May 25, 2018 at 8:17 PM #61292
Following close on the heels of the abnormally hugely successful ’17 Questions’ forum that was born back in 2015, this new year of 2018 sees a brand new ’17 Questions’- type forum being created with a totally different set of questions PLUS a few more. The new iteration is called ’23 Questions”, titled after discovering that John has a fascination with the number 23. Although it now appears in the ‘What else is on your mind?’ forum for the time being, it will soon have an honorable place among the list of other forums so as to make it easier for you to access.
In the previous iteration of ’17 Questions’, a certain amount of time was allocated to each question for members’ replies before the next question was asked. This format seemed to work just fine; and a similar format may be considered for use with this latest iteration. Members will be notified via the forum regarding any changes to the format.
So, for all you ‘deep thinkers’ out there, why not drop in to the brand new ’23 Questions’ forum and have a go at answering the very deep and meaningful questions.
Please note: For this entry only, and until the forum is listed among the other forums on the main forums page, the first question will be asked within the ‘What else is on our mind forum?’ for this one time only and will be moved to the new ’23 Questions‘ forum in due time, once created.
Looking forward t seeing you there!
Great Scott 🙂
May 31, 2018 at 7:28 PM #61513
- This topic was modified 1 month ago by John Cockman.
Oh, goody goody! More mind-bending questions from the skewed encephalon of Great Scott! 23 is actually my 2nd favorite number (after 17), so nice choice! But can we really handle 40 questions from GS?May 31, 2018 at 9:04 PM #61524
Spine-chilling!June 1, 2018 at 9:13 PM #61552
MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!June 6, 2018 at 9:27 PM #61771
“Well, fiddle–dee–dee, and fiddle–dee–doo. Here is question number two!” 🙂
This question comes with two (2) parts. Feel free to answer either just Part A , Part B, or answer both.
You have decided to learn to play the fiddle. Some of you already play other musical instruments. From a musical perspective (regarding any musical instrument — including voice)…
What do you believe is preventing you from realizing your full potential as a musician? i.e; What obstacles are getting in your way? E.g. Finances, Isolation, Health issues, family, technical issues, difficulty learning, etc.
What do you think you can do to move beyond these obstacles?June 6, 2018 at 9:43 PM #61772
Well, in my case…there are technical problems…like getting your fingers where they are supposed to be at any one time…which requires practice. But more than that, to me, the biggest challenge in any instrument I’ve played, including the fiddle, to answer part A…not enough practice time. But ultimately, when I do practice or play, the thing I want to accomplish is to first, learn the notes; second, forget the notes and learn what the notes are building, the passages or musical sentences, you could say; and third, to then pay attention to the notes once again, realizing their purposes. That’s part B maybe…or maybe still A…what can I do to correct this? Listen to what I am playing…see if it makes sense or is it just a string of notes, not connecting to one another, like isolated words or a sentence with meaning. Here’s part C…make time for practice…and learn to listen better. I guess that’s all I can think of.June 8, 2018 at 1:54 AM #61827
I can see where you are coming from,Cricket. Regarding your answer, I think technical issues are a major hurdle for most people learning to play an instrument. You are already a fairly well-accomplished musician, and I am sure that you will get better and better as your journey continues — time permitting. I never doubt your abilities. 🙂
I have amended the question to make it a little clearer. I needed to emphasize in my amendment that the question is pertaining not only to the technical issues; but it also includes such things as Finances, health issues, financial problems, isolation, family, time, incarceration, etc.June 8, 2018 at 7:58 AM #61833
My husband used to teach GED in jail, and according to him, they don’t allow fiddles in there but as a extra special gift for his students, he’d take them earplugs to help them tryto keep their sanity…note to self…don’t ever break any laws….lol. The other stuff…I don’t know…I used to make a list everyday so I could keep up with stuff around here, get in a workout, play some music, etc. After having been retired for a while I just quit trying…people need stuff…most can’t manage and have big problems and it seems we have been the only ones who could help…my lists don’t survive the chaos.June 8, 2018 at 10:40 AM #61834
Part A: 1st and most honest answer is “Laziness”! It takes a heck of a lot of effort and struggle to be able to play music on any instrument. Putting forth the effort – often riddled with struggle – is discouraging at best. Yes, I’ll agree there’s a flow experience when things begin to fall into place; but it’s getting there that one remembers when the mood to play strikes him/her.
