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    • I upgraded my ukulele recently to a beautiful, solid wood Ohana. It has a small cosmetic flaw so I got a great deal on her.

      I’ve been teaching myself to play and sing children’s songs for my granddaughter’s. The older one will strum the other uke and sing with me, it’s so much fun.

      Children sing in a higher range which is hard for me so I practice with CD’s.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • If the weather is good, I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee and play my fiddle in the park before my violin lesson. I’ve been doing this for several years.

      I have a ring-bound index card book that I’ve been working on for 4 years. It has the first 2-3 measures of all the tunes that I’ve memorized, the key signature, etc. (If I can play the first few measures, then my muscle memory kicks in). That’s what I usually practice in the park…memorization.

      Anyway…

      I first started playing in the park as a way to get over my fear of playing in front of people. It has helped a great deal although I still use the mute and will bail if there are too many cars in the parking lot (a lot of people park and sit in their cars doing who knows what).

      Today, I was approached by someone who plays guitar who asked if they could join me next week. Geez! Who knew that one day I’d be leading a jam session!
      Lost in the right direction.
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      If the weather is good, I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee and play my fiddle in the park before my violin lesson. I’ve been doing this for several years.
      That is so cool! I bet everyone in the park enjoys hearing a free concert.

      A few years back Kathy and I were in a campground in Maine. One evening a woman stood in a large open field at one end of the campground and played her flute for about 20 minutes.
      Everyone applauded :)
      It still brings a smile to my face.
      It was just a simple act of kindness.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      If the weather is good, I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee and play my fiddle in the park before my violin lesson. I’ve been doing this for several years.
      That is so cool! I bet everyone in the park enjoys hearing a free concert.
      A few years back Kathy and I were in a campground in Maine. One evening a woman stood in a large open field at one end of the campground and played her flute for about 20 minutes.
      Everyone applauded :)
      It still brings a smile to my face.
      It was just a simple act of kindness.
      On a related note, I'm attending my first ever ALDHA gathering in October and and rather hoping that Hikerboy brings his guitar.
      Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.
    • My last violin lesson was today, my teacher of 5 years is moving. It’s very sad but has opened up a lot of options for me and the direction that I want to take my music. I have another teacher lined up, one who is an expert at playing in jam’s, back up, and improvising. He plays every Bluegrass instrument and teaches at camps all over the country.

      I’ve made a lot of headway in dealing with the anxiety of playing around others and have been attending several local jam’s, it’s been fun for the most part. A few times I’ve felt stupid when I called a song and screwed it up but people are nice about it. There aren’t many fiddle players and I’m the sole fiddler at one of the jams that I attend. That creates some pressure but they’re really nice people and are so happy to have me that they forgive all my mistakes. :)
      Lost in the right direction.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • Update on fiddle progress…

      I sure do feel stupid when playing with my new teacher. We do everything by ear and I have a hard time understanding and following his direction. I’m sure he thinks I’m an idiot and it’s embarrassing to me that his family is around and has to suffer listening to me.

      But he teaches the things that I’m really weak at and that’s why I chose him.

      I never thought this would happen but I’m now singing in jams. I took a Wernick Jam class and the teacher talked me into singing and it was fun, not scary at all. You really don’t have to have a good voice to sing bluegrass, just sing in tune and in the right key and it’s all good.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • If he teaches lessons at home with his family around, they've already "Heard it all". Don't worry about his family, they probably are excellent at tuning out.
      If you are learning, that's what matters. He sounds like he is a gifted natural at the music. There are people like that. The really nice ones, while they probably understand their gift, it's that they don't belittle others and openly share their gifts. Our daughter is a professional artist and even in high school, her teachers were praising her because she was so willing to share "how to" with others in the class. I played in a church band and the youth minister was gifted with "if it has strings and you can pick it up, I can play it" talent and he was very humble and GOOD. Guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo.....a smile and off he'd go with it. Rock, country, bluegrass.....
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • Yes, he’s a great musician who plays multiple instruments. He’s self taught on fiddle so isn’t technically correct sometimes but that’s ok, I’m learning what I want to learn.

      Today’s lesson was better because I communicated my occasional confusion about his instructions.

      Fiddle (maybe all string instruments?) is hard because there’s so much going on. He’ll say, “play this melody using long bows while I play guitar then add some G and D chord double stops wherever you think they belong,” and my brain will be so focused on staying in tempo, watching his hands for chord changes, and figuring out the melody (we don’t use sheet music), that I’ll be shuffling or something with the bow and forget where to put my fingers for double stops. But he is good natured and I’m becoming more comfortable with his teaching style.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • odd man out wrote:

