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How would you approach this workshop if asked to teach it

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Jul 26, 2019 - 1:39:13 PM

7466 posts since 3/19/2009
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Buckhenry, I've waited all day for someone to challenge you where you said that what I call Skidding is a 'defect' of a classical technique.. I would do so if I wasn't headed out for Clifftop.. Maybe you could come and set up camp,  and we'll discuss it!!!laugh Some OT techniques are played too well and consistently for them to be considered defective Anything.. BUt I guess that that is where the conversation can begin when I return in about 9 days.... You are in charge while I'm gone (as if I was Every in charge!!wink)  Other Hangout members don't need me around in order to have a lively discussion..Fiddle-on!!

Jul 26, 2019 - 3:35:21 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

There is no such thing as OT technique... OT players don't practice technique, they don't have the time when they're plowing the fields all day. After a long day doing that they just wanna play tunes, and they play them 'what ever, which way', and I don't blame them.

I base my statement on what I have heard, especially the sound files here. I read some posters here giving advice and I go to their sound file and I think ''what'', they should practice what they preach. You completed the first three Suzuki books, but did you practice the techniques? I doubt it because the instructor would not assign them to a child. By not being tutored as a adult you missed out on much information relevant to you.

Jul 26, 2019 - 3:54:32 PM
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gapbob

USA

613 posts since 4/20/2008

I would say that their version of it had those terms,  but that is like saying that i can drive like mario andretti because i can make a left and right turn, plus drive straight.
quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler
Maybe something about bow rocking or pulsing. 

Violinists would know this as bariolage and parlando respectively. 


Jul 26, 2019 - 3:54:48 PM

7466 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry

There is no such thing as OT technique... OT players don't practice technique, they don't have the time when they're plowing the fields all day. After a long day doing that they just wanna play tunes, and they play them 'what ever, which way', and I don't blame them.

I base my statement on what I have heard, especially the sound files here. I read some posters here giving advice and I go to their sound file and I think ''what'', they should practice what they preach. You completed the first three Suzuki books, but did you practice the techniques? I doubt it because the instructor would not assign them to a child. By not being tutored as a adult you missed out on much information relevant to you.


Well I will say this.. Starting at age 30 WITHOUT instruction didn't help.. especially since I had no peer group, worked 50 hrs a week and had kids and foster kids to raise...  and then, there was the "back to the landing skills'" that needed to be developed.. like plowing the fields..smiley  No Youtube videos for most of us..It is amazing that so many OT fiddlers ever learnt' anything!!!  We asked the question once.. How old were you when you started fiddling?  I was surprised how many members didn't start until after age 50...

I'm very forgiving of OT fiddlers who play out of love for the music with or without being highly skilled..  I'm by far not the best fiddler ..You've probably listened to some of the stuff I've posted.. (Not my best ) ...but what I lack in skill I try to make up for in enthusiasm!!!  No shame toward anyone... Gotta spend the next several days working on my technique..wink  

Jul 26, 2019 - 3:56:19 PM
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2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
Wish more classically trained  musicians would join conversations...

 


I am not 'classically trained', I am entirely 'self directed'. Celtic music enticed me to play fiddle, and I decided  that classical technique was the way to learn, after all it has been in use for over 300 years.

Jul 26, 2019 - 4:21:33 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by gapbob
I would say that their version of it had those terms,  but that is like saying that i can drive like mario andretti because i can make a left and right turn, plus drive straight.

 


 


Sorry, you missed the point entirely, 'rocking and pulsing' is just a descriptive  colloquialism of the terms bariolage and parlando that violinists have known for hundreds of years... 

Jul 26, 2019 - 4:26:07 PM
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gapbob

USA

613 posts since 4/20/2008

I suppose you missed my point. Just because they can do something similar and they have a name for it doesn’t mean it’s the same, and It is not.

Jul 26, 2019 - 4:38:06 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by gapbob

I suppose you missed my point. Just because they can do something similar and they have a name for it doesn’t mean it’s the same, and It is not.


I agree, of course OT players do it differently, I've heard the sound files......

Jul 26, 2019 - 5:26:21 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by gapbob   

 

they can do something similar and they have a name for it 


This is the attitude that I have objection  to. Why do you despise a 300 year old tradition that gave you the foundation for your craft.? Your sentence should read.... ''we can do something similar but don't have a name for it''... That would show respect for the ancient tradition....  

Jul 27, 2019 - 3:52:44 AM
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gapbob

USA

613 posts since 4/20/2008

There was no despising going on, I love classical music, have played classical music, but I know intimately that classical musicians, who often feel they can play anything, play it just a little off unless they too put the time it takes to learn a tradition.

Listen to “In the Fiddler’s House” with Itzhak Perlman. He plays notes, but they are not quite right, compared to the other klez musicians.

Folk music is an older tradition than classical music, though there has been no massive pedagogy and codification to it, so it changes over the years, but that does not make it less valid.

There are traditions within traditions. I have a friend who played in the Mexico city Symphony decades ago, and after her first rehearsal, several other musicians came over to her and asked her where she was from in Poland. But her teacher was Polish, not her.

Jul 27, 2019 - 7:21:53 AM
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Earworm

USA

75 posts since 1/30/2018

quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry

There is no such thing as OT technique... OT players don't practice technique


You are incorrect. I would say that fiddlers' learning is necessarily inductive rather than deductive, since the truest models we have to go from have already come before. We must, in effect, reverse engineer some of the oldest sounds available (recordings), and combine what we learn from them with what we learn from direct experience with real fiddlers. Its threads fan out and alter over time, that does not mean there are not real techniques at work. It means it is folk music which moves and breaths, and speaks to new generations.

I enjoy classical music. I learned and practiced it all the way through school, though not with my VSO. I respect classical musicians, though there is a privilege which is tacit in their assumption that their way to do things is the one true (correct) way to do things. A world of folk music presents another point of view. 

If you are basing all you know of recorded old time on the sound files here, it may be time to branch out. No offense to the musician who take time to record and share their knowledge here, but this is essentially a learning forum, not a compendium of the greats.

And I have never plowed a field. 

Jul 27, 2019 - 8:12:21 AM
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DougD

USA

9203 posts since 12/2/2007

If there were a "love" button I would use it for the above post. Thank you.
To say "There is no such thing as OT technique..." Is just wrong. There may not be just ONE technique - its a combination of different eras, regions, and individual preferences. It has been passed down, and practiced diligently for a long time, and now studied from different sources, as Earworm said.
There is also no one "classical" technique either - just look at the different bow holds. It has changed over time, region, and personal oreference, just like old time music. I used to have a source of early recordings by Fritz Kreisler and Mischa Elman and there are even recordings by Joseph Joachim and Sarasate. Compare them to to modern violinists like Milstein or Perlman - they're very different in terms of tone, vibrato, and tempo (and "feeling").
At the top levels, classical technique is also passed from individuals, not books or recordings, just like from Owen Walker to Doc Roberts, and from James Roberts to me (for a few tunes). That's the same way "schools" develop at places like the Paris or Moscow conservatories, or the Curtis Institute.
As for me, I'm self taught on stringed instruments, but studied piano for about nine years, and bassoon for a brief time at the Hartt school of music in Hartford, which is a pretty well regarded music school.
I've also never plowed a field, although I do own a couple roto-tillers.

Edited by - DougD on 07/27/2019 08:17:08

Jul 27, 2019 - 8:37:57 AM
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Earworm

USA

75 posts since 1/30/2018

Thanks Doug. I really appreciate that, and you're welcome. 

That's why I think this concept of teaching OT to classical musicians is so compelling. Modern OT musicians come from a lifetime of experiences with other types of music. Classical is a common starting point, since it is so available through schools and other sources, but there are  so many other types of music to choose from. With the passage of time, and advancement of technology, the choices will only grow. 

Old Time musicians did not all grow up in the same hollow, the way it may (or may not) have once have happened. We chose to be here. It becomes more imperative to identify what makes it special, and how to differentiate it through technique and examples, so it is not just lost in a bunch of wrong assumptions. This is not because it is better, but because it is unique, and fills a pivotal role in musical evolution which is too often ignored.

Anyway, carry on. This is a good topic and I want to hear more. 

Edited by - Earworm on 07/27/2019 08:49:01

Jul 27, 2019 - 11:31:16 AM
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401 posts since 9/1/2010

I think the main thing to teach them is to have rhythm in there playing. Sure they have the skills to do a bow pulse and learn circle and figure 8 bowing, but why does it come across so rigid and stale most of the time?

I've read where some old-time fiddlers said "play it lazy"...Ed Haley being one of them. To me that means milking every note. Don't be in a rush to get through the tune or to the next note. Of course this shouldn't keep you from playing in time. It also evokes a sense of being relaxed. This is something I would try to convey to a violinist. In doing so I would assume some of that rigidity may fade.

I don't like the attitude that fiddlers are doing it "wrong" and that is why violinist have a hard time adapting. To me it is a lack of a skill they have yet to learn. It may be "wrong" when playing other genres of music, but it is absolutely correct when it comes to old-time. Yes, they learned the proper technique when applied to their chosen genre, but it doesn't mean that old-time fiddlers are doing things the wrong way. I have the utmost respect for the time and diligence that goes into classical training...and I also have that same respect for anyone that puts those hours in to learn old-time, irish, etc... I'm not saying that anyone here is of that opinion, but it seems to be thrown around when people compare. Just a two-cent rant on that matter wink


 

Jul 27, 2019 - 12:15:01 PM
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2344 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
This is the attitude that I have objection  to. Why do you despise a 300 year old tradition that gave you the foundation for your craft.? Your sentence should read.... ''we can do something similar but don't have a name for it''... That would show respect for the ancient tradition....  

Attitude? Hmmm...

Fact is; many folks with violin backgrounds seek out instruction as taught by fiddlers; from private lessons to attending traditional fiddler's workshops (like Lee's) and even camps.  Participation in this for the student is voluntary, not mandatory.

True they are likely not covering 300 years of violin technique...  but that's simply not what neither teacher nor student is there for. Respect for violin (or violin knowledge) is essentially irrelevant in this context...  respect for what the fiddler knows, their technique and fiddle tradition is what's relevant.

Jul 27, 2019 - 5:54:28 PM
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gapbob

USA

613 posts since 4/20/2008

Never plowed but I harrowed one once.

Jul 28, 2019 - 5:05:21 AM
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1598 posts since 10/22/2007

I got the violin i play most from a very cosmopolitan shop. Owned by a family of well trained classical violinists. Over the years, our freindship has grown quite strong. Our mutual admiration is at the center. They can do things i can't. I can do things they can't. And so it goes. Real-life experience. Nobody teaching anything. Just enjoying one another. To bring it back to the topic, i never really felt my fort'e was to teach (anybody but myself). Is there anybody else out there afraid of doing more damage than good? There's already enough bad teachers. Somebody might play like Tommy Jerol, but do they use a standard and/or accredited ciricullum? 

BTW hardly anyone plows anymore. It contibutes to soil erosion. FJ

Edited by - farmerjones on 07/28/2019 05:13:00

Jul 28, 2019 - 6:23:21 AM
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4204 posts since 9/26/2008

 BTW hardly anyone plows anymore. It contibutes to soil erosion. FJ

Indeed. 

 

Some OT musicians practice "classicaltechnique, some don't. Some guitarist practice classical technique, some don't. If you lumped every rock guitar player together, then made a blanket statement about how much they do or don't practice based on hearing a small sampling of them it would be as wrong as the fiddler statement. Which technique they practice might not be evident, and their method might not be called a caprice or be the same as the next person's method - it is folk music after all. 

Edited by - ChickenMan on 07/28/2019 06:44:25

Jul 28, 2019 - 7:35:15 AM
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Earworm

USA

75 posts since 1/30/2018

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

i never really felt my fort'e was to teach (anybody but myself). Is there anybody else out there afraid of doing more damage than good?


It is my opinion that every person teaches everywhere they go, just be being themselves, and doing what they do. Old-time music, and folk arts in general fight back at being bottled into a curriculum. That's why teaching it well is a true art of its own, requiring a light touch and a lot of flexibility. Still, I like the concept of this thread, focusing in on just what makes the bowing, as a starting point, really kick.

For me, I would include teaching about the round bow movement, and the strong beat on 1 & 3. Developing an ear for 2-note strokes and phrasing is important too. And a flexible wrist and gentle hold on the bow. Hard to say where to start since each person is different. Also, I has not lanwage to connect the music with words half the time, and it would make me nervous to try. 

Edited by - Earworm on 07/28/2019 07:50:15

Jul 28, 2019 - 12:51:09 PM
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RobBob

USA

2637 posts since 6/26/2007

Know your audience. How good are they? Does there happen to be a really accomplished fiddler who came to see what you had to say? Let them demonstrate some. Bowing is like your handwriting. If someone thought enough of your style to ask you to do this workshop, even in a pinch, show them what you have. I attended a workshop with Pete Sutherland a long time ago. He taught two bowing patterns. That was it. It was beneficial to me at least.

