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Another Bout of Fiddle Tweaking and the End of the EZfolk Era... This Time FOR SURE!

Posted by fiddlepogo on Thursday, August 30, 2012

I don't know what it is... maybe it's looking at a fiddle in different kinds of light, maybe from different angles... but I keep seeing things... TWEAKABLE things.... especially with Carthy, the newest (to me) Knilling 4KF, because it's been tweaked less.  The latest tweaks removed enough of the tightness that I'm enjoying playing Carthy more and more.  Actually, For a while now I've been trying to start any practice session that isn't on the day of a gig with Carthy, because partly the fiddle just needs playing time- the previous owner obviously did not play it much.

I'm a little nervous about sharing the details of the tweaks because I think it inspires other people to get carried away, but let me make it clear that the tweaks are almost invisible, and that VERY LiTTLE material is being removed.  The key thing is the LOCATION of the material removed.  Certain areas of the fiddle are so critical to the sound that small differences in mass or thickness of finish really can make a noticeable difference, especially when the finish is sprayed on, and too thick in the first place.

Today, I got Stinky out for the first time in a long time, and did some of the same tweaks I'd done to Carthy, and they really helped.  Stinky has been midrangey and nasal sounding for a long time, and these tweaks finally added enough low end to compensate for that and make it more pleasant to play.

I also worked on some newish tunes slowed down, which requires booting into Windows XP since the Media Player has a good slow-down function-  the main Linux player I use doesn't have that feature.

Some months after the ezfolk.com server crash last fall, they got it going again.... and I was hoping it would stay going, but the sysop pulled the plug on it a few days ago.  Bummed me out- I don't know why I liked ezfolk so much.. I think partly because it's folk-oriented, and partly because it was kind of casual, and partly because most of the people were my age!!!

Partly also I have the need for such a site, because I'm not just a fiddler, I'm a singer, guitarist and banjopicker too.  Somehow it's nice to have a music site where I don't feel the need to divide my musical self, so to speak.

Somebody mentioned before the plug was pulled that several ezfolkers had landed on alonetone.com, so I checked it out, and IMO, it has a lot to recommend it:

1. Visually, it's easy on the eyes... dark, but not too dark- I don't like sites like Sound

click or Soundcloud that are mostly white- too much glare for these old eyes!  And then some sites are so dark that they are depressing... alonetone strikes a nice balance, IMO.

2. It's totally non-commercial... no ads for weird stuff I don't like on my page.

3. The software is open-source- as a user of Firefox, Audacity, and Linux, I LIKE that.

4. The software is actually easier to use than the Jamroom software ezfolk.com was using... it's also easier to use than the Soundcloud software.

5. There are a fair number of blues-based musicians there, many of them English, and some of them like my fiddling!

6. There is a good sense of community there.

Drawbacks:

1. They don't divide stuff according to GENRES... that seems SO strange.

Because of that, I felt a need to define myself a bit more in other ways... and I've become aware over the years that there are a LOT of Michael Springers:

I've found:

1. a pianist composer

2. a blues guitarist

3. a microbiologist

4. a golf pro

5. Several petty criminals

6. A member of the Green Party in Germany who is a representative in their Assembly (Bundestag).... along with MANY other Germans with that name- although they pronounce it quite differently!

7. There's even another Michael Springer in my town!

And MANY others in the US, too, and probably a few in England too.

As far as I know, I'm the only Michael Springer who plays fiddle.... so, to make it clear I'm not any of those OTHER Michael Springers,  on alonetone.com, I decided to be "Fiddlin' Michael Springer"... cheesy? Perhaps.  Hey, I know I'm not the best fiddler in the world, but then, neither was Fiddlin' John Carson!!!

But I do enjoy fiddling when I perform... I tend to take most of the time up with fiddle, and the banjo and guitar are kind of an afterthought.

And it's what I'm known as in the local music scene... if I get out a guitar  instead of the fiddle at jam sessions, people look at me funny like I'm doing something wrong!

Anyway, the website link over to the left is now changed to the alonetone.com site url.

I will also be using the website url on the little flyers I keep in my fiddle case that I give to interested people after gigs, busking, and jam sessions.



3 comments on “Another Bout of Fiddle Tweaking and the End of the EZfolk Era... This Time FOR SURE!”

richdissmore Says:
Friday, August 31, 2012 @4:18:49 PM

there a michael springer out here to glad your doing well

Larry Rutledge Says:
Friday, August 31, 2012 @8:57:59 PM

Details, Details! We's needs details" We's has a new VSO from the pawnshop, and it has TWEEKS written all over it. Material removed, critical areas, mass, thickness. Yes we's understands, we's inspired!:)

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Saturday, September 1, 2012 @6:00:08 PM

What Larry said.

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