      as a cello player, I've always thought string instruments were unique in that your left and right hands are doing very different motions. Plus, assuming you play "right handed", the fine motor skills are needed in your left hand.
      LOL. Child's play! (JK). Watch a drummer on a kit. (For a Right handed drummer, switch all for a lefty) Left foot is keeping 4/4 time (or not) on a high-hat. Possibly also double kick-drumming on a double pedal. Right foot is playing the Bass/kick, which the bass guitar player is very interested in. His left and right hands are then playing different drums and cymbals...all while keeping time and doing fills at appropriate places.....now lets add in a wood block or something......
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • rhjanes wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      as a cello player, I've always thought string instruments were unique in that your left and right hands are doing very different motions. Plus, assuming you play "right handed", the fine motor skills are needed in your left hand.
      LOL. Child's play! (JK). Watch a drummer on a kit. (For a Right handed drummer, switch all for a lefty) Left foot is keeping 4/4 time (or not) on a high-hat. Possibly also double kick-drumming on a double pedal. Right foot is playing the Bass/kick, which the bass guitar player is very interested in. His left and right hands are then playing different drums and cymbals...all while keeping time and doing fills at appropriate places.....now lets add in a wood block or something......
      And now we know why Don Henley and Phil Collins were held back as lead singers in the Eagles and Genesis even though we all now know they clearly were the best in their respective groups. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      rhjanes wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      as a cello player, I've always thought string instruments were unique in that your left and right hands are doing very different motions. Plus, assuming you play "right handed", the fine motor skills are needed in your left hand.
      LOL. Child's play! (JK). Watch a drummer on a kit. (For a Right handed drummer, switch all for a lefty) Left foot is keeping 4/4 time (or not) on a high-hat. Possibly also double kick-drumming on a double pedal. Right foot is playing the Bass/kick, which the bass guitar player is very interested in. His left and right hands are then playing different drums and cymbals...all while keeping time and doing fills at appropriate places.....now lets add in a wood block or something......
      And now we know why Don Henley and Phil Collins were held back as lead singers in the Eagles and Genesis even though we all now know they clearly were the best in their respective groups. :)
      And Levon Helm.......
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • rhjanes wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      as a cello player, I've always thought string instruments were unique in that your left and right hands are doing very different motions. Plus, assuming you play "right handed", the fine motor skills are needed in your left hand.
      LOL. Child's play! (JK). Watch a drummer on a kit. (For a Right handed drummer, switch all for a lefty) Left foot is keeping 4/4 time (or not) on a high-hat. Possibly also double kick-drumming on a double pedal. Right foot is playing the Bass/kick, which the bass guitar player is very interested in. His left and right hands are then playing different drums and cymbals...all while keeping time and doing fills at appropriate places.....now lets add in a wood block or something......
      I’ve always been fascinated by that…what must be going on in their brain?

      There’s a documentary about neural pathways and a child drummer was used to show how the pathways fire when he’s playing and how he will develop more and more as he continues to drum. It’s amazing.

      last week I suggested to my teacher that we do a month of percussion stuff as a way to get better at rhythm and I’ve been playing around with the spoons. It’s amazing how our ancestors used whatever they had available to create music. Joe Craven is an excellent example of this, he plays a mayonnaise jar on one of his recordings. (Highly recommend his music if you like folk/old time/world. And he’s also an awesome fiddle player)
      Lost in the right direction.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      rhjanes wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      as a cello player, I've always thought string instruments were unique in that your left and right hands are doing very different motions. Plus, assuming you play "right handed", the fine motor skills are needed in your left hand.
      LOL. Child's play! (JK). Watch a drummer on a kit. (For a Right handed drummer, switch all for a lefty) Left foot is keeping 4/4 time (or not) on a high-hat. Possibly also double kick-drumming on a double pedal. Right foot is playing the Bass/kick, which the bass guitar player is very interested in. His left and right hands are then playing different drums and cymbals...all while keeping time and doing fills at appropriate places.....now lets add in a wood block or something......
      I’ve always been fascinated by that…what must be going on in their brain?
      There’s a documentary about neural pathways and a child drummer was used to show how the pathways fire when he’s playing and how he will develop more and more as he continues to drum. It’s amazing.

      last week I suggested to my teacher that we do a month of percussion stuff as a way to get better at rhythm and I’ve been playing around with the spoons. It’s amazing how our ancestors used whatever they had available to create music. Joe Craven is an excellent example of this, he plays a mayonnaise jar on one of his recordings. (Highly recommend his music if you like folk/old time/world. And he’s also an awesome fiddle player)
      "Please, Please God, let me nail this triplet fill" Once I get going on triplet's, it's no problem.....but I always dread going in and out of a triplet feel.
      I think it helped me as a drummer/percussionist to be pretty ambidextrous. Most of the stuff I played, the High-Hat and Bass was a fairly constant rhythm on a song. But you have to develop "separation" for you limbs. I consider myself a "Decent hack". I've had a few singers and other musicians over the years try and sit down and play. And give up quick. I usually get an inner chuckle with the "know-it-all" who thinks they want me to "play it THIS way" and sit down....Doink...boom, tap tap tappy..."Well you know, something like that". (Chuckle)
      But think about people like Sir Paul, Prince, Roy Clark, Dave Grohl, who play about anything they want to.....and it sounds fantastic.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork