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After almost 10 years of starting a career, endless licensing exams, and grad school, I'm finally going to start putting my "free time" towards something I want to do for myself - learning the fiddle. This is my first step on the new journey...my violin arrives tomorrow via UPS!
Just a little about me...I'm 30 and currently live in Morgantown WV. I grew up near Pittsburgh, PA but my job as a structural engineer has taken me to Washington DC and Richmond, VA since. I have a 3 year old and another on the way so the "free time" I spoke of earlier is fleeting at best. Nevertheless, you only live once and I finally want to be able to put the little time that I have towards something I have always wanted to do...which brings me here!
I have some musical background as I played alto sax growing up but it's been many years since I have done anything musical. And I'm well aware how difficult the violin is to learn...but that's what makes it worth it, right?!
I'm a big Civil War nut and I have always loved the song "Ashokan Farewell" that Ken Burns used in his documentary. I've probably listened to it 100 times. That's my first goal and it might take 5 years to get to that level...but I want to be able to play that song with as much passion as I have when I listen to it.
Anyway...I'm very grateful for this site and plan on becoming a frequent visitor as I begin this journey!
The fiddle is far from the easiest instrument to play, but assuming that you practice every day, I would imagine that you can measure the time between your start and playing Ashokan Farewell, well enough that people will enjoy hearing it, in months rather than years. It is, at its most basic form a slow waltz in D, covering no more than two octaves. That means that it "could" be played only in first position (the "home position). Many people play it in first and third positions I think, but it isn't required. Just stick with it, and you'll be playing it before you know it.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright