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After 7 months, here's how I sound
Just a quick sample of my Fiddle playing
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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EricBluegrassFiddle
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November 16, 2014 - 12:47 pm
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Schaick said

@EricBluegrassFiddle
 
Very nice!!
 
Would you say that your mandolin playing has helped your fiddle playing?  How many years did you play mandolin?  
 
Reason I am asking - I have a friend who has played mandolin for a couple of years and she says playing the fiddle is just too difficult.  And I wonder would playing mandolin pump up my fiddlin'?
 
Thanks for the mention of Bobby Hicks.  I found a video.
 
I am so new to bluegrass I am just now learning about all these great fiddlers. Thomasson was my most recent discovery.  
 
Oh wait, I need to make a topic about all great bluegrass fiddlers!!!

Thanks for posting that link. That's Bobby Hicks from NC, one of Bluegrass musics most famous fiddle players. He had his start with Bill Monroe but has also played with other country music greats like Ricky Skaggs and a few others. 

I'd be lying if I didn't say that my background of playing the Mandolin wasnt a big help, as it is. The fiddle and Mandolin is tuned exactly the same and the notes are in the same place. So, yes having a background with it does help, at least with the intonation a little bit. However, the Fiddle fingerboard is more cramped and also is fretless, although you can get finger guides for Fiddle fingerboards.

Having said that, bowing and flatpicking are two completely differrent things. I think that. 80 percent or so (IMHO) is bowing, which is an art form in and of itself. No amount of mandolin playing or any other instrument can prepare you for that...I found out. REALLY fast! I played the mandolin for about 7 years or so in the past. However, its been some years since I have played the Mandolin and I dont anymore because Im playing the Fiddle pretty exclusively now, trying to learn it.

So, having a mandolin background helpsto an extent but fiddle is still a whole new parrallel universe of playing apart from the Mandolin.

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Schaick
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November 16, 2014 - 9:53 pm
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@EricBluegrassFiddle

Thanks for your reply.  I KNOW my hubby thanks you too!!  I won't be asking for a mandolin for Christmas.

I'll just keep practicing, practicing, practicing!!!  AND jamming!!

 

 

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.

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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Schaick said
@EricBluegrassFiddle

Thanks for your reply.  I KNOW my hubby thanks you too!!  I won't be asking for a mandolin for Christmas.

I'll just keep practicing, practicing, practicing!!!  AND jamming!!

 

 

Yeah, if you ask me, if you've started on the fiddle, dont compound things and make it more difficult by trying to add another instrument to learn. The fiddle is a tough nut to crack, and trying to learn 2 instruments at once I think would just be a distraction in my opinion.

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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RockingLR33
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Alright thats it, i seriously need to up my practice sessions! you are an inspiration for sure. Thats sounds amazing! I'm just getting into the fiddle type playing and its so much fun!! yup yup defiantly have to get more practice in now that i've watched you play!!! and i'm curious to try that bow hold out while doing some of the irish songs i'm trying to learn. :D

 

Keep up the great work! look forward to hearing a lot more from you. 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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November 19, 2014 - 11:40 am
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rockinglr33 said
Alright thats it, i seriously need to up my practice sessions! you are an inspiration for sure. Thats sounds amazing! I'm just getting into the fiddle type playing and its so much fun!! yup yup defiantly have to get more practice in now that i've watched you play!!! and i'm curious to try that bow hold out while doing some of the irish songs i'm trying to learn. :D

 

Keep up the great work! look forward to hearing a lot more from you. 

I appreciate that you consider my posts and videos an inspiration and I appreciate your encouragement as well. I'm an "open book" pretty much when it comes to my fiddle learning and I figure we're all in the same boat. Plus, to have some valuable insight and input from a super professional Violinist as fair, balanced and open-minded as fiddlerman is pure gold. The fact that he'll take the time to offer us suggestions and pointers, ....not everyone will do that.

It shows that he truly has a love for "the instrument" and is doing what he can to promote and encourage others to learn it......very cool

Even so, his comments have confirmed a few things I already suspected regarding my learning, and it's great to be a part of this community, listening, sharing and learning, we are all on this journey together. 

This is why I'm posting more, I'm trying to participate more and be more active....it's just such a great resource this community that Fiddlerman has set up!

