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Fiddling for Older Folks
Am I too old to learn the fiddle?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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MoonShadows
Stroudsburg, PA
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February 6, 2019 - 11:35 am
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Thanks for that tip, @cid

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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DennisS
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February 6, 2019 - 11:46 am
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Adding to the discussion above, here is a short video of Mark O'Connor at a masterclass explaining how he developed his very flexible wrist (i.e., the "paintbrush" motion), which not only aids in reducing tension, but also allows him to build speed that would not be possible otherwise.  

I won't try this with my good violin though!

Dennis

If I don't have time for a short post, I'll write a long post - (adapted from Mark Twain)

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Gordon Shumway
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February 6, 2019 - 11:54 am
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MoonShadows said
At this early stage, I find I only stay relaxed for a short time, but I guess that will come with time if I keep practicing the proper moves, keep reminding myself to relax, and my muscles begin to learn these moves unconsciously.

Yes, you have to say self-aware all the time and relax whenever you feel yourself growing tense.

Andrew

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Scrap
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That is a fun blog. I enjoyed reading it. You also helped me remember some techniques. Hopefully I will reincorporate them and regain some sound. Good luck on your journey, I look forward to taking this trip with you.

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MoonShadows
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February 6, 2019 - 5:09 pm
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@Scrap I'm glad you are enjoying my blog! I hope to post a new entries often as I embark on this journey.  Thanks also for the well wishes and taking the trip with me. I appreciate it.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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Irv
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February 6, 2019 - 7:40 pm
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Hi @MoonShadows.  I am very impressed with your blogging skills.  That is a very professional looking site.  Please look at the current position of your violin bridge.  The one in the picture is pitched forward a good deal.  The bridge should be positioned at a right angle to the belly plate.  It is a good practice to look at the bridge angle any time you make an adjustment to string pitch as the bridge will often start leaning from this.  

The bridge is a fragile bit of wood and loses much of its available strength when performing its intended function at an acute angle.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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MoonShadows
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February 7, 2019 - 4:39 am
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Thanks @Irv That picture with the bridge pitched forward is a stock picture I bought for the home page of my blog. I bought my fiddle from Fiddlershop. They set it up and placed a cardboard protection over the bridge, so it arrived with the bridge correctly placed. (You may already know this.) So far, I haven't had to make any string pitch adjustments, so my bridge has not moved.

Here a Fiddlershop brief video showing the cardboard protector.  

Thank you for the kind words on my new blog. I have been making and maintaining my other website for 12 years, so I am used to tinkering. Plus, my blog software is WordPress which makes it pretty easy to design a nice looking, organized website.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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February 7, 2019 - 6:38 am
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@MoonShadows I'm always amazed by the Fiddlershop packing and the fact that they can ship an instrument so that it arrives properly set up AND in tune. My son's violin made the trip from Pompano to London and arrived in tune too. That's amazing crazy!

But there's no way getting around the tidbit Irv mentions about needing to regularly check and eventually adjust the tilt of the bridge when you do finally need to retune.

This little video explains what goes on and what to do about it:
"Preventing bridge warp" 

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MoonShadows
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Thanks for that video, @bocaholly Some good pointers on keeping the bridge in proper alignment and in good shape.

I've added some new posts to my blog the past couple of days. As usual, any feedback/comments are most welcomed.

Three Inspiring Young Men: https://fiddlingforolderfolks......young-men/

Matrix Clip On Chromatic Tuner MA-8001: https://fiddlingforolderfolks......r-ma-8001/

Choosing an Online Fiddle Course: https://fiddlingforolderfolks......se-part-2/

And, made a simple logo for the blog...

fiddle-logo.jpgImage Enlarger

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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cid
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February 9, 2019 - 3:29 pm
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Have you seen the D’Addario NS Micro Violin and Viola Tuner? It is sold at Fiddlershop, also. It clips to the violin, right next to the neck, low profile, instant read, metronome, hz change, auto shutoff, battery life is great, very light weight.

It says it also will clip on the viola, but I tried on my 16” Eastman Viola and the ridge around the edge of the viola was just a tad too high. When I traded my up for a 15 1/2” Rudoulf Doetsch, it was the same problem. I am going to get another of these tuners when I need something else and can get the order up to $25, to take advantage of free shippimg. We will remove the two rubber feet under the top. We will put a thin sheet of cork there instead. It should fit over the edge then. The bottom of the rubber under the top just stop it from fitting by a hair. We didn’t think of ordering another and doing that when I placed my last two orders. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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MoonShadows
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Yes, I saw that one, and ideally that is the one I wanted to purchase because of the low profile and where it attaches, but I called Fiddlershop, and they told me that one will only work with the traditional violin tuning of EADG and not cross tunings like EAEA. For cross tuning, they recommended the Matrix Clip On Chromatic Tuner MA-8001.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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Fiddlerman
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February 11, 2019 - 4:01 pm
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MoonShadows said
Yes, I saw that one, and ideally that is the one I wanted to purchase because of the low profile and where it attaches, but I called Fiddlershop, and they told me that one will only work with the traditional violin tuning of EADG and not cross tunings like EAEA. For cross tuning, they recommended the Matrix Clip On Chromatic Tuner MA-8001.  

Just out of curiosity, do you know who you spoke to?

I really must test this out. Will try to remember to do so tomorrow.

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

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damfino
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MoonShadows said
Yes, I saw that one, and ideally that is the one I wanted to purchase because of the low profile and where it attaches, but I called Fiddlershop, and they told me that one will only work with the traditional violin tuning of EADG and not cross tunings like EAEA. For cross tuning, they recommended the Matrix Clip On Chromatic Tuner MA-8001.  

I have that tuner (the D'Addario micro tuner), and while I don't regularly tune EAEA, I have tried it out just fine in the past using that tuner. 

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MoonShadows
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February 11, 2019 - 5:05 pm
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Fiddlerman said

Just out of curiosity, do you know who you spoke to?

I really must test this out. Will try to remember to do so tomorrow.  

If I remember correctly, I believe her name was Christina. 

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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MoonShadows
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damfino said

I have that tuner (the D'Addario micro tuner), and while I don't regularly tune EAEA, I have tried it out just fine in the past using that tuner.   

Darn. The D'Addario micro tuner is the one I wanted. The only reason I didn't buy it is because the Fiddlershop rep said it wouldn't work for cross tuning. The Matrix clip that she recommended doesn't clip onto my fiddle all that easily. Oh well, I guess it will do until I can purchase the D'Addario from the Fiddlershop.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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cid
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February 11, 2019 - 6:36 pm
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@MoonShadows Contact them and see if you can return it for the other? The chat line on their web site works great!

Just explain the situation and see about returning the ine you have for the other. Customer Service is exemplary. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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MoonShadows
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I'll just order the D'Addario micro tuner. I can gift this one to a student through a friend that works in an inner city school.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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Fiddlerman
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February 12, 2019 - 10:47 am
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I just spoke to Christina and it was a misunderstanding. The micro tuner will work fine. Just return it and we'll exchange it. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
She might have been referring to showing which octave.....

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

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MoonShadows
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Thanks, but no problem. I'll keep it and purchase the D'Addario micro tuner the next time I place an order with you.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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I have the NS micro tuner as well. Its quite convenient and works as advertised.

If you've got a smartphone, there are some apps that use the microphone in the phone. I like the A4tune labs one called "violin and guitar tuner"(it's actually fully chromatic). Its not as good as a real tuner but it's very close. I've found it handy when I'm playing with other people's instruments and I have neither my fiddle or tuner with me.

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