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Jun 19, 2020 - 5:35:30 AM

BR5-49

USA

208 posts since 1/3/2019

"operate the fiddle so it's hard not play..." I am very curious about what sort of teacher/musician would say this.

Jun 19, 2020 - 8:36:05 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

702 posts since 6/22/2016

I wouldn't read too much into it, without having been there - it could be some whimsical local usage, or the teacher might be one of those people who have their own quirky, less-than-serious way of putting things.

Jun 19, 2020 - 8:43:51 AM
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Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2621 posts since 2/3/2011

I think improving a student's ergonomics would qualify as a very helpful sort of "making the fiddle not so hard to play."

Jun 19, 2020 - 9:12:26 AM
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644 posts since 8/10/2017

I think her exact words were closer to something like "When you know correct violin technique, it is easier to play because you aren't fighting against it."

Jun 19, 2020 - 9:14:53 AM

Peghead

USA

1600 posts since 1/21/2009

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

Actually I found a teacher. She said that she can show me how to operate the fiddle so that it's not so hard to play.


Quick, give me her name!! Seriously, that's great step. You'll get much the same advice generally speaking, but having her right there and being able to demonstrate will make all the difference. There's nothing natural about playing this instrument. You could spend years and eventually figure it out but it's so much smarter and faster to be shown. Good luck -

Edited by - Peghead on 06/19/2020 09:27:05

Jun 19, 2020 - 9:31:41 AM

DougD

USA

10033 posts since 12/2/2007

Diane, I watched your "Sullivan's Hollow" video and it looks pretty stiff. You've received a lot of advice about that that might help.
However, Groundhogpeggy and Cyndy commented on your bowing choices in terms of direction and shuffling, which I think is pertinent and just as important. I just watched "Sullivan's Hollow" and saw some shuffling which I don't think is needed in that tune at all. Its not really a "shuffley" tune - its a swingy, bluesy number. Every time you shuffle you are wasting time and energy and adding some extra notes that don't need to be there. Also the note values are not all the same, and this will gain you some speed too.
I don't know where you learned this tune, but you should listen carefully to the recording by Freeny's Barn Dance Band to get the idea. You can find it on YouTube: youtu.be/7lkzVleF66c
I could make you an audio recording, but I don't know how helpful that would be without seeing the bow. It really doesn't need to move too fast.
Also, I think any good violin teacher can help with your mechanics, but unless they play old time music they might not be too helpful with bowing choices.

Edited by - DougD on 06/19/2020 09:42:53

Jun 19, 2020 - 11:11:44 AM

644 posts since 8/10/2017

ninabodnar.com/bio.html She is a violin teacher, not a fiddle teacher.

To my mind it doesn't matter what my bowing choices are if I don't even know how to bow properly. If I at least can bow properly and on purpose, maybe I will be capable of making bowing choices.

Jun 19, 2020 - 4:29:55 PM

2262 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

 "When you know correct violin technique, it is easier to play because you aren't fighting against it."


This is the philosophy behind all good teaching methods, and it is what we have been trying to convey in this thread, but very challenging through the text media. Much trial and error can be saved by learning one-to-one lessons. 

Jun 20, 2020 - 6:24:56 AM
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367 posts since 3/1/2020

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the first elementary practical steps in the long process of mastering violin. For better or for worse, the habits formed in the early period of training directly influence the whole later development of the student...There is no instrument whose absolute mastery at a later period presupposes such meticulous care and exactitude in the initial stages of study as does the violin.

- Leopold Auer, Violin Playing As I Teach It

Jun 20, 2020 - 7:53:56 AM
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1879 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the first elementary practical steps in the long process of mastering violin. ...


True, and yet most fiddlers lack that, and many of us started fiddling well past our formative years and are, to some degree, self-taught. Some of us pride ourselves on our rough and rowdy ways. So it's a good reminder to recognize the need to go back and relearn some thing when we get stuck.

Jun 20, 2020 - 1:43:21 PM
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Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2621 posts since 2/3/2011

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

ninabodnar.com/bio.html She is a violin teacher, not a fiddle teacher.

To my mind it doesn't matter what my bowing choices are if I don't even know how to bow properly. If I at least can bow properly and on purpose, maybe I will be capable of making bowing choices.


