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Am I really too old to start playing music?
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Mimi Aysha
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June 6, 2018 - 9:48 am
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Lorna and I went into my back garden to play a couple weeks ago, and I saw that the neighbors had pulled chairs up to the side fence - they left soon after we started playing. We just laughed so hard, I think they were imagining a concert in the garden, but all they got was us screeching away to faded love all out of tune and probably out of tempo too!....

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Fiddlerman
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June 6, 2018 - 11:43 am
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Mimi Aysha said
Lorna and I went into my back garden to play a couple weeks ago, and I saw that the neighbors had pulled chairs up to the side fence - they left soon after we started playing. We just laughed so hard, I think they were imagining a concert in the garden, but all they got was us screeching away to faded love all out of tune and probably out of tempo too!....  

LOL - I'm so happy that you guys can laugh about it. Don't let anyone or anything discourage you guys. Keep up the great attitude too.

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

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pchoppin
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Mimi Aysha said
Lorna and I went into my back garden to play a couple weeks ago, and I saw that the neighbors had pulled chairs up to the side fence - they left soon after we started playing. We just laughed so hard, I think they were imagining a concert in the garden, but all they got was us screeching away to faded love all out of tune and probably out of tempo too!....  

You've just described my dream afternoon!

- Pete -

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Ryan
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July 11, 2018 - 1:55 am
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I think not. I'm restarting after 3 years again

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lucille
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July 31, 2018 - 3:55 pm
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No, never too old. I'm over half a century old and I play much better than a 20 year old that has never picked up the violin! 😀 Really young people seem astonished that an 'old' person can play. 😀 Bless em, they under estimate us. 

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Mimi Aysha
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lucille - now thats funny!

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JamesRSmithJr
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Never to old.  Always loved music, but never had the time (work, kids, life).  My youngest is now 30, last year I brought myself a 60th birthday present (a fiddlerman Master).  Do I make music yet..  Ehh..  Getting there, but having a ball trying...

To play a wrong note is insignificant;  To play without passion is inexcusable.  - Ludwig van Beethoven 

 My journey began on Aug 3 2017

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Fiddlerman
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August 8, 2018 - 10:38 am
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In some ways, learning when you are older is more fun. When you are older, you usually are not as stressed and you usually have fewer family responsibilities. Older is relative of course but there are advantages of beginning to learn at any age. One focuses on their hobbies and passions in a completely different (usually less stressful) way when one is older. 🙂

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

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Andrew Shumway
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September 15, 2018 - 11:58 am
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Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread. What I'll say in case it hasn't been said yet is, the classical guitar is a solitary instrument, almost anti-social, unless you want to perform, which I don't, not solo. But playing it can be very meditative, and if you can use it in that way, then it is never too late to begin.

The uke/violin/whatever are more sociable. When I played the oboe, I played in the town's youth orchestra and I played regularly in regional am-dram Gilbert and Sullivan productions, and I loved it. And my uke group provides me with that sociability, and you're never too old for some of that, either.

But as an adult, there's an unexpected downside - when you're a kid, you make noise all the time, and it's natural to be creating noise-pollution, musical or otherwise. You don't think twice before practising an instrument full volume, and the neighbours don't complain. But as an adult, I am far more self-conscious about this, and it's daunting. I need to practise my singing too!

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

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thegael
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October 18, 2018 - 11:46 pm
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No! I'm 62 and started 3 weeks ago and I am diggin it !  I have a musical gene that has come to light and in it's time and I am going for it. Actually it took me over , I had no choice.!

Just bow it.

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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October 19, 2018 - 8:01 am
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hi @thegael, welcome ... so glad you've joined us on the forum. You'll find lots of enthusiasm to go along with yours... although maybe not so many illustrious back-stories 🙂

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thegael
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October 19, 2018 - 8:34 am
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Haha...Notorious is more like it! Thank you. Now of I can just figure out how to use this site.

Just bow it.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
October 19, 2018 - 11:21 am
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Welcome aboard @thegael !

"I had no choice!" - yeah, well, the devil's own instrument has this subtle, but definite way of taking over....   I started at the same age, and every moment has been enjoyable... (OK, I exaggerate slightly, but what pain there is (not physical pain, just when IT is being a proper PITA), it's soon forgotten !

Enjoy your journey and the forum !  thumbs-up

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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thegael
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October 19, 2018 - 9:32 pm
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Thank you BillyG. My blood is Scot-Irish-Cherokee from Asheville NC. So proud to know you. My great grandfather was Fiddlin' Bill Hensley. I mentioned that the musical gene took me over. Yep, out of control! I' m teaching myself  The Gael ( with help from Fiddlerman videos), the very famous Alasdair Fraser's rendition from the movie score. I can't stop until I have it. I have the fingering and notes down but the bow is behaving badly. CHEAP with loose hair even when tightened. I never played before but have perfect pitch, can't read music but can play  anything I hear and can find the notes. Violin is easier than guitar for me. Yes I have a tendancy to ramble. Sorry.. Glad to be here!

Just bow it.

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BillyG
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October 20, 2018 - 3:29 am
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@thegael -Ahhh - I just HAD to go check it out - how cool is THAT ! 

Obviously an old, noisy recording, but you can sure get the feel of his fiddling !   It's a tad faster than my own (attempts) at Soldier's Joy 🙂    You must be proud to have such a musical heritage !

"Tendency to ramble" - nah - not at all - you're a beginner at rambling.... it's an art that develops the more time you spend on the forum.  And just to prove it - 

As a Scot, until I joined the forum, I was never really fully aware of the various musical traditions of America - I'm searching for the correct word here - I (probably incorrectly) refer to all such styles as "Americana", be it old-time, bluegrass, blues, gospel, Appalachian and so on....    [ waits for the flame wars to start ! LOL ] - really - all I'm doing in a sense is decoupling all of that great music and tunes that I hardly know, from my own culture and musical exposure which of course is rooted in the rhythms and feel of trad Scottish and Irish airs, jigs, reels, strathspeys and so on.

Soooo... Since the forum is largely populated by folks from the other side of the pond, a lot of my initial fiddle tunes belonged to those "Americana" pieces.  I too play by ear (largely - although I'll initially resort to sheet, often to uncover the B part of a tune - the A part usually seems (for me) to be the bit that sticks in my head).   So, other than my initial stumblings of some simple Scottish tunes, I got pulled-in to working on pieces more familiar to my American colleagues!

I started with a couple I actually DID know - like Red River Valley, Tennessee Waltz, Red Wing etc....    

I soon moved on to things like Turkey in the Straw, and yes, Soldier's Joy and so on - and the really strange thing is that some folks commented "Nicely played, but it's got a Scottish twist to it"  roflol - Aye, ye can tak the lad oot o' Scotland, but ye cannae tak Scotland oot o' the boy.   🙂

But, that's exactly what fiddle is all about.   You take something, shake it around a bit, add your own embellishments, ornaments, maybe even mess with the timing, and you come to "own it" in your own way, and it has become unique to you.

So, you see, these ramblings, such as the above, all do have a point to them in the sense of sharing experiences, learning, and background.  It's all good ! exactly

Ramble on !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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October 20, 2018 - 4:33 am
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BillyG said
@thegael -Ahhh - I just HAD to go check it out - how cool is THAT ! 

Obviously an old, noisy recording, but you can sure get the feel of his fiddling !   It's a tad faster than my own (attempts) at Soldier's Joy 🙂    You must be proud to have such a musical heritage !

"Tendency to ramble" - nah - not at all - you're a beginner at rambling.... it's an art that develops the more time you spend on the forum.  And just to prove it - 

As a Scot, until I joined the forum, I was never really fully aware of the various musical traditions of America - I'm searching for the correct word here - I (probably incorrectly) refer to all such styles as "Americana", be it old-time, bluegrass, blues, gospel, Appalachian and so on....    [ waits for the flame wars to start ! LOL ] - really - all I'm doing in a sense is decoupling all of that great music and tunes that I hardly know, from my own culture and musical exposure which of course is rooted in the rhythms and feel of trad Scottish and Irish airs, jigs, reels, strathspeys and so on.

