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What's in it for amateurs.

Posted by Grassapelli on Thursday, June 2, 2011

I put an article up on one of my blogs about "Amateurism in Folk Music."

Sometimes you hear "amateur" as a pejorative epithet. That's an unfair use of the term amateur, in my opinion.

The root of the word is someone who loves what they do. What's wrong with that.

The person I most often play for is me. I enjoy playing fiddle tunes. I don't need an audience to have a good time. I don't need dancers to have a good time. All I have to do is play a fiddle tune. I'm having a good time.


7 comments on “What's in it for amateurs.”

richdissmore Says:
Thursday, June 2, 2011 @8:22:08 AM

thats what i do play for my self i use to play for money this is more fun i,m not very good i try playing fiddle its harder then guitar or bass

FiddleJammer Says:
Thursday, June 2, 2011 @8:33:13 AM

Interesting point. I some time refer to us as hobbyists, although that makes it sound too light, I think. As a group, we're passionate and obsessive, if I were one to generalize. :-) I most prefer 'jammers'. That is the synopsis of what I love about fiddling. Other thoughts?

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Thursday, June 2, 2011 @7:43:31 PM

In fact, often I prefer the "amateur" musicians, Elan. Not always, but often. Great stuff, thanks

bj Says:
Friday, June 3, 2011 @8:58:57 AM

I've often found that once one starts to do stuff for money, especially if you're depending on the income, there's a change in attitude that happens, and it isn't always for the better. Playing becomes WORK. Sometimes something is lost in that translation.

Amateurs more often remain passionate about their playing, which makes the music more fun to listen to and more emotionally satisfying oft-times, even if the playing is a bit less polished.

As with all things, this is a generalization that doesn't always hold true, but I think we can all point to pro people who do follow the trend and "phone it in" even if they're technically competent to the max.

KCFiddles Says:
Friday, June 3, 2011 @10:54:35 AM

When you play for money, you have to please an audience.

As an amateur, you can play to please yourself.

It's a rare gift to be able to play whatever you like, and get paid for it.

Grassapelli Says:
Sunday, June 5, 2011 @10:23:12 AM

I seem to be edging over towards "play whatever you like, and get paid for it." In practice, it means, more of my original tunes, more Liz Carroll tunes, more favorite tunes.

bullrambler Says:
Thursday, June 9, 2011 @7:46:39 PM

Good to read your having fun...!

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