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Starting out

Posted by FireNFiddl on Friday, February 17, 2012

Never blogged before, so why not.  I'm looking for beginner tips on techniques.  I'm just learning the theory so any help with that is appreciated.

10 comments on “Starting out”

richdissmore Says:
Friday, February 17, 2012 @3:46:30 PM

you got it all you need do is ask wecome to fiddle hang out have you started any books like fiddle by mel bey

boxbow Says:
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @7:44:33 AM

Find a guitar or banjo player who knows at least three chords. Start playing. It's not like you'll ever get "there" because, as the saying goes, there's no "there" there. It's all about the going. So much for my Yoda impersonation. Really, play with others. It's no less vital for a beginner than for a seasoned veteran. I well remember the way it felt when, for just a few moments, I was making music. I remember because it kept happening, and that beautiful sense of being a part of something greater never grows old. My goal has become to make those few moments stretch out longer. Theory? Well, theory is fine, but it is largely a way for players to talk about the playing within a common vocabulary. It still works best to play or hum whatever it is you're trying to describe to your fellow musician, at least at the level that I'm trying to function at. It's surprising how much command of music theory you have if you can read sheet music. I think they evolved together, so they're really just about the same thing. Kind of like the two legs of a ladder. One makes no sense without the other, but they're not enough all by themselves, either. Just another tool, so don't confuse the theory with the music. A large number of Hangout members learn by ear, and only supplement with sheet music, if at all. I've spent the last year trying to wean myself off the sheet music, hereinafter referred to as the "dots" because I found that I play my very best (and worst) when I play the music in my head. The dots are a fine way to store music, no batteries required, easily transported, easily transferred, but they're only dots.
I see you have a blue fiddle. Hard to get really good sound out of those painted fiddles. I have one (red and sparkly) that I borrowed from a friend. When winter set in it stopped holding tune at all. Come spring, maybe it'll be playable again. Lousy tone, but really fun to play for some reason. Other fiddlers feel the same way about it. I hope you're enjoying yours. Find a jam session that you can join. Listen to recordings. Explore genres. Have fun. Make friends. Make music. Teach others what you've learned. It all adds up.

bj Says:
Saturday, February 18, 2012 @6:28:53 PM

The woodshed is your best friend. Put in the time and it will get better. It takes a thousand hours to become a passable fiddler (in other words, not suck anymore.) You just have to choose if it's gonna take you two years or twenty to put in that thousand hours. It takes ten thousand to be a GOOD fiddler.

amanofconstantsorrow Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @12:42:13 AM

really get into the music, once you have the skeleton of the tune have as much fun with it as you want and make it your own, that's the beauty of fiddl'n :)

mudbug Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @3:04:27 AM

Woodshed? Your photo looks like you're playing in a hair salon. That's gotta be a first! Welcome!

Andah1andah2 Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @5:02:00 AM

Take at least a few lessons in the beginning from a qualified teacher so you don't start off with bad habits. Then just play your little heart out. I know very little theory and don't read music. I know the keys (scales) of G, C, D and A. That was enough for the first few years.

S_Heriger Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @12:49:47 PM

You came to the right place. You might find that you'll get all sort of advice, some of which may conflict, but just remember that what works for one might not work for another. I agree with the advice about getting a good instructor to get started. If you learn good form and technique earlier, you'll learn and progress much faster. Lots of players learn by ear and teach themselves, and that's great, but I still feel anyone starting out would benefit from a good instructor.

Diane G Says:
Monday, February 20, 2012 @9:48:26 PM

There are some great teaching are two that I send my students too for another view point on a technique the student is learning. It always helps to get another view of something your learning. Welcome to FHO and keep playing.
1) lots of great free beginner stuff.
2) R Todd Ehle aka: Professor V on YouTube. Check out his website at: His site has some good things about practice, buying a violin and bow and his teaching is fun and great.
Stay tuned. Diane in SoCal

FireNFiddl Says:
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @9:48:26 AM

Thanx for all the help and advice. I went out to see a fiddler on Saturday night and a great fiddler just happened to be there, so ya i'm going to get out there and talk to players.
@ boxbow So far the blue one sounds nice, i also have a full size that is a family heirloom (but don't worry i'll make er sing again)

Mad Martigan Says:
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @10:27:33 PM

My advice as a fairly new fiddle player myself.. is take ur time and be very patient with ur goals :) Many times ive thought about giving up on fiddle from frustration but as my buddy once told me "when u get frustrated or stuck lay it down for a couple days and then pick it back up" Hope this helps ya :)

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