Soooo... Since the forum is largely populated by folks from the other side of the pond, a lot of my initial fiddle tunes belonged to those "Americana" pieces.  I too play by ear (largely - although I'll initially resort to sheet, often to uncover the B part of a tune - the A part usually seems (for me) to be the bit that sticks in my head).   So, other than my initial stumblings of some simple Scottish tunes, I got pulled-in to working on pieces more familiar to my American colleagues!

I started with a couple I actually DID know - like Red River Valley, Tennessee Waltz, Red Wing etc....    

I soon moved on to things like Turkey in the Straw, and yes, Soldier's Joy and so on - and the really strange thing is that some folks commented "Nicely played, but it's got a Scottish twist to it"  roflol - Aye, ye can tak the lad oot o' Scotland, but ye cannae tak Scotland oot o' the boy.   🙂

But, that's exactly what fiddle is all about.   You take something, shake it around a bit, add your own embellishments, ornaments, maybe even mess with the timing, and you come to "own it" in your own way, and it has become unique to you.

So, you see, these ramblings, such as the above, all do have a point to them in the sense of sharing experiences, learning, and background.  It's all good ! exactly

Ramble on !  

In my case, literally all the fiddle traditions are foreign to me and I'm only just starting to figure out how to tell the difference between them... but that's because I lived in Dubai between ages 3 and 12 and the music I heard there was mostly Bollywood, a little rock, and a little Arab folk music. No violin in any of them. (Gulf Arabs didn't adopt the violin the same way the Arabs of the Fertile Crescent and North Africa did.) Didn't hear any fiddle tune from beginning to end until I was 19 or 20. These days I can sort of identify Hungarian, Romanian, Irish, Scottish, and Texas styles by sound, but not 100% reliably... 

So that's how I ended up being a late starter and still almost purely a classical player, playing even fiddle tunes with mostly classical technique.

Most of the traditional music I hear is Mexican -- but mariachi violinists aren't fiddlers. Even though they may improvise some, their whole technique and playing style is that of a classical concert violinist. It's the only way they can be heard over trumpets.

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BillyG
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October 20, 2018 - 8:53 am
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🙂 Another good "ramble" @AndrewH - thanks for sharing your musical background.  It all adds to the wonderful tapestry of our members' playing journeys - and indeed may make folks think about investigating other styles and genres !   thanx_gif

Yup - fiddle tunes with a classical technique - nothing wrong with that at all - and although I'll never be a classical / concert violinist  - even at my current limited playing level, I sort of do something similar - let me think because it becomes almost automatic to me - right got an example - some fiddle tunes, perhaps in faster jigs and reels will expect the player to have a very specific "fiddle technique" on say certain triplets or fast quarter or eighth note sequences - I can pretty much do it like that (and will involve rapid bow direction changes on each note and almost stopping on the string) - but - I often prefer to implement these short runs as a type of flying staccato  - if that makes sense !    Sometimes simple slurring with added "expression from bow-control" can replace the "sharpness" of what would normally be played as individual bow direction changes, and so on..

And again, that's what makes it all so much fun !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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thegael
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October 20, 2018 - 8:38 pm
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Yep that's him.  He was also a moonshiner, but who in Asheville at that time wasn't! My dad too. Great- grampa's music is in the Library of Congress and the story of the guy he shot is in the lore of Asheville. Although they got the story wrong, as all my kin know it. I am trying to locate "Calico"( that was his name for the fiddle in the picture), someone in the family still has it. My dream would be to put my hands on it and play  The  Gael. I can sit now and listen to him on youtube. He died before I was born so the magic of the internet is astounding to me.

Thanks for your story too. As for all the names of styles, I prefer just "fiddlin". 

Just bow it.

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thegael
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October 20, 2018 - 8:46 pm
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And by the way, it should have a Scot twist to it. That is where most of the moumtain music came from , Scot Irish immigrants. So there!

Just bow it.

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thegael
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October 20, 2018 - 8:57 pm
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Thank you Andrewh. That was quite a history lesson. I used to dance to Arabic and other Middled Eastern music when I was young and beautiful. I loved the zills and dumbek the most. 

Just bow it.

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