Anyone play the Irish Fiddle?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Josh, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #1
    I've been playing guitar for 7 years, and decided to move on to something new.

    I want to learn the Irish fiddle, and from what I hear, it's not something you can just pick up and go at, like guitars are.

    My girlfriend's sister has a fiddle that she'll let me use (she never tried learning it, but has it), so that's good. I just can't find many resources on learning it.

    Do any of you play the fiddle? If so, what advice can you give, and what are some good resources that helped you learn?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Guitarius macrumors 6502a

    Guitarius

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #2
    I've been playing guitar for...11 or 12 years now. I started really young because my dad is a musician. He's a fiddler/guitar player/drummer/etc. (The kid of people that play everything that I really hate! :D). I been trying to pick it up as well over the last few years. It's pretty tough, but once you start getting down, it comes pretty steadily. My dad and I play mostly Cajun music (as we are Cajuns) but some gypsy swing and klezmer pop out every now and then when were just playing around. Never did much Irish folk, but can't see how it could be a whole lot different. Fiddling is fiddling, right?

    You're right about the not many resources thing. There aren't. The fiddle is mainly a folk instrument that is passed around, not something that's really taught, if that makes any sense. There are some stuff. The biggest breakthrough for me was when my dad tossed this tape my way.

    Fiddler's Guide to Waltzes, Airs, and Haunting Mellodies

    It's more just Roots Folk music than Irish folk, but that thing is invaluable, so order it if you can. Jay Unger is pretty much a fiddle God. My dad got to go to one of his fiddle camps and got to jam with him, and he said it was the most amazing experiance ever.

    The best advice I can give you is to find someone that actually plays, and jam with them. Play around on your own too. Find some old timers and watch them saw on it. You'll be amazed. I never pass up an opportunity to jam with my dad and his friends.

    You'll probably sound like a dying cat at first, but don't get discouraged. Keep at it, and some good tunes will come of it. I want to concentrate on my fiddling more, because to me, the fiddle is a much more rewarding instrument. So go for it, you'll have some fun.
     
  3. Josh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #3
    Thanks for the link - I'll definitely have to look into that.

    What I think I'm going to do is take violin lessons at first. Even though the style is worlds apart, I think a few months of it will help me learn to play the instrument and get comfortable with playing it.

    Once I am comfortable and past the screaming cat phase, then I will start working on the Irish style and picking up tunes.
     
  4. 18thTomorrow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    The Alpha Quadrant
    #4
    I play classical violin and various american/irish fiddle styles. One good book is "a serious player's guide to the irish fiddle" which is published by Mel Bay. It's pretty inexpensive and has some songs and some very good advice on approach and technique. But Guitarius is right--the best way to learn is to find a jam session somewhere near you and hang out, watch, ask people for some quick advice/training. It's sort of an "oral tradition" without much written canon to go on and your best source will always be those who do it.
     

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