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How to Tune, --or-- , How I Did And/Or Did Not Solve a Problem

Friday, November 27, 2015

I'm rehearsing for a program I'm going to do with another lady. My friend Marcy wants to do this song called the Rainbow Connection. The song is in E. I don't especially like playing in the key of E. Not being the best musician in the world, or perhaps because I am the best musician in the world, I wanted to tune my fiddle so that playing in E would be easier. Somehow I decided that if I tuned all my strings up a step ( GDAE becomes AEBF) I could play as if I was playing in the key of D, one step below E. You can imagine what happened. My E string couldn't take the strain. So because I am not the best musician in the world, or perhaps because I am the best musician in the world, I figured that another option I had was to put my fiddle in a cross-E tuning.  I commenced to tuning my fiddle to the old Benny Thomason (remember Midnight On the Water?), EEBE. Voila!  I am writing this from my hospital bed, as I broke my arm while patting myself on the back. 


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Playing Since: 1980
Experience Level: Purty Good

bsed55 has made 32 recent additions to Fiddle Hangout 

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Occupation: RETIRED, LOO

Gender: Male
Age: 68

My Instruments:
I have a Strad copy from Grandpa. I also have a fiddle that was made for me by Deborah-Helen Viator in Eunice, LA, which is my "tuned-down" Cajun fiddle. My first fiddle (which I still have & is still my best) is one that I payed only $150 for in 1980. The tone is balanced all the way across, but sounds particularly rich in the bass. The story I like to tell about it is that Mike Seeger once offered to buy it off me.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
I like anybody that plays Old-time and Cajun. Favorites include Kenny Jackson of the Rhythm Rats, Double Decker String Band, Rafe Stefanini, Clyde Davenport, Tommy Jarrell, Charlie Bowman, Al Hopkins & His Bucklebusters (aka The Hillbillies), Melvin Wine, Ernie Carpenter and Chirps Smith.

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 6/23/2007
Last Visit 5/20/2024

I started as a classical player, but was able to drop that bad habit. (My 13 yr. old niece is a budding violinist, but she says classical music is boring. I sense an opportunity here.) Anyhow, it took a few years to stop reading music. Going to Augusta in Elkins, WV and taking a class with Gerry Milnes was eye-opening. Over the years I just kept going to workshops where I'd meet teachers & other fiddlers and I'd learn a few things every time & rekindle the excitement that I feel every time I pick up a fiddle.

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