FORUM

Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Playing Backup w Others
I was taught by 2 different teachers: classical by Sherman Pitluck then country by a backup player to George Jones (saw him on TV at the Grammy's when George won). Neither taught backup or playing along to an unfamiliar song.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
February 10, 2015 - 7:28 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Yeah, I think you have it.  At least a lot of it.  definitely enough to start working with.

thumbs-up

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Avatar
Schaick
Members

Regulars
February 11, 2015 - 8:17 am
Member Since: December 25, 2013
Forum Posts: 878
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

tesfalcon said
...

Percussive violin? Isn't that an oxymoron? If I wanted to play percussion, I'd pick up the cymbals or a tambourine.

...

Nope.  Don't discount the benefits and importance of percussive violin playing.  The chopping/chunking can be the driving force of a song. It can help all stay in time, as long as the one doing the hopping, chunking is in time.

 

When the song being played is way too fast for your ability you don't have to sit there and twiddle your thumbs!!

Anyone know?  @Fiddlerman I found a cool sound effect but wonder if it hurts the strings.  Drawing or chunking with the wire wrapping of the bow across the strings.

One of my most favorite movies!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

Avatar
tesfalcon
Sweetwater, TX
Member
Members
February 11, 2015 - 9:42 am
Member Since: January 27, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Mark Kroos.com His entire guitar career is based on this style. Banjo players love to play duets, but he turns duets into solos.

What does alternative style guitar playing have to do with fiddle? I'm not sure.

Avatar
tesfalcon
Sweetwater, TX
Member
Members
February 11, 2015 - 9:53 am
Member Since: January 27, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Found a list of violin songs in a different style of notation (colored w fingering). All the songs are in C, G (#), D (##), and only 1 song (which I've never heard of) called "Sloop John B" is in F (b).

http://www.fretlessfingerguide.....songs.html

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 11, 2015 - 10:34 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2915
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
25sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I've been following the thread - and I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said better by both @DanielB and @Fiddlerman and I hope you're getting a better feel for the problem of "playing backup with others".  I know from experience, it is not easy to start with, but I'm sure you'll get there !

The only reason I'm posting is just to give an example of what you can do once you have the "general idea" of how a song or tune feels.

On a separate forum, a lady called Kora submitted a harp solo.  There is no written score for it, and by listening (with fiddle in hand and finger picking a few notes) it was clearly in the key of C.  (No, my ear is not SO good that I could just tell from listening alone)

The piece is completely new to me, and I listened to it about 5 times all the way through.  Then I just picked out some "runs" that "fitted".   Then I recorded "against it" and mixed it down with Kora's original work.  The original harp piece runs to two minutes - and at about a minute into it my "fiddling ran away from me" - so I cut it short.  Here's the piece with "freestyle" fiddle accompaniment for the first minute - it is nothing special, and I certainly wouldn't normally bother sharing this type of thing, but I did it already to let Kora hear it - so here you go -

I hope this gives you encouragement !   If I can do it, anyone can !

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

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

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 11, 2015 - 10:41 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2915
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
26sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

tesfalcon said
Mark Kroos.com His entire guitar career is based on this style. Banjo players love to play duets, but he turns duets into solos.

What does alternative style guitar playing have to do with fiddle? I'm not sure.

Ahhhhh..... love it !

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

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

Avatar
tesfalcon
Sweetwater, TX
Member
Members
February 11, 2015 - 11:02 am
Member Since: January 27, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
27sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Repetitive listening seems to be the key everyone is calling for in all these comments. Too bad you only get one run through of each song at a jam to figure everything out. If you don't start playing the first time through, you don't play at all. Perhaps, with practice, I can come up with a general overlay or generic backup style that will work generally from the beginning and hone it as the song progresses.

Who's Pierre?

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 11, 2015 - 11:52 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2915
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
28sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

tesfalcon said
Repetitive listening seems to be the key everyone is calling for in all these comments. Too bad you only get one run through of each song at a jam to figure everything out. If you don't start playing the first time through, you don't play at all. Perhaps, with practice, I can come up with a general overlay or generic backup style that will work generally from the beginning and hone it as the song progresses.

Who's Pierre?