Jul 28, 2019 - 2:49:17 PM
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1217 posts since 4/6/2014

For my tuppence worth, i believe that some families of musicians, story tellers, and artists  from all around the world...African, Jewish, Gypsy, Celtic...etc etc etc, can trace their own musical/artistic heritage directly through several hundred years or so at least. And their influences have passed directly, or indirectly into what i call folk music. And i think the classical techniques and teachings are an amalgamation of all of them. Long may they all thrive...individually and together.

PS: DougD ... Interesting about James and Doc Roberts!!... Have you got any more info about Owen Walker?  i looked but found very little on the internet.

Jul 28, 2019 - 6:34:59 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Earworm

 


It is my opinion that every person teaches everywhere they go, just be being themselves, and doing what they do. 


As I stated... 'I am entirely self directed, and Celtic music enticed me to play fiddle'. That's because lessons were far too expensive, there was no internet, and I didn't attend sessions because I did not realize they existed. All I had was thousands of tunes in books, Dave Swarbrick LP's, books on Ornamentation in Irish music and on classical technique. Thank goodness for those books, because I can now play some classical repertoire and some Hungarian Gypsy music, and sound pretty authentic in the Irish tunes. If I needed authenticity in OT I am sure it would not take long, so I don't understand what the problem is those ''classical violinists'' are having with it.      

Edited by - buckhenry on 07/28/2019 18:37:14

Aug 1, 2019 - 8:03:19 PM

1031 posts since 6/26/2007

Good question, Lee. I happen to be teaching a beginning / low intermediate bowing workshop on Sunday, August 4th, at Fruitlands Fiddle Fest in Harvard, MA.

While I'll teach some common patterns (saw stroke, Nashville shuffle, middle shuffle, Georgia shuffle) in the context of little sections of fiddle tunes, I'll also demonstrate -- both slowly and up to speed -- the difference between playing the basic single-string melody of a tune (Seneca Square Dance), and playing the tune with bow rocking, drones, anticipations, mid-bow pulses, and ghost notes. The class will get a chance to absorb and try out these techniques, which can carry over to other oldtime tunes. Just to make music readers happy, I wrote out what I was doing with the bowing for this tune, but I think the ear is much better than the eye in learning these essential bowing techniques. I might teach this at Fiddle Hell Massachusetts in November as well.

BTW, here's the Fruitlands link if anyone wants to learn more about the workshops, instructors, and schedule.

Dave

Edited by - dsreiner on 08/01/2019 20:06:36

Aug 3, 2019 - 5:24:24 PM

7466 posts since 3/19/2009
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler
quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
This is the attitude that I have objection  to. Why do you despise a 300 year old tradition that gave you the foundation for your craft.? Your sentence should read.... ''we can do something similar but don't have a name for it''... That would show respect for the ancient tradition....  

Attitude? Hmmm...

Fact is; many folks with violin backgrounds seek out instruction as taught by fiddlers; from private lessons to attending traditional fiddler's workshops (like Lee's) and even camps.  Participation in this for the student is voluntary, not mandatory.

True they are likely not covering 300 years of violin technique...  but that's simply not what neither teacher nor student is there for. Respect for violin (or violin knowledge) is essentially irrelevant in this context...  respect for what the fiddler knows, their technique and fiddle tradition is what's relevant.


Just this morning I taught fiddle bowing to a classically trained cellist with 40 year of experience.. He learned things that he said he'd always wondered about but couldn't quite get.. I elaborated in a post on another topic..

Aug 3, 2019 - 5:29:18 PM
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7466 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
quote:
Originally posted by Earworm

 


It is my opinion that every person teaches everywhere they go, just be being themselves, and doing what they do. 


As I stated... 'I am entirely self directed, and Celtic music enticed me to play fiddle'. That's because lessons were far too expensive, there was no internet, and I didn't attend sessions because I did not realize they existed. All I had was thousands of tunes in books, Dave Swarbrick LP's, books on Ornamentation in Irish music and on classical technique. Thank goodness for those books, because I can now play some classical repertoire and some Hungarian Gypsy music, and sound pretty authentic in the Irish tunes. If I needed authenticity in OT I am sure it would not take long, so I don't understand what the problem is those ''classical violinists'' are having with it.      


From what I've seen it is not such a LARGE problem and they can usually get it, but often it seems quite NEW to them and there IS a learning  time for any new technique.. Some pick up on it quickly and others are just not willing to put in the time to learn something new... Everyone is different..I personally Resist learning to proficiency, the Georgia Shuffle.. an I don't miss it, but that is just ME.. Some people just want to play OT tunes with their trained techniques and that is ok..but ..I lament.. 

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