The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60036   Message #959412
Posted By: Willie-O
26-May-03 - 04:03 PM
Thread Name: Learning First Instrument
Subject: RE: Learning First Instrument
Geoff, the difference between playing tunes on mandolin and on fiddle is that the mandolin is highly rhythmic, while on the fiddle you need to make that rhythm--with particular bow snaps and emphasis.

Try making a habit of one bow-stroke/one note, to build that rhythm into your fiddle playing. Not that you should never slur, just that it'll help you get the rhythm down if you get into the habit of playing one note per stroke, and know when and why you diverge from that practise.   

as for Rather Remain Anonymous, work on learning to play a relatively small number of tunes well. I know people that can't stay away from the harder ones, even though they're not ready for them, and they are not improving their musicianship that way.

The way to develop your musicianship is like any other apprenticeship: find a source of the essential, basic, fairly easy tunes for your instrument, and play them a lot. A WHOLE LOT. You will know the best tunes, because they are the ones that get more enjoyable to play the more you play them.

Sight-reading, and learning an instrument, are two different things. Learning to sight-read doesn't really have anything to do with learning correct note positions. If you learn some tunes, and can play them so they sound good, you have learned correct fingering. Since you have this separate goal, I'd suggest you set up a routine of spending about 80% of your practice time on developing that small, basic repertoire, and then try sight-reading something new at the end of every practice.

Good luck, there's lots of ways to drag a bow over a catgut...