For me, I like to commit everything to memory so that I can play it without having to look at any sheet music available. Many of the tunes I play (especially most of my Bluegrass breaks) I’ve learned from repeatedly listening to them and figuring out the notes with no sheet music available at all and arranging them to my liking.
So, I guess Part A would be “Laziness” and somewhat a “Difficulty in learning”.
Part B: Normally, I practice every day. I may practice banjo more than fiddle each day for a while until I swing the other way and practice more fiddle for a few days and then repeat the whole process. Rarely do I miss a day where I do not play some musical instrument and learn something. The obstacle is laziness and to move beyond it will require a “new” challenge.
The “Flow Channel” has to do with the quality of experience. If I’m bored with a certain practice routine, then I’m outside of the channel because I have more skill than my task at hand requires. If I’m frustrated with the task, it generally means I lack the requisite skills and need to slow down, accept the challenge and learn those skills to get back in the channel.
So, if I’m bored (too many skills) or frustrated (too few skills) I need to take inventory and see where I’m at and adjust accordingly. That decreases the difficulty in learning and increases the enjoyment for the effort and struggle I put forth and keeps me in the channel.June 8, 2018 at 2:05 PM #61837
[Part A ] Not putting enough time to memorize my tunes , Its easier to play from the tabs , but that’s not helpful at a jam or to move forward and play by ear !
[ Part B ] Put Forth the effort to memorize each song one at a time ! I know from experience that each song gets easier , and after doing enough tunes to cover the bases , It gets easier for me to pick up on other tunes by ear as tunes are related , I think for me the guitar was about fifty or so tunes I could follow just about any tune once I heard the tune through the verse and chorus , So I am hoping the same works for me with the fiddleJune 8, 2018 at 8:13 PM #61848
In a way it might be a lucky thing I have trouble reading tab or music. I can use tab on the fiddle, banjo or guitar as a tool here and there, but I can’t sit and read off and play tab…so…if I learn anything new, it’s always just memorized by learning. I can read music, but not play any instrument with the music…I have to translate the written music by learning to hum it, then find those notes on an instrument by ear, and then playing it…so, once again…it can be a tool, but not as helpful as tab…still, it’s all gotta go to memory automatically. Still…I just don’t have the time to learn stuff anymore…hoping one of these days things will slow down and i can get back to learning new stuff.June 13, 2018 at 2:33 AM #62033
Great responses, everyone. Thanks, GS, for a great question.
For my part, practice time is critical. With a few weeks of full-time practice, I can be at a professional touring level. However, it takes consistent maintenance to remain there. And believe me, it is really hard to find the time to keep my fiddling up at a high level. Without continuous hard practice, my playing gets kind of rough and pitchy, and there’s not much I can do about that. There are also a good number of solo and competition tunes that I would love to master, but again, it’s tough to find the time. So for me, not having enough time to devote to practice is what keeps me from playing the way I want to play.June 14, 2018 at 7:25 PM #62165
Thanks everyone for your cool responses. And thank you, John, for sharing your response with us.
After reading the replies, I guess the BIG question to most of you is (as’ Part B’ to this questions asks)…
What are you doing or what are you going to do in order to correct the thing(s) that are hindering you from reaching your full potential?
Looking over the replies so far, time appears to be one of the biggest obstacles; so in Cricket and John’s case, what are you two doing or going to do to allow yourselves more time? What sacrifices are you willing to make in order to find more time? Excuses (so tired of hearing them) are NOT an option; so please spare us from listening to them! We want to hear a solid commitment from you, and Cricket, as to what you will be doing to free yourselves up to make more time. Your verbal promise(s) / commitment will be accepted as a binding CONTRACT… and we expect it to be signed in blood! MWHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! I’m serious!June 14, 2018 at 8:37 PM #62168
Learn to say NO…that’s the only way I’ll get more time. It’s not like in John’s situation, where he is busy with careers, family, teaching, the web site, etc. With me, I feel guilty and selfish to allow any time for myself. I have to put a lot of other people first…I always come in last on my list…lol. Maybe i was just raised that way…i don’t know. Not too good for music, though.June 15, 2018 at 7:27 PM #62193
“Self love is something the soul cries out for; but very few hear those cries. Therefore, I say to you: Listen to those cries; nurture your spirit when it hungers. Love each other and yourselves in all times. And until such time that you can love yourselves, you are not capable of truly loving others. How can you say ” I love my brother!” whilst at the same time leaving your own soul starved of self-affection. Verily, I say unto you: You must sustain your own famished spirit first before offering sustenance to others.”
