Need help to move forward

Need help to move forward

Hi - I have been attempting to teach myself fiddle and flute for the last couple of years. I am stuck now and am looking for someone (on-line or in Dorset please) to help me move things on. I am 60 so will be a "challenge" I’m sure, but if you don’t ask……….

Thanks

Mike H

Re: Need help to move forward

I’m curious — where are you with the fiddle - why are you now thinking you need a push? Are you stuck on something in particular?

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Skype lessons, perhaps?

I have taught via Skype a few times. I’ve had students of all ages. There will be a time zone difference though; I live in Canada. duncancameron.com

Re: Need help to move forward

Hi Ergo - fiddle - some slow airs but cannot do any ornamentation or know how (or what) to progress onto slightly faster tunes…..flute - need help with breathing and introducing ornamentation and slightly faster (new tunes) - my low D is now becoming much more reliable these days.
Need direction with tunes to support learning. I learn a tune on one then learn on the other at present, but don’t know what to learn beyond the basics. I love both instruments but the flute (a Baubet) would be my preferred main focus with a teacher if possible……..

Re: Need help to move forward

Mike - check out Bev Whelan for Skype flute lessons. She is based in Lancaster and is great on breathing and indeed other aspects of playing.. She has a Facebook page

Re: Need help to move forward

Should also have added the Online Academy of Irish Music does fiddle and flute lessons and you can get access to some free ones as a taster.

Re: Need help to move forward

Thanks NormanB - will check out OAIM and Bev……I suspect there might not be many teachers in sunnyish Dorset :)

Re: Need help to move forward

If you’re having trouble with self traching, OAIM isn’t going to help much. They’re good videos, but the aren’t a miracle cure for a progress blockage. Stick with your skype idea, or better yet, in person lessons. Personalized lessons that can target problem areas are so much more beneficial.

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Re: Need help to move forward

Well, there’s technical mastery, then there is musicianship, then just having fun learning tunes. Do your scales, arpeggios or long-tones daily, memorize a tune every week or two, then check back on your progress six months later.

Maybe spending time working on ornaments on whistle/flute will inform your fiddle playing. Brother Steve’s website provides some suggestions or lessons on ornamentation:
http://www.rogermillington.com/siamsa/brosteve/

On whistle or flute you can try playing a tune completely without tonguing. I don’t suppose you can play a fiddle tune completely without changing bow direction, but maybe you can do that for a longer part of a phrase. This forces you to use ornaments to articulate your notes, so you can’t rely on old habits.

For myself, I’ve found that my skill "doubles" every time I double my memorized repertoire: 10, 20, 40, 80, (160 that will be my next doubling).

Re: Need help to move forward

Break all the rules.

Re: Need help to move forward

Seconding the recommendation for Bev Whelan.

Re: Need help to move forward

Thanks everyone - until I sort out things Brother Steves’ website is giving me a lot of hope :)

Re: Need help to move forward

Just looking at your specific problems… I’d guess you’ve got tension in your body when you are playing. This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black because I am the tensest person I know, but tension is the biggest barrier to playing faster and to putting in those little ornaments which take no time. A rigid arm cannot bow fast. A tense chest cannot breathe smoothly. An anxious mind cannot let go of what it is too slow to control.

If you solve this problem then let me know how you did it - but I have found that it is helpful to play an easy, well known tune faster than I really can (somewhere where no-one can hear me) and then ask myself where the tension is forming. As long as I play slowly the rigidity is too slight for me to detect it but if I play too fast on the fiddle then I feel the tension in my forearms, little fingers and shoulders and my jaws clench. If I play too fast on the recorder I get a "blowing pain" in the upper part of my chest and my thumbs hurt. Somehow the areas which can’t relax have to be relaxed - and if you can get the tension out of them then that will help with everything you do, not just your playing. Lessons can help with technique but they can’t bring fluid motion to tight muscles.

Re: Need help to move forward

A good teacher can even help with tension. Gives exercises, reminders, talk through problems to figure causes and patterns, etc. Patient reminders from an objective listener is almost worth the tuition alone.

Maybe my expectations are too high, and there are certainly different types of teachers, but I expect mine to teach more than just tunes. Just like I expect my doctor to do more than just write a prescription.

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