Sunday, January 31, 2010

I've Become a Fiddler!

Well,I'm actually following my "what I want to learn" list-and after refurbishing my fiddle,restringing it,and dippin the bow into rosin for the 1st time,I set about seeing what I sound like.
Honestly,for a beginner,not bad-not anywhere close to performance or recording level,but I was playing most of "Joy To The World" within 20 min of starting to play. I was tryin to get "Oh Those Britches Full of Stitches" to come out,(I play it frequently on mandolin) but that's a little beyond me right now.
So I'm working out of my "Fiddle for Ignoramous'" book and my bowing needs more working with. But that's ok. I'm really feeling accomplished that I took a $39 fiddle and made it come alive-a decent student model that some of my fellow Tweeters were having cows over.
Common beliefs are "if the fiddle is too cheap,it's bad news" If I was in a music store,I'd agree but the auction site I shop on has no idea most the time about what they've got. Or maybe they simply don't care & want the stuff gone.
I've fallen in love with refurbishing fiddles! I've already bid on another one-mainly I'm after the case for the one I'm playing now,but it happens to contain a fiddle needin some TLC & replacement parts. I've ordered a book or two on fiddle repair.
Playing wise I've ordered a mute so I can play at night or early in the morn-maybe in the kitchen as not to wake the family or annoy the cats.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fiddlin Around the House-Literally!

I've threatened to do this for years. Always loved the sound of violins and fiddles. My Dad was forced to play one in childhood-and promptly gave it up once he moved out on his own. My interest was started as a kid and I remember asking my mom once about learning to play one.
She was a wierd parent-she gave the classic reaction reserved for parents whose child asks for an electric guitar or announces they want to start a punk rock band. I was persuaded into playing acoustic guitar instead-which I also had an interest in and don't regret learning to play. Upon arriving into my 40's I decided I'd start picking up interests that were put off by over influencing others. (and I take my part of the blame in that) I had developed a hankering to learn mandolin in the 90's but my then hubby would have none of it. some years later after divorcing & arriving back home,I picked one up off ebay-a Kentucky. I didn't know they needed to be set up and due to fret buzzes & not being able to fix it,4 long years later for my bday I had it set up-and I'm playing!
But the interest in fiddle wouldn't leave,no matter how many times I told myself I couldn't keep aquiring instruments to learn-I had enough, $$ would be wiser spent somewhere else,etc. that little urging grew until this year I finally succumbed to the calling.
I came to realise that to live life you need to do as many things as you desire as you possibly can,as long as it doesn't harm anyone else,and you're physically able to do it. I didn't want to turn 80 & say "why didn't I do that?"
I went shopping on Goodwill auctions,and found this one-wound up paying $39 for it. Needs new strings and rosin.(which are in transit as I write) While waiting I decided to start cleaning it up & treating it to a good healthy fingerboard treatment and daily rounds of polishing-the polish having oils in it which the wood has been slowly drinking in-and the wood is looking slightly richer everyday.
I've also been pouring good vibes into it-and at the risk of sounding overly mystical I do believe the vibes you put into an object changes that object-blessing it in a sense.
They've proven this in the lab by having people concentrate and sending thoughts into water,the molecular structure of the water is changed permanently. Think about that-it's now scientifically proven that your projected thoughts do indeed affect things!
So with "How to play" books on the way,I patiently wait,tend the garden,and continue to nurture my new found friend.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tin Whistle Cases & Lost Connections Found

As some of you know,I like to work with yarn-knitting,crocheting,and weaving-I have a small backstrap loom that I got away from over the summer & have "rediscovered". At any rate,I found it makes a simply splendid case for an Irish Tin Whistle. Lo and behold I got my 1st order to make one for an "A" or low tin whistle (these are bigger than the typical-and a lot more pricey) So I'll be starting that tomorrow. I'm pleased the first one I did came out so well. That's a pic of it up at the top there. Even put a small loop on the back so you can carry it on one of those metal thingys peeps use for their keys & whatnot. (I have a tin whistle and just need to learn to play it :-) ) Did a stop at Michaels today & was taken in by yarn,yarn,and more yarn! I have to applaud my self control-I only got 3 skeins. One for a hand knit washcloth (sugar & cream brand is perfect for that 100% cotton!) and two others to weave cases out of. Went with a green varigated (Irish,you know!) and a blue "Tye Dye". We'll see how it all pans out.
Dads cataract procedure is this monday,and with my novice driving skills not where I want them to be for heavy rain,a friend of the family will be taking us,which is a huge relief. I love my Rio,but it has a habit of hydroplaning in a light rain,(this happened while I was driving-I thought the car was possessed or something) so I feel much better that she'll be sitting home while I'm in more of a sure footed car. I can't wait to see how improved Dads vision will be-this has been a long source of frustration for him,and after rescheduling twice,it's nice to know it's finally going to happen.
Last but certainly not least.....a co worker from my past found me on Facebook! it was good to catch up with her (it's been 9 or more years,I believe) Found out we've been through some pretty tough times and I believe we've both come out of them as more mature & improved people. It was wonderful to hear from her. It was a shock to see her daughter all grown up! (and beautiful,I might add) Funny how years fly by & you really don't really realise until you see someone that was in grade school last time you saw them. I feel old now :-) .

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Clean Slate-January is Here!

That's a pic to the newest member of the family-a Christmas gift from Dad-an Ovation Acoustic/Electric mandolin! Whooo Hooo! And this new instrument has really gotten me to want to reinvent myself in different ways. I've come to realise I don't work on certain things I love as much as I should-over the past year,I'd say if I practiced mando twice a week I'd be doing good. More often than not it's once a week,and I want that to change. Excuses are so easy-and I don't know why I would be making excuses about not doing something I love. It's usually I need to be doing _____now & I'll practice later. (that means 9 times out of 10 I won't be playing but going to bed instead) I think a lot of this programming came from my mom & my crazy making ex. I'm also wondering if I'm afraid of musical success. I mean-if I get a good amount of tunes down,well goodness-I could be recording my own stuff online & you'd be hearing it! Gadzooks!
TV is another downfall. I have a love/hate relationship with every new TV season. I love when the season ends in a sense as I'm no longer servant to my fave TV shows-Navy CIS,Heroes,NFL games,Criminal Minds,it can all go by the wayside as I busy myself with other projects. So with this new slate I've decided I want to practice -er -play mando at least 3x a week,and get ukulele in as well. So here's to a fresh start!