"On purpose" may be more important than "properly."  Tough call.  A good place to explore.

Jun 20, 2020 - 3:02:36 PM
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gapbob

USA

742 posts since 4/20/2008

Shorter bows=playing faster, though not as loud. But fiddlers tend not to need to play at forte-fortisimo and with large amounts of vibrato. Many of the techniques taught in classical music have no applicability to fiddling, but many do.

Your arm is heavier than your forearm; your forearm is heavier than your wrist; your wrist is heavier than your fingers. The more weight you move, the more effort it takes and the slower you will tend to bow, though it can be overcome for short periods with large effort. I have some friends who are excellent classically trained violinists who have taken to fiddling, watching them tires me out.

Of course I have seen great bluegrass players/performers who would have difficulty doing a dance with emphasis all night long.

I watched your video some and noticed some bad habits, but I did not watch it in depth though. The effort to try to tell you how to fix things by typing would be wasted. I will say this: when you change strings, your bow needs to go to the angle that the next string requires as instantly as possible, and not "swoop" into it. One way to practice this is to do scales, play a note, stop the bow, play the next. Then when you change strings, keep the bow stopped while you change the angle of the bow to the fiddle, if you keep the bow moving while you are changing the angle, the sound will suffer.

If you cannot/do not want to take lessons, watch fiddlers on youtube or at your local dance, see how their arms work, how they vary their bowing.

Jun 20, 2020 - 4:07:25 PM
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9037 posts since 3/19/2009

NOT referring to Diane here, just complaining in general.. I know fiddlers who focus on getting EVERY note that another fiddler gets... but they don't get the BOW...and they just don't understand why they don't sound like that other person...If that is the goal, to sound like what you are listening to, the bow MUST come into play and Must be trained.. OK..Done..wink  BTW Gapbob.. I like your comments.. alwas do..

Jun 21, 2020 - 5:19:23 AM

11840 posts since 9/23/2009

Lee...how would you measure it: bow ??? %--- fingering ???%. Fill in the blanks...lol. I've thought about this the whole time I've been fiddling...learning I should say, because it's just been years of learning, for me. I've gone back and forth. At this moment, my answer, today only probably would be ...rate of importance for what I fiddle... bowing--25% fingering 25%---putting them together 50%. But that's just today...I change my mind all the time...lol. But yes, the bowing is a big deal. Plus, I just woke up and just starting on the first cup of coffee...so...I could change my mind in a few seconds.

Jun 21, 2020 - 5:21:15 AM

11840 posts since 9/23/2009

Well, it's been a few seconds...I might now say bowing 50%, fingering 25% and putting them together, 25%. I'm not crazy about fractions, so this is the simplified, first cup of the morning version.

Jun 21, 2020 - 5:27:19 AM
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9037 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

Well, it's been a few seconds...I might now say bowing 50%, fingering 25% and putting them together, 25%. I'm not crazy about fractions, so this is the simplified, first cup of the morning version.


While there may be exceptions, I'd say that Nobody ever sounds just like someone else Even if they could duplicate every bow movement.. Having said that.. Classical scores that indicate bowing seem to get those musicians pretty much all on the same page (pun intended)...  Still, for the average OT musician at least, doing good bow work will be very helpful.. I NEVER try to sound like someone else, but I do try to do bow work to the best of my ability.. Bow work gets me closer to where I want to go..! Am I making sense? I"d say that my focus is on STYLE.. 

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/21/2020 05:29:30

Jun 21, 2020 - 8:59:36 AM

11840 posts since 9/23/2009

You're making as much sense as can possibly be made by a person talkin' about fiddling, Lee.

Jun 21, 2020 - 9:43:05 AM

9037 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

You're making as much sense as can possibly be made by a person talkin' about fiddling, Lee.


