What are yall up to?

This topic contains 124 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  John Cockman 1 day ago.

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  • #65810
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    What are you up to?  I’m still struggling with stuff I’d like to play, but really can’t seem to get it to where it sounds good…Breaking up Christmas, Back up and Push…which I fear I will never ever get…lol…I understand why it has to be in C to work out…but C and I don’t get along on the fiddle.  Other stuff like that.  Besides fiddling, gardening time is over here now…the only thing left standing here are okra plants…gonna have to cut those down.  Kinda sad to see the garden gone.  I guess now is saurkraut making and horseradish making time…baking pumpkins to freeze for winter, etc.  Our chihuahuas usually don’t like wintertime too much…still trying to get the new one, Taffy, to understand that we aren’t into punishing her at all…but outdoor toitee is preferable to indoor toitee…she’s slowly getting there. We did get her an indoor potty system, which is gradually moving toward the front porch.  She’s definitely been punished for pottying outside, inside, or anywhere, it seems. I’d like to get back to knitting and stuff like that this winter, but not sure I’ll get time for it…as long as there is a functioning presonus downstairs…hard to think about much else…lol. Even fiddle tunes I’m trying to learn.  So what’s on your to-do list for fall and winter?

    #65828
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    I’ve got a few short, scattered days to work left to go at the golf course to close down for the season.

    Just starting to get a few leaves down from the trees here, and a bit of color in the rest…a few solid frosts and I’ll be busy blowing leaves for a week or so.

    Been mostly hiding in the house and playing fiddle…Have a list of about 6 new song breaks I’m working on…

    Breaks on Ocean of Diamonds in F, You’re No Longer a Sweetheart of Mine (G), and The Gold Rush…All from Patrick McAvinue recordings are my major projects right now.

    I’ve been hitting the record button when I sit to play and recording only playing time, just to check and see how much real time I spend actually playing in a day not counting any rest time. conclusion:  I take a lot of rests…

    I’ve kind of set a loose goal of 3 hours per day…one in morning, one in afternoon and one in evening.

     

    #65863

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Me — I have been planning to expand my hymns and basic lessons. My daughter Lorien was given a fiddle and has developed a new love for it, so I have been working with her a lot. Also, Steve sent me a bushel basket of requests that I am working on right now, particularly Prairie Spring Waltz with harmony. I’m looking forward to a wonderful Autumn of music and lessons!

    #65864
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Wow, Dave…3 hours a day?  Sounds great…exciting stuff to work on.  John, has Lorien played the fiddle before?  I know she is sure a good singer and keyboardist…very exciting if she plans to pick up the fiddle too.  Steve will keep you busy too…lol.

    #65870

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    She may have played triple fiddles with Arwen and me before… I’ll have her on soon though, as soon as she feels ready!

    #65873
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    I’m staying busy performing with the Gospel Bluegrass band “3rd Day Resurrection”. We’ve been playing a lot this month.

    I’ll be returning to Arkansas for the winter months, leaving here in sunny Tennessee on the 23 rd of this month and taking two days to get back to AR.

    I’m now dividing my free time among three instruments: fiddle, banjo and resonator guitar (Dobro). Each weekday morning I partake of the activities at the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center in Erwin, TN., where I normally play pool.

    Today, the 16th, I am putting on a 45 minute Power Point slide show presentation of “Fire Safety in the Home” that I’ve created to remind the seniors how important it is to be prepared for the hazards involved with unwanted fires in the home and how to avoid them altogether by taking a few steps here and there.

    #65876
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Gosh, Fred…how do you keep up with yourself?  Lol…that’s a lot of activities. That’s very good of you to give fire safety info out, too.  Well I forgot to mention my grandson is into playing the Asian game, Go…with me, of course.  I’ve been studying up on it…sounds like it’s better to have an actual teacher, but then they say that about everything else too…I’ve mainly just learned stuff  on my own throughout my life.  So I’m studying up on thee game of Go…oh gosh…that’s a crazy game…we bought a Go game and once a week he and I sit down and I tell him what i learned that week…then we play and he uses all of it against me in the most sneaky and vicsious (I give up on spelling it right…tried twice and almost deleted the whole daggone post) ways and clobbers me all over the place.  He’s 8, I’m 65…something’s wrong here…seriously, I’m trying to maybe not win, but at leaast hold my own…I feel stupid…lol.  Amazing how sneaky he is.

