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Obsession and the Zen of playing fiddle.

Posted by MOFiddlin on Friday, July 6, 2012

I think to play and get where you need to be on the fiddle you have to become a bit obsessed. I'm talking the healthy kind of obsession.  From the moment I picked up the fiddle I've had a not quit attitude. I know I'm not great right now, but I'm greater than I was when I first picked it up and that's pretty encouraging.  The fiddle is limitless and it will be a lifetime of learning. I accept that challenge.

I'm not trying to be anyone in particular but I'm trying achieve a certain style which is Oldtime, yet at the same time I remain open minded. I'll learn anything to learn if that makes sense. I don't need to be anyone else. I'm just trying to be me. I respect it all and who came before me. I'm in awe of anyone who is beyond my capabilities and what I yet don't know. I learn and soak in everything from everyone. I listen to the old fiddlers in the past and yearn for their kind of self discovery.  And that's what it is every time I play;a discovery of some kind.

I've only had a few fiddle lessons and that was at the beginning but that doesn't mean I'm still not willing to learn or that I'm not teachable.  When I went to Mt. Airy, NC fiddlers convention. I asked questions a lot and people showed me things.  You'll never know if you don't ask,  I observed and then I imitated it on my  fiddle.

When I play I close my eyes. I see what I'm playing and bowing. It is my way of not thinking too much. I've practiced in the dark. This isn't new to me actually.  I use to sit on my bed at night in the dark and play my guitar as a teenager. Maybe this will sound too weird and too cliche' but becoming one with my fiddle should be as breathing and second nature. It is getting there, but not quite yet. Fiddle is a lot more technical.

Obsession is  a good thing if its the right thing. That's my Zen apparocah of playing the fiddle.


9 comments on “Obsession and the Zen of playing fiddle.”

fiddlerd Says:
Saturday, July 7, 2012 @4:56:25 AM

I have the same attitude....I will not quit! I don't think I have an obsession, but i'm close. I call it determination. I practice with my eyes closed sometimes and it helps me concentrate on just my fiddle and song.

MOFiddlin Says:
Saturday, July 7, 2012 @6:16:35 AM

Me too. Thinking too much while playing will mess me up.

OTJunky Says:
Saturday, July 7, 2012 @8:42:27 AM

Same here...


Humbled by this instrument Says:
Saturday, July 7, 2012 @4:03:51 PM

Quitting is easy. I've done it thousands of times. I've vowed never to play this !@#$%^g thing again. I've joined F.A. Nothing has helped.

Cyndy Says:
Saturday, July 7, 2012 @6:09:13 PM

I think of my fiddle as "beloved appendage." : )

rosinhead Says:
Monday, July 9, 2012 @4:47:06 AM

Ditto :) I would need a 12 step program to get away from this thing.

Wesley Says:
Friday, August 3, 2012 @12:06:11 PM

Thomasville, eh? Greensboro, NC is my second home. Maybe we can get together sometime and play some beginner fiddle tunes for each other. I like your comments on fiddle obsession--I played at least 4 hours a day when I first started I was so excited about progressing further and further :D

Wesley Says:
Friday, August 3, 2012 @12:08:21 PM

I like your "Old Joe Clark" it was one of the first tunes I learned. I still play it all the time to warm up my shuffle bowing :D

MOFiddlin Says:
Friday, August 3, 2012 @11:52:58 PM

Cool, thanks. Yeah, I'm always looking for some fiddle friends to play with. Message me your phone number and we can we can set up a time to get together.

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