Being new to the fiddle, I have searched high and low for an oldtime fiddle instructor. ( I did find one but it's a bit of a drive and a little expensive but he's a great instructor) There are a few folks around that teach violin, country/bluegrass fiddle but that's not what i want to do. So, my question is: Are most of your old time fiddlers self-taught?
I took a few lessons when I first started; no more than half-a-dozen, although I could already read music, so I made use of that. The guy I was taking lessons from was often going away on tour, and, to be honest, he was not a great teacher, although he was a terrific fiddler. After that, I never found a teacher who played in the style I was after, so I've bumbled along on my own ever since.
My impression is that most of the active members here are pretty much self-taught - i.e., they might have had a few lessons at some point .....
I was reading a local "alternative" newspaper when I came across an ad from David Bragger offering fiddle lessons. Previously I was having little luck trying to find a violin teacher who suited me, this despite the fact I was living in L.A., where there are no shortage of music instructors of all stripes. In any case, I'd never even heard of Old Time Music. I just wanted to learn how to play the violin I'd compulsively bought, thanks to my love for Stephane Grappelli's work on Django records.
Anyway, I showed up at Bragger's house and he taught me an easy fiddle tune -- "Wish I Had My Time Again." Long story short, I ended up taking OT fiddle lessons from Bragger for several years. I was soon hanging out at various OT jam sessions, some hosted by Bragger himself. I've since gone on to several different genres but that doesn't keep me from lovin' OT fiddle to distraction.
Edited by - Lonesome Fiddler on 08/05/2022 19:08:34
Lots of online lessons too.
Lessons are best spent on technique--bow control, left hand, intonation, etc. Same thing classical folks study. Provide a foundation.
Then, self-teach whatever genre. You know what you like to listen to. Just copy it.
I wouldn't pay someone to teach me old-time. It's free.
Pre recorded , in person and workshop lessons are available online. Some are free and some are expensive. Taking a few lessons from a violin or fiddle instructor will help you avoid some technique pitfalls. Then you can either find a site or instructor that suits your style choice or wing it alone. For intonation practice, I first make sure my fiddle is in tune and then practice scales with the tuner on. Another tool for that is recorded cello tones to play scales with. Enjoy the process. R/
There are so many resources that were not available today that were not available back when I was learning. The best bet is find an old time jam near you and ask. Someone may help get you started or someone may even teach. Short of that find someone who plays violin to just get you going with a bow hold, etc. I pretty much learned on my own with a little help from my friends, who became friends on my fiddling journey.
You may find an "old time" instructors, but it is a type of fiddle playing that is highly individualistic and historically self taught. But "Self taught" doesn't mean it is learned in isolation.
Edited by - fiddlenerd on 08/06/2022 09:06:32
'Gold Rush' 2 hrs
'Over the Waterfall' 12 hrs
'Playing by yourself' 1 day