Lilting Fiddle

Learning to Play Fiddle as an Adult

Fiddle Progress Report: 9 Months

Posted on October 15, 2019

Yesterday, my new fiddle arrived, and it’s really all I want to write about… but… that will have to wait until tomorrow’s post. This is meant to be a progress report! So let’s see what kind of progress happened last month.

Even though I missed some practice time during month 6 & 7, I’m still going to count this as month 9. I did have to do some make-up work for my lack of practice, but now I feel like I’m finally getting back on the ball, even if progress seems slow.

Based on my practice log, I started back playing exactly two months ago. During that time, I’ve only missed one day of practice (on a holiday). I did have a week or so of being down with the cold last month, so while I didn’t get full quality practice in on those days, I did still do things like revisit previous tunes just to stay up on playing. So, I’m pretty happy with my practice consistency.

I had a lot of trouble with the Squeaky E this past month, due to struggling to make clean string crossings. I’m still working on sorting this out, though it’s getting better now that I have an idea of what to focus on.

At last month’s progress report, I predicted that I’d probably only get through cleaning up Cripple Creek and Angelina Baker. This was somewhat accurate — I feel like I have a grasp of the fingerings and how to play these tunes, and have them mostly memorized. But, I still feel they’re more sloppy than I’d like, and I’m still working on getting them cleaned up. Part of that was losing a week of good practice to being sick, I think.

However, I’ve already started to memorize Margaret’s Waltz on the side, and did poke around at learning Buffalo Gals, which feels like it may be easier that the previous two tunes (we’ll see). So I didn’t spend my whole month on just two songs.

My goals/predictions for this month is to continue to clean up Cripple Creek and Angelina Baker, especially focusing on the Squeaky E. I want to hook the two parts of Margaret’s Waltz together and start working on memorizing the tune as a whole. I also want to bring Buffalo Gals into the tune list by the next time I check in for a Progress Report.

Speaking of the Tune List, I’d like to find a way to put some audio on the list – whether it’s me playing the first bar or something like that. I find that I really need to hear the start of the tune to trigger memory, moreso than just seeing notes or tabs. I’ll work on that sometime this month, maybe.

Of course, I’m starting this new month off right with an exciting new Master fiddle, so I hope this beautiful instrument will be the inspiration to push me forward for a long time coming. More on this tomorrow!

Leave Your Thoughts!

Archived Comments

Jim Guinn - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Quite a practice streak, only missing one day in the past two months. That's great! I know what you mean about that squeaky E in Angeline! I battle that and the E's in Swallowtail Jig. My teacher told me that E takes a lot of work and will give you fits trying make it sound good. Can't wait to hear about The Master.

Aywren - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Yeah, I have an idea why I'm squeaking, but fixing it consistently is easier said than done in this case. Still practicing!