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May 29, 2024 - 12:11:22 PM

1532 posts since 3/1/2020
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quote:
Originally posted by Mobob

I wonder if Tommy Jarrel or Clark Kessinger ever worried about finding their "MVP"?


I haven't come across interviews with either where they spoke on left hand technique but maybe someone else has.

I don't know anything about Kessinger's left hand, but I do know he was considered to have one of the heaviest bow arms of any fiddler. He played with a very heavy bow and dug in. I'd be surprised if he was using light pressure on the left hand.

I can't imagine either of those players being concerned with left hand technique.

May 29, 2024 - 12:34:42 PM

Mobob

USA

251 posts since 10/1/2009

I wasn"t intending to focus on those two individual players, my intent was to point out that in my many years of hanging around some great players, none of them gave a fiddler's fart for a discussion of "MVP", they just played the fiddle. As McMahan used to say, "Boy, stop talkin bout it and play the damn thing." Just my old age attempt at sarcasm. I'll be quiet now.

May 29, 2024 - 5:21:12 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

1257 posts since 6/22/2016

Once when the question was on my mind, I asked the Cape Breton fiddler Carl MacKenzie how much finger pressure he used - now, Carl was highly regarded for his technical proficiency, along with his overall fiddling attributes, but he just looked at me, and kind of shrugged, wiggled his left-hand fingers, and muttered something like, "Well, um ... I just ... uh ... " - and that was about it. I got the clear impression that it was a matter he had never given any thought.

(Carl MacKenzie:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZLYtF4vrNk)

May 29, 2024 - 5:49:54 PM
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2526 posts since 8/23/2008
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Carl was highly regarded for his technical proficiency,

Yeah, he's got a great Scotch Snap, and really secure left hand support....

"Boy, stop talkin bout it and play the damn thing."

May 29, 2024 - 6:07:57 PM
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6574 posts since 8/7/2009

LOL. I brought this up originally in response to a statement that implied that a fiddler (violinist) must press the string down all the way to the fingerboard "In order to get the cleanest, purest tone...". I offered another opinion.

I gave it thought originally because it came up in a post here on FHO - long time ago. I was impressed enough with what I learned and the benefits I have realized - that I will challenge someone who suggests I can't get good tone unless I press the sting to the fingerboard.

...otherwise, I would have never given it any thought either. People are going to do what they want to do. I'm not even hinting that you can't get good tone unless you keep the strings off of the fingerboard. Nope, I would never say that. I know better. And what I have been pointing to has less to do with tone and more to do with relaxed playing and making fast phrases easier for me to play. I don't know why anyone would feel the need to change what they are doing - if they are comfortable with what they do and it works. But.. I would not discourage anyone from wanting to try it out. And I would not be surprised if some would say yes it does help, it is better. 
 

yes

Edited by - tonyelder on 05/29/2024 18:12:22

May 30, 2024 - 11:37:29 AM

1532 posts since 3/1/2020
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quote:
Originally posted by Mobob

I wasn"t intending to focus on those two individual players, my intent was to point out that in my many years of hanging around some great players, none of them gave a fiddler's fart for a discussion of "MVP", they just played the fiddle. As McMahan used to say, "Boy, stop talkin bout it and play the damn thing." Just my old age attempt at sarcasm. I'll be quiet now.


I caught the drift of the post when you wrote it, but after thinking about it I wanted to take the idea of fiddlers talking about technique seriously. While they never tend to say much about the left hand, plenty of fiddlers have talked about the bow arm.

There has been much more literature about left hand technique in other places.

 

As a general overview, this article provides some insights from a good teacher at a top-tier music school:

https://www.theviolinchannel.com/ask-pros-violinist-grigory-kalinovsky-left-hand-properties-violin/

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