Fiddle class ahead

So I signed up for our friend A’s tune workshop! It’s mainly fiddle tunes and the majority of the students are fiddlers, but all instruments are welcome as far as I know.
I used to be a part of the class a couple of years ago, so I know most of them, and can’t wait to see them again.
I won’t be able to be there a lot, because of my work schedule, but I signed up to meet some music people who will inspire me, and to get to play with other people at a reasonable level. I want to start playing the fiddle again, but won’t be able to do that if I just do it at home.

I don’t get inspired by hearing pro musicians play. Well, to a certain extent I do, of course. I get tons of guitar inspiration by seeing some Norman Blake videos on You Tube, for example. But like, at festivals and such, i get more inspiration by meeting other musicians and see that I have opportunities to play with other people. I’m not interested in the pros who show off their stuff (unless they’re on stage), but I love seeing the intermediate or almost intermediate players gather for a jam. And of course, jams with musicians of different playing levels.

Because then I see that I’m not alone. That there are more people out there who aren’t pros. And that there are people I can jam with, without feeling that I don’t fit in.

So I expect plenty of new inspiration this spring! Now I just have to get going and practice some fiddle before the course starts so it won’t be a total shock for my poor inactive wrist.

The melodeon is alive and kicking

durspel2I sort of got into playing the melodeon again. I don’t know how that happened? One day I just wanted to pick it up.

It’s been so long, but I remember most of the tunes that I used to play. Some time ago I thought that the next time I play the melodeon I’ll mainly play English tunes, but I’ve actually only played Swedish tunes, with the exception of Young Collins, and a Norwegian waltz. And it’s been nice! I’ve been looking up some tunes on You Tube, because there are so many standard tunes that I’ve never learned. One of them is “Gladan” that everybody out there plays. It’s a nice cheerful tune and one of the standard tunes, so it would be a good one to start with. Then I’ll try to find some of the session tunes from the event in Örebro, I remember they had some good ones.

I just need to stop setting up goals and making long to-learn lists, because that truly is an inspiration killer. I’m glad that I’m even playing that thinng again, and this time I’m going to play it for my own pleasure. I did that eUnitedarlier too, but I had too high expectations at the festivals, I was too easily discouraged when other players seemed uninterested in having strangers join in their jam, I guess I’m not used to it, because in the bluegrass and oldtime circles it’s not like that, at least not around here. People may ignore you, but they don’t just put down their instruments and leave, unless you’re a true jam killer (which I wouldn’t think we are!).

My problem is usually that I don’t know anyone who is at my playing level, or that I don’t have enough repertoire to be interesting to other people, everybody I know is professional of nearly professional, and they sort of do their own thing. But playing can still be fun, because I love learning new tunes and see that I make progress with my playing. I think I just need to follow my inspiration, and do what I feel like in that particular moment.

2015, whistle and fiddle

We had an old friend of mine, and her boyfriend, over for New Year. We had a lovely time together! We’ve known each other for many years, been good friends since our later teens, and especially since I first moved to Göteborg, in 1995. I was a mess back then, but I became a productive and somewhat normal human being in the end. :)
However, she lives too far away for us to meet regularly, but even if a year passes (like this time), when we finally meet again, we just pick up where we left off.

She used to play the guitar, but not anymore, but she still loves music, and every time we meet, she wants us to play something, or that Daniel and myself play something. This time she wanted me to play “Sí bheag si mhòr” on the tin whistle.
Well, it’s been like 5 years since I played the whistle. I know some basics, but…..

It was so much fun! I sucked at playing the tune, but it was lovely to play the whistle again. Daniel said “you should do that more often”, so I guess that’s another thing I’ll add to my New Year’s resolutions, besides the fiddle, to start playing the whistle again.

The fiddle

On Saturday we went to a music event out in the middle of Västergötland. It’s for Swedish music and dance, and it’s an event they organise there every year on the 27th of December since 30 years back or so.
There’s a “main hall” where they play for dance all night, and several little rooms for people to sit jamming. There are usually lots of people with different instruments, but mainly melodeons, fiddles and a few nyckelharpas. Sometimes guitars and an occasional chromatic sccordion.

My problem with Swedish trad music is that my instruments don’t really fit in. The mandolin has too little sustain to be nice for Swedish tunes (some faster tunes can be nice though), and I’m not competent enough on the concertina to play Swedish tunes on it yet. I played the fiddle in the past but after my wrist injury I never got around to start with it again. I also stopped playing the melodeon, nothing I planned, it just happened.
This time I brought the mandolin and the concertina and was ok with it, especially after the coffee break when we started playing Irish tunes and oldtime tunes. :) The mandolin wasn’t very happy though, since the weather is changing, it’s colder and more dry, and my mandolin is with the “summer tuning”, I keep the action (distance between strings and frets) lower when the air humidity is higher, and with colder weather, it sounds like ****.

I actually decided to take up the fiddle again. It’s a lovely instrument and then there is this thing with my grandfather. He was a fiddler and also wrote some tunes, and I’m the one of the grandchildren who’s been interested in playing. I feel like I should pick up where he left off, and make his tunes live on. Also as a way to honour him and his music.

A friend of ours leads a tune workshop in Göteborg, that I used to attend earlier, in 2011-ish. I think I’ll try to attend the class this coming semester, although I won’t be able to be there every week, at least I’ll have the opportunity to play with other people and an organised way to start playing the fiddle again. Also, it will be wonderful to see those people again!! She has a faithful group of people who attend her workshops year after year, so I know some of them, which is great.

My wrist will probably hurt in the beginning so I’ll bring some other instrument other than the fiddle, to switch to if it gets bad. My “fiddle muscles” need to get used to playing again, you see…