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Fiddle Lovers Online


Dec 6, 2017 - 9:22:11 PM
5452 posts
Joined Aug 7, 2009

...don't waste your time or money on getting your fiddle set up correctly. It won't matter that much while you are learning.

...buy a more expensive fiddle and a new bow. You will sound so much better.

...learn the to play the fiddle first, then figure out what kind of music you want to play.

...and quickly get yourself an instructor. Any will do. They all teach the same thing. It doesn't matter if they don't play fiddle the way you want to play / or the kind of tunes you want to learn.

...fall in love with the way your fiddle sounds with a mute.

...leave that fiddle laying around. Don't worry about putting it back in the case.

Am I forgetting anything?

Edited by - tonyelder on 12/06/2017 21:23:03

Dec 7, 2017 - 6:39:36 AM

1776 posts
Joined Oct 1, 2008

This is what I usually send to newbies ..... R/

1.If possible take lessons from a fiddler in the style you want to play. If not still get a teacher to help you get started and avoid bad habits that will have to be dealt with at a later date.
2. Practice your scales with the tuner. It will help you with your intonation.
3. Learn both open and closed position scales and arpeggios.
4. Every time you pick up your violin tune it.
5. Play every day … a lot of what you are learning is muscle memory.
6. Keep a loose wrist and fingers. Tension is a short term and long term enemy.
7. Watch another fiddler whenever you can Youtube and Facebook are great for this.
8. Do a lot of active, with fiddle in hand, and passive, while doing other things, listening to fiddle players.
9. Learn fiddle tunes. Then learn to play them in odd keys. Not to befuddle your friends but to really learn the fingerboard.
10. Find a jam to play with folks. It's the best way to dive in to playing.
11. If you don't already know basic music theory learn it. It will help you evolve as a fiddler and as a musician.

Dec 7, 2017 - 9:39:22 AM
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3246 posts
Joined Sep 26, 2008

Whoa, Richard, that seems like an overwhelming amount of info for a newbiesmiley??????.

To Tony's sarcasm, I'd add to go ahead and treat every bit of sheet music you find as THE OFFICIAL version of the tune. Especially the ones that seem to contradict each other. 

Dec 7, 2017 - 3:09:38 PM

174 posts
Joined Nov 12, 2016

I like Richard's list. Overwhelming? Perhaps a tad, but learning to play the darn thing is almost overwhelming. I've been advised to do most of those during the 18 months I've been learning and having such a list when I started may have been helpful. #6 is good to know early and I was working on that in my lesson last night. Learning to play in odd keys could perhaps wait a bit (the even keys are tough enough wink) and good luck finding a jam to play with. No joy yet for me on #10, but that may not be the worst thing as I've only improved to being really bad.

Dec 7, 2017 - 3:15:33 PM

Rodger

Canada

7 posts
Joined Nov 29, 2017

I've trained myself to read sympathetically, otherwise, for the sake of effective communication, to try & find a way I can agree with what a person says so as not to misunderstand. I didn't even realize Tony was being sarcastic, because with point 1 - if you had to pay a luthier 2 or 3 hundred dollars to set up a fiddle with a new bridge, tailpiece, strings, ream peg box, & on & on & on, the point may be valid for the first few months of learning. With point 2, if you can easily afford it, then why not invest in a good fiddle & bow? I know, & have students that have no interest in playing a horrible sounding, cheap fiddle. They simply won't do it. Point 3 - If he's saying to focus on getting the basics of a good sound & technique first, before trying to master a style, then this is true. Point 4 - If his definition of 'Instructor' is a person qualified to teach and truly knows what they are doing, it will be a big plus to use them. You can add anything you want at home on your own. Point 5 - If your playing is limited by neighbors or family or anyone that your playing would be an intrusion on, then you aren't going to hardly ever get to practice unless you are happy playing muted. Point 6 - If it's not dangerous leaving it out, it is true you will play it more if you don't have to unpack it to just play for a minute or two.
Richard's 11 comments are excellent also, & I totally agree.

Edited by - Rodger on 12/07/2017 15:17:53

Dec 7, 2017 - 4:35:26 PM
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974 posts
Joined Aug 27, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Rodger

I've trained myself to read sympathetically, otherwise, for the sake of effective communication, to try & find a way I can agree with what a person says so as not to misunderstand. I didn't even realize Tony was being sarcastic, because with point 1 - if you had to pay a luthier ...

