This month I celebrate my 3rd year anniversary of learning the fiddle. I have come along way from "Cat Scratch Fever", have a long way to go till I'm satisfied, but I'm happy with my progress.
At first, I stressed about making a good tone, being on key, not poking myself in the eye with the bow, etc. I didn't have a teacher right away, and developed some bad habits. At 6 months, I found a wonderful teacher, her husband being a violin maker master. I have a one hour lesson once a month.
I used to stress as well, about how many hours I needed to be "a master". I am going to be 60 in a few short weeks. (OMG, how did I get here!!) I used to record the hours I spent, as if that could make me a better fiddle player. Somewhere along the way, I just started enjoying my playing, thinking of it all day at work, what I wanted to play, work on, and I forgot about logs, and where I was on the scale to be a master. I'm a master today, of what I have learned so far...and that's good enough for me!! Oh, don't think I don't get impatient with myself on not getting something right. I put it away, or work on something else, most often, I play something I know VERY well, and I HAVE FUN WITH IT!!
I am working in an etude book, which has greatly helped my intonation and finger flexibility, and increased my curse word vocabulary. (as well as my husband's). I am also working on the book by Pete Cooper on Irish Fiddling and working on my own songs that I love....King of the Fairies by Kevin Burke, Jay Unger's Lover's Waltz, and Ashokan Farewell. The fiddle has opened up a whole new world for me....I know now what key I am playing in....(never new that before..even though I played the guitar, clarinet, and tin whistle--I must have been absent that day in high school). This is major for me...especially when sitting in sessions and not knowing what "What key are you playing in?" meant.
I still have an aversion to playing in front of my teacher and hitting the record button. Will have to work on that!!
But I am getting more pleased with my playing of late. I can do the songs Lover's Waltz and Ashokan Farewell cleanly, no bumped strings, in tune, with a good rhythm. I have even added a few of Mr. Unger's fancy playing ornaments!! Not even CLOSE to his level, but I have a few of them!! Progress!!!
I have also picked up a student....actually, she is just my fiddle partner in my own little session, she doesn't know it yet!! I help her play scales, and gave her my Old Time Fiddling for the Complete Ignoramus, she is learning "Shorten Bread now". She is going to the same teach as me and we have been friends forever, so when she said she wanted to learn the fiddle..I so totally encouraged her!! We live in the boonies, and have lots of responsibilities. There aren't many opportunities to jam with anyone....so I jam with her, playing scales...for now!! Now if I can only get my hubby to learn the bodhran......
Happy Three Year Anniversary to my father's Fiddle....I hope he can hear me!! (He may be mad though, he was a jazz player!!) I hope I have made you sing, just a little!!!
Friday, August 30, 2013 @7:18:06 AM
Happy Anniversary and many many more. Those years do sneak up in a hurry don't they.
Saturday, August 31, 2013 @3:05:25 PM
Happy Anniversary, Nancy! I'm sure your dad can hear you and is very proud.
Sunday, September 1, 2013 @6:15:02 PM
So have you been to the session in Kingsford yet showing off yer hot licks?
Sunday, September 1, 2013 @6:36:05 PM
Hi Boxbow...no, unfortunately i have not been there. They changed their time from Sunday afternoons to evenings, and it's an hour and a half away...country driving with the deer and the headlights. I don't drive well at night. They had one there tonight...I sure want to go!! :-( I miss playing with others. I was going to a bookstore/tea shop in Green Bay for awhile, but they stopped having it.
I am going to be at a session though on the last night of me being in my 50's..on Oct. 10th, a place called "The Pub" in Oconomowoc..(SE WI), so I've already announced that's where I want to go for my birthday. Will be in the Milwaukee area anyway seeing family, and grandchildren, so that's where my hubby is taking me! (or the other way around!!). Very excited about going!!! I sometimes feel like a square (or shamrock shaped) peg trying to get in a round hole here in the Northwoods, but the birds like my playing, they sing really loud whenever I play. Oh, maybe that isn't a compliment!! Maybe they are trying to drown me out!! :-O
How are your sessions going? Do they still have plenty of them up there?
Thank you kindascratchy and Rene!! I sure do love playing!! These three day weekends are wonderful, played for 4 hours yesterday!!! Taught myself "Shove the Pig's Foot a Little More in the Fire" The Arts are a great way to spend a life!!!
Thanks everyone for your comments!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 @3:00:50 PM
Congrats on the three years. sorry I missed the original post. Are we having fun yet???:-)
that is pretty country up there, and the birds should be happy to have someone to sing along with!
Again congrats a little late but no matter music is timeless!
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @4:33:28 PM
Congrats on the 3 yr anniversary. I enjoyed reading your story.
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