Lilting Fiddle

Learning to Play Fiddle as an Adult

Getting Back on the Wagon

Posted on August 15, 2019

So guess what? This blog is back! Not that I actually wrote much about my fiddle adventures in all this time because… well, why don’t I start from the beginning?

Back in June, I was hitting a major slump in my practice and progress. That didn’t change at all during July and half of August. In fact, I didn’t touch my fiddle at all during those months, and I’m not proud of it.

In June I decided there just wasn’t enough content for me to keep this blog by itself, and I wanted to consolidate it with my main hobby blog. Turns out I was wrong about that, but I just had to discover that for myself.

So, I fell off the wagon in a big way. I thought about picking up my fiddle time and again… but either I just didn’t have the energy to put into it after work, or I felt the weight of negligence heavy on me. I knew that the longer I went without practice, the further I’d slip in what I remembered when I did come to practice again. And that made it harder and harder to want to pick it up.

The saddest part of this is that in June, I’d invested in a learning track with American Fiddle Method — which I really like! I’d gone through all of the starter videos and actually picked up new information about bow hold, tempos and all sorts of things. I was really on the ball, and even invested in a metronome and better speakers for my practice laptop.

I was ready and inspired to go at it and then… I don’t know what happened. I don’t have any excuses. I just didn’t practice, and that compounded as the days slipped by.

Getting Back on the Wagon

I have no idea what inspired me to pick up my fiddle today. I even had to clean the dust out of my practice corner it’s been so long. I knew I’d have to face the reality of lost information, and I did. What bit I did learn about sight reading in my first 5 months, I’m struggling to remember. Thankfully, I still remember the fingering and the bow hold.

But music-wise, I’ve rolled back to songs like Lightly Row and Twinkle practice. It’s frustrating, to be expected and… well, I guess I was going to start out at the beginning with AFM anyhow.

The one good thing I retained was my overall stamina. I was able to sit down for a 30 minute practice today without much pain or strain. When I was first starting with my fiddle, I had a lot of trouble with how long I could hold the bow and practice repeated songs because I just didn’t have arm strength to do so for an extended period. The fact that this stuck with me — or maybe that I’m holding the bow/instrument better — is encouraging.

Online Practice Log

So why did I decide that this separate blog had value after all? When I finished up today’s practice session, I really wanted to log the experience.

I noted that back in June, I picked up a paperback practice log — and it’s nice, don’t get me wrong. But I discovered that I really just don’t enjoy writing things out long hand – I’m far faster putting my fingers on a keyboard and my words on a screen (it’s my day job).

So I mused over how I could create a Practice Log online. I knew I couldn’t make it a part of my hobby blog (can’t install plugins on a hosted blog). I mulled over making a new blog, thinking about how I could modify some kind of calendar system to work the way I wanted. That’s when I suddenly realized… wait… I already have a separate blog for this!

I went ahead and restored the content I wrote before – I did have to fix a few links and some images. But overall, everything is here. Just goes to show you that the purpose for some things aren’t always clear at first. Now I just hope I can start filling out this practice log and stick with re-learning stuff again.

Leave Your Thoughts!

Archived Comments

Jim Guinn - Friday, August 16, 2019

Good to have you back! And, I love the cover picture you chose for this post. I haven't fallen off the wagon, but it isn't moving too fast lately. With our seasonal business, it is hard to get in practice, and some times I go a few days between sessions...even went 8 days without picking up my fiddle at one point. I have time in the morning, but I find it so hard to apply myself and concentrate with all the day's responsibilities on my mind. And, at the end of the day, I am plum tuckered out, as they used to say. FiddleHed highly recommends a practice journal or log. I hope yours accomplishes what you want it to in helping you move forward.

Aywren - Friday, August 16, 2019

Thank you! It's going to be a bit frustrating needing to 'catch up' to where I was before I let things slide. So I hope that you can stick with it, so that you don't deal with the same troubles. How are things working out with the teacher you found? I was curious how lessons are for you!

Always nice to hear from you, Jim. Don't work too hard!