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Fiddle Lovers Online


May 23, 2022 - 2:56:39 PM
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10186 posts since 3/19/2009

My lovely fiddling daughter had her wedding party yesterday and she played a few tunes with the various OT musicians who showed up to help celebrate.. Also my 12 year old granddaughter played a classical tune.. THEN, the granddaughter sat in the jam ( how exciting was that!!) and tried to play the ONLY fiddle style tune she knew, the Arkansas Traveler.. Problem was, no matter how slow/clearly the group played, she had difficulty because she wasn't accustomed to playing along with ANYONE... Way too much solo playing in her past..She will overcome this problem but to me it was something not expected.. I'd forgotten how intimidating being in a jam can be to someone who usually plays solo....
Another time our mailman took some lessons from me and after he knew just ONE tune he attended a jam here..When it was his turn he led the tune, tentatively to say the least, but he pulled it off..I've forgotten just how hard it can be for a beginner..

May 23, 2022 - 3:09:47 PM
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Snafu

USA

139 posts since 2/2/2014

Lee, this beginner thing does flow both ways.

The 12 yo is overwhelmed amongst a bunch of OT musicians playing tunes by heart for like the 100+ time. But those same OT fiddlers probably could not play one page of unfamiliar music from notation that the 12 yo classical trained violinist would look at as beginners note reading material. Give her O’NEILLS 1800 tunes and she can probably play everything there.

So who really is the beginner? Depends on one’s perspective I’d guess.

May 23, 2022 - 3:55:59 PM
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10186 posts since 3/19/2009

Yes, my post is just intended to be from one perspective.. but other perspectives exist.!!laugh

May 23, 2022 - 4:05:43 PM
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doryman

USA

321 posts since 2/10/2020

I tell folks that learning to play in a jam is like learning another instrument. You have to learn to play with others, listen to others, know when to play and when not to play, know when to play loud and when to play soft, know what to play at different times...and then there's the possiblity of singing too...and then leading the jam circle when it's your turn to call a song. Plus having a sense about what songs are going to be successful and which are going to be a jam buster for any particular group. Also, this is often the first time that solo musicians come to realize that they aren't good at keeping time!

Like everything else, it takes time and practice to be a great jammer!

May 23, 2022 - 4:18:07 PM
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10186 posts since 3/19/2009

Yes, and I did I say that I was SO proud to see my granddaughter sitting in that jam circle??? My heart swelled.. Sure, it was difficult but hey, it was her FIRST jam.. She sat down.. That alone took a lot of nerve/confidence..My observation was that in THAT jam she was a little overwhelmed.. but she was still THERE>. That counts. Wish I'd taken a photo.. Gotta start somewhere..So, my observation was that playing in a jam is something that (OFTEN) kids don't learn to do.. but, she Will learn...(Ok, Lee, stop braggin' on your granddaughter)...

May 23, 2022 - 4:45:09 PM
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WyoBob

USA

394 posts since 5/16/2019

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

(Ok, Lee, stop braggin' on your granddaughter)...


I'll bet she's dang tickled to have you as a grandpa and will eventually be braggin' on you!

I had high hopes, ten years ago when I bought my first instrument, a banjo,  that I would be able to instill an interest in music for my twin grandson's.   They're 13 years old now and, though I built a banjo for them to share several years ago, that interest hasn't kicked in.  I guess I just can't compete against video gamessad  

My five year old grandson likes to dance when I play my fiddle.  My daughter's and three grandson's are coming up this weekend and I'll play some tunes on the deck when we're watching the antelope in our backyard.   Maybe something will "pop" eventually.   I'd love to be the grandpa that starts a tradition as portrayed in the great video that I linked to on the FHO about the "Mountain Minor" movie.   Funny, I thought my post about that wonderful movie would have had more of a response on the Hangout than it did.  Anyway.  I want to be that grandpa.

May 23, 2022 - 5:07:38 PM

10186 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by WyoBob
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

(Ok, Lee, stop braggin' on your granddaughter)...


I'll bet she's dang tickled to have you as a grandpa and will eventually be braggin' on you!

I had high hopes, ten years ago when I bought my first instrument, a banjo,  that I would be able to instill an interest in music for my twin grandson's.   They're 13 years old now and, though I built a banjo for them to share several years ago, that interest hasn't kicked in.  I guess I just can't compete against video gamessad  

My five year old grandson likes to dance when I play my fiddle.  My daughter's and three grandson's are coming up this weekend and I'll play some tunes on the deck when we're watching the antelope in our backyard.   Maybe something will "pop" eventually.   I'd love to be the grandpa that starts a tradition as portrayed in the great video that I linked to on the FHO about the "Mountain Minor" movie.   Funny, I thought my post about that wonderful movie would have had more of a response on the Hangout than it did.  Anyway.  I want to be that grandpa.