    #65882
    Icebike
    Icebike
    Participant

    Usually fall here is a crunch time to get everything done, before the end of September.  Garden cleaned up, all tools away, vehicles ready, woodpile stocked, plow on, etc.  This year, fall keeps going on and on.  It’s only frosted once, leaves are still on many trees, and the snow is way up the mountains.  I’m not complaining but all the chores are done and I’m starting to twiddle my thumbs.  Can’t ski and no volunteer plowing to do.  But I’m still hiking and biking which ain’t bad.  So that leaves a lot of time to get serious about the fiddle again.  Also starting to volunteer at the community radio station.  I could get used to this weather.

    #65883
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Soon wintertime will give you the big blast…lol…I’m sure.  Hopefully you can get a lot of fiddling practice in before you’re out plowing all that snow.  What kinda stuff will you be doing on the radio?  We used to have a radio show on the little volunteer, amateur radio station over in Cincinnati…we only got to do it because we were vegan at the time and it was a vegan radio show…lol…then we switched away from vegan and of course all the vegans got upset with us so we were kinda squeezed out…we started changing the shows from dietary stuff to more like environmental kind of stuff and the vegans finally caught on when I had a vet as a guest who used to be vegan and had a lot of interesting reasons to switch, mainly relying on observations from his decades of one-man practice…long story…interesting show…did us in within the vegan community…lol.  Oh well… I am still a vegan at heart, but I have to admit I think my health is better when I have meat in my diet, for various reasons.  Anywy…i’m hoping your show is something to do with music…hopefullly fiddling and such…that would be a fun radio show to get to volunteer with!

    #65889

    Angela
    Participant

    Band season has started, and we have our second practice tonight.  I have a few new breaks to learn and to brush up on the old ones….plus add a little more “hotness” to some of the old breaks.

    With my job, I don’t have time for much more. haha.  We have a few gigs coming up in December and lots in January!

    I learned or got down better Cajun Fiddle, Lonesome Fiddle Blues, Arkansas Traveler, Foggy Mtn Special, Gold Rush and Bowing the Strings this summer, so I’ve got a few new tunes to work in.

    Love hearing about everyone’s fiddle journey.

    John, can’t wait to hear Lorien and some more triple fiddles!!  Ahhh-Mazing!

    #65899

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    You all sound so industrious! Thanks for the updates. Anyone else want to share?

    #65900
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Great, Angela…sounds like some nice music in the works…hope there’ll be some cool videos.  Have a great practice session tonight!  Well, John, I guess one more thing I could share is someday I hope I can play Back up and Push…lol…it’s my ongoing joke…gonna keep going back to it once and a while and see if some miraculous fiddling phenomenon will happen … or not…lol.  Wondering if there might be some age limit to learning B U & Push or what…lol.

    #65914
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    I am off on another safari; this time to a land so terrifying that even Tarzan would notice his yodel wavering a little more than it should.  Actually, I am off to the Land of Wisdom where I will experience a joyous reunion with all my family and friends; after being in the wilds for so long.  I expect lots and lots of tears.  DO YOU HEAR THAT, MY LITTLE FAMILY?  I EXPECT lots and lots of tears.  And you might want to practice up on the teeth gnashing and the hand wringing as well.   🙂

    #65915

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Cricket, you can do it!

    Great Scott, best of luck during your travels! You should expect lots of tears, unless you gave your family plenty of advance warning. In that case, they will have already cried themselves out and will receive you with muted resignation. 🙂

    #65916
    Christopher
    Christopher
    Participant

    I’m working on double stops and just trying to make my fiddle sound “pretty”. The fourth finger D on the G string and open D string are not doing well together! I think my fiddle isn’t sounding good because I am rushing and using too short bowings. Has anyone had an “A -ha” moment that just changed their fiddle playing and the music just started flowing? I am hoping for one of those!

    #65918
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Thanks John!  The fam will be meeting Rittle Rotus Brossom for the first time.  I sure do hope they like her.  She is so sweet and gentle (a lot like me, actually) and she plays the Japanese flute to perfection and creates fantastic origami.  In fact, thanks to her origami, we have a whole barnyard of wonderful paper animals, and now a little paper baby on the way; to be delivered by a paper stork.  Ain’t life just full of surprises?     🙂   🙂   🙂

    #65919
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Yes Christopher, I had one of those “Aha” moments while I was on my 37th take of trying to record myself playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”  My “Aha” moment was when I realized I should have bought a tambourine instead of a fiddle.   🙂  Just kidding.

