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

"BCShalom" from the "Fiddle Talk" forum

What made you decide to play the violin?
As a child, I was expected to play Violin, because my father did. I was sent to lessons with a tiny little fiddle and there were great expectations. However, the pain from poor shoulder rests, and the dedication were not in the little Jewish kid from Tacoma Washington, to follow in Pappa’s foot steps. Perhaps if Pappa were a resident father and leader of the family things would have been different. I attempted again to Learn the fiddle when the Pappa returned briefly to live with us. He left again and I lost interest in the fiddle . I just recently began lessons again with FM and I find that it isn’t as difficult as I remember. So with dedication and success, in ten years or so, I may be able to do more than scratch the strings and frustrate my poor dog.

How long have you been playing the violin?
Like I said, just a few months, and hopefully I can say that I can play the VIOLIN SOON!

How often do you play? How long are your practice sessions?
I have been working around the house lately so my practice sessions kind of have to come after I get the job done and have the house to myself. I have been able to practice for four hours on one thing or another at times. I think I learn more with shorter sessions however. I will just be playing it by ear.

In your opinion, what’s your proficiency on the violin?
Oh, I am a beginner. I just hope that I will soon be able to say I am an anything else!

Your greatest personal experience with playing?
When it doesn’t sound like crap and people recognize what the tune is I am trying to play! Isn’t that the hope of all violinists?

If any, what other instruments do you play?
I was trying to learn Guitar when it came to me that I wanted to finish learning to play the Violin. I still want to learn Guitar later when I can nail down the basics of the violin.

What does music mean to you?
What does music mean to me? This is an interesting question. Music is essential to civilized life as we know it. It sets the mood in nearly all forms of entertainment, it is background in personal relationships and our fondest memories. We can remember our feelings through music from decades past. A song can allow us to relive or greatest triumphs and deepest sorrows. Music is everything to me.

What or who has been your greatest influence?
My greatest influence was most likely my father. When he was home, I remember his playing. He was a great violinist, he said he won the Eastern Oregon Old Time Fiddlers contest once, and played for the Spike Jones Band of Renown. I believe that was the name of the band. So, I guess that’s the best answer I can give for this question. It doesn’t feel like it says it all, however. Oh well.

What are your goals for playing violin? short and long.
I am nearly 64 years old. I suppose my ambitions are to play the best I can play, in the number of days that I have left on this earth, and to give pleasure to those who hear my music. Beyond this, baring the possibility that I become a virtuoso…ummm.

What type of violin training?
Violin training consists of FM, and assorted self help, violin tutoring, including Violin for Dummies. How can we get along without Violin for Dummies?

How do you warm up?
I warm up with scales, Twinkle Twinkle and Mary Had a Little Lamb. (Doesn’t everyone?)

What is your favorite type of music?
Favorite type of Music? I don’t know if I have a favorite, there some genres that I don’t care for which will go unmentioned.

What is your favorite piece of music? Why?
My favorite piece of music, is one little obscure Israeli folk song “Streets of Gold”. Why? Because, that’s why! I guess you would have to be a Jew and a Zionist to truly appreciate it. I am both.

What are your 2 favorite things to do other than playing violin?
Attending worship services (Schul) and riding my Harley Davidson, Wide Glide.

Do you come from a musical family? If so please tell us about them.
Well, told you about my absentee Father, other than that, umm no.

Are you a member of any orchestra?

Do you ever perform publicly?
I have practiced at schul.  I was asked not to, the repetition was getting on people nerves.

What do you work with?  
What do I work with?  Work?  Now you have to talk dirty?   I am retired military.  I presently work around the house, not enough and not exactly a domestic engineer.  My poor wife. Oy Vey.  I do plan on returning to the work force soon however.  I will fill you in on that, as it will surely change my practice time and duration.

If you don’t mind, please share with us information about your violin and bow and if you have several please tell us about them as well.
Well I have a CVN 200 my my third violin, my wife’s now,  she said she always wanted to learn how to play one too,  counting the ones I had as a child. I then purchased a Lincoln G-1 from Lincoln Instruments and had an unfortunate accident, with it.  As I was practicing I would pause to do some work around the house, taking a suggestion from someone on FM’s site,  and I sat down to rest.  Well the rest of the story is too sad to relate, in a dignified way so….  Just remember don’t leave your fiddle in the chair if your going to practice around your chores.  I will now move on to my bargain CVN 500 purchased as a second for less than half the price of a first line CVN 500 out of Necessity.  Did I mention the fact that I am a Jew, and we are known for being THRIFTY.  Then I have a U-build it, fiddle that I wanted to use to learn the mechanics of the violin from first hand experience by building one.  My bows are cheap but mostly adequate which were provided by the K&K Music and Lincoln, with the exception of the carbon fiber bow purchased from Fiddlerman dot com. If you don’t have one of those, for the price and the quality, order one from him if you are playing with the kit bow that came with your violin. With my limited experience in playing, they are all fine instruments, with the broken Lincoln, having the best tonal quality as I can determine by my limited experience with it.  Hope to get that one fixed soon, if the repairs are not more than the violin it’s self.

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