4:10:20 PM

Sounds to me like that fiddle has "a bit of sentimental regard" attached to it already. :-)

bj Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @4:17:17 PM

Says the woman with her own brand new banjo slave . . . ;-)

eerohero Says:
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @10:39:11 PM

You Ladies seem to have a hilarious time, Your sense of Humor is highly contaminous, amusing readings....

mudbug Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @3:51:48 AM

Come on, Eero! There's nothing even remotely funny about male slaves and some guy who's pretending to listen. It just brings the whole gender down.

eerohero Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @4:46:16 AM

Oh Stevie, let the Ladies have Fun, they were born into it.
This world is hard enough for all of Us. We males are walking tall, even if in Chains occasionally.

Rene Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @7:10:59 AM

Every gal should own one

WoodshopFiddler Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @7:14:43 AM

"Terry's also a very unusual guy. He listens. Wow, a guy who actually listens to what a woman has to say, what a TOTAL rarity!"

Your story would be believable if not for this statement.

robinja Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @7:32:41 AM

Sounds like a quest for a flea market banjo is in the works. Best wishes to both of you - I forecast a warm winter for your part of Pennsylvania this year!

eerohero Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @8:41:55 AM

Warm Winter !?!, that was a surprising statement, scientists in Russia and in Europe are acclaiming that we will have the coldest winter in thousand years ahead , they are serious about it. However, I believe more in your words ,Robinia ! I have no choice, who wants the other opinion....

cheekee Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @9:40:34 AM

if it makes anyone feel better, my banjo slave is a chick. :-) there's no need to assign gender to a banjo slave. she's the only banjist for moi.

as for the coldest winter...it better not be here. last year it was often colder at my house than at the stinkin' north pole. i'm NOT kidding. both cruel and unusual.

eerohero Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @12:01:46 PM

Only the Roaches and Old Time fiddlers will survive next winter, scientists keeps acclaiming.....cheekee, you made your choice living up at the North
I used to live up North also, far up in the Northern of Finland, minus 40 celsius daily, my doctor told me to move, got arthritis on my fingers, so I moved to Southern of Sweden, my arthritis is long gone, since 40 years back in time.

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @12:29:47 PM

Hmmmmmpf! You guys don't know winter! It gets down into the 50s sometimes here in January and February. Brrrrrrrrrrr.

cheekee Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @1:26:25 PM

i bet that once the temp is in the 50s...you even get RAIN! ha ha.

eerohero Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @1:53:57 PM

I was talking about Celsius....not Fahrenheit

bj Says:
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @3:04:00 PM

You folks havin' fun without me? Hmm? LOL!

Judy, it may be cold outside, but I suspect that yes, my personal part of PA might get to be warm and toasty . . .

That's if I don't end up in Barcelona, Spain . . . It's been an amazing day.

edkarch Says:
Friday, October 29, 2010 @1:55:43 PM

I used to play banjo but gave it up toplay fiddle. The missus took up the banjo but got arthritus of the thumbs and quit to take up the fiddle. Question: am I supposed to give up the fiddle and take up the banjo??

Confused on the proper gender role

bj Says:
Friday, October 29, 2010 @2:55:40 PM

Well, you can always turn another family member into a banjo slave . . . Will I see you up north in a couple weeks, Ed?

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