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Week 25: Return of the Midnight Fiddler
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August 19, 2014 - 4:21 am
Member Since: March 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 81
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I know it's hard to see what I'm doing but due to an expected busy morning I won't be able to make one in the day :(


i know now I have pacing issues and the grace notes on my Amazing Grace are anything but in spots, especially crossing strings.  Also definitely need to work on intonation with double stops.  If y'all can see anything else please let me know!  I take everything y'all say seriously and I appreciate everything!




California, the place of my heart
August 19, 2014 - 2:54 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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Thanks for the update.  I liked your Amazing Grace. I applaud you for learning the double stops for Angelina Baker.  What people tell me all the time when learning songs is to try them slow for a while and then speed up. That might help with Angelina Baker because is it difficult with the double stops.. (for me anyway).  Bile em ...  I am not really familiar with that song even though I did the Bile em' project. :) I am not sure I recognize the waltz.. But I like it, very pretty.

How nice that you let us into your midnight fiddle session.  Keep up the good work.

BURRRR 65 is cold for sleep.  But.. if there were proof for increased brain function.. I might do it.   :)



Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Honorary tenured advisor

August 19, 2014 - 4:26 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 973
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Much better bowing motion than you started with and it's resulting in better and more consistent tone. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

Fort Lauderdale
August 26, 2014 - 10:19 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16116

I would like to hear you play Amazing Grace without being in a hurry. It's not only the tempo but the rhythm. Not hurry off the longer notes. It's all about counting but try closing your eyes and listening to yourself more. In other words, hear yourself as if it's someone else playing. By closing your eyes you'll basically be increasing your hearing/listening sense.
Bile Em - take time to just play the chords and focus on the correct pitches and best possible intonation. Slow drawn out double stops.
Good improvement. Keep up the good work. :)

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


August 26, 2014 - 4:52 pm
Member Since: June 30, 2011
Forum Posts: 2680
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Hey Ryan, seeing improvement !! Let me share a little something with you about fiddlin' double stops.  when you sit down to practice, think of your bow following 7 planes. let me explain. most people tend to think the bow plays on only 4 planes or positions. GDAE, but in fact there is 7 planes. So make a couple smooth straight bows on the G string, then drop your bow to the next plane and bow on  the G & D strings (double stop) then just the D, then the D&A and so on. Now you can see there is 7 bow positions and not 4.

see youre trying to play on the A and youre just pushing harder (increased bow pressure) to pick up the D drone and thats why its crunchy sounding.

One other thing Ive found, is that it actually helps to loosen the bow a bit more then you would when playing single strings when double stopping. experiment a bit with tightening & loosening the bow hair until you find that sweet spot.

Keep up the good work fiddler


There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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August 26, 2014 - 8:23 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
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Become more aware of the beat.  Put the fiddle aside, take a good recording of Amazing Grace, and count out and tap out the beat along with the recording.  ONE two three ONE two three.  Then stick to the beat obsessively when playing AG.

Try playing the double stops without playing any tune.  Play the two notes separately into your tuner, and adjust the pitches.  Then play them together, and really listen.

Some instruments can be played without listening.  That won't work with violin/fiddle.  So don't rush things---slow down and hear what you are playing.  You can speed up later.


September 2, 2014 - 12:45 am
Member Since: December 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 303
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I've bee going back through your posts, impressive! You've been working hard and making improvements.

Folks have already said lots of great pieces of advice:

* slow the tunes down

* don't rush (don't rush the whole tune and let each note have their moment)

* bow angles for those pesky double stops

* really isolate the notes in the double stops getting the intonation right, for both notes then work on adding them together. It'll really help you internalize how the tune notes sound together

So I'm going to focus a little on Angeline, because that's one of my favorite fiddle tunes. Some things beyond what others have said

* I prefer playing Angeline with less saw strokes (single bows) and a lot more slurring (you can see how I play it in my video)

* When playing old-timey/bluegrass music, try and emphasize the downbeats. You can accomplish this by trying to play down bows on the 1st beat of the measure.

* One way to help your tempo problems is to play with a metronome. But that can be kinda boring sometimes, so I  like to play with backup tracks. It also helps keep you oriented intonation wise as well as where you should be in the song.

* Don't feel like you always have to play the double stops, on the faster parts of the tunes, it's ok to leave out the double stops. In my version I leave out the doublestops a lot in the B part

I did a simple version of Angeline the Baker for you. I think I did it around 75 or 85 bpm. It's nothing amazing but I thought it might be nice for you to listen to a version that's around the same speed you are currently playing at. (Actually in your video you are playing around 95 I think). The first time through I did it without double stops. The second time through with.


Also if you want to play with some backing tracks I made some at various speeds for you so you can play along with it. Start with the slow one, 75bpm. Then once you get that down, then go up to the next one.


  Great job and keep up the great work!

California, the place of my heart
September 2, 2014 - 1:43 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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Wow.. wow.. thanks Fiddlinsteudal.  Love your video.. It helps me see also.  And the back tracks are sweet. Thank you. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato


September 2, 2014 - 1:48 pm
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