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Notes from Lesson #2

Posted by jonno on Friday, March 21, 2008

Had the second lesson with my new teacher last night.  Here are a couple notes from the session.


Vibrato Progress

He saw improvement in my vibrato and said to keep working on it.  He quoted a friend of his as saying “playing the violin is the precise application of force.”  I now have two types of vibrato – a fast tremor and a very slow undulation.  My left hand is gradually learning the motion, but it’s taking daily work to develop the pivot point so I can control the timing to fit within the beat of the tune.  As I said in my first blog entry, my work on vibrato is reengineering the way my left hand approaches the neck and the strings. 


Playing Traditional Fiddle Accompaniment to Bluegrass Songs. 

He played “I Wonder Where You are Tonight?” in G.  The 1st time, he played just single notes, next with lots of doublestops, then as a break – which combined single note runs interspersed with doublestops.  He noted that doublestops serve as punctuation–use them at resting points, between the phrases that have a lot of notes.


How much do you follow the melody?
In traditional bluegrass, you stay pretty close to the melody.  But, you also throw in a lot of licks.  Every song has two types of phrases - the more interesting parts and the less interesting parts (the most interesting and recognizable parts of the song are called the hook).  Play closer to the melody during the hook.  The less interesting phrases are the time to improvise within the chord or play standard licks. 

Warning: Keep in mind which licks you’ve played in one song, so you don’t repeat them in the next song that comes along in the same key.  Otherwise, your fiddle playing may start to sound the same.


Should I start learning a bunch of licks?

2 comments on “Notes from Lesson #2”

Swing Says:
Saturday, March 22, 2008 @8:47:19 AM

Greast list of notes for playing..... keep this up and we all learn form you and your teacher..

Play Happy

fiddlepLuker Says:
Monday, November 23, 2009 @3:37:46 AM

Oh wow! Some very focused notes! You have given me a few ideas, I thank you for that.

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