    Actually, I have had one of those moments you speak of.  When I listened to ‘Londonerry Air’ played on the fiddle by John, (when I first got my fiddle all those years ago) I really wished that one day I would be able to play it.  I knew the tune reasonably well since we always sang it from when I was a little kipper.  It is a very emotive tune for me, especially when it hits the E string.  I was pretty clumsy with the tune at first, and I struggled and struggled to get the tune sounding how I had sung it as a lad.  Then, one day, after 2 million attempts at trying to play it, ZAM!!!! the penny dropped; stars fell from the sky; the earth moved under my feet, my front teeth fell out; and I jumped for joy… because I  could finally play Londonderry Air… rather badly, I might add; but I could play it.  I hope to experience many more moments like this.   🙂

    #65920

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Hi Christopher! I’m hoping you’ll have an “aha” moment like GS speaks about… For the most part, however, you will experience incremental improvements until one day you realize that you are really a good fiddler!

    #65933
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Christopher…good luck on making those double stops pretty.  If you’re droning the open D and playing it also with the fourth finger on the G string…well, to me, that’s the hardest one to get…how does it sound if you put your fourth finger on the A string and drone with the E string?  I think it’s easier to start up there…of course mine don’t sound too sweet…still working at that too.  I’ve worked on getting the, what I think of as double-spaced, double stop formation…that is, when you grab a D chord/double stop with finger one on the E string and finger three on the A string, or move it down a string to make the G chord, or slide it up the neck, etc., and it just always seems to be a hit or miss type thing…might sound good, might sound awful…lol.  I guess one day our fingers just know how to make those double stops sweet.  Sometimes mine sound good, but I just never know.  It’s hard to make a quick adjustment because when mine go off it takes me a second to figure out which finger is off, which way…lol…by then it’s usually time to move on.  Anyway…it’s one of the fun challenges of playing this instrument…when you get a sweet double stop, you just gotta savor that beautiful sound and kinda gloat a little bit…lol.

    #65936
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    Hi Christopher,

    Double-stops can be challenging at first!

    When I first started working on them it seemed it took forever for me to find the right note with my left hand…then when I started trying to get a balanced sound on the two strings out of my bow, I’d go back out of tune from concentrating on the bowing.

    It takes a lot of patience, but it is worth it in the end. Sounds like you have a handle on what you need to do to improve.

    I’ve had a few of those inspirational moments when my playing was above my normal level…but then the next day I may not be able to do anything in tune or fluidly….it all comes & goes…totally normal.

    Two of the things I’ve noticed will most improve my playing are relaxing, and not playing any harder than necessary…Both are very difficult to achieve when just learning, so I try to always keep them in mind when playing.

    As John mentioned, the normal way we advance is in small increments over time.

    Have patience, have fun with the journey, put in the time, and it will come.

     

    dave

     

     

    #65941
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I have the same thing…one day I play and I’m like…wow, that sounds good…then the next day…oh gosh I can’t play this doggine thing at all!  Sometimes I record on the Presonus machine, and while I’m playing, it sounds great to me…then when I put it up on youtube and just listen to it outside of my thinking while making it, it sounds lousy…lol…so … I don’t understand what the difference is, but fiddle can be a fickle thing…it’s just a great journey, though…makes it just more fun…kinda like a game of chance ….well there’s practice involved too…and experience, which comes with practice and time, but it’s always an unexpected adventure.

    #65942
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Well another thing I’m gonna be up to…Ive got this Acer laptop and it’s not cooperating with me at all much…so…either I”m gonna stop using it, and only use the home computer, which means I won’t do anything but record on that addictive presonus, becuse I never go down there unless I’m thinkin to record…or else buy another chromebook.  no more ipads…not crazy about this laptop…took me a while to get used to the chromebook, but I think i liked it better than this thing i’m using now…so…i think i’m about done with fiddling’ with this thing…lol.

    #65945
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    I broke down and put new strings on the fiddle today.

    #65949
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Oh…what kind?  I need to do that too…my fiddles have old strings that really need replacing…I’ve got extras…just slow to use them because I want a new set in waiting all the time…lol.  I’ve got tons of guitar strings on hand, and banjo strings too, but fiddle strings are another critter entirely…I’ve got one extra set for each fiddle, big and small…but hesitant to change.  It means getting on Amazon and replacing right away…lol.  What a disaster if you ran out…I don’t have a good music store around here that has fiddle/viola/cello strings…not that I know about anyway.  Dave, you’ll have to play something nice for us with fresh strings on there!  After ten years playing, I’m still not sure what kind of affordable strings I really like…it was almost Helicore, but I’m not happy with the A strings…or was it the D string?  Can’t remember now but one or the other is always wearing out too quick.

