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Hi from Bristol, UK
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Reptile Smile
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July 18, 2015 - 4:42 am
Member Since: July 18, 2015
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Hi everyone - what a great community! Glad to be here.

I'm 41, and a secondary school teacher (high school) of maths and other stuff. I've been a musician all my life - firstly guitar, but various other instruments as well, including 20 years ago dabbling with a bit of fiddle (I was lucky enough to have Steve Knightley of Show Of Hands as a teacher, and benefitted from his mentorship and generosity of spirit many times as a kid).

I've wanted to return to fiddle a few times over the years, but somehow have never got round to it. This week I happened to notice a rather forlorn Stentor Student I in the back of the music cupboard, with the fingerboard detached, and  in a sorry state. I've patched it up, re-glued the fingerboard and brought it home for a bit of love, care and attention until I buy a replacement.

Am thoroughly enjoying it. My own particular interest in bluegrass, and I'm so grateful that in these extraordinary times, there are so many amazing resources available for free on the Internet, including those created by Fiddlerman.  I guess I'm pretty much starting from scratch (quite literally) but the prior knowledge definitely doesn't do any harm.

I have a local beginners group, and my intention is to get myself along to that as soon as I can carry a tune without too much embarrassment (I'm hoping that will be next Wednesday... 😉 ).

Nice to meet you all!

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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July 18, 2015 - 5:07 am
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WELCOME ABOARD @Reptile Smile - there is no doubt - you have come to the right place !   Good luck with your endeavors and journey with the fiddle, it will become an obsession, you have been warned !   LOL 

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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Fidelestre
Texas
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July 18, 2015 - 8:58 am
Member Since: June 21, 2015
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Hi @Reptile Smile ,

Welcome to the forums - you will find a wonderful community here to go along with the learning resources.

I also returned recently to fiddle after about 20 years away, which in my case definitely means essentially starting over. It has been a lot of fun.

It's great that you have a local group for beginners to play with. Haven't found anything like that here - I can still only dream of joining the local Irish music sessions, which are definitely not targeted towards beginners. Let us know how it goes if you bring your fiddle there on Wednesday.

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Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom
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July 18, 2015 - 9:13 am
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Welcome from another Brit. You'll love your new adventure - fiddling is fun!

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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July 18, 2015 - 1:06 pm
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Hello and welcome!

Congrats on rediscovering the violin.  I think your years as a musician will benefit you completely.  Cheers!

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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ElisaDalViolin
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July 18, 2015 - 6:56 pm
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Welcome Reptile Smile!

Wish you the best in your violin journey!

 
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 21, 2015 - 9:20 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Welcome to the forum Reptile Smile. You seem to have the plan and that will put you on the right path. Playing with a local beginners group will make it all the more fun and interesting.
I hope that we can help motivate and inspire some fun work to help you with your new goals.
Look forward to hearing more about your new journey. 🙂

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

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Reptile Smile
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July 22, 2015 - 5:45 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2015
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Well, as planned, I went along to the beginners' group, and had a great time.  I was inevitably a little nervous about 'being on show' - of course, I wasn't. Everyone was in the same boat and was very supportive and helpful.

I then stayed on to the 'main event' and very rapidly realised how outclassed I was - I'm nowhere near the stage on fiddle that I can sit in on a session and pick things up like that.  In the interval, though, I played someone else's mando and also a banjo (tuned in violin tuning) and slightly brought the house down, so the person who was running the session went off to find another mandolin for me to play.  That worked out fine - playing fiddle when I could, and then playing other (more familiar) instruments when I couldn't.

HOWEVER...  Right at the beginning of the beginners' session, it was very apparent how much larger everyone else's fiddle was than mine.  I rapidly realised I'd been playing a child's size, and - again - the owner dashed off to egt me a spare full size fiddle which I played, and - my goodness - what a difference.  Both the volume, but also how much easier it was to judge and correct intonation.  It also transpired I've been playing with a cello bow - a nice one, but a cello nonetheless.

On getting home, I got around to actually measuring the fiddle - 13", making it a 3/4 size, I believe.  Ah well.  Live and learn...

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 22, 2015 - 5:50 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Great story. I gather you will be doing this regularly now?

Should be fun.

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

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Fidelestre
Texas
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July 22, 2015 - 9:05 pm
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Sounds like a great session.

And pretty funny story about the 3/4 violin and the cello bow. Of course, a bunch of us here saw your video and I don't think anyone noticed or commented on it, so I guess you weren't the only one fooled!

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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July 23, 2015 - 2:32 pm
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@Reptile Smile fantastic story.

Thanks for sharing... It's all about attitude... you seem to have a wonderful attitude and the ability to have fun!

Awesome!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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July 24, 2015 - 12:39 pm
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Hi! And thanks for the welcome! It's nice to know there are so many who take up the violin as an adult!

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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July 24, 2015 - 3:19 pm
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Well, welcome all of you new beginners to the group (or family as we call it here)!

I wanted to learn to play violin before I was 60 and I started three years + ago and I think, according to everyone else who hears me play this thing, that I actually can! So this year is the deadline and I made it!

It isn't easy as you will find and takes a good amount of persistence and discipline to achieve decent results.

Never too old and certainly if someone tells you that you are... they must be younger than you.

cheers

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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July 24, 2015 - 5:51 pm
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welcome from another Brit. I'm currently based up in the midlands just outside Brum. A sleepy little town called Coleshill. I may have to join in one of your beginner sessions as I am just up the M5......

united_kingdom-4178

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Reptile Smile
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September 12, 2015 - 9:02 am
Member Since: July 18, 2015
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So - 49 days in today (must be time for another video!)

I went along to the fiddle group again on Wednesday - it runs like this:

6:30-7:30 - Absolute beginners
7:30-8:30 - Learning a tune by ear (sort of intermediates)
8:30-9:30 - General session (no tuition - sit in and join in!)

It was hugely flattering.  I realised myself that the beginners' group wasn't really appropriate any more - it was just a bit slow and unnecessary for me.  The brilliantly, they asked me if I'd like to come along and play with them in their group at which they have a regular gig at a local National Trust house/country market.  Nartrually, I'm really fired up about that!  (and with a bit of luck, might get my 'Live' badge!)

I emailed the co-ordinator to ask for a suggested list of things I can start practising and ended up with this:

Nipper x 4/Off She Goes x 4
Buttered Peas key of G x 3/Jenny Lind key of D x 2/ Buttered Peas G x 1
Three Around Three x 3/Quaker x 2/Three Around Three x 1
Mazurka Limousin x 2 / Bear Dance x 4  
Smugglers Wedding Dance
Salmon Tails/Kerry Polka    
Officer’s Polka /Kit Whites Square Eight     
Oh Suzannah/Nelly Bly 

Hot Punch /Fiery Clockface                                                                         
Cock of North/Mairi’s Wedding /Scotland the Brave       
Sweets of May/Dingle Regatta                                                 
Galop Hey /Redowa Polka                                                                          
Oyster Girl /Perfect Cure                                                                                         
Louisberg Square G/D / The Railway G      
Rogue’s March D/Captain Lano’s Quick March G
Seven Stars D/ Month of May G
Woodland Flowers (G) / Uncle’s Jig (G)
Goobie O am/Stirling Castle am 
Astley’s ride D/Jimmy Allen G
Brighton Camp G / The Sloe D       
Harper’s Frolics D / Bonny Kate G
La Russe G / Caddam Wood G
Monk’s March G/One More Dance and Then
All the Way to Galway D mix/Tralee Gaol em    

Man! I don't know a single one of them!  And my current repertoire is about 8 tunes long... *gulp* Better get started...

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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September 12, 2015 - 10:54 am
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That's awesome 🙂 I wish there was a group like that around here. 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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AnnyJ
Ga
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September 12, 2015 - 12:48 pm
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@reptilesmile  I was starting to wonder if you were still around. Haven't seen you post in a while. Thank you for the update! smileAnd fingers crossed for your gig!crossedfingers

Sounds like your progressing very well!

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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September 12, 2015 - 1:31 pm
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@Reptile Smile Sounds like a great event.. and good progress.  Whooo.. out of the beginners and on to some more events... YES!!!!   Bring on that Live performance.   

Nice to hear from you with that good news.

Cheers. 

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fidelestre
Texas
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September 12, 2015 - 4:09 pm
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@Reptile Smile ,

What a great list of tunes! Definitely out of the beginners' arena if they think you can handle all of those.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 14, 2015 - 7:53 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Did they provide you with links to the tunes, and or sheet music? Obviously not for this one (Learning a tune by ear (sort of intermediates).

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

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