What are y'all up to?
October 15, 2018 at 7:19 AM #65810
What are you up to? I’m still struggling with stuff I’d like to play, but really can’t seem to get it to where it sounds good…Breaking up Christmas, Back up and Push…which I fear I will never ever get…lol…I understand why it has to be in C to work out…but C and I don’t get along on the fiddle. Other stuff like that. Besides fiddling, gardening time is over here now…the only thing left standing here are okra plants…gonna have to cut those down. Kinda sad to see the garden gone. I guess now is saurkraut making and horseradish making time…baking pumpkins to freeze for winter, etc. Our chihuahuas usually don’t like wintertime too much…still trying to get the new one, Taffy, to understand that we aren’t into punishing her at all…but outdoor toitee is preferable to indoor toitee…she’s slowly getting there. We did get her an indoor potty system, which is gradually moving toward the front porch. She’s definitely been punished for pottying outside, inside, or anywhere, it seems. I’d like to get back to knitting and stuff like that this winter, but not sure I’ll get time for it…as long as there is a functioning presonus downstairs…hard to think about much else…lol. Even fiddle tunes I’m trying to learn. So what’s on your to-do list for fall and winter?October 15, 2018 at 2:18 PM #65828fiddlewoodParticipant
I’ve got a few short, scattered days to work left to go at the golf course to close down for the season.
Just starting to get a few leaves down from the trees here, and a bit of color in the rest…a few solid frosts and I’ll be busy blowing leaves for a week or so.
Been mostly hiding in the house and playing fiddle…Have a list of about 6 new song breaks I’m working on…
Breaks on Ocean of Diamonds in F, You’re No Longer a Sweetheart of Mine (G), and The Gold Rush…All from Patrick McAvinue recordings are my major projects right now.
I’ve been hitting the record button when I sit to play and recording only playing time, just to check and see how much real time I spend actually playing in a day not counting any rest time. conclusion: I take a lot of rests…
I’ve kind of set a loose goal of 3 hours per day…one in morning, one in afternoon and one in evening.October 15, 2018 at 9:26 PM #65863
Me — I have been planning to expand my hymns and basic lessons. My daughter Lorien was given a fiddle and has developed a new love for it, so I have been working with her a lot. Also, Steve sent me a bushel basket of requests that I am working on right now, particularly Prairie Spring Waltz with harmony. I’m looking forward to a wonderful Autumn of music and lessons!October 15, 2018 at 9:48 PM #65864
Wow, Dave…3 hours a day? Sounds great…exciting stuff to work on. John, has Lorien played the fiddle before? I know she is sure a good singer and keyboardist…very exciting if she plans to pick up the fiddle too. Steve will keep you busy too…lol.October 16, 2018 at 12:40 AM #65870
She may have played triple fiddles with Arwen and me before… I’ll have her on soon though, as soon as she feels ready!October 16, 2018 at 5:20 AM #65873FrederickParticipant
I’m staying busy performing with the Gospel Bluegrass band “3rd Day Resurrection”. We’ve been playing a lot this month.
I’ll be returning to Arkansas for the winter months, leaving here in sunny Tennessee on the 23 rd of this month and taking two days to get back to AR.
I’m now dividing my free time among three instruments: fiddle, banjo and resonator guitar (Dobro). Each weekday morning I partake of the activities at the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center in Erwin, TN., where I normally play pool.
Today, the 16th, I am putting on a 45 minute Power Point slide show presentation of “Fire Safety in the Home” that I’ve created to remind the seniors how important it is to be prepared for the hazards involved with unwanted fires in the home and how to avoid them altogether by taking a few steps here and there.October 16, 2018 at 7:15 AM #65876
Gosh, Fred…how do you keep up with yourself? Lol…that’s a lot of activities. That’s very good of you to give fire safety info out, too. Well I forgot to mention my grandson is into playing the Asian game, Go…with me, of course. I’ve been studying up on it…sounds like it’s better to have an actual teacher, but then they say that about everything else too…I’ve mainly just learned stuff on my own throughout my life. So I’m studying up on thee game of Go…oh gosh…that’s a crazy game…we bought a Go game and once a week he and I sit down and I tell him what i learned that week…then we play and he uses all of it against me in the most sneaky and vicsious (I give up on spelling it right…tried twice and almost deleted the whole daggone post) ways and clobbers me all over the place. He’s 8, I’m 65…something’s wrong here…seriously, I’m trying to maybe not win, but at leaast hold my own…I feel stupid…lol. Amazing how sneaky he is.October 16, 2018 at 12:28 PM #65882IcebikeParticipant
Usually fall here is a crunch time to get everything done, before the end of September. Garden cleaned up, all tools away, vehicles ready, woodpile stocked, plow on, etc. This year, fall keeps going on and on. It’s only frosted once, leaves are still on many trees, and the snow is way up the mountains. I’m not complaining but all the chores are done and I’m starting to twiddle my thumbs. Can’t ski and no volunteer plowing to do. But I’m still hiking and biking which ain’t bad. So that leaves a lot of time to get serious about the fiddle again. Also starting to volunteer at the community radio station. I could get used to this weather.October 16, 2018 at 12:55 PM #65883
Soon wintertime will give you the big blast…lol…I’m sure. Hopefully you can get a lot of fiddling practice in before you’re out plowing all that snow. What kinda stuff will you be doing on the radio? We used to have a radio show on the little volunteer, amateur radio station over in Cincinnati…we only got to do it because we were vegan at the time and it was a vegan radio show…lol…then we switched away from vegan and of course all the vegans got upset with us so we were kinda squeezed out…we started changing the shows from dietary stuff to more like environmental kind of stuff and the vegans finally caught on when I had a vet as a guest who used to be vegan and had a lot of interesting reasons to switch, mainly relying on observations from his decades of one-man practice…long story…interesting show…did us in within the vegan community…lol. Oh well… I am still a vegan at heart, but I have to admit I think my health is better when I have meat in my diet, for various reasons. Anywy…i’m hoping your show is something to do with music…hopefullly fiddling and such…that would be a fun radio show to get to volunteer with!October 16, 2018 at 2:03 PM #65889AngelaParticipant
Band season has started, and we have our second practice tonight. I have a few new breaks to learn and to brush up on the old ones….plus add a little more “hotness” to some of the old breaks.
With my job, I don’t have time for much more. haha. We have a few gigs coming up in December and lots in January!
I learned or got down better Cajun Fiddle, Lonesome Fiddle Blues, Arkansas Traveler, Foggy Mtn Special, Gold Rush and Bowing the Strings this summer, so I’ve got a few new tunes to work in.
Love hearing about everyone’s fiddle journey.
John, can’t wait to hear Lorien and some more triple fiddles!! Ahhh-Mazing!October 16, 2018 at 3:21 PM #65899
You all sound so industrious! Thanks for the updates. Anyone else want to share?October 16, 2018 at 3:41 PM #65900
Great, Angela…sounds like some nice music in the works…hope there’ll be some cool videos. Have a great practice session tonight! Well, John, I guess one more thing I could share is someday I hope I can play Back up and Push…lol…it’s my ongoing joke…gonna keep going back to it once and a while and see if some miraculous fiddling phenomenon will happen … or not…lol. Wondering if there might be some age limit to learning B U & Push or what…lol.October 16, 2018 at 9:46 PM #65914
I am off on another safari; this time to a land so terrifying that even Tarzan would notice his yodel wavering a little more than it should. Actually, I am off to the Land of Wisdom where I will experience a joyous reunion with all my family and friends; after being in the wilds for so long. I expect lots and lots of tears. DO YOU HEAR THAT, MY LITTLE FAMILY? I EXPECT lots and lots of tears. And you might want to practice up on the teeth gnashing and the hand wringing as well. 🙂October 16, 2018 at 10:16 PM #65915
Cricket, you can do it!
Great Scott, best of luck during your travels! You should expect lots of tears, unless you gave your family plenty of advance warning. In that case, they will have already cried themselves out and will receive you with muted resignation. 🙂October 16, 2018 at 10:56 PM #65916ChristopherParticipant
I’m working on double stops and just trying to make my fiddle sound “pretty”. The fourth finger D on the G string and open D string are not doing well together! I think my fiddle isn’t sounding good because I am rushing and using too short bowings. Has anyone had an “A -ha” moment that just changed their fiddle playing and the music just started flowing? I am hoping for one of those!October 16, 2018 at 11:31 PM #65918
Thanks John! The fam will be meeting Rittle Rotus Brossom for the first time. I sure do hope they like her. She is so sweet and gentle (a lot like me, actually) and she plays the Japanese flute to perfection and creates fantastic origami. In fact, thanks to her origami, we have a whole barnyard of wonderful paper animals, and now a little paper baby on the way; to be delivered by a paper stork. Ain’t life just full of surprises? 🙂 🙂 🙂October 16, 2018 at 11:49 PM #65919
Yes Christopher, I had one of those “Aha” moments while I was on my 37th take of trying to record myself playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” My “Aha” moment was when I realized I should have bought a tambourine instead of a fiddle. 🙂 Just kidding.
Actually, I have had one of those moments you speak of. When I listened to ‘Londonerry Air’ played on the fiddle by John, (when I first got my fiddle all those years ago) I really wished that one day I would be able to play it. I knew the tune reasonably well since we always sang it from when I was a little kipper. It is a very emotive tune for me, especially when it hits the E string. I was pretty clumsy with the tune at first, and I struggled and struggled to get the tune sounding how I had sung it as a lad. Then, one day, after 2 million attempts at trying to play it, ZAM!!!! the penny dropped; stars fell from the sky; the earth moved under my feet, my front teeth fell out; and I jumped for joy… because I could finally play Londonderry Air… rather badly, I might add; but I could play it. I hope to experience many more moments like this. 🙂October 17, 2018 at 12:18 AM #65920
Hi Christopher! I’m hoping you’ll have an “aha” moment like GS speaks about… For the most part, however, you will experience incremental improvements until one day you realize that you are really a good fiddler!October 17, 2018 at 7:50 AM #65933
Christopher…good luck on making those double stops pretty. If you’re droning the open D and playing it also with the fourth finger on the G string…well, to me, that’s the hardest one to get…how does it sound if you put your fourth finger on the A string and drone with the E string? I think it’s easier to start up there…of course mine don’t sound too sweet…still working at that too. I’ve worked on getting the, what I think of as double-spaced, double stop formation…that is, when you grab a D chord/double stop with finger one on the E string and finger three on the A string, or move it down a string to make the G chord, or slide it up the neck, etc., and it just always seems to be a hit or miss type thing…might sound good, might sound awful…lol. I guess one day our fingers just know how to make those double stops sweet. Sometimes mine sound good, but I just never know. It’s hard to make a quick adjustment because when mine go off it takes me a second to figure out which finger is off, which way…lol…by then it’s usually time to move on. Anyway…it’s one of the fun challenges of playing this instrument…when you get a sweet double stop, you just gotta savor that beautiful sound and kinda gloat a little bit…lol.October 17, 2018 at 9:22 AM #65936fiddlewoodParticipant
Double-stops can be challenging at first!
When I first started working on them it seemed it took forever for me to find the right note with my left hand…then when I started trying to get a balanced sound on the two strings out of my bow, I’d go back out of tune from concentrating on the bowing.
It takes a lot of patience, but it is worth it in the end. Sounds like you have a handle on what you need to do to improve.
I’ve had a few of those inspirational moments when my playing was above my normal level…but then the next day I may not be able to do anything in tune or fluidly….it all comes & goes…totally normal.
Two of the things I’ve noticed will most improve my playing are relaxing, and not playing any harder than necessary…Both are very difficult to achieve when just learning, so I try to always keep them in mind when playing.
As John mentioned, the normal way we advance is in small increments over time.
Have patience, have fun with the journey, put in the time, and it will come.
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