    #65951
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Good luck with the Double stops , They will come together over time, I look back a year ago and about every three months and can see a difference as time and persistence in practice goes by , I never delete my video’s I post so its easy to look back into the past , It does get better as time goes by , Don’t give up endeavor to persevere and it will pay off big !

    #65952
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    Peggy, medium Helicores w/wound E.

    The inner wire on my G string broke after only a year…haha…then another one broke down between the winding and the bridge after only a month or so.

    I did also order two Westminster E strings…a medium & a heavy, to experiment with. I love the sound of the Helicores, but not so much the E string.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by fiddlewood fiddlewood.
    #65954

    Angela
    Participant

    I fell out of love with Helicores.  I put Prims on Louise, and I’m liking them.  I read some good reviews on Flexacor, so I ordered a set….will put them on Thelma.  They were pricey….but I hope I love them.

    I’ve also ordered 4 Codabows from Shar to try.  The band has a bunch of paid gigs, so if I like one of the bows, that’s what I’ll spend my band money on.

    #65955
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    I learned a “new” fiddle tune called “Callahan”. It’s not in the old-timey tuning of AEAE like so many other versions of the tune, it’s in standard tuning and in the key of A. It’s fiddled by a man named Fred Hutchens. I put the YouTube video on my website here.

    https://www.frederickwarner.com/fiddle-tune-video-page.html

    The tune starts at 6:01. It kinda sounds like “Virginia Darlin’ ” and “Dance Around Molly” in a few spots. It’s a fun tune to add variations to.

    #65956
    Christopher
    Christopher
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice everyone! I like that everyone knew exactly what I meant and can relate to sounding good one day and lousy the next!

    #65958
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Dave and Angela, I think it mighta been Prims I bought last time…I always have trouble remembering the brand names of stuff I try…lol…but I’ve got some new ones waiting in my string basket over there…I need to change them one of these days…then I’ll find out which ones I ordered last time.

    Fred…I love Callahan…I think there’s a few Callahan tunes…Hope you’ll play it for us…do your jamming pals play that one?

    Christopher…one of the best things I ever learned was that all fiddlers, even pros, have good days and bad days…whew…helped me a lot just to know I wasn’t the only one!

    As to my device issues…I’m back on the old chromebook…but it’s really old and not much good.  Speakers messed up, etc.  The laptop my daughter gave me is just too weird acting for me.  I’m thinking I’m gonna have to try to get through the holidays first, when all the property taxes and stuff comes due…then once we get going into the new year…try to come up with enough for new strings and a new chromebook…change my strings, and have a decent device… hopefully things will fall into place like that, but…lol…as soon as I come up with a plan…everything goes haywire.  That’s why I never practice anymore…it’s like…if I don’t have a regular time for it, I have trouble getting much accomplished…but the regular times disappear very soon after I establish them…lol…like in that poem…the best laid plans, etc., etc., etc.  But at the moment, that’s the plan.,////” oops…chihuahuas are typing…treat time.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by cricket cricket.
    #65964

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Cricket, it is really hard to find the time… I can relate!

    Angela, let us know how the Coda bows work out. They make some really nice ones. I have been using Glasser but I am thinking about giving Coda a try next time.

    Fred, thanks for the link! I am listening right now. I have played Callahan before, it’s a fun tune! Here is an old thread where Kaeleigh is learning the tune. A bit slower but beautiful still!

    https://bluegrassdaddy.com/forums/topic/mcclanahans-march/

    #65971
    fran h
    fran h
    Participant

    I have been trying to squeeze in extra jams here and there.  Its great fun, if you get the right group of people. Also been working on Grassy Fiddle Blues.  The middle section with the slides is tough. It’s in C and a lot of it is easier to play if you are in 2nd position. C may be easier in 2nd, I am still experimenting on that theory. And I am gonna get Orange Blossom up to a good speed if it kills me. Dewey says mine is at a pretty good speed. . . but my goal is his speed. And I do have a full time job to fit in around fiddling. I am working on improving my breaks with double stops and what-evers. Its a challenge because at these jams I just make up these breaks as I go. Never a dull moment

    #65972
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    Glad you’re getting the chance to go out and play Fran!

