• I clean my fiddles after I play – just a quick wipe down of the string and the instrument bridge area with a dry cloth. It’s what I was taught to do at my very first school lesson so I just continued. *shrug*? That being said, I see a lot of bluegrass and old time fiddlers that have rosin everywhere and I’m not convinced it’s from the session. It…[Read more]

  • I heard an interview with Ken Burns about The country music documentary soon after he finished it. Listening to him talk about the music and how his creative process and drive to make documentaries was really interesting. I find that most of what is said about the “old days” is mostly flights of fantasy. :P. I’m fascinated by old-time music…[Read more]

  • Thank you so much for those of you that went to office hours this morning. I’m always amazed at the group of talented and smart people that are a part of this community. As I go along I’ll get better at managing the technical aspects of the meeting – thanks to the person who reminded me to blow up my thumbnail if I was going to demonstrate…[Read more]

  • In non artistic fields (although, I think at this point there is no such thing! but for the sake of argument, things like science and math) I think creativity is very important. Anytime there is a limit and you cannot always draw a straight line from A to Z, you must use creative thinking in order to solve a problem.

    Here are some random…[Read more]

  • Improv can be such a scary thing. I’ve always struggled with it. One thing I love about Fiddlehed is how Jason encourages us to play with improv from the very beginning. It’s an element of practice and not a big deal!!!! I listened to this podcast yesterday on my way to work and it’s helped me understand why its important to be able to practice…[Read more]

  • Recording myself is so scary. I try to to do it in the least amount of takes in order to get a sense of where I really am, and it’s funny…in the short term I’m never happy with it but in the long term I’m much kinder to myself. My goal is to post more of the videos here in the forum and facebook this year instead of hiding them. But every…[Read more]

  • Mel Newton started the topic Medleys in the forum Practice Questions 2 months ago

    When I practice sometimes I’m in the mood to flow to one tune to another. I’ve found I have combination of tunes that just beg to be medleys. Does anyone else have some favorite tunes they like to play together, or have examples of favorite medleys they listen to on records?

    I’ll start.

    My favorite medley to play is the old time tunes “Cold…[Read more]

    • Owen replied 2 months ago
      Yes, Melinda, I found that sometimes playing a song in a certain tune (key of D) starts me me on another in the same key. Lately, I am loving playing Ashokan Farewwell, with its harmony (sent to me by Deb).
    • Let’s share the best tips you have to make playing happen every single day.

      I know once I’m in the habit it’s easy to to make time for at least 20 minutes of playing. But life can get in the way and busy. Sometimes I really do mean to play….and just plain forget. I know that it’s made a difference to set aside a chunk of time at the same time…[Read more]

    • Fingernail length makes a HUGE difference. I absolutely cannot play double stops with a nail that extends past my finger tip. There are some great tips above. I wanted to add some mental perspective for approaching them too. Focus on double stops for a short amount of time, and then focus on something else not related to double stops helps a lot.…[Read more]

    • Me and another Fiddlehed were discussing the “best” way to learn new tunes. I find it fascinating how different our brains are wired and how we all learn and create differently. Of course our “best” way was different, despite us being related (that other fiddlehed is my mother….).

      My mom: The best way is to not look at the musical notation…[Read more]

    • Mel Newton replied to the topic Bridges in the forum All about fiddles 2 months, 2 weeks ago

      I use a flatter bridge. I prefer it because I have a lazy right arm and it makes it slightly less work to jump strings, especially doing large steps up and down. I haven’t decided whether it’s a crutch (just learn to use that right arm better!!!) or actually helps me feel the songs better because my equipment doesn’t get in the way of my desired…[Read more]

    • Hi! I think that learning multiple tunes at once is a good way to let tunes improve each other. Especially tunes in the same key – it will help you to “feel” the patterns of how the notes arrange themselves in that key. You can over do it though – learn 5 old time tunes in the key of A and sometimes they will blend together in your mind and make…[Read more]

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