Yeah, not like it is debatable, right?  You might remember the topic started about,, "Who sounds like Tommy Jerrell?"... Not many fiddlers had their bowing studied more, and yet, virtually nobody sounds like him.. In his case, I've concluded that it is his "Energy'', applied to his bow that makes the difference. I've tried to put different energy into my bow arm with some success, especially when busking..Also, it took YEARS for me to get Anywhere with my bow..Some of us take a long time to get there and some get is soon...and a few people seem to never get it.. It is all ok.. Fun supercedes results..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/21/2020 09:48:04

Jun 21, 2020 - 10:03:13 AM
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11840 posts since 9/23/2009

Yeah...I can understand why some people study someone else to preserve some old sound or other, yet, I have never wanted to sound like somebody else...for one thing, I'm probably so far removed from their musical abilities, and for another, I personally wouldn't wanna feel like I'm just acting the part of a good juke box...lol. I'm glad some people have done it...we can all get tips and hints as to what to incorporate into our own styles, but to try to become that fiddler...naahhh...just play and have fun with what I can do, is enough for me.

Jun 21, 2020 - 11:13:55 AM

367 posts since 3/1/2020

I agree that having a unique style is important to being a good player. That being said, I don’t think a player can develop much style without a solid foundation, as it can only be expressed well when the player has control of the bow and instrument.

Jun 21, 2020 - 2:01:47 PM

9037 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

I agree that having a unique style is important to being a good player. That being said, I don’t think a player can develop much style without a solid foundation, as it can only be expressed well when the player has control of the bow and instrument.


Like I said to Peggy ..It might be debatable.. Everything you say I agree with.. however old time fiddlers may have control of their bows and instruments, but a 'trained' musician might question that!!laugh  This topic could turn out to be the Hangout's next BOWING TOPIC.. Thanks, Diane.

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/21/2020 14:15:27

Jun 21, 2020 - 5:09:07 PM
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5096 posts since 9/26/2008

Classical players have been trained to produce certain sounds so they will sound good in an orchestra. But soloists have a sound of their own, also rooted in training to produce a certain sound.

Old Time musicians are less likely to have training in the many sounds (techniques) needed to reproduce the classical sound, but they do strive for a sound. 

Jun 22, 2020 - 4:45:38 AM

11840 posts since 9/23/2009

Well, speaking of bowing, I remember all the discussion on downbowing vs. upbowing. For a long time, I thought downbowing was the thing...even though things are done in more of an upbowing way in some areas I've lived around. I sorta became convinced that downbowing was just what you'd wanna do. Well...these days I'm no longer of that mind...yes, Tommy Jarrell did it. People just down the road toward W.V. from here are, I should say WERE, up bowers. But my mind has changed from striving for being a downbower or upbower, to striving for having good bow orientation...lol...which makes no sense, but what I mean is that you fill in your rhythm with whatever feeling of beats you want, like N. Shuffle, whatever shuffle or rhythmic pattern, or way of getting the notes that keeps a good rhythm you like, and then if you end upward, as downbowers do, you are fine to start a new phrase, but if you end downward, as upbowers might do, you are fine to begin a new phrase...in other words, you don't want mindless sawing along, (I won't say the "anywhichway" word), but you want some sense of enough orientation either way, that the bow is rhythmic and under control. What worked for Roundpeak fiddlers or what worked for WV /E. KY fiddlers isn't necessarily what'll work for some other fiddlers...just my opinion...at the moment. Again...little sleep again last night and just now on the first cup of coffee with half a mind (more than I usually have...lol.)...but my thoughts for now.

Jun 22, 2020 - 11:50:04 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

702 posts since 6/22/2016

I want to sound like Peggy. I mean, not before her first cup of coffee, but a little later on in the day ... !

Jun 22, 2020 - 1:16:02 PM
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Peghead

USA

1600 posts since 1/21/2009

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

ninabodnar.com/bio.html She is a violin teacher, not a fiddle teacher.

To my mind it doesn't matter what my bowing choices are if I don't even know how to bow properly. If I at least can bow properly and on purpose, maybe I will be capable of making bowing choices.


I think you're on the right track here. There are lot's of ways and combinations to bow any particular phrase. Given all the different combinations of ups, downs slurs, string choices etc. some turn out to be bizzarre, but there are usually several that have potential and could work. The way I see it, the more technique you have, the more bowings you can make work, then you have choices and it becomes a matter of preference and personal taste. That in turn opens the path to individual style.

Regarding trying to sound exactly like someone else, it's nearly impossible but if you like what you hear I think it's important to try. It's ear training and the process leads to good things. 

Edited by - Peghead on 06/22/2020 13:26:19

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