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Status Report on Fiddle and Other Instruments

Posted by fiddlepogo on Friday, July 18, 2014

like this

1. Fiddle:  been neglecting, haven't been feeling well... often not enough energy to make it downstairs to the lobby men's room at night for concentrated, focused practice. Last night, I made myself go down for the first time in a couple months. The Wednesday gig had NOT gone well- I cut the fiddle segment short... I hadn't played in a WEEK, and it showed!  So I really needed the practice last night. Todays gig included fiddle... it didn't go as well as the practice last night, but it went way better than Wednesday!!!

I came up with a new approach to tweaking the finish that is getting consistently good results. Last night downstairs Booker seemed VERY focused if a little tight... a very versatile sound that works well for fiddle tunes but almost everything else too.

I'm hoping as I play it more that this new sound will make it open up in a different way.

I also reinstalled the cable tie thumb rest on my only carbon fiber bow, and I think that helped too.

Also.... I've gone back to standard tuning for now.   I'm mostly playing Booker, but Carthy and Stinky both seem to benefit from the new finish tweaking approach.

2. Banjo:  I had done some mild tweaks to the Hohner Travel banjo- I took off the truss rod cover, and added some extra washers in certain places under the nuts for extra mass.  It's been sounding really good lately.... I think I've hit the happy medium for me between mellowness and clarity.  I've been eating enough gelatin for a while now that the middle fingernail is a lot more solid, which helps a LOT.

3. Baritone Ukulele:  I think I'm finally getting to where playing Bari Uke is natural.  A big problem was barre chords and the B7 chord.  I tend to play more Tin Pan Alley songs with the uke, and sometimes I just need those chords, and I need to be able to change to them's FINALLY working!  The uke is also sounding very good.... I play it HARD, and it seems to like that.  It's also doable taking it on the bus.... I think guitar would be a LOT more work.

4. Electric guitar: it's  getting neglected. I need a setup for headphone practice.

5.  Drums:  Drum set is set up in the living room, and quite muted- toms and bass drum are stuffed with plastic shopping bags!

The tops of the toms and snares have rubber muting pads on them.

My closest neighbor to the drum set said "Have you been practicing drums?"... fortunately she said she can only hear it very faintly!!!! Good news!!!  With it set up at home, I tend not to play all that long at a time... maybe 15 to 20 minutes at a time.  It helps get the blood circulating and wakes me up.

Cymbals are muted with Moongel and handkerchiefs!   "Found percussion" is getting more and more complex, and getting more and more fun. I have so many items I can play some marimba like scales.  I also have various items that match the top hi-hat (which is actually the low hat, I've reversed them.  The "found" items include: aluminum pot, aluminum pot lids, aluminum frying pans, aluminum candy dish, metal trivet of unknown material, hollow knick-knack shelf, wooden napkin holder, wooden vase, wooden chips and dip tray, wooden kleenex box cover, among other items... oh yeah, a wooden bagel slicer!

I'm using hemiola-like phrasing more and more- it's akin to the Double Shuffle on fiddle.  I've lost my obsession with paradiddles however.... I'm just using the regular and reverse paradiddles.... the inverse and broken paradiddles have kind of fallen by the wayside.  Also, my left hand has gotten strong enough that I can actually accent the left hand hits sometimes.  And that's saying something since I'm using the "traditional grip".

6. Acoustic guitar: I still have a nylon string guitar, but it's strung left-handed... a failed experiment, I think.  I think my finger is doing well enough that I may switch it back to right handed   The steel string  acoustic is long gone... I miss it sometimes, but oh well!!!

3 comments on “Status Report on Fiddle and Other Instruments”

bsed55 Says:
Saturday, July 19, 2014 @6:54:08 PM

You amaze me with your instrumental versatility. I'll just be happy if I work out bass runs in all the OT keys on guitar.

buckhenry Says:
Friday, August 8, 2014 @4:21:48 AM

hey , whats ''the inverse and broken paradiddles''........I'll have to dust off my drums soon, I am missing them....lucky I don't need to dampen them because I have them under the house in a kind of sound proofed room..I use industrial ear muffs though.

fiddlepogo Says:
Sunday, August 10, 2014 @11:12:20 AM

Inverse paradiddle: RLLRLRRL (equivalent of 1-2-1-1-2-1 on fiddle)
Broken paradiddle: RLLRLLRL (equivalent of 1-2-1-2-1-1 on fiddle)

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