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How to enjoy playing

Posted by fiddlerdi on Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sometimes when you are playing in a band, and teaching fiddle and beginners jam it's easy to lose track of what you love the most about the fiddle and that's just to play.....for the fun of it.  Not for money, or contests, or to be nervous, or or, or,........That's what I did this weekend. There was a small Bluegrass Festival over in Lawrence at the Holidone. Some really good bands like IIIrd Time Out and Freight Hoppers. I had to pay twenty bucks to get in but all I wanted to do was sit and play some tunes with the other musicians.  I was not disappointed. I was able to play with several good fiddlers, including a gentleman I had never met named Tim Daniels. He lives only about an hour or so from here and I had never met him. He's quite good. Has a couple of music degrees and is technically proficient. Not a person with a big ego, just likes to play and he teaches a few students. Has made a few home-made recordings. Can't drive due to a vision disability, so a friend drove him over.

You know it's funny and some of you will know what I mean. You are in a bigger jam, and you being a fiddler are aware of the other fiddlers, and you know most of them but there's a new guy or gal, so you are listening and you instantly know, "Now there's a good player"! So you kind of tune in to see what they are playing. You watch their hands and play softer so you can hear their breaks. Finally you can't stand it anymore and you get up and introduce yourself and find our who they are and wonder why you haven't met before now.  

Another fiddler I enjoyed playing with plays in a very good Cowboy band and I knew him, but had never had a chance to sit and play music with him. He was at the festival for the same reason I was, just to play music with other people. So, if you haven't had this experience I would strongly encourage you to take this step in your journey. People are really nice and for the most part are welcoming. Well, the best ones are anyway. I hope people see me as that way. One young, about 17 year old young guy came in later. He was dressed a lot like the guys did when I was in junior high. Jeans, t-shirt, red head band, very hippie-esque. He said he was just getting interested in Bluegrass music and he played guitar and harmonica. He asked if we had heard of Bob Dylan....LOL We said yeah, we'd heard of him....and he played a Dylan tune on his guitar and harmonica.  He did real good. Then we helped him play some bluegrass back-up and he had a real good time. It was a great afternoon. Everyone gave me a hard time about leaving butI had to leave early and come home to have a big family dinner. The youngest grand-daughter was turning three. But that was OK because it was good to spend a winter afternoon playing, just for the fun of it.

7 comments on “How to enjoy playing”

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Monday, February 4, 2008 @11:48:01 AM

I had told you that it would be good to meet Tim.  He's the fellow that created the interest in me to learn to play the fiddle.  I am so glad that you finally got to meet him.

playmorebluegrass Says:
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 @7:43:16 AM

I think that's my problem. I've been so wrapped up in teaching that I've forgotten the reason why I want to play in the first place....Because I like to. Not for money.....not for fame....just cause....I know so many people that want to be paid it's not even funny. So I simply don't play with them. There's plenty of good musicians that play just for the heck of it. Thanks for the inspiration!!

nico Says:
Thursday, February 5, 2009 @12:37:18 PM

I dream of living such experiences..

Brian T Says:
Sunday, April 5, 2009 @1:38:28 PM

I want to line up with Nico to do that.

Tennessee Tom Says:
Thursday, May 14, 2009 @7:15:41 PM

I was at a great BG fest myself last weekend. Doyle Lawson was the headliner, and all the pro performers were gr8. There were amateur jam circles everywhere!!! what a gr8 time I had.

Cheers, Tom

fiddleiphile Says:
Thursday, February 25, 2010 @8:30:59 AM

It's probably hard for those that have'nt been there to believe that playing music for a living can take all the fun out of it. Indeed it just becomes another job. I bought a small piece of wooded property in the middle of nowhere, where I go pitch a tent and play music for the fun of it. I've been a professional bass player for many years and the fun in my music had vanished. I got myself a fiddle and the fun came back . Even with the struggle to learn a new instrument, the bad notes and all, the fun of just makin' music returned.

fiddlepLuker Says:
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @3:16:22 AM


I really enjoyed reading your blog post about just playing! Thanks for sharing the day with us.

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