    I just started working on “Sally Goodin” of all things…out of the thousands of times I’ve heard it I could never seem to get the feel of it…finally watched a jam video on youtube today that made something click…this could be a good lengthy project…lovin’ it…

    #65973
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I can’t play Sally Goodin…it seems awkward.  I hope you’ll play it here for us one of these days.  I need to work on so much stuff.  I got some time tonight…put my cello and viola in their standard tuning (CGDA), for the first time since I’ve had those, and tried to play G fiddle tunes which made them play the same as if you were playing in D on the fiddle in GDAE.  I played along with the slow tracks on old time jam’s site…I need it slow on that cello…lol…especially in standard tuning, because your fingering gets weird…and not very easy.  I did better on the viola…then tuned my fiddle to GDAE (which i rarely play in anymore) and had myself a GDAE hoedown…didn’t do it for long…really tired tonight and about ready to crash for the night…gotta get them doggies up and ready for bedtime!  I also played my banjo some…I never play anymore except on the Presonus, so this was a fun thing…I used to play every evening…but…my evenngs aren’t free lots of days anymore.  So, this was fun.  Hope I can do that more!  Wiped out right now, though.

    #65977
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Ouch…my fingers hurt this morning…that cello is tough on you if you are in standard tuning…lol.  Hey Fran, I never really thought about second position for C…I just know I flatout cannot play in C…I do like to play in second position for lots of modal tunes if I’m in AEAE…I learned what second position is from somewhere on this website…there was a lesson showing what all finger positions lie along the fingerboard…so I tried those AEAE, or GDGD modal tunes up there and they work really well.  Gonna have to try doing C up there from GDAE and see if it gets any easier for me…seems to me, all the notes in C fall inbetween your normal finger spaces…in the cracks, so to speak.  I’m gonna try in second position.

    #65978
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I’d really like to play with real live humans…not presonus crickets.  There used to be a jam about an hour away on Sunday afgternoons…wondering if it’s still going on…but, the last time i went everytime they let me pick a tune …my simple I, IV, V tunes in G or D…they all fell apart and just stopped…then, back to the nest peron…back to the key of F or Z or whatever and some poplular radio song everybody knew but me…I tried to hang on, but it just wasn’t really fun…long drive through a lot of traffic…not worth the trip, for me.  They don’t like folk music there, which I guess iswhat I do…old time stuff.  I don’t know the popular stuff at all.  i guess ai just talked myself out of it…lol.  ok…crickets for me…not humans…lol…not right now anyway.  I’ve got work to do anyhow…so…ok…back to work.

    #65979
    fran h
    fran h
    Participant

    Angela. . . forgot to mention but I have the coda bow prodigy and I love it. I think I fell in love the first time I pulled it across the strings. Great feel and balance. Bows are personal and you have to find one you like that fits you and your playing. Dewey has a bow he just got. . .some German name thing like Fleishner???  He let me play with and it was good too. A bit lighter than my prodigy, but I could get used to it. Good luck with picking your coda. I use JarGar strings. They have a kinda flat bluegrass tone. Not at all “tinny” like some helicore can be. And they have a rich loud tone. Strings are also a personal preference. I got JarGar at Amazon.

    #65980
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Fran , I upgraded my violin with Kennedy violins and they gave me a  CodaBow prodigy and I talked them into upgrading to the next step up the Diamond NX CodaBow , They sent both bows I have been using the one that’s a step above the prodigy , But they are pretty close to the same so I feel lucky to have two nice bows , They defiantly helped me up my game ! For what ever that’s worth coming from a beginner like Me . I am still using Helicore strings , Some day I may try JarGar  strings

    #65982
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    They gave you $700 worth of bows?

    #65983

    Angela
    Participant

    They sent me the Luna, Joule, SX and GX.

    i didn’t want to bias myself, so I picked one up at a time without looking at the type. Three were very similar and a little awkward and bouncy. One felt like butter and felt perfectly balanced.  I went through them like this 3 or 4 times.  I played all different kinds of tunes with different bowing stuff.

    Dang it. Of course it is the most expensive one.

    In other news. I went to a jam yesterday and it was tons of fun. I stood and played in the circle for 2 hours.   Lots of fiddle tunes. Another fiddler was there for awhile and we played together on a few things. It was awesome.   Four years ago I went to my first jam and just sat there clueless.  Lol

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