 Yes, @tesfalcon - sure - either repetitive listening - or - it should be "easier" with a tune you may already know - sure - if it is something entirely new to you, but the other player(s) know it off-by-heart and you're trying to fill in, I absolutely agree.  But there's no harm in "sitting out the first verse" and just plucking the strings softly to (a) home in on the key and rhythm and (b) to get an idea of "just how well you can take part" ( like - it is so easy you can copy the melody, or, it's a bit beyond me, but I have the chord sequences in my mind and I can improvise over it )....  So what you say is correct - exactly - "hone it as the song progresses" - and the NEXT time you are faced with the same song - hopefully it is a bit easier, and you can do "more" - yup  - you've got the idea I think....

  Oh - Pierre is "The Boss" a.k.a. FiddlerMan i.e. @Fiddlerman - who has put this entire site together, and, well, simply put, is close to being a violin and fiddle god !   Amongst many other things, he runs and maintains the site, and is responsible for all the group projects, taking many submissions, mixing them down and creating a finalized You-tube vid with all us amateurs playing....   As you have seen, he'll also take time out to respond to individual questions in detail.   

You have come to a good place....  keep posting your questions - players of all levels here and all we want to do is try to help - hence my earlier post....

^5s and wishing you good progress....

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

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

Avatar
Schaick
Members

Regulars
February 11, 2015 - 3:25 pm
Member Since: December 25, 2013
Forum Posts: 878
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
29sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

tesfalcon said
.....

What does alternative style guitar playing have to do with fiddle? I'm not sure.

The video I posted was another example of the use of percussion with a string instrument.

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

Avatar
Schaick
Members

Regulars
February 11, 2015 - 3:36 pm
Member Since: December 25, 2013
Forum Posts: 878
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
30sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@ tesfalson - That is a bummer - only once around!!  The jam I attend when you start the song and when it gets passed on it comes back to you to finish it off.  If it is a tune that no one knows they ask to hear it a couple of times. 

Loved that video.  Thanks for posting it!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

Avatar
tesfalcon
Sweetwater, TX
Member
Members
February 11, 2015 - 5:19 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
31sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

"Slap Guitar" makes sense since the guitar strings are mostly plucked anyway, the same as a harp or the hammers of a piano. The key difference to a bowed instrument is the BOW.

Conversely, you can bow a guitar but that's not very easy or effective, even for professional musicians.

These tools of the musical trade are designed for an intended function, and, like hardware tools, work best when used for that purpose. Sure you can use a screwdriver as a pry bar, but it's not designed for that and will break. You can use a violin like a guitar or a guitar like a violin but other than variety and weird noise, it's not necessarily 'musical'.

Conversely, Darol Anger's "chop" sounded more like really short bow strokes with a sharp, short down strokes and sharp, short up strokes. A similar metronome action, if not the same auditory effect, could be had with short bowing to avoid the scratching noises that's so egregious. Darol chops with solid, sure strokes that sound like "CHOP" or "CHUNK", while Casey's chops sound like "SH-Chop" or "sh-Chunk", like metal scratching metal as his bow gets too much longitudinal movement rather than straight up-down. Perhaps it's a matter of opinion or purity or training, but that's the opposite of the sound I'm trying to make with a violin and bow. I'm going to ethereal, sweet, flowing and lovely, not choppy, scratchy and spastic. Even a fast song is supposed to flow and not just chitter.

There's a small advantage to imitating another instrument at times, but why discard the advantage of a violin and bow for the disadvantages of a guitar? Why not combine the advantages of both? That's why I'm waiting for my Style 4 Celio Electric Violin to arrive. I get the advantages of electric as well as a quiet acoustic. I can get the peddles for an electric instrument with the portability advantages of a compact acoustic. I get the recording, distortion, layering and post-prod capabilities that electric guitars have with the size, fingering, and bow of a violin.

I mentioned to my mom about getting another violin, and she asked why I didn't get a piano. Apparently the idea of portability was lost in translation. I asked my FIL for music tips on fiddling, and he suggested learning the guitar. I'm asking questions of experienced fiddlers here, but seem to be getting brushed off with "go back to school" and "if you had my experience, you'd already know" style answers. I was hoping that there was a clear path between Grade 1 "This is a Violin" Basics and College Level Fiddling. There's more to math and writing than just "practice more" in middle school and high school. There needs to be more than "practice more" in 7th Grade Fiddling.

Avatar
tesfalcon
Sweetwater, TX
Member
Members
February 11, 2015 - 5:22 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
32sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Richard Green in a class corrected a student, "You're playing a note. I'm making a noise."

Avatar
fiddlinsteudel
Members

Regulars
February 11, 2015 - 6:29 pm
Member Since: December 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 298
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
33sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

It doesn't seem like people here are brushing you off, quite the opposite, people have been taking a lot of time to post answers to your questions. 

