Fluter turned Fiddler update and other musings
I took my ebay purchased fiddle to a reputable luthier and had some minor work done on my fiddle (new bridge, strings and action at the nut taken down…all on luthiers suggestion) He also put on a new chin rest filled a small crack and roughed up the tuning pegs to prevent slippage. He only charged me for the bridge and the strings. He also at my request picked out a bow for me (luthier is also a very experienced player). He picked out a brand spanking new bow in my price range.
I have now had 2 lessons on fiddle. My teacher has been giving lessons longer than I’ve been alive. Originally classically trained but now does mostly Irish music and knows the mechanics and theory of classical vs. trad and explains them to me (ie. open string vs. 4th finger…he’s teaching me the open string). He is a very attentive to technique and that’s great because I don’t want to develope any bad habits.
My first lesson consisted of him putting a rather ugly shade of yellow tape on my finger board (I can only assume he chose the color to motivate me to hone my finger placement at an excellerated rate) giving me exercises for finger placement and showing me how to hold my bow. I went home with many positive things. I got to hear my fiddle being played….I think it sounds really nice, he really liked the strings the luthier picked out for my fiddle (prim’s) he thought they made a nice sound. He couldn’t believe my bow cost only $100 USD. Curously, every other fiddler that has looked at my bow has had the same reaction. So I’m guessing I got a good deal on it. The best thing was that my teacher said after he taught me how to hold my bow that my position was really good, and that it looked like I’d been holding a bow my whole life. So I left all smiley and enthusiastic toward fiddling.
My second lesson was a bit more eventful as I actually got to put bow to strings. I have kinda done a little of this at home already just to test the waters and have developed a "loud and proud" philosophy to cut down on the cruelty to my ears and those of my fiance. Anyway, we worked on bowing on the A major scale. At the end of my lesson my teacher said I had really good tone! So I left all smiley and enthusiastic toward fiddling.
So that’s the fiddle update.
On to another musing…I WAS going to make a tune book for a friend of mine who was learning fiddle (as a birthday present in June). I have seen the light. Will, you and Dave were so right. See https://thesession.org/discussions/3199 I was telling her about my lessons and found out that she is soooooo not ready for a tunebook. I think I may give her money for a teacher or find a good tutorial or both.
Anyways that’s my update.