It was a joke. It would be terrible advice dto  learn on a poorly set up instrument. A good player can get something out of a poor instrument perhaps, but a beginner is likely to get nowhere and quit.

Also, never loosen the tension of your bow so you can be ready to play at any time.

Dec 7, 2017 - 5:12:55 PM
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174 posts
Joined Nov 12, 2016

You can never have too much rosin on your bow?

Dec 7, 2017 - 6:18:03 PM
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5452 posts
Joined Aug 7, 2009

Oh my... I guess I need to examine my tool box and sharpen up my bit of humor some more.  surprise   The OP post was not intended to be taken seriously. It was another one of my lame attempts at humor.  
 
The list was inspired after chastising myself a little for getting comfortable playing with mute. I was quickly reminded - why I shouldn't do that, the moment my bow hit the strings without a mute. You should be able to figure the rest out without me having to say any more.
 
So, I thought - what else could someone do - that will eventually cause them to wonder at some point "what was I thinking?"
 
Rodger. I'm sure your training has served you well through the years. But, apparently - in this instance - you weren't able to find a way to reach any agreement or understanding. But you did an excellent job of offering a rebuttal. My only response to your serious reply would be - if someone were asking for solid advise on the best way travel, I would submit that the "list" I offered would all be valid suggestions worth serious consideration.
 
It is a given - under certain circumstances - not all things are practical or possible, and there are exceptions to most every rule, So good solid advise doesn't always equate to the best advise under those "certain circumstances". I agree - (and have always said so) there is no "right or wrong" when it comes to learning to fiddle - just choices.  But there are some things that are worth knowing about. Might help you get down the road a little quicker. Nevertheless - do what you have to; do what you want to do. If you don't give up - you will learn - and you will realize your own measure of success - in spite of yourself.
 
   
Dec 7, 2017 - 7:48:09 PM

5452 posts
Joined Aug 7, 2009

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder
... if someone were asking for solid advise on the best way travel, I would submit that the "list" I offered would all be valid suggestions worth serious consideration.
  

Synonym Discussion of HUMOR

"IRONY" applies to a manner of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is seemingly expressed.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/humor

...without the humor:

1) the best thing you can do for your self when first learning to play is to make sure your instrument is properly setup.

2) don't expect a more expensive fiddle and bow to make you sound noticeably better until you have acquired a few skills.

3) it is best when you start off learning to play the music that inspired you to want to play the fiddle.

4) any instructor can teach you something, but the best instructor for you will be an instructor that plays the kind music you want to play, the way you like to hear it played. That instructor can not only show you how they play it, but also how they learned it.  

5) a mute will not give you the tonal feedback needed for honing and mastering fine motor skills needed for playing well without a mute. It is better when you learn to play without one.

6) it is best to put your instrument away when you are not playing. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by - tonyelder on 12/07/2017 20:03:20

Dec 7, 2017 - 9:15:46 PM
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5452 posts
Joined Aug 7, 2009

...hold your breath while you play. no one will notice when you... "GRUNT"

Dec 7, 2017 - 10:55:36 PM
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2074 posts
Joined Dec 23, 2007

Making faces is cool. Never smile because it prevents the interesting stuff from showing.

Dec 8, 2017 - 4:32 AM

3246 posts
Joined Sep 26, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by amwildman

Making faces is cool. Never smile because it prevents the interesting stuff from showing.


Faces. Ha! 

Dec 8, 2017 - 7:06:04 AM

5452 posts
Joined Aug 7, 2009

...buy another instructional video, watch it once, and then put it on the shelf with all the others. The accumulative effect makes you a better fiddler.

Dec 8, 2017 - 8:48:46 AM
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174 posts
Joined Nov 12, 2016

Always play everything fast. If you're fast, you can make mistakes and it still sounds good.

Dec 8, 2017 - 9:39:44 AM
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3246 posts
Joined Sep 26, 2008

I'll never forget the best advice I ever got. It was:
always.. No wait, never...

Dec 8, 2017 - 11:43:56 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

136 posts
Joined Jun 22, 2016

The only time my fiddle goes in the case is when I'm taking it somewhere distant from the house. One more thing I'm doing wrong, I guess!

I could never find a teacher who played anything like the way I wanted to play - so I did without a teacher. And as someone more clever than me once said: Stick to your bad habits long enough and they become your style.

Dec 8, 2017 - 1:55:53 PM
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Rodger

Canada

7 posts
Joined Nov 29, 2017

I guess any communication is impossible unless each person has a serious attitude of wanting to actually knowing what a person is attempting to communicate. Add to that, humour, & especially sarcasm, makes it especially difficult. I've had a tendency to use sarcasm as a default method of speaking and I've gotten into so much trouble with it that I've had to change a lot.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of beginners & parents of beginners who come to this site for guidance, and anything I post I want to be sensitive as to not being more of a hindrance to them than a help.

I have a friend who runs a violin shop in California. They buy $600 fractional size violins in large lots brand new, and do all the set up and correctional rebuilding to get them playing well, and sell them for about $1,200.00. From a purely technical standpoint, this is the minimal way to start a child. All the arguments would support this and any other route would could be argued down. However, would I ridicule a parent who only has a few hundred dollars to start their child out with and is trying to find some way to make it work? Experience has shown over & over that it is possible to do it even if you don't have the big bucks to go to Jim, and I'd never discourage a parent from starting their child if they don't have that kind of money. Knowledge of the issues & understanding is the key to making it work and it is possible to learn the technicalities needed, and a site like this is an excellent source of learning. Unless you have deep pockets, any new fiddle you buy will have some set-up issues, so the key here is understanding...knowing the weaknesses and what to do about it if you can't afford Jim. Get the child started in the best way you can, and then get all the knowledge as to what to do and how to do, to make it better and work the way it all should.

A huge number of students live in circumstances where any time they play, somebody's ears will be violated. In apartments or other situations, and they have to seriously limit their practice time. Would I ridicule such people and discourage them if they tried to expand their practice hours by using a mute for part of the time? I would say it's better to get an extra hour with a mute than to not practice at all. If someone with the experience wants to correct me as to how it would be better to give up playing altogether because how bad it is to practice with a mute part of the time, then I will listen and stand corrected if need be. Again the key is understanding how a mute affects the sound and what aspects of practice to focus on and what not to, when muted.

If everyone who comes to the forum had the exact same goal, exact same circumstances, etc. then generalizations could easily be indulged in, however there is such a vast difference between, say an older person that just wants to pick up a fiddle and play Amazing Grace somewhere out on the farm, and a parent on minimum wages in an apartment that wants to start their twins on a possible career in being a classical musician. Sure, the physics of how the fiddle makes it sound, and the playing techniques are carved in stone, but the social structure and real world constraints affecting all this are realities that affect it greatly. Again, the essential is knowledge of the key issues so you can find a way to make it work. Anyway, I got it.....this particular thread is a fun thread to indulge in some humor by limiting insight to a narrow definition of a single aspect of an issue in a way to make it funny. Nothing wrong with that. I apologize for interfering. I suppose if I thought I had something serious to add to a humour thread I should have started a new thread instead. Please forgive me fellows.

Dec 8, 2017 - 2:03:26 PM
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boxbow Players Union Member

USA

2185 posts
Joined Feb 3, 2011

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

...buy another instructional video, watch it once, and then put it on the shelf with all the others. The accumulative effect makes you a better fiddler.


Take your instructional videos, dump 'em in a pile, and step up on it.  Now you're standing on the shoulders of the greats!

Dec 8, 2017 - 6:29:11 PM
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5452 posts
Joined Aug 7, 2009

quote:
Originally posted by Rodger

I guess any communication is impossible unless each person has a serious attitude of wanting to actually knowing what a person is attempting to communicate. Add to that, humour, & especially sarcasm, makes it especially difficult. I've had a tendency to use sarcasm as a default method of speaking and I've gotten into so much trouble with it that I've had to change a lot.
 


laugh... if it was a default method of communicating, and it got you into so much trouble in the past, then how did you not recognize it?

Rodger I'm pretty sure I understood what you were “attempting to communicate”. I acknowledged the ground upon which I could agree with you. I quote:

“It is a given - under certain circumstances - not all things are practical or possible, and there are exceptions to most every rule, So good solid advise doesn't always equate to the best advise under those "certain circumstances". I agree - (and have always said so) there is no "right or wrong" when it comes to learning to fiddle - just choices.  But there are some things that are worth knowing about. Might help you get down the road a little quicker. Nevertheless - do what you have to; do what you want to do. If you don't give up - you will learn - and you will realize your own measure of success - in spite of yourself.

