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A musician and their tools

Monday, September 6, 2010

 As a musician, or any kind of artist, at some point in our lives we will come up against the question: Where is the line between the artist and the tools? When I broke my favorite expensive violin bow several years ago, I was heartbroken. After trying to find another to take it's place, it became clear that that bow was an individual. There was not going to be a replacement. I was going to have to work with other bows. As hard as that was to handle for me, that was my first real introduction to my new way of thinking. My bow is a tool I use. I am the artist, or musician. When I broke my left wrist and damaged some ligaments in that hand and arm, I could not play. This gave me a lot of time to think. I've concluded that even parts of the body we use to produce our particular art form are ALSO TOOLS. When you listen to the radio, or a CD, or even some kind of muzak in the store, listen more carefully. What is the first thing you hear? What do your ears (or tapping feet, or brain, or heart), hear or feel first? Check it out. Sometimes I hear some kind of music that I didn't choose to hear, and I hate it. OK, that's part of life. I ask myself, "Darcie, what is it that bugs you the most?" Start there. Tear it apart, in your head. Maybe, if you're lucky, and you are in an elevator, you don't have to hear it for very long. Nevertheless, if you can find out what you dislike, that will help you with what you DO LIKE. It's kind of an opposite thing. This helps you develop who you are as a musician. Because who you are inside as a musician is more important than the actual instrument you have chosen to focus on. Some people play more than one instrument. All music, and all instruments are inter-related. Almost every piece of music of any kind has more than one instrument playing with each other...inter-relating. Did I make that word up? Maybe. Oh well. Maybe not. By the way, all this applies to singers, too. Some people don't consider singers "real musicians”. Well, give a listen to Ella Fitzgerald or Bono, and think again. Singer's tools are their throats, lungs, and generally their whole body-mind health. Back to inter-relating. Let's say you play the violin, the piano, sax, bass, or the tuba, but the drums are the first things you hear. Check out how all the instruments cooperate in a song. If you play the drums, listen to how the drums and the bass "drive the bus" while everyone else plays their part. Including the singer. It's fascinating. This brings me to the next topic. You might be in school and have homework and other hobbies as well as playing music, or you have two or three jobs and have a household to run. Most people who like to play music have the same problem. Almost everyone says, "I didn't have as much time to practice as I wanted to this week”. First, I like to think of using the word "play" instead of practice. Playing is a lot more fun than practicing. Even if you have musical exercises on your list to play, the list itself can give you peace of mind. So, when you actually DO have time to play your instrument, look at your list. You don't have to think so hard, about what you "think" you are supposed to do. The instrument you have picked to play, you PICKED because the sound of it moved you, inspired you in your heart in some way. 

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www.darciedeaville.com
Playing Since: 1976
Experience Level: Expert/Professional

Interests:
[Teaching] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: fiddler/musician/actor/writer/teacher

Gender: Female
Age: 57

My Instruments:
fiddle, guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, other stringed instruments to a lesser extent -including hurdy gurdy, oud, dulcimer, piano, cello, banjo


Favorite Bands/Musicians:
David Lindley, Richard Thompson, Neil Young, The Stanley Brothers, Tommy jarrell, Scotty Stoneman, Clarence White, Django Reinhardt, Joe Venuti, Cab Calloway, Eliza Gilkyson

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 10/26/2009
Last Visit 10/24/2014

"Pilots and musicians are of the same breed. They all have their heads in the clouds," Darcie muses. Born in Toronto to a journalist/pilot mother and a bush helicopter pilot father, they lived in Northern Canada and constantly moved around North America, from one culture to another. At 16, Darcie struck out on her own, making her living on the streets of Toronto playing guitar. Finding home in Austin, TX, Darcie is known for her fiery fiddling and singing her songs, and working internationally with other actors and musicians. She's currently a member of the Austin Lounge Lizards, and a cast member of a NYC based troupe performing "Woody Sez. In 2007 she released her 5th CD, "Livin' on the Lucky Side.” Darcie’s versatility is her strength. In the past few years she has developed an inventive way of coaching music for adults and kids of all ages. I TEACH ON SKYPE! It works great!!! Check out this page on my website for details on my coaching approach and my rates http://www.tallerdog.com/?section=news

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