Once and for all - how to learn Irish fiddle?
Hello to you all, and many thanks in advance to those of you brave enough to read this whole thing and perhaps even give an answer :)
My predicament is what I would except to be one of the most basic and commonly asked ones, and yet I have found no satisfying answer to it after poring through the web for quite a good while. So I hope this thread will be useful for many others to come.
I love the sound of many trad Irish tunes and would like to know how to play them on the fiddle, but have only basic technical and a bit of classical training.
So the big question is:
What are recommended methods for averagely capable violinists with no traditional background to learn to play traditional Irish fiddle?
While keeping the following in mind:
1. I have basic yet solid fingering and bowing technique.
2. There are no sessions, trad teachers or experienced trad players I can learn from in my area – I’m looking to learn by myself.
3. I can quite easily pick up the pitches of the tunes by ear, but currently find it verging on impossible to identify and point out rhythm and phrasing when listening to performances. (I can read sheet music as well, but both intuition and some reading tell me that I’m better off learning by ear)
My end goal is in a nutshell to be able to play trad Irish tunes, with everything that includes – rhythm, emphasis, ornamentations and everything that makes Irish music sound Irish. For those who say “there’s no such thing as trad Irish style, but many different styles” – fine. I’m all right learning any of the traditional styles, or a medley of them.
What I’m looking for is practical advice – “demystifying” the learning process if you will. I’ve read lots of advice in the vicinity of “listen a lot until you get the feel of it”, and honestly I think that kind of counsel only suits prodigy musicians, and frustrates beginners like me, barring them from learning – we’re here to play because we want to enjoy it :)
While some of you experienced players out there might feel it’s wrong to decompose ITM into discrete, learnable and practice-able mini-skills and techniques, I’m quite confident in my opinion that it is possible to learn this way, and much less frustrating than picking up bits and pieces by watching or listening.
Please, if you disagree with me and think learning trad music cannot be methodized – don’t make this thread a battleground for that argument. There are plenty others.
Thanks a bunch to all respondents, looking forward to playing!!