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What would YOU look for if you were an OT contest judge?

Aug 11, 2017 - 2:14:02 PM
5913 posts
Joined Mar 19, 2009

I only ask this because.....I DON"T KNOW!!!!... Some winners play notey tunes with few drones or double stops and other winners play a lot of drones and double stops... SO... What would YOU be looking for if you were an Old TIme Fiddle Contest JUDGE?

Aug 11, 2017 - 4:51:24 PM

Fiddler

USA

3600 posts
Joined Jun 22, 2007

hmmmm .... tough question.

Does the contestant make me want to reach for:

Beer or champagne?

Fried chicken or caviar?

Overalls or tuxedo?

Aug 11, 2017 - 5:10:54 PM
like this

329 posts
Joined Jun 26, 2007

I'd be looking for the quickest escape route.

Aug 11, 2017 - 5:34:11 PM
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2028 posts
Joined Dec 23, 2007

I'm not an OT musician, but in my dream world, the following make sense.

 

In no particular order:

Intonation

Rhythm/timing

Demonstrate knowledge of the genre

Variations and other interesting things (see previous point)

Dance groove

Technical ability/showy things.

Can play equally well with and without a backer.  I want to hear them without a freaking guitar strumming along.  

Having fun.  It's a contest, yes, but why are you so serious?

Aug 11, 2017 - 5:55:44 PM
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5374 posts
Joined Aug 7, 2009

...did it sound like something that I expected - but nothing like what I expected.

Edited by - tonyelder on 08/11/2017 18:05:40

Aug 11, 2017 - 6:12:55 PM

Fiddler

USA

3600 posts
Joined Jun 22, 2007

Seriously,

Intonation

Timing

Technical ability

Danceability

Aug 11, 2017 - 7:21:59 PM

bsed Players Union Member

USA

3866 posts
Joined Jun 23, 2007

I'd take the danceability one step further: If he/she had swing, they'd really get my attention.

Aug 11, 2017 - 9:03:02 PM

Fiddler

USA

3600 posts
Joined Jun 22, 2007

Bruce - I think Duke said it best:

"It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing

(Insert a bunch of doo-ahs here.)

It makes no difference
If it's sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm
Everything you've got

Aug 12, 2017 - 12:18:39 AM
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184 posts
Joined Jun 25, 2007

Well, here are the judging criteria for the traditional categories (fiddle, banjo, and traditional band) at Clifftop:

"Contestants in all traditional categories will be judged on rhythm/timing, tonal qualities, expression/soul, difficulty, and old-time style (20% each), with highest scores going to traditional old-time tunes/songs played in a traditional old-time style."

The third category, "expression/soul", was added by request of the judges some years ago, and seems conspicuously absent from the typical criteria I've seen listed for many contests, including suggestions on this thread. But what could be more important than that in a musical performance? Is not emotional expression the whole point of playing music? It seems an empty exercise to me without its inclusion.

As a Clifftop fiddle and traditional band judge myself three years ago, I heartily approve of the criteria that Bobby Taylor has set for the trad contests; they pretty much cover everything I care about in old-time playing. I guess I could add the musical interaction of the members of a band to the list, but to me, that's pretty much implied in the above criteria.

Edited by - Brendan Doyle on 08/12/2017 00:29:20

Aug 12, 2017 - 6:45:16 AM

RobBob

USA

2490 posts
Joined Jun 26, 2007

As Brendan states above, many of the the contests have written and or verbal criteria to follow.  Some areas favor different styles and having the correct postal address does not hurt at some contests.  But the main thing is follow your instincts as a musician and heed the criteria that the contest is based on.  I have judged a lot of contests and it is a pretty thankless but necessary job. 

Aug 12, 2017 - 6:46:16 AM

1750 posts
Joined Oct 1, 2008

Timing, tone, taste and groove. Not too much whine in the vocals or the fiddling. But that's me. R/

Aug 12, 2017 - 4:07:43 PM

340 posts
Joined Jul 26, 2015

 I like that. I'm going to have to remember that one.

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler
 

hmmmm .... tough question.

Does the contestant make me want to reach for:

Beer or champagne?

Fried chicken or caviar?

Overalls or tuxedo?

 


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