There is nothing wrong or hurtful when saying ‘No” to someone. It simply makes the statement that you have healthy boundaries in place. It’s all a matter of healthy boundaries and prioritizing the important things in your life.
People do not always love a “Yes” man. As long as you keep saying “Yes”, they will keep asking for more. Give others the opportunity to help themselves first, and look for signs that they truly are trying to help themselves before jumping in with your kindness.
It’s time for you, girl, to tell them all a big fat “NO!”June 15, 2018 at 9:14 PM #62201
Oh boy. That is one great question!
A – just time. Life passes by so quickly, doesn’t it. It seems like practice time is the hardest time to find. Because I play other instruments, each one gets about 15 – 20 minutes a day. That’s not much.
B – I don’t know. The above is all I can do right now. I have seen improvements.June 16, 2018 at 10:57 PM #62227
Thanks for the answer Faye, it’s a great question.
Cricket, I do have the same problem as you. I have trouble saying NO to so many commitments that come up. However, I value time with friends, and it is difficult to tell a friend that I don’t have time to visit or talk. But, that is primarily what chokes up most of my time.
GS, to answer your question, I am going to say NO a little more. This week I intentionally protected my Monday so that I can work on music. It was really tough!June 17, 2018 at 7:23 PM #62268
Faye, thank you for taking the time to leave a reply to this question. It appears that the old time bandit is playing havoc on many people’s lives. Time is one of the most important resources; one that is elusive and yet ever present. The daily grind, the commitments we make to others, our work load, the rushing around trying to get things done quickly so we can make up for lost time elsewhere — it seems that whatever endeavor we employ to ‘create’ more time for ourselves or utilize what little time we have, this valuable commodity flits so easily away from us no matter how hard we try to capture it.
I suppose the biggest thing we can do in order to make more time for ourselves or make better use of the little time we have is to continually keep prioritizing and restructuring our lives.
I am very pleased that y’all could be candid in answering this question, which indeed was created so that some of you could look closer at your individual situation and try to overcome those obstacles that have grown to become a hindrance to your musical growth.June 17, 2018 at 7:45 PM #62270
John, I am very pleased that you have set aside Mondays to be your day of music. I think the whole world should set aside EVERY Monday as the ‘International Weekly Day of Music’
So, you’re going to say “No” a little more, eh? Could THIS be the reason for your silence? I mean, you never phone! You never e-Mail! You never write! You never visit! I never see you anymore! It’s like you’re living in a bubble at the end of the world! Heck! I’d settle for ANYTHING just to hear from you— even if it meant you driving by my house in the middle of the night and hurling a mouthful of abuse at me through the driver’s window. At least I’d know we were still in touch! 🙂June 18, 2018 at 9:58 AM #62285
Haha thanks GS, I have actually gotten a good bit done today already! Today I am working on “Jesus Loves Me” for my beginner fiddle campers, and the standard-tuning version of “Black Mountain Rag.”June 18, 2018 at 9:09 PM #62323
Bravo, OB! You have certainly seized the day by the bootstraps! I am sure the beginner fiddle campers are all going to play well. I must pop along to FC some time when I am in the neighborhood. BR is the best place for an ice cream on a hot Summer’s night! 🙂
P.S~ I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad to finally hear from you again. Had me kinda worried for a while. Thought I might have to take your name off my Christmas list. 🙁
Remember ‘What about Bob?’ LOL!June 19, 2018 at 12:11 PM #62338
Part A: Nothing is really preventing me from improving, or attaining my goals. Hmm. . . I really have no set goals except to get better. I can see great progress I have made over the past few years. I learn new techniques (like all the shuffles) hahaha and work on getting them right and putting them in songs. I have convinced myself that I can do anything I want if I set my mind to it. Reasonably speaking (I am too short to dunk a basketball). Practice is the key to learning. I practice at least an hour a day, and because I want to. I am so addicted to fiddle it is scary. If I could quit my job and play more, I would. And the reason is because it is fun. Which leads to