I hope you agree. yes

 

Edited by - tonyelder on 12/08/2017 18:29:39

Dec 8, 2017 - 7:13:56 PM
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3246 posts
Joined Sep 26, 2008

This probably should be been in the "other fiddle related topics"? angel

Edited by - ChickenMan on 12/08/2017 19:14:24

Dec 8, 2017 - 7:46:56 PM

1365 posts
Joined May 13, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Rodger

I guess any communication is impossible unless each person has a serious attitude of wanting to actually knowing what a person is attempting to communicate. Add to that, humour, & especially sarcasm, makes it especially difficult. I've had a tendency to use sarcasm as a default method of speaking and I've gotten into so much trouble with it that I've had to change a lot.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of beginners & parents of beginners who come to this site for guidance, and anything I post I want to be sensitive as to not being more of a hindrance to them than a help.

I have a friend who runs a violin shop in California. They buy $600 fractional size violins in large lots brand new, and do all the set up and correctional rebuilding to get them playing well, and sell them for about $1,200.00. From a purely technical standpoint, this is the minimal way to start a child. All the arguments would support this and any other route would could be argued down. However, would I ridicule a parent who only has a few hundred dollars to start their child out with and is trying to find some way to make it work? Experience has shown over & over that it is possible to do it even if you don't have the big bucks to go to Jim, and I'd never discourage a parent from starting their child if they don't have that kind of money. Knowledge of the issues & understanding is the key to making it work and it is possible to learn the technicalities needed, and a site like this is an excellent source of learning. Unless you have deep pockets, any new fiddle you buy will have some set-up issues, so the key here is understanding...knowing the weaknesses and what to do about it if you can't afford Jim. Get the child started in the best way you can, and then get all the knowledge as to what to do and how to do, to make it better and work the way it all should.

A huge number of students live in circumstances where any time they play, somebody's ears will be violated. In apartments or other situations, and they have to seriously limit their practice time. Would I ridicule such people and discourage them if they tried to expand their practice hours by using a mute for part of the time? I would say it's better to get an extra hour with a mute than to not practice at all. If someone with the experience wants to correct me as to how it would be better to give up playing altogether because how bad it is to practice with a mute part of the time, then I will listen and stand corrected if need be. Again the key is understanding how a mute affects the sound and what aspects of practice to focus on and what not to, when muted.

If everyone who comes to the forum had the exact same goal, exact same circumstances, etc. then generalizations could easily be indulged in, however there is such a vast difference between, say an older person that just wants to pick up a fiddle and play Amazing Grace somewhere out on the farm, and a parent on minimum wages in an apartment that wants to start their twins on a possible career in being a classical musician. Sure, the physics of how the fiddle makes it sound, and the playing techniques are carved in stone, but the social structure and real world constraints affecting all this are realities that affect it greatly. Again, the essential is knowledge of the key issues so you can find a way to make it work. Anyway, I got it.....this particular thread is a fun thread to indulge in some humor by limiting insight to a narrow definition of a single aspect of an issue in a way to make it funny. Nothing wrong with that. I apologize for interfering. I suppose if I thought I had something serious to add to a humour thread I should have started a new thread instead. Please forgive me fellows.


Well intended and well received.  Oh, and well written.  

Dec 9, 2017 - 3:27:42 PM

9769 posts
Joined Sep 23, 2009

Welcome to the internet...lol!  Where none of us ever really knows what each other means...??

Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 12/09/2017 15:29:15

Dec 9, 2017 - 6:23:50 PM
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174 posts
Joined Nov 12, 2016

So true, Peggy! If I understand your meaning correctly.

Dec 9, 2017 - 7:00:51 PM
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974 posts
Joined Aug 27, 2008

Don’t over worry getting perfectly in tune since you’re fiddle doesn’t have frets.

Dec 10, 2017 - 8:39:26 AM
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boxbow Players Union Member

USA

2185 posts
Joined Feb 3, 2011

quote:
Originally posted by abinigia

Don’t over worry getting perfectly in tune since you’re fiddle doesn’t have frets.


And neither should you!

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