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Fiddle Styles Workshop

Jeri 31 Jul 00 - 12:42 PM
Sorcha 31 Jul 00 - 03:01 PM
Bud Savoie 31 Jul 00 - 09:33 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 Jul 00 - 11:52 PM
Sorcha 01 Aug 00 - 12:00 AM
IanS 01 Aug 00 - 06:51 AM
Bud Savoie 01 Aug 00 - 07:00 AM
IanS 01 Aug 00 - 07:15 AM
Jim Krause 01 Aug 00 - 03:04 PM
Hardiman the Fiddler 01 Aug 00 - 03:13 PM
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Subject: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: Jeri
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 12:42 PM

I play fiddle. I'm not all that good, but I'm past just trying to merely play some semblance of a tune. It has occurred to me that I've learned what is probably a mish-mash of styles from people from a wide range of backgrounds, and I don't play with any one style. I started of with NY state fiddlers, and now I'm amongst New England fiddlers, but all of these mentors probably learned fiddling from listening to fiddlers playing in various other styles. I don't really understand much about the different styles, and thought people who do would be so kind as to share their knowledge.

What style do you know about, and what makes it distinctive?


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 03:01 PM

Tuff question, Jeri. ( I of course, don't know how good I am, it is a subjective thing, but my audiences seem to like what I/we do.) I have trouble with "style" because I play different tunes in different styles. Irish gets the ornaments--rolls, crans--graces--etc. Blues gets a lot of slides and "bent" notes. Bluegrass gets a lot of double stops and shuffles. I am not very good at all with TexasSwing/Contest style, but I give it my best shot with Faded Love. Lately, though, those little Irish fillips have been sneaking their way into almost everything.......


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 09:33 PM

David Brody's book "Fiddler's Fakebook" has some intro about the various styles. Still, the written word conveys a very imperfect image of the styles. Fatten up your CD collection and spend time listening. Subscribe to "Fiddler" Magazine, which represents all styles. If you subscribe for three years (and you ought to), you get a free 1999 tune-a-month calendar and CD with the tunes on the calendar played in practically every style you can name.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 11:52 PM

It can be a problem.  My own style is a kind of generic British Isles thing; English in the right hand, Irish in the left, Scots sort of in the middle, if that makes any sense.  The only regional style resource I can think of just now is  The Donegal Fiddle Pages  -certainly worth checking out.  You might also like to have a look at the Fiddle-L list:  Fiddle-L.  It mainly covers American subjects, but the rest of us get a look in from time to time...

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 12:00 AM

I agree with Bud, I get a lot of my tunes from the Fake Book, and "Fiddler Mag" is wonderful. The real trick is learning to play a tune or in a style that you have never heard. Shetland stuff is still VERY difficult for me; I only have one called "Biddy, I'm Not Jesting". I only have it because I was able to hear it over and over at a festival. Shetland rhythm/interp. is an absolute BI**H!!


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: IanS
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 06:51 AM

Interesting topic this. I think these days it is pretty well impossible not to be influenced by many different styles of playing. When I started out on the fiddle I was quite into the Shetland style but I gradually became more interested in Irish playing and worked quite hard for a number of years at adopting a Sligo style. For the past 6 years or so I have been very fortunate in being able to regularly play with a very good 85 year old Donegal fiddler and his influence has definately rubbed off - my style is probably somewhere around Lietrim now !!!! I think that the best approach is to actively analyze as many different styles as you can and hopefully you will produce something of your own eventually. I have no classical training on the fiddle and so I find Scottish violin tunes very difficult to make sound authentic, they are either impossible (too much playing in position), or they come out sounding Irish.

Ian S


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 07:00 AM

Ian, use the "Scots snap" and they won't sound Irish.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: IanS
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 07:15 AM

I don't think it's any one particular thing, to me it seems that the whole approach to the fiddle is different (I'm talking about the Scott Skinner type style). It's full of quasi-classical techniques - long bow strokes, bouncing bows, pizzicato, loads of vibrato etc etc. It's just a world away from where I'm at. That's not to say that I don't enjoy listening to it, I just find the West coast Scottish pipe influenced stuff a bit more suited to my style.

I'll keep trying though.

Thanks

Ian


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: Jim Krause
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 03:04 PM

I first started fiddling in my early 30s. Listened to the Highwoods Stringband quite a bit. Then I discovered Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed, the Camp Creek Boys--that whole Virginia/North Carolina bunch. Then I started listening to Bob Christesen's recordings of Bill Driver, Bob Walters, and others. Somewhere in there I heard of Lyman Enloe and the rest of these Mid-western/Missouri guys. Somehow I got hooked on Cajun fiddling for a bit, messed with Texas/Western Swing, but gave up 'cause it sounded more old-timey than Johnny Gimble. Then later I got to meet Melvin Wine, and took a fiddle class taught by Raef Steffenninni. Meanwhile, back at the ol' Bar S, the dancers let me know by their enthusiastic shouts, smiles, and applause that they enjoyed what I was doing. So I stopped being analytical and just keep on doing what I've been doing.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle Styles Workshop
From: Hardiman the Fiddler
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 03:13 PM

I have found this thread instructive. I don't think I play in any particular style...just my own. I add embellishments here and there as the mood suits me. I've found the "Fiddler's Fake Book" a real asset, and it is still my favorite resource. I guess I play "Hardiman Style," and that style is eclectic at best.

HTF


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