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Fiddle4Fun
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January 28, 2012 - 6:57 pm
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About six months ago I decided that I needed a hobby.  After considering the possibilities, I decided to try learning a musical instrument for a third time.  (My first attempt was the violin in grade school and my second was the flute in HS and college.)  Well, the flute is hard to play when one has allergies and the piano is too big to carry to school and back so I chose to give the fiddle a go. 

 

Undoubtedly, I was also influenced by seeing my great-great grandfather's fiddle sitting sadly in her case-- unplayed. 

 

Great-great grandpa built the fiddle in the early 20th century and played her in a Chicago band during the 20s and 30s.  After his death she bounced around the family from  child to child before being stored in an attic for decades.  She baked during the Pennsylvania summers and froze during the winters.  She was sent to my family when my sister decided to learn the violin in HS. 

 

The instrument was in rough shape when we got her and the luthier said that, first, he wasn't sure she could be repaired and that, second, even if she was reparable, it would cost more than she had ever been worth.  We did it anyway as this instrument was special. 

 

My sister played for four years and then got too busy with college to play again.  The fiddle sat, quiet and alone, in a corner for the next five years.

 

When I decided to learn to play, I made it quite clear that I never intended (or expected) to be a professional musician.  My sole reason for playing was stress relief so if something stressed me out then I wasn't going to do it.  Thankfully, I found a good instructor who was totally cool with the idea that I might not practice every day or be somewhat less than interested in a perfect bow hold.  He teaches me largely by ear or by using his own music notation.  I also go out and find the sheet music for pieces I like and learn them independently.  If it is one my teacher does not know (which happens frequently since his style is bluegrass and I tend towards celtic) then I teach it to him and he teaches it back to me.  Since I don't have lessons frequently, due to being a good 2.5 hours from where he is, I do a lot of independent studying online. 

 

And that is how I ended up here.

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Aleive
Northern Norway
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January 28, 2012 - 7:06 pm
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That is a really cool story 😀 I assume you'll be taking great care of that violin then 😀 Feel free to hang around and ask questions by the thousands!

Anyway. Welcome to fiddlerman.com.. You'll find us to be a great, friendly little community with a very diverse user base. With people from all around the world. Anywhere from Malaysia to Europe, to the US. And all ages. Anything from 13 to 133 😀 Again.. Welcome!

 

P.S. That sounds like a really cool instructor. Most instructors I ever met was sour old bladders with no notion of creativity or sensibility. That always had to have everything their way^^ Which is why I haven't had a teacher the past few years^^

"Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild."

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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January 28, 2012 - 8:22 pm
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Welcome aboard fiddle4fun! that is a great story you have...You and I have something in common. My grandmother (109yo and still ticking just fine) gave me my grandfathers violins (they need work). He played violin in a Chicago jazz band during the late 20s,30s and 40s. I'm 48yo and feeling sorta old because my grandfather and your great, great grandfather were jamming in Chicago around the same time. Here we are at Fiddlerman... I just started playing fiddle about 6 months ago too. Stick around!

jimi-hendrix

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Fiddle4Fun
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January 28, 2012 - 8:35 pm
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"I assume you'll be taking great care of that violin then :D"

 

Oh, yes.  Mainly because I think there will be spontaneous combustion and, possibly, explosions if I don't. smile

 

" That sounds like a really cool instructor. Most instructors I ever met was sour old bladders with no notion of creativity or sensibility. That always had to have everything their way^^ Which is why I haven't had a teacher the past few years^^"

 

Yeah, I really like him.  I tried learning from a classical instructor while away and when I got back this was our conversation:

 

"I bet your other instructor told you I was teaching you everything wrong."

"Well...yeah, actually."

"Eh, play whichever way is best for you."

 

As for the music, I generally come up with a couple of variations on the original melody and then we work through them together and he helps me smooth them out or suggests improvements.  Inevitably, though, he says, "Which do you like better?  Then play it like that."  He also doesn't mind if he teaches me one way and I come back the next week and say I tried it but I was messing around and found another way that I like better.

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Aleive
Northern Norway
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January 28, 2012 - 8:40 pm
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I can imagine that spontaneous combustion bit to be true.. If I broke my mother's cello... I would just cease to exist.. Nothing fancy.. Just the death-ray-glare of disintergration.. 

"Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild."

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Fiddle4Fun
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January 28, 2012 - 8:54 pm
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You and I have something in common. My grandmother (109yo and still ticking just fine) gave me my grandfathers violins (they need work). He played violin in a Chicago jazz band during the late 20s,30s and 40s.

 

That's just too cool.

 

It's interesting how things can provide such a connection to the past, particularly if you know their stories.  (Of course, I'm something of an antiquarian at heart anyway.)  It seems to be particularly pronounced for musical instruments.  My guess would be this is because there is a very strong human component to them in terms of the craftmanship that goes into building them and the heart that musicians put into playing them.  It also probably goes specifically into the connection we have with music but I haven't read up enough on that to form more complete ideas.

 

PS: Good going, Grandmother!  That's really impressive.

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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January 28, 2012 - 11:36 pm
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Now imagine if they played in the same band.

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Mad_Wed
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January 29, 2012 - 5:38 am
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Welcome to the forum, Fiddle4Fun! =)

I like your story and nick name! =) Hobby has to be always for fun!

Actually i'm almost envying because of your teacher. I have the teacher too. She is great and i love her, but sometimes i believe she prepares me for somekind of violin marines LOL! Joking!birthday_balloon

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Fiddle4Fun
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January 29, 2012 - 5:20 pm
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Actually i'm almost envying because of your teacher. I have the teacher too. She is great and i love her, but sometimes i believe she prepares me for somekind of violin marines LOL! Joking!

 

Well, the advantage of a teacher like yours is that you probably have great discipline.  Me...not so much. LOL

 

(I knew someone whose son was a Marine recruiter.  He did a lot of recruiting at Julliard since he was looking for musicians for the US Marine Corps Band.  So, you never know.)

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Fiddlerman
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January 29, 2012 - 5:38 pm
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Welcome to the forum Fiddle4Fun. Will be nice to follow your progress.
smile

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

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Joe
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May 20, 2012 - 3:42 am
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