Part B: I have half way considered taking a job with less hours so I could go to more jams, however, I might not have enough gas money to get there. lol And my job has insurance, which is a necessity. And I also like food and electricity. So working slows me down in playing as much as I want but I do enjoy my job so I just play around it. I try to go to as many jams and playing opportunities as I can. Playing at home is completely different than playing with other people. A friend and I just recently took a bluegrass jam weekend vacation where we played with different people for 3 different days. Once I sort through the pictures and videos I will post some. It was a great learning experience and fun for the both of us. Different people, different playing styles, different learning opportunities.June 19, 2018 at 1:20 PM #62339
Fran…ain’t it a bummer we can’t just get paid, plus insurance and all that stuff, for practicing our fiddles! Well…I guess I’m lucky now because I get paid to do whatever, now being retired, but every body we know is sick and poor, and has so many problems our full time job now seems to be fixing up houses to make them livable, helping everybody, keeping them from feeling lonely, or whatever…time-consuming. Anyway, it can’t be helped…I was telling Mike the other day how I used to turn on Oldtime jam and warmup, and then go to BGD and work on a lesson, plus do a little more jamming … I used to do that several times a week…but our time gradually got very swallowed up with so many people needing our help. Anyway, I never practice, having one night available where I could, Wednesdays, but most of the time something happens so I can’t practice. I used to set aside Friday mornings to record something on the Presonus, but that hasn’t worked out lately either…so, basically I never play…bummer. I want to get back to regular practicing and learning…just can’t see when I’m gonna be able to do that. I’m addicted to fiddle too…it gets frustrating to be kept away from it, doesn’t it?June 19, 2018 at 8:20 PM #62350
Fran, thank you so much for taking part in the ’23 Questions’. It was good to read your answer(s). Wow! You sound like you have it all together and are really enjoying your fiddle playing. It would be great if everyone got paid to stay home and play the fiddle. That is the way it was the way it was meant to be (without the pay); but man —in his wisdom — decided to invent a thing called ‘work’, and make paid slaves of everyone.
I very much like your positive attitude, Fran; and the fact that you are putting yourself out there and practicing, joining jams, and meeting lots of other musicians. Well done! 🙂June 19, 2018 at 8:31 PM #62351
According to Daniel Quinn…it got so we can’t find time for fiddling once they decided to keep food under lock and key…lol…now why’d they go and do a thing like that?June 19, 2018 at 9:11 PM #62355
Okay! I rarely take part in answering the questions but I will have a stab
at this one (said Jack). Here goes! (A loud scream is heard throughout Whitechapel)
Answer to Part A: (without it reading like a mini-autobiography):
Traveling now and really feeling the isolation. I really do miss collaborating with a fellow musician and exchanging ideas and being creative. I have a great friend who is a classically trained pianist who played several of my songs while I recorded them. Sadly, time is his biggest enemy; and distance is mine. He was the one person I completely entrusted my music to. I am very protective of my music; especially after a piece I wrote was plagiarized by a so-called ‘friend’ around twenty years ago and was recorded under his and his group’s name.
I often get really frustrated at not being readily able to get my ideas out of my mind and into notation. I hear music in my mind — Sometimes I hear the complete piece as if I an orchestra is playing it, but the best I can do is to try to remember it and then record myself humming or singing the basic melody or theme and sometimes put the basic melody into my DAW to work on it; and hope that one day I will hear them played professionally. I continue to dream! The frustration extends to include the lack of musicians or generally musical people in the area where I presently am. I am also completely frustrated with technology, i.e; a computer that keeps freezing and playing up, retarded internet speeds that prevent me from easily uploading files or learning stuff online, as well as a few other technology – based things that I can’t seem to get around.
— Lack of proper musical training:
This is possibly my second biggest hurdle.
— No one to collaborate with:
I miss sitting round with a fellow musician and just talking shop: Talking about a piece of original music and how to improve it. Trying all kinds of ideas to get it right. Tweaking it until it reaches that “Eureka!” moment
— Striving for Excellence / perfection.
