Posted by bj on Sunday, January 30, 2011
Yep, got to fiddle with Jeff Wisor, formerly teacher on the Music Moose site (those lessons are still floating around somewhere on the web.) Wow, what an incredible fiddler! Got some tips for playing outta chord positions, which was different for me, and I might actually use it someday if I'm playing in EyeTalian tuning.
My fiddler friend Arlene Schar and I took the trip up to East Stroudsburg for Winterfest, run by the Pocono Bluegrass and Folk Society, which is ably managed by my friends, John and Neil, who are also Varmint Jammers here in Easton.
Jeff Wisor gave Arlene and me a quick fiddle workshop, which was great. He's more bluegrassy, but some of his tricks were directly transferable to OT. Some cool bowrocking variations and some other little slidey tricks that are simple and fun to throw in here and there. They were small, easy, but very cool little techniques. I think I got more from him in fifteen minutes than I got out of the last hour and a half long workshop I took!
We all got to jam for awhile and played some fiddle tunes, and some bluegrass and old country tunes, and even some texas swing. And I got to yodel, which I haven't done in a long time. I forgot how much fun it is!
And I discovered I could play House of the Rising Sun on fiddle, which I never woulda guessed . . .
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @5:31:01 PM
Shoot, you could probably play just about any song melody you've got rolling around inside that head of yours. Some, like House.. that have been there for a long time will be surprisingly easy. Good practice for ear/finger coordination.
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @5:45:17 PM
What surprised me is I was basically doing a bluegrass treatment, since there was a singer. It just . . . happened. Not that I'll make a habit of it, LOL!
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @6:14:45 PM
bj, it's ok to play bluegrass. No more do you have to play bluegrass in back allies and seedy dives. Come on out in the open and say loudly and proudly "I CAN PLAY BLUEGRASS AND I LOVE IT!!!!!!!". It'll be ok.
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @6:18:12 PM
Um, we were in a seedy dive . . .
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @6:38:57 PM
Yodeling, huh? Awesome! Must remember this for when we eventually meet in person.
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @6:43:56 PM
Even better, it was yodelling in three part harmony . . .
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @6:54:58 PM
Bluegrass. Humph. (Just teasing you.) Sounds like it was a great day.
Monday, January 31, 2011 @5:17:24 AM
Amazing how your perceptions are changing. Congrats. It's all music and it's all good.......unless, of course, it's bad. :-)
Monday, January 31, 2011 @8:33:35 AM
Steve, my musical tastes have always been broad ranging, so I'm trying to figure out how you see my perceptions as having changed. I've been going to bluegrass events periodically since I started fiddling, and back when I was The Jazz Chanteuse I ended up doing a stint with a country band, which I never thought I would do, but it ended up being fun for a bit. Anyway, bluegrass is fine for an occasional side dish, but it for sure isn't the main course for me. Never will be.
Now, having said that, I'll actively look to learn tricks from ANY sort of fiddler. Jeff does play mostly bluegrass but he does also play oldtime on occasion and does it justice. He's one of those musicians with very big ears. He's also a hellaciously great teacher. When you follow him and get it right that man INSTANTLY beams from ear to ear and it's like the angels just broke into three part harmony. Which makes you wanna get it right again.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 @6:26:18 AM
My mistake. I was under the impression that you only liked tunes, as opposed to songs, singers, singers singing songs or fiddlers providing chordal accompaniment, backing up singers singing songs.
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