Playing backup is about finding notes that sound good. Theory is a good way to have a understanding of what kind of notes might sound good. 

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
February 11, 2015 - 7:47 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Well, the violin is bowed, but even from the strictest viewpoint of "proper playing" it can also incorporate plucking (pizzicato) and etc.  Smooth and flowing sounds are not the only thing the instrument is capable of.  *Any* sound the instrument can make is "fair game" in composition or performance.  It is all a matter of taste.

Now *your* violin sound when you are playing is also a matter of taste, and unless you're planning on trying out for some specific band or orchestra or whatever, all the sounds are optional and you play like you want it to sound.  That ain't no crime.  LOL

When you ask for advice, though, people who reply may offer you things from their own experience, education and taste.  It may not match up with what you are looking for or hoping for.  In fact, it is almost a guarantee that it won't.  Hopefully there will be some bits that you like and can use. 

But especially when you ask as "wide open" a question as you did with your original post, you are going to get a very wide range of responses that reflect the huge difference in tastes and experience you find in the community here.  That's just natural. 

If you feel you are getting a "brush off" here, well.. Sorry that you see it that way.  But it looks to me like a lot of folks here have been trying to help you get going with what you asked about.  If what you're getting isn't what you were looking for or hoping for, I don't know if we can help that.  But I can say I know most of the folks who have been replying here well enough to say that any sort of "brush off" would look a lot different than this.  LOL

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Avatar
tesfalcon
Sweetwater, TX
Member
Members
February 11, 2015 - 8:17 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
35sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

If you looked back at the first series of replies, it was either SUPER-ADVANCED music theory (College level) or "what sounds good" (no school). When I expressed ignorance of the former, a few tried to "dumb down" to a more understandable (to me) level.

I'm glad y'all are professional musicians, but imagine asking a computer question and being answered in Geek or a lawyer a legal question and answered in Latin legalese. It's common human nature to assume that everyone else is just like you, but it's not helpful to the student by those who call themselves "teacher".

Understanding is expressed in what you do as well as what you communicate about what you do. Hearing good music tells me that you know what you're doing with that instrument. Talking about music tells me that you REALLY KNOW music to speak in simple terms to a non-musician. I teach my 9 children math, English, science, etc. I teach co-workers how to drive big trucks and do oil field work. Explain it in small words and everyone understands. Explain it BIG words, and you exclude people who aren't "in". Were the replies given to exclude or include? I felt excluded, ignorant. When secondary replies were just as technical, I felt brushed off. I then sought my own answers from the limited directions I understood. 

Sorry that I let my personal feelings get in the way.

Thanks for pointing in the right direction.

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
February 11, 2015 - 9:11 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
36sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I wouldn't think of it as a "dumb down", because you are obviously not "dumb".  Just taking it a bit more basic and in some smaller bites that you might be able to apply more directly right away to get going. 

In fact, I don't recall ever seeing anyone in these forums that I would use the word "dumb" to describe.

I usually think that it is better at first to assume someone knows more than to assume they know less and risk being downright insulting, even unintentionally. 

So far as the suggestions you got from your mother and FIL to consider taking up piano and guitar, I'd guess that they were both actually trying to be sincerely helpful.  If your FIL doesn't play violin or fiddle, maybe he figures he could show you on guitar and after you "get it" on guitar you could take the concepts to violin/fiddle and use them.  Piano, or at least some sort of a keyboard instrument, the concepts of theory can be a bit easier to see than they are on violin/fiddle.  Or maybe your mom just likes the sound of pianos.  I can see where it may seem less than helpful if those aren't instruments you have an interest in playing, though.

Some classical/traditional teachers won't take a violin student before they have taken at least a year of piano.  They feel it is necessary for getting the grounding in theory, reading music and the ear training for intervals and intonation that are easier to get with something like piano.  But I have seen plenty of folks on this forum who have done fine without it and where violin/fiddle was in some cases their very first instrument. 

Maybe your mother had heard about that somewhere though.  Or like I said earlier, maybe she just likes the sound of pianos.

Learning anything tends to be kind of baffling at first and there is often a lot of frustration.  Just take a deep breath and try to remember that most folks here are trying to be your friends and help you.  We've all been there at some point, everybody is a beginner at least once.  No shame in it.

Experience is not only the best teacher.. When push comes to shove, I think it is really the only teacher.  But experience starts as soon as you pick the instrument up and try and it builds every time you pick it up and try something.  Stick with it, and you'll get the experience.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Avatar
tesfalcon
Sweetwater, TX
Member
Members
February 12, 2015 - 1:10 am
Member Since: January 27, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
37sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

My mom has a piano in her living room that she doesn't play so she wants me to learn piano so she can hear me play it even though her fondest wish is to play it herself. She's done that before. She wanted to go into medicine then real estate, but instead of pursuing them herself, she tried to force me into those career fields (1 year pre-med in college). When I eventually stood up to her, she pursued them herself and was the happier for it.

My original foray into violin was at her insistence. I started in clarinet and baritone, but she didn't like them since I had to blow. (She likes my singing voice.)

When a violin teacher came available for our school group, she jumped at the chance. I read music easy enough that practice time was minimal with some progress in muscle memory and more progress in faster reading / passage memorization. After the first year, the teacher died.

http://www.amazon.com/Sherman-.....B00K85OWZ6

http://mds.marshall.edu/music_perf/356/

The next teacher was younger but gone so much the lessons weren't as regular but sporadic. He eventually stopped teaching altogether because his tour schedule. I kept playing on up until I left for college in 1993. After that, it was hit and miss for 5 years, then total separation since then.

As to my FIL, you're probably right. He knew guitar, banjo, and mandolin, but the violin is a foreign concept that he didn't understand. He couldn't even tell me the notes of his guitar chords, only finger "shapes". (Mine are short & fat. His are long & bony.)

All learning begins in the mind. Skill is achieved with lots of practice by the body. Nothing is difficult if the mind understands it first. I have to see the results of my woodcraft and how the pieces fit together before I cut the first piece. Otherwise, I can't build it. Every piece of furniture I make is better than the previous piece. Practice improves and refines, but it doesn't teach. I know what I want to achieve and how; it's just a matter of skill in doing it.

Similarly, music is mental first, physical second. First, you hear the music in your mind, then practice the skill to bring what you hear in your head out of your instrument so I can hear it with my ear. A skilled person can bring it to the physical world quickly most of the time. When they error, they recognize it and can correct it. An unskilled person won't recognize the error or how to correct it.

The teacher points out the error, how to correct it, and guides the student along the path to increased understanding while the student himself walks the path of skill through listening and practice. Listening to the piece correctly over and over imprints the "correct" tune in your head so you can duplicate it yourself. Thus it's easier to learn simple songs with words ("Twinkle, Twinkle") than unsung meoldies ("Canon in D").

Playing backup is a different skill since you're trying to overlay and extend the sound from a simple melody or basic chord rhythm to a fuller, more complex tapestry, even if it's simply in a different register. You still have to have the idea in your mind of what you're trying to accomplish and the mental tools to know how, even if the violin "refuses to cooperate" with your level of skill to achieve it.

Avatar
Schaick
Members

Regulars
February 12, 2015 - 8:07 am
Member Since: December 25, 2013
Forum Posts: 878
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
38sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@DanielB  You mentioned pizzicato.  I have got to learn this tune.

At jam on occasion a gentleman will play my violin like a mandolin - very cool

Sorry to hijack the thread!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
February 12, 2015 - 8:31 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
39sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@Schaick: Well, you're in some luck there, since Pierre(Fiddlerman) has at least one tutorial up on pizzicato.

https://fiddlerman.com/tutoria.....pizzicato/

I don't recall if he has ever gotten around to doing one on the actual left-hand pizzicato, but if he has, someone else may be kind enough to post a link.  And if not, you know by now that if you ask politely, he may put one up if he can find the time.

coffee

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Avatar
Schaick
Members

Regulars
February 12, 2015 - 9:09 am
Member Since: December 25, 2013
Forum Posts: 878
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
40sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@DanielB  Thanks for that link!!  That just answered why my right handed plucking sounded so very dull and the gentleman at the jam sounded so much clearer!!  

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 424
Currently Online:
96
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming knpjdad, blueviolin, Abby, gruff, Deedee-
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2673
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Kevin M.: 1969
damfino: 1913
cdennyb: 1814
TerryT: 1726
Ferret: 1575
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 23477
Moderators: 0
Admins: 8
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 58
Topics: 7886
Posts: 98387
Newest Members:
RachelSauby, leyzaderfory, Davidlip, Sabraobesy, marionxr2, EarlePoiva
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 14466, KindaScratchy: 1735, coolpinkone: 4168, BillyG: 2915, MrsFiddlerman: 1, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, SimplePressHelp: 0, peopleshost: 0