Fiddle and Alternative Strings Forum

General Strings => Practice/Teaching => Topic started by: Dan888 on May 10, 2020, 03:01:25 AM

Title: Periods of not playing
Post by: Dan888 on May 10, 2020, 03:01:25 AM
Over the last few months I've barely picked up my fiddle at all. Back in January I learned a new Irish jig, the first new piece of music in a while, and that was ok, and I briefly played a few other tunes that I'd learned years ago, but they didn't sound nice under the ear so I put the violin down.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in my room, the fiddle sat on a chair where it had been for several weeks, the weather has warmed up now and the wood must have shrunk, both G and E pegs had both released at once, so I pick up the fiddle, tightened up the strings a bit without actually tuning them, and put it in its case. It's been there ever since, un-tuned.

I find these days that I am less interested in music generally, and since there are no sessions within at least a 3 hour journey I don;t play at all with others, which is key, since for me music is really a social activity.

I guess it may be partly down to this lack of practice and feedback from others that my playing has also degraded, so I put string to bow and the sound just isn't there, and I lack the will to do anything about it.

I think that if there were something nearby I would probably go along to a session or something,, but that won't be possible for at least the next few years. I wonder how many other people have been in similar situations and stopped playing altogether like this, how long for, and what prompted you to get back into it again.

Dan
Title: Re: Periods of not playing
Post by: pluwin on May 10, 2020, 10:00:04 AM
Actually itís quite the opposite here.
Iím in the middle of a recording project with a trio. One of them already has had covid-19. Theyíre the only people I meet outside. Iím also playing around with Logic, writing and demo-recording songs. I am even studying, playing scales and doublestops really slowly. I suppose itís like yoga, keeping me mentally healthy.
Iím also rearranging my pedalboard, itís getting smaller and smaller, and better sounding.
I finally have the time to really listen and learn.
Studying gives me a feeling that  Iím doing something useful, no matter what.
Title: Re: Periods of not playing
Post by: aaldjul53 on May 10, 2020, 11:23:35 AM
Hello Dan,
Yes, I went through a situation like that as well. The tunes sounded to me 'just like a series of notes following one another, rather than a tune. So being disheartened I put down the fiddle for maybe a year to a year and a half.
I was advised by the lady who lived down the street, to 'pick it up again, tune it, and play for 5 to 10 minutes, then put it down and leave it for an hour or two, otherwise I'd get sick of it, again. It worked for me, 5 minutes, became 10, 30, 60, and I found that although I was still not playing very well I was beginning to enjoy it and was on my way.
The other 'eureka' moment was hearing a guy called Ashley Reed, playing on the 'Acousticity' CD. I knew almost straight away, that 'that's how I wanted to play, .. with more freedom and doing my own thing'. It took a while but am getting towards there now.
Maybe this'll help you?
Regards. aaldjul53.
Title: Re: Periods of not playing
Post by: Joe Gerardi on May 10, 2020, 11:59:38 AM
I'm in a similar situation, Dan.

Probably been over a year since I even touched an instrument, and over 2 years since I took a lesson. When IBM laid me off I needed to economize, and lessons stopped after a while. Now, I'm so busy on my new job with the US Census, that I get home, collapse in a chair, and zone out. Playing doesn't even enter my mind.

It's the same with my keyboards, and I'm in the process of giving several of them away to my brothers, I'll probably sell 6 or 7 of them and only keep a maybe 3, because music seems to be less and less important to me.

..Joe
Title: Re: Periods of not playing
Post by: Emma on May 23, 2020, 07:27:08 PM
Sorry to hear that, Joe. I hope you are OK otherwise. The US census job will probably get less busy after a while?
I'm on a bit of a hiatus as well. There's no dancing, so no playing for dancing. The regular Old Time jam I had recently joined, has stopped of course. I don't seem to have any interest in playing alone, even though I told myself this would be a great time to put in some solid work on technique.
I did play some duets with a student who was living in our house, but now he's gone.
Truthfully, even with lockdown I don't seem to have any more time than I did before. I'm still working, some from home and some in the lab. The kids are back from University so no more empty nest. Life is OK, but I miss playing with people.

Title: Re: Periods of not playing
Post by: farmerjones on May 25, 2020, 01:12:24 AM
Yes. I was feeling pretty depressed. It's a language, and there's nobody around to speak with. Pure and simple. Then a friend from across the state invited me to contribute videos to a group on facebook. (Quarentunes) So i did my part. Then i noticed many upper tier musicians, doing similar things on their own. Micheal Cleveland is one for instance. It's crazy. A Grammy award winning fiddler maybe gets 50 watching his live feed. Then i thought , it's about just being sort of out there, and in circulation.
It's got me, back to playing with all my toys, to make a better video. I started thinking, what would i like to watch? Doesn't ness. have to be fancy, but good, honest acoustic, performances. Well mixed, y'know? I guess, while i can't play with other folks, at least i can work on the craft. That's what i been doing. 
Title: Re: Periods of not playing
Post by: Emma on May 28, 2020, 09:07:56 PM
I saw Michael Cleveland on Quarentunes! And the last time I saw him was in person at the Station Inn, so there you have it. He is amazing.
There are so many amazing musicians posting incredible music right now. I find it overwhelming honestly, and sometimes it's just more of a reminder of what we are missing. Sometimes I have to turn off the social media and do a jigsaw puzzle.
That said, I would like to listen to your music Farmerjones. How will I find you?
Title: Re: Periods of not playing
Post by: farmerjones on May 29, 2020, 12:23:33 AM
I saw Michael Cleveland on Quarentunes! And the last time I saw him was in person at the Station Inn, so there you have it. He is amazing.
There are so many amazing musicians posting incredible music right now. I find it overwhelming honestly, and sometimes it's just more of a reminder of what we are missing. Sometimes I have to turn off the social media and do a jigsaw puzzle.
That said, I would like to listen to your music Farmerjones. How will I find you?

This should be my FB front end:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012558783231

Scroll down. Im in there somewhere.
My YT handle is Fiddlenguy. Not much current content.
Thanks for the inquire!
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