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Mad Bill's first submission for comment and feedback...
A slow-ish rendition of Rabbie Burns' "My love is like a..." largely as an intonation test, along with an attempt at a couple of (non electronic) effects (the occasional vibrato, and an open harmonic)
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Far North-west Scotland

April 6, 2014 - 12:11 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1573
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Hi all - this is my first post other than my original "introductory hello".  It's hard to put a real "timescale" on my progress - about 4 years ago I picked up an acoustic Skylark fiddle, and played - or - better said - experimented with it - for about 2 months with no real attempt at learning to play properly.  The only research I did was into how to hold the bow and what the violin tunings were.  Basic fingerings - I just worked out myself and managed to identify scales in G, A, C, D, and E (and their relative minors).   In spite of that I managed to scratch out a few old Scottish tunes.  These were all played by ear and generally embellished with my own (intentional, but poor) improvisations.  Recently - about 3 weeks back - I decided to commit to properly learning a bit more about fiddle playing techniques, the physical basis of music and music structure in general.   I also joined the FM community, and purchased a Harley Benton EV.  [ I still have the Skylark ]

 Anyway, here is an attempt at My Love is like a red red rose on the EV.  The HB EV has an inbuilt pre-amp with treble and bass controls - they are set to their "null" point.  This is a direct recording onto the laptop, without amplification or effects - and  it sounds a bit "sterile" although to my mind there is benefit in that as regards critical examination of intonation.

 When played through the amp, it sounds a bit better with the natural room echo, but I've avoided doing that - so it's pretty "plain".    Witness the spooky and ethereal sounding last note - an attempt at the natural (open) second-harmonic on G.    If the timing, the (intentional) pauses, and the odd crescendo feel a bit unusual, that's just my attempt at providing my own limited "interpretation and expression" to one of Rabbie Burns' best known poems ( the poem itself is just called "A red red rose" )

 Any, and all criticism most welcome!  Thanks folks!

 You'll find it on SoundCloud (or here depending on how embedded links work) at - 




[LMAO - just reviewed the Soundcloud post - it's only been there 60 minutes or so  -two "likes" already from total strangers - I have NO IDEA WHY ! - oh well - maybe they're beginners like me ]


I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)


April 6, 2014 - 3:22 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2013
Forum Posts: 808
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That's pretty good.  It was one of the first songs I learned. 


Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.


Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

Fort Lauderdale
April 6, 2014 - 7:28 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11611

Great start, or restart in your case :-)
Keep up the good work. If you video yourself you can get better positive constructive criticism based on what we see.
Thanks for the post!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

April 8, 2014 - 1:30 pm
Member Since: May 1, 2013
Forum Posts: 35
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Do i hear a little trill in there or two?bravo, it took me months and months to figure those out properly. Keep up the good work! :)

Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city

April 12, 2014 - 4:34 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2011
Forum Posts: 2849
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Very nice, MadBill! LOL! I didn't find your harmonic spooky - taht was nice too XD =)

Honorary tenured advisor

April 12, 2014 - 4:42 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
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Nice playing, Bill.  It sounds good.

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