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Learning a new style/genre
Is it a bad thing to try to learn different genres at the same time?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
Vermont, Massachusetts or somewhere in between

January 21, 2022 - 12:05 pm
Member Since: November 2, 2014
Forum Posts: 546
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As a kid in the candy store, I don't know where to go first, and I want many things. From a skillset perspective is it wrong to work on multiple genres at the same time? I guess my style up to this point is not really established but I tend to favor Old-time, gospel, and simple classics (Suzuki book 1). I would love to play and play well Gospel, Bluegrass, Cajun, Acadian but I would also love to have a good handle on reels and jigs. I am going this alone at this time as my hectic schedule does not allow for lessons (though I may be able to plug into an online pre-recorded type program, though that does not offer any feedback). 


Where to focus growth

  • build on what you have and add slowly(43% : 3 votes)
  • see comments(29% : 2 votes)
  • go crazy, work on them all(14% : 1 vote)
  • multiple but only work one per day/week(14% : 1 vote)
  • work only one specific genre(0% : 0 votes)
Total Voters: 7

January 21, 2022 - 1:03 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 2468
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i think a lot of people are able to do many styles at once no problem.  I had to decide to focus mainly in one area because i never felt like i was progressing.   remembering tunes and speed increases seemed stagnant. since i made that decision Im happier with my progress in both.  I think alot depends on where you set the bar for yourself too.  You can make tunes as easy or hard for yourself aside from getting the basic melody down so that plays alot into as well.  Also alot of my decision was driven by trying to get to a level where i can play with others.  i knew where i was and wanted to be...i had recordings of them. the group.  so goals help in the decision.  maybe instead of styles pick a list of tunes and focus on that instead of styles.. if its a group you want to join...go first and record...test yourself on that recording.  


January 21, 2022 - 3:46 pm
Member Since: October 11, 2021
Forum Posts: 209
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My views.


You need to build slowly and consider what you're actually capable of.  For instance, I'm stiff jointed and can't really rotate my left wrist far enough for good hand position.  This limits my fingering speed because I have to spread and slide to get the 4th finger into position and the G string is seriously difficult for both the 3rd and 4th fingers.

All of that means I can't play many faster fiddle tunes or reels and I probably won't be able to do it even after lots of practice.  I'm just not able to "get there" and that means that some of what I'd like to play, I'll never play "well enough" for anyone else to hear it.  Not even on a you tube video.


It's a reality I'm going to have to come to grips with and adjust my overall goals to meet my capabilities.  You need to evaluate your own abilities and figure out what you can do and see if that matches what you want to do.  That takes time and self evaluation.


January 21, 2022 - 7:21 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 4407
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multiple but only work one [new] per day/week. (I voted) 


Well... if you take a look at the variety in my recordings I've posted in the Parties and Share/Critique - there's my answer. 

AND, I still have reels, mazurkas, Québécois, and many other tunes that might be classified as 'popular' or 'World' music - that I just haven't recorded, yet! 

...I know I'll get better with time and practice.

Most of the HUGE VARIETY of YouTube music I share here on the forum are of melodies and styles I either plan to learn, or have already learned (mastered, may be another story). 

I understand your time is limited, so your music will also be limited.  Guess it all boils down to how badly you want to learn a particular tune.

My opinion:

💥 It's important to learn/interpret 'STYLE', what makes it feel as it does - it's why listening to others play is IMPORTANT. 

💥 If you like a melody, ANY melody - LEARN IT! 

💥 If you are a beginner - then start with the simple core melody and learn to play it slow, bit by bit! 

💥 If you can't find sheet music - find it on your instrument, note by note, by what you hear - on the fingerboard!  The more you do it, the easier it gets. 


Learning to read music notation is important, because it opens you up to a whole World of Classical and other published music.  You can break through language barriers with music notation, communicate your feelings to people all over the World - by sharing music you've created in a written form.

BUT, it doesn't help you learn a lot of traditional and folk fiddle tunes - if you do find something written, it may only be partially notated or even incorrectly notated. 



I can only tell you from my 'unexceptional' experience, it's all POSSIBLE! 

I did NOT start with "Twinkle Twinkle", but a handful of tunes I had heard & loved - some, from watching tutorials with up-close video views of fingers, still others I had to slowly pick my way through, that didn't have sheet music available - ALL WORTH IT! 

Btw, there is absolutely NOTHING special about me, the way I learn, or play - just I'm persistent!  

- Emily

January 28, 2022 - 9:37 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 3880
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I like the tunes in Suzuki book 1, also.

I think this varies so much by person. Attention span, ability to catch on quickly, ability, muliti-task in the sense of being able to learn more than one. etc.

For me, I am more into music that is not fast and sheet music that does not have a lot of black on it, if you know what I mean (notes). 

I like this post. I hope you get some answers/information that help you figure it out. I think there are a lot of people in that boat. Which type of music should I learn from? Choose one, but I really like such and such, etc. 

Maybe it is the sheet music or piece itself, not a particular genre or type if music. What piece of music helps with whatever you are trying to learn or brush up on, instead of a genre or type? Maybe working it that way. I know there are Bach pieces I do for a particular issue, then there is a folk tune I do for a particular issue and there are two 60's(?) songs that help with another area.

I am not particularly a fan of classical, but some pieces are very nice, and offer things to help me learn. I am not a huge fan of fiddle, but some are nice - the slower ones, and they offer other exercises. I cannot stand jazz and don't find any of that fun, but I suspect there is a lot to learn from it, but I think more knowledge of music itself would be needed, and I lack that, plus, I can't stand listening to it. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

Sacramento, California

January 28, 2022 - 5:25 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1379
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It mostly comes down to how much time and energy you have. Do what you can. I like the idea of working from what you have and building on it slowly.

If you want to get really good at one style or genre, you have to focus. You may be able to play the notes of music from a bunch of styles/genres, but if you're not playing them in a stylistically appropriate way, you're not playing the style/genre, you're just playing the tune.

I've been slow to dip my toes into fiddle styles, not because of lack of interest but because learning a steady stream of classical music, for ensembles that expect polished performances on limited rehearsal time, takes up most of my spare time. So over 90% of my practice time goes to classical music, and I've made a slow effort at picking up fiddle music, starting with Scottish which I've found relatively close to classical and thus an easier style to get used to. (Note: historically Scottish fiddlers were more likely to be classically trained than fiddlers in most other regions.)

That said, at the beginner to intermediate level, it's certainly useful to learn music from a variety of genres to develop technique... there isn't much difference (if any at all) in what makes good basic technique.

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