Lilting Fiddle

Learning to Play Fiddle as an Adult

Fiddle Progress Report: 10 Months

Posted on November 15, 2019

Today I celebrate 10 months of learning to play the fiddle! I also celebrate having my Fiddlerman Master violin for just over a month. I’m still very pleased with the violin, and happy that I made the leap. I’ve certainly stopped shopping around and browsing violins online, which tells me that even subconsciously, I’m happy with my purchase.

So what all did I accomplish this month?

Well, I did practice pretty consistently. I missed about 3 days since the last progress report – sometimes just due to having way too many things to do after a work day and that sort of thing. I feel like missing 3 days isn’t a terrible track record, though I’d like to keep it more consistent going forward.

I’ve written about all my practices in my online practice log. Even if it’s just a short paragraph about what I played, how I was feeling and the outcome of the practice, I wrote something.

My goals for last time were to clean up Buffalo Gals and add it to the tune list. I also had wanted to work on Margaret’s Waltz some. How did that go?

Well, not only did I get Buffalo Gals fairly cleaned up and a part of the regular tunelist, but I went on to do the same with a new tune, Cindy. I did end up dropping Margaret’s Waltz, however, because I just feel like I’m not quite there yet. It was outside of the AFM progression and just a tune I was trying on the side, so I don’t feel this was a fail. I will try the tune again when I feel my skill is more up to par.

I figured out how to remove the cork residue left from removing the chinrest from my fiddle! This was a huge cosmetic win and it still looks so, so much better.

I decided that I really needed to spend some time with foundational basics and work on technical playing skills. I’m now supplementing my tunes with curriculum from Julia’s Violin Academy (JVC). I’m working through the Basics section right now, and hope to be moving into the Beginner section, to add a number of scales and exercises to my practice.

I decided it was time to break out the Christmas music! I’ve been working on learning Silent Night for the past week or so, and feel like I’ve got it to the point where I just really need some cleanup practice. I want to at least learn one more holiday song on my list by the next progress report and be playing Silent Night fairly well by then, too. It’ll probably be either O, Holy Night or Greensleeves.

I’ve played without any tape on the fingerboard all month! So, when I got my new Master violin, I never put tape on the fingerboard, and I’ve been playing without it ever since. Every now and then I miss a third finger, but for the most part, that’s not been as bad as I thought. I’m pretty good at picking up when a note is off by ear, though, and correcting it.

I’m learning to tune a violin that only has one fine tuner. It’s not quite as easy as it was when I had 4 fine tuners, but it’s not as difficult as I imagined, either. It takes a little bit more time, but eventually, you find the sweet spot.

So, wow. Actually, I did quite a bit this month! I find that I’m moving along at a two-to-three song pace per month when it comes to learning new tunes and getting them mostly cleaned up. I’m still having to go back over old tunes, though, because I’m nowhere near perfect playing them. But I assume that’s all part of consistent practice.

Next time I check in, it’ll be much closer to Christmas, so I hope to have a more holiday music under my belt!

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