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Joe_Average
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That was some seriously good fiddling! I hope I'm that good at seven months!

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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Joe_Average said
That was some seriously good fiddling! I hope I'm that good at seven months!

thanks, I just want to improve and get better!

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Jacques
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So your bluegrass style sounds really nice. Have you ever thought about bridges? I know bluegrass fiddling has bridge options that have less of an arch / more straight line for g & d, d & a, a & e chords. It's designed so that the bow hair more easily plays two strings at once.  

I don't know the specifics but I've certainly seen such a bridge on the Internet.

"fiddle bridge"

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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December 18, 2014 - 10:03 am
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38444-1716114112014.jpg

 

Jacques said
So your bluegrass style sounds really nice. Have you ever thought about bridges? I know bluegrass fiddling has bridge options that have less of an arch / more straight line for g & d, d & a, a & e chords. It's designed so that the bow hair more easily plays two strings at once.  

I don't know the specifics but I've certainly seen such a bridge on the Internet.

"fiddle bridge"

Jacques - Thanks for your kind compliments. It's funny that you say that because if you look at my bridge, you'll notice it is flatter. It's not a standard classical arch, it's actually lowered and a bit flattened. Bluegrass fiddlers do flatten out the bridge radius a bit, however, not quite as flat as old-time or contra fiddlers, we still like a bit of an arch.

Mine actually is pretty low though, and Bluegrass folks like it low. It's about 3mm off of the end of the fingerboard on the G and D and about 2.5/3mm off of the end of the fingerboard on the E and A string side. That's pretty low and I wouldn't take it down any farther! With steel strings you want it low, however if I wanted to use helicores or guts, I'd have to cut a new bridge for it.

Not only did I lower and flatten my bridge radius somewhat, I also widened the string spacing "just" a hair. This is another tactic Bluegrass fiddlers employ with their set up. Texas fiddlers also like it low. The only thing I have to be careful is that I don't press down strings too hard, which is easy to do. I think that's why I've been having a bit of intonation issues at times. I notice when I lighten up the left hand, I dial in the intonation better.

 

here's some photos of my fiddle and bridge:

bridge1.jpgImage Enlarger

 bridge2.jpgImage Enlarger

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" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Fiddlerman
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December 18, 2014 - 2:32 pm
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Not all fiddle players prefer flat bridges. As a matter of a fact many prefer the curvature. I don't really understand the need for a flatter bridge unless you are going to play 3 or 4 notes at a time. You can play double-stops with any shape bridge. :)

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

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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Fiddlerman said
Not all fiddle players prefer flat bridges. As a matter of a fact many prefer the curvature. I don't really understand the need for a flatter bridge unless you are going to play 3 or 4 notes at a time. You can play double-stops with any shape bridge. :)

Actually I guess I should say I like my bridge a little flatter than the typical classical arch, so it's not super flat, I mean it's still a bit arched, actually more arched than flat. 

That's one of the reasons alot of the old time guys; they'll have a bridge that's virtually flat! It's incredible and I don't know how they play it so flat! But then again they do play alot of chords and do alot of droning so I think that's why they like it that way.

My bridge probably follows pretty close the curvature of the actual fingerboard. The first fiddle I played was that way and it works for me. If anything I more or less lowered the strings and just sorta softened the arch on my bridge. But I agree, by no means is it a pre-requisite to fiddle playing. It seems fiddle players are as diverse as their set ups and I've heard of all different kinds of set ups. Some guys even keep the typical classical arch and play that way as well.

If you guys wanna see what I call flat....crazy flat...check this out!flat.jpgImage Enlarger

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" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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iBud
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December 19, 2014 - 5:52 pm
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Aloha @EricBluegrassFiddle,

 Did you say that you study with Bobby Hicks?  You are really good indeed!  I have only been playing for a little over three months, but I don't think I"ll be anywhere near that good in only seven months.  Of course, I'm completely self-taught, but still - you have a ton of talent and your practice is certainly paying off!hats_off

Keep-Calm-and-Fiddle-On-small-2.jpg

 

 

 

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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iBud said
Aloha @EricBluegrassFiddle,

 Did you say that you study with Bobby Hicks?  You are really good indeed!  I have only been playing for a little over three months, but I don't think I"ll be anywhere near that good in only seven months.  Of course, I'm completely self-taught, but still - you have a ton of talent and your practice is certainly paying off!hats_off

Aloha iBud!

No let me rephrase a bit...I don't study with Bobby Hicks I wish!! Hahahah! No, but my fiddle instructor, yes, he did take some lessons some years back from Bobby Hicks. My fiddle instructor is from Franklin NC, and so he's involved with the Bluegrass community there pretty heavily. His parents used to have a Bluegrass band there, so he's been playing about 18 years or so. His main instructor was a fiddle player named "J.R. Prince" who is also from NC and taught other fiddle players from NC and also had a brief stint playing fiddle for Bill Monroe back in the 60's.

He's a great instructor, focuses alot on detail and is very patient and affordable. I'm very thankful for his help.

I'm pretty determined so I make alot of time to practice....besides...it's alot of fun and I really enjoy it! But I also have a 2 1/2 year old and a wife, and my wife watches our boy so I can focus on practice, I wouldn't be able to have the time I don't think to practice like I do without her help, so I'm grateful.

I have a background playing Mandolin: which is very helpful. A Mandolin is basically a fiddle with frets, so, I already had a pretty good idea regarding where the notes fall. However, I wasn't really prepared for all that the bow entails to be quite honest. I honestly see the fiddle as 2 instruments in 1. The fiddle and then the bow. I think personally that bowing is like at least 80% of the whole enchalada. The soon er I can master that, the quicker I'll get to my goals. However, it's not a race for me, I'm just enjoying it day by day.....and, I've had ALOT of good help and advice along the way. The fiddler community is very tight knit.

My family is all country people from western Kentucky and I have several musicians in my family, a couple of fiddlers as well. So, I've also been exposed to this music from a very young age...

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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January 5, 2015 - 7:32 am
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Yesterday I decided to detour from my regular "stuff" and go through "Sally Goodin" again. I've been practicing a few new phrases on this tune and decided to record them. The timing is a little ragged, I always do better when I have a rhythym track or metronome behind me, but I think you get the idea.

The 2nd video I was playing on the edge of the video where I have only a little bit of space. I'm pleased with my progress so far, looking better to a new year of fiddle playing

I decided to make 2 videos from different angles:https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....Z-R6J3nS1w

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....j7gAgePhpk

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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BillyG
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January 5, 2015 - 11:54 am
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@EricBluegrassFiddle - pretty darned good work !!!!   Sounding great there!   Dedication and hard work sure do pay off.   Thanks for the post, enjoyed listening!

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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EricBluegrassFiddle
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Bill said
@EricBluegrassFiddle - pretty darned good work !!!!   Sounding great there!   Dedication and hard work sure do pay off.   Thanks for the post, enjoyed listening!

Thanks Bill.....I'm having alot of fun that's for sure!

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Fiddlerman
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January 5, 2015 - 5:12 pm
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There are so many great things about what you have accomplished in such a short period of time.
Congratulations on your playing. Look back at what you thought you might be able to do (before violin) after a little over half a year and where you are at now. :)
Thanks for the post. I enjoyed it.

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

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JuanFiddler
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Wow Eric I am speechless. Not only do you have great rhythm but also great entonation. It's amazing!!! I love your ornamentations in your playing. And you've gotten this far in only 7 months? Simply wow :D I started experimenting with ornaments right after the first year of playing. Congratulations man!

There's nothing better than a cold beer and the warm soothing sound of a violin.

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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JuanFiddler said
Wow Eric I am speechless. Not only do you have great rhythm but also great entonation. It's amazing!!! I love your ornamentations in your playing. And you've gotten this far in only 7 months? Simply wow :D I started experimenting with ornaments right after the first year of playing. Congratulations man!

Thanks Fiddlerman and thanks JuanFiddler - To be fair, it's going on 9 months, but I'm looking forward to what I can accomplish in this next year.

I have my first fiddle lesson of the year this Saturday so I'm looking forward to jumping in full feet. 

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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coolpinkone
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January 6, 2015 - 3:22 pm
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YOU sound terrific... Loved your videos.

Thanks1st-placethumbs-up

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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