My granddaughter is lucky in that here Aunt, Katie, is also a great OT fiddler who will be around long after I'm gone, so I can trust that I'm not the only influence regarding her fiddling..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 05/23/2022 17:08:25

May 23, 2022 - 5:14:28 PM

10186 posts since 3/19/2009

Regarding 'perspective', my goal is not to hope that someday my fiddle friends will take up classical training like my granddaughter.. My Perspective is that someday my granddaughter will be sitting in an old time jam..period..!!(Of course, while she is sitting there, Some of us OT fiddlers will be envious of her loose wrist and good bow control!!! ;) )

May 23, 2022 - 6:17:24 PM

13335 posts since 9/23/2009

Must be cool to be able to inspire the kiddos with music...lol. I've tried and, well my daughter sorta fell into opera but she's not really singing anymore. Then when grandson was born I had more money and bought him a tiny fiddle and a ukelele plus a drum and gave them a banjo...but just nobody's really into it. I used to try to teach kids of coworkers (they asked for it) and those kids hated the guitar after about two learnin' sessions with me...lol...so...ugh...I'm not so inspiring and never had a person wanna get into it with me outside of some friends my own age who I live far away from now. So...well, guys, be happy you've got the kids involved...sounds like fun and, well probably not a rare thing, but something to be happy about in an otherwise often challenging world.

Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 05/23/2022 18:18:25

May 23, 2022 - 6:38:54 PM
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10186 posts since 3/19/2009

Peggy I get excited about but I'm also pragmatic.. My one son took TEN years of Suzuki lessons.. One day he played, flawlessly, the Dill Pickle Rag for his grade school class. I was so proud, but should not have counted my chickens before they hatched.. Soon after that performance.. he said, "Dad, I don't want to play the violin any more."...and he didn't.. He never touched the instrument again. He as an adult is still a good musician, but his fiddling days are long over...On occasion I hear people say things like, '" I wish my parents had made me stick with music lessons." as if they'd be good musicians now.. Well, I MADE my son play and am living proof that Making a kid play a violin doesn't always turn them into a fiddler....

Also, the fiddling daughter in the OP probably had the LEAST amount of formal instruction of all of my children  and that was on a piano. Go figure.  

I tell people now that if they want to play a fiddle, nobody will stop them and if they don't want to play a fiddle nobody can make them.. 

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May 23, 2022 - 8:19:40 PM
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13335 posts since 9/23/2009

True, Lee. I've heard of OT fiddlers from the old days forbidding anyone in the family from touching the fiddle, realizing that was the best way to kick up an interest in the kids...lol.

May 24, 2022 - 2:40:41 AM
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RichJ

USA

691 posts since 8/6/2013

I also had 3 kids and 3 grandkids that never took the slightest interest in playing the fiddle. So I guess after reading the last few posts on this thread my question is - Never mind your kids or grandkids, what was it that got YOU interested and how old were you when it happened?

May 24, 2022 - 4:32:10 AM
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3021 posts since 9/13/2009

Had a related discussion with band the other day. Some folks are more technician background, others are more feel oriented.

Our piano player in our contra band... grew up in more formal background, lessons, exercises, recitals...  was focused on execution, technical, instructions (and mistakes). Most often involves well rehearsed, via practice, practice, practice, rote repetition. Performances, even in group setting (playing with others), or as accompaniment, or studio... mostly under direction of leader, teacher/director/conductor who worked out what to play. About being given instructions, consistently nailing the execution. (she can do that).

Despite decades of playing and teaching, she had never played much in less formal structure, like contra band (which we have a jam element to it)... but always wanted to. When she joined our band , it was a bit of learning curve for her. While she was solid following playing chords in time and following measures...  took a while for to get the more unrehearsed, don't have quite the fixed version, are more improvising arrangements, and how we communicate those on the fly; and other aspects, adapted in the moment...  involving listening to the group sound and concepts, groove, variation, playing with dynamic, texture, tricks and other aspects (though being a good dancer helped a lot).

She has gotten a lot more comfortable and got pretty good, takes more risks, and a lot of fun to play with.  She can be heard with recent file I posted. https://www.fiddlehangout.com/topic/56717

On the other hand is rest of us in band. We are more the informal and improvisational background... of sitting around playing with others to garage band, to doing bar gigs, being in the moment, how we feel (good or bad). Out background makes us also much quicker at figuring out tunes, chords, rhythm/groove, concepts and arrangements.

That said, we might have tougher time with consistent, doing the same thing, no matter how we feel...  which can be more problem in studio (or pit musician, sideman, backing band).

May 24, 2022 - 4:57:39 AM
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13335 posts since 9/23/2009

Well as I was growing up the only music "sanctioned," or that I was really around was in church, and from the time I can remember back, maybe 3 years old, I did love to sing...it just took me away into some other world and I got totally lost in it. From there, guitars got to be popular and all around, so I wanted one of those a few years later...10 years old. I don't know what kicked me into fiddle mode, but I toyed around thinking about the idea for decades without a fiddle and with only a little exposure to a handful of ancient and shaky old fiddlers who would come out on special occasions in good weather...finally, somehow when I was getting ready to take the early retirement plan, I thought..."Oh wait, and I gotta buy a fiddle before I get released from this job!" And I bought a fiddle and joined FHO to try to absorb helpful ideas from any fiddling discussions I could read...lol...that brings us to now...still trying to play the doggone thing. Was hoping to fill in all those lost decades in a few short months, but I changed that to a few short years...lol. I do believe fiddling is closest to singing, as people often say...but it's tough to get in touch with your fiddling voice...yet...we're all capable of getting there one way or another...sorta responding to Rich's post.

Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 05/24/2022 05:00:53

May 24, 2022 - 5:49:43 AM
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10186 posts since 3/19/2009

Someone just reminded my that my post count is nearing 10,000.. From there I'll have to get busy and try to keep up with Peggy, who is over 13,000...!!!

May 24, 2022 - 8:41:02 AM
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RichJ

USA

691 posts since 8/6/2013

My formal music training ended at the age of 12 after 4-5 years of lessons without much to show for it. I hated having to practice and mom had to force me into it. Funny thing was I found the piano more fun to mess around with after the lessons stopped, but the family got rid of it when we moved a few years later. Can't really say what got me interested in the fiddle, maybe it was all the notes you could get out of one and maybe size that makes it a lot more portable than a piano. lol.  Shortly after retiring, at the age of 72, I took a few free lessons given by a local fiddle club. Everyone in that club played from sheet music  and they handed the stuff out in reams, for every dang tune in their repertoire. So I learned how to read the stuff and kept going with the fiddle playing. Actually, the info from those early piano lessons still on my noodle's hard drive helped a lot which also helped in remembering where the notes were on the fiddle. But, something was missing from the way most of the folks in that fiddle club played stuff and it sure didn't sound like real fiddlin'. But thanks to the folks I've met here on FHO I eventually started to cross tune and realize how much fun it was to relax and enjoy simple OT tunes. I really like Peggy's comment on how playing the fiddle is a lot like singing. Looking back now I often wonder what might have happened if mom made me take violin instead of piano lessions. Ah but, heck I likely would have hated those just as much. I guess everything has to happen in it's time and place.

Edited by - RichJ on 05/24/2022 08:51:23

May 24, 2022 - 12:41:50 PM
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10186 posts since 3/19/2009

Such is life.. The fiddling daughter mentioned in the OP whose wedding party we had just attended on Sunday, just called and said she just left the Emergency Room with a case of Pneumonia..Will have to spend three days in bed taking meds.. She is either allergic to her new husband, fiddle music or wedding parties.. She has Lupus so that complicates things.. Fortunately she is in good spirits and says she plans on recovering..I offered to run the coffee shop for the next few days and that offer should motivate her to recover!!!...Who remembers Rosanna Rosanadana? She always said, and I agree..."It is always Something!!"...

May 24, 2022 - 7:13:49 PM

13335 posts since 9/23/2009

Lee, sorry to hear she has pneumonia now...I guess they're sure it's not covid, hey? Anyway I hope she is well again soon. Not fun to get married and then end up in the ER right away.

Oh, and as to post counts...I've always noticed the "best" fiddlers are the yakkiest ones...lol. Well it's a good theory, anyway.

Rich, I think if you got yourself a nice piano case, and worked out in the gym 7 days a week, you could carry that piano around with you wherever you went.

May 24, 2022 - 7:32:37 PM

10186 posts since 3/19/2009

first thing they did was test for Covid... Her immune system is somewhat compromised by Lupus..... Sorry for the topic drift..
Got to work with a beginner tonight.. Taught him what I call the saw-shuffle..that is, saw stroke if groups of four with third note emphasised and sometimes played with a second string..

May 27, 2022 - 9:19:37 AM
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4338 posts since 6/23/2007

I once sat in an Irish fiddle jam. Every fiddler had a tremendous amount of experience. Some had been professional fiddlers with big name bands and some were Irish immigrants who had played all their lives. I drank my glass of beer, kept my fiddle in the case, kept my ears "open", and kept my mouth shut. I learned -

1. They play non-stop.
2. No extended conversation. Just a quick shout here and there.
3. I had learned a lot of fiddle tunes before attending, but was not familiar with any tune they played.
4. They did not entertain requests.

I felt like they were racing against time. Music was great.

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