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Apr 9, 2024 - 4:36:59 PM
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2598 posts since 8/27/2008

I know some fiddlers learn only tunes in the one style that's important to them, study hard and stay focused. But probably many of us, I for one, follow informally from one tune that catches our ear to the next, which leads us non-linearly to new places as we follow our muse. My tastes when I started fiddle were strongly Bluegrass because I was involved playing mandolin in mostly that style.

When I started my sheet music site many years ago most of my transcriptions started there, followed with some Irish and some oddball tunes. As time went on I grew interested in old time styles and my transcriptions started reflecting that. Lately I am interested in old time fiddle tunes as interpreted by young players like (in no particular order) Fog Horn String Band, The Wilders, Gilded Bats, Rachel Eddy, Uncle Earle, The Onlies, Tara Nevins, Chance McCoy, Matt Brown, to name some. There's something fresh to me in hearing old tunes played and recorded as fresh and new.

I'm just a dilettante, and not the only one. I wonder where others' fiddling paths have meandered. And how many of you are dedicated to just one particular style?

Apr 9, 2024 - 5:24:47 PM

2478 posts since 12/11/2008

I've never been devoted to any single genre in any of the arts. It's not that I'm a dilettante, either. I actually made my living in the film industry, helping a couple of major motion picture companies choose what particular screenplay, novel, etc. might have the power to bypass a person's intellect and engage their emotion...in turn getting that person to fork out money to see it. It didn't make any difference to me whether the material was silly, profound, clever or anything else. It all boiled down to what a particular studio president would occasionally growl to me over the phone. "Is it good?"

Edited by - Lonesome Fiddler on 04/09/2024 17:37:48

Apr 9, 2024 - 8:38:23 PM
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6463 posts since 9/26/2008

I see nothing wrong in learning from/listening to modern fiddlers. (My new phone does not like that F word for some reason). It is often through them that I find a new tune. That said, because sometimes I like to hear how tunes have been interpreted, I might look for an origin source. If it is listenable (some of those recordings are difficult to hear and/or follow) I'll take as much from there as I can, knowing that the tune will ultimately wind up sounding like my take. And because my ears/brain cannot unhear something, the modern take will likely influence me to. I really like the wildly different styles of Emmett Lundy and Ed Haley. Dilettante it up, there's plenty who have a scholarly focus on person/style/region.

Apr 10, 2024 - 6:05:02 AM
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254 posts since 11/26/2013

For me personally, it depends on with who and what I am playing. In an old timey setting I stick with (mostly) the expected melody, with minimal stylistic input. In bluegrass settings though I try to break out of the expected style with stuff from OT, Celtic or other influences. Lately I been trying to frame my breaks with phrases lifted right from some swing music. Like the solos and backing of the horn section of Cherry Popping Daddys. And then drop back into standard fiddle riffs. Fun! Thats the main point, ain't it?

Apr 10, 2024 - 7:31:01 AM

3354 posts since 10/22/2007

These days I can get just as much fulfillment from a guitar or keyboard, and a song. That's right, words. Lately, the search for a satisfactory sound/tone from a fiddle eludes me. I get tired of chasing and resort to something I can drink from. I showed my bass playing buddy how to just disappear and float within the music. It wasn't a song, but it was gratifying to teach something new.

Apr 10, 2024 - 8:58:34 AM
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124 posts since 4/17/2023

For me it ends up being original compositions nothing like the fiddle tunes I play. It's fun when these "odd" tunes come out. Here's one: vimeo.com/912125485

Me and my guitar player also like to arrange traditional fiddle tunes outside of what is expected in "old time" so we go jazzy and rock in arrangements quite often.

Apr 10, 2024 - 11:05:39 AM

2598 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Shawn Craver Fiddler

Here's one: vimeo.com/912125485
 


Very catchy!

Apr 10, 2024 - 11:51:11 AM

1170 posts since 7/30/2021

Right now, Hyper-focused in Irish Trad…down to the level where I am trying to decide between Clare vs Donegal vs Sligo style…LOL! Maybe a bit weird, but have always tended be “deep” rather than “wide” with my interests. (And I go to restaurants and order the SAME dish every time…for years…)

Apr 10, 2024 - 1:41:25 PM
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2598 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by NCnotes

 ...have always tended be “deep” rather than “wide” with my interests.


That's well put.

Apr 10, 2024 - 6:57:21 PM
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268 posts since 9/6/2011

Brian,
First,I have enjoyed the music on your web site--Thank You!

I could have written your above post ,word for word, except I do not have your ability with written music.

I started on guitar in my teens-took up bluegrass banjo ,mando and bass in my 30's-In my 60's, I started fiddle and clawhammer banjo. I am undecided about a direction for my 90's.

My mantra has always been " Why be really good on one thing when you can be mediocre on them all.'---------Signed---A "dilly"

Apr 10, 2024 - 8:00:47 PM

DougD

USA

11892 posts since 12/2/2007
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NCnotes - Since I know very little about Irish music, I'll give you my opinion about what style to explore. Sligo style is so 1930's - so fast and flashy. Donegal of course is its own thing, and very picturesque, but you'll need to find others familiar with it to have playing partners. But Clare, sweet and subtle, like this: youtu.be/7UfmFmbpgyQ?feature=shared
Elvie is actually from New Hampshire, but she's one of the most sensitive and creatve accordionists I've ever heard. I wish there was more of their music around, but they're the parents of young twins, so maybe they're busy!
So there you go.

Apr 11, 2024 - 10:25:54 AM

2488 posts since 4/6/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Shawn Craver Fiddler

For me it ends up being original compositions nothing like the fiddle tunes I play. It's fun when these "odd" tunes come out. Here's one: vimeo.com/912125485
Me and my guitar player also like to arrange traditional fiddle tunes outside of what is expected in "old time" so we go jazzy and rock in arrangements quite often.


Like it, it sounds very "Breton(ish)" to me. Good stuff.

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