I strive to create things that (to my ear and eye, at least) are excellent; but not always ‘perfect’. I create my art for myself, simply because something inside of me compels me to create it. I try to make this art ‘excellent’ and close to how I hear or see the original concept in my mind. And if I were to allow others to hear or see it, then I would not want to present them with something that I am not happy with myself.
— Lack of Motivation and Inspiration
I can easily get inspired but those moments are few and far between. But when I DO get inspired, and have a creative idea, then I can work day and night for weeks on it until that idea is brought to life. As far as the fiddle / violin practice / playing is concerned: I am finding it rather difficult at the moment to get motivated enough to practice. Far too many people around here and very few quiet places to find to practice in private.
— Lack of belief in my own abilities
Given all the above, I suppose my BIGGEST hurdle is doubting my own abilities. Sure, I can have a thousand people — alright, make that a hundred people — telling me that they like my work, but I still don’t give myself credit; and continue to doubt my own capabilities. The irony of that is: I know I can do anything I set my mind to (and do it well) but I continue to doubt myself. PLUS, thinking that people would not be interested in or like my work. To me they are just little pieces of stuff that I pump out for my own amusement (things that I think anyone else could do easily) and I think, “Oh, well.”
I don’t try hard enough / push myself. (lazy?)
I often think I don’t try hard enough to get a piece completed or even begin a piece. I regularly lose interest due pretty much to all of the things that you read above. I guess I go into a kind of ‘shutdown’ mode. I am good at pushing others to achieve their goals; but I am not that great when it comes to pushing myself. I try really hard to get motivated and find inspiration — and sometimes I do — but in the main, I remain challenged in many ways, i.e; Socially, musically, technologically and cranially.
Part B answer: What am I going to do to overcome all these hurdles?
LOTS of therapy, PLUS… adding my name to the suicide watch list! LOL! Seriously, I am now looking around for a violin teacher to take some private lessons from. I am also trying very hard (with extremely limited resources and constant availability to AC/DC) to complete some of my previous unfinished works. I would like to try being less ‘excellent / perfect’ thinking and do what John said, i.e; just create something on the middle ground. Try to believe in myself a little more.
Well, there ya go! I just spilled my guts all over the place and now I’ve got fine mess to clean up. Maybe I shouln’t have answered this question! 🙁June 19, 2018 at 11:05 PM #62360
Long list Scott, but achievable. Life is short so do what makes you happy. There is great value and learning from being with other musicians. There are many responsibilities that I am free from. Both my and my husbands parents have passed, so we aren’t needed to help is that area. My daughter is 24 and own her own and 6 hours away so we don’t tend to her often. So this helps free some time for fiddle practice that might otherwise be spent with family. A teacher, Scott, is a great thing. I did classical Suzuki for 6 years and I am glad I did.June 19, 2018 at 11:37 PM #62361
Thank you for your feedback, Fran. It is very much appreciated. Yes, it is a rather long list; and as you say…”achievable.” In way I am glad I posed this question and answered it; not only to read what is hindering other people but it has also been a little bit of therapy and a wake-up call for me. You are SO right! Life is short and happiness and contentment really should be priorities in every person’s life. The thing for me now is to get in touch with the violin teacher who I managed to locate about 50 miles away from me. If she is a good instructor and we hit it off, then I am sure this will be what I need to inspire me and get back in the saddle (as Angela said). A course of one-on-one lessons will hopefully build my confidence as I see some gradual improvement. I guess this is the thing I need to deal with first — the lessons, that is. Might be killing two birds with the one stone, so to speak.June 20, 2018 at 8:38 AM #62367
Fran, I do hope you post some photos, especially since one leg of your trip included a jam right here in the main lobby of the BGD corporate office!
Great Scott, this has been good therapy! You should never doubt yourself, though it is natural to do so. Self-doubt and perfectionism go hand in hand, because doubt creates a need to prove yourself. Let it go; enjoy your music, and you may find that motivation and creativity mysteriously reappear!
However, the technological frustration may never go away. I personally have thrown a lot of resources and time at the evil giant called technology, and am still constantly frustrated.
Isolation is the tough one. Overcoming isolation requires trust, and who can you trust these days? Sometimes it seems like everyone wants to take advantage. Everyone needs a local collaborator and confidant, but those are hard to find.
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