Fiddle Introductions: Part II, T. