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Hi from VT—about 10 miles north of Smuggler’s Notch where there are lots of hiking trails and beautiful Sterling Pond on the mountain.
I was about 53 when I decided to try to play Irish fiddle. I took lessons every other week for about six months (I think). I found a book called, The Irish Fiddle Book, by Matt Cranitch. It’s great and has a CD. Fiddle lessons were an hour’s drive one way, so I decided to just work from the book.
I practiced everyday for about 3 years. I had a breakthrough that felt good and then hit a plateau that I couldn’t get above. I couldn’t play the fast reels, and I never could get that really nice sound. I seemed to be hitting the notes correctly, but there was still something missing. I tried a new brand of strings, rosin, a book on intonation—everything except going back to an instructor.
I started to feel like I had been foolish to think I could learn at my age. I started to play less and less until I got to where I as afraid to pick the instrument up.
After several years of intermittent attempts to get back to my last plateau, I’m giving it another try. What kept me going and progressing in the beginning was not having any expectations of greatness. It was simply the journey of learning. It’s that frame of mind that I have again. I’m in my middle 60s now, so I don’t know how far I can get this time around. But it doesn’t really matter because it’s the journey. I’m really glad I found this website. I get encouragement from reading about everyone else’s journey.
Welcome Ron and hello from Stratton. Your story sounds familiar. IN fact I keep running on that darn squirrel cage myself. Play for your own peace of mind and enjoyment. I find I have more fun with it when that's all I focus on. Sure, I'd love to hook up with other players and jam a bit, but that's not quite as easy as it sounds.
........What kept me going and progressing in the beginning was not having any expectations of greatness. It was simply the journey of learning. It’s that frame of mind that I have again. I’m in my middle 60s now, so I don’t know how far I can get this time around. But it doesn’t really matter because it’s the journey. I’m really glad I found this website. I get encouragement from reading about everyone else’s journey.
WELCOME @RonB - LOL - I agree and disagree about the "it doesn't really matter" bit there - I know what you mean - but - it "matters" to you to be the best you can be! LOL
I'm much the same age and although played other instruments for many years, fiddle is only just over 2 years in to playing. When I play and share videos of my playing, I have nothing to "prove to anyone, but plenty still to learn" - and you've hit the nail on the head - the Fiddlerman website and forum are great places to learn, study, and make progress...
Wishing you success in your journey ! Nil desperandum, as they say... LOL
I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)
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