Meet “MGN” from Fiddlerman’s “Fiddle Talk” forum

If you like, please begin by telling us anything you would like to about yourself. Age, place of birth, residence, etc.
I was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota Dec. 5th 1963 and raised in Bloomington, MN. I was kind of a trouble maker. Always looking for trouble as a kid. I liked adventures including camping, fishing, hunting and sneaking out at nights to explore. I went to summer camps in the boundary waters on the MN – Canada border from about age 8 to 15. I always loved music. My grandfather played violin in a professional jazz band. He is on many records that I would jam to on drums to practice to and I started writing lyrics and writing songs at about 8yo. I was in school bands playing 1st chair trumpet until they kicked me out for skipping school. I then started playing guitar writing original music and organized after school concerts with a band we put together. I was also taking piano lessons and later started taking saxophone lessons. My mom said the music will keep me out of trouble. I played and still do as a lead guitar player – song writer in original bands and cover bands. I moved to California about 11 years ago to keep playing music.

What made you decide to play the violin?
I have always loved the violin by listening to my grandfathers old albums. It took me many years to actually start fiddling until I was 47 yo.

How long have you been playing the violin?
I’ve only been playing violin for about  4 months now.

How often do you play? How long are your practice sessions?
I practice violin everyday. I can play for many hours but take a lot of short breaks.

In your opinion, what’s your proficiency on the violin?
Beginner all the way but I feel I’m learning pretty quick.

Your greatest personal experience with playing?
That my wife says I’m doing great and my cats (one being half bobcat) seem to like the sound of the violin as much as I do.

What other instruments do you play?
I play guitar, piano, sax, trumpet, dulcimer and harmonica.

What does music mean to you?
Music means the world to me. I still love to camp and fish but there is nothing better than music to me.

What or who has been your greatest influence?
My Grandfather, many of my cousins that play, my wife, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

What are your goals for playing violin? short and long.
To bring it on! Make some original music.

What type of violin training?
Fiddlerman.com and some books that I bought.

How do you warm up?
Scales.

What is your favortie type of music?
Good old rock n roll and Irish music.

What is your favorite piece of music? Why?
The song Frankenstein  because I have always been a fan of scary movies and I hear a version for violin in my head for that song.

What are your 2 favorite things to do other than playing violin?
Sex and fishing.

Do you come from a musical family? If so please tell us about them.
I have many family members that play music but choose to be discreet about it.

Are you a member of any orchestra?
Nope.

Do you ever perform publicly?
All the time but not with the violin but will as soon I can.

What do you work with?
This would take writing an essay. I own tons of equipment.

Please share information about your violin and bow and if you have several please tell us about them as well.
I own a black metallic Cecilio, CVN 500, Mendini 650, Cecilio e-violin and a Silver Creek electric/acoustic and have many low cost bows. I really like the Cecilio bows but I’m still exploring to know what will work best for me. I also own a couple violins that were built in the late  1800s that are not playable at this time.


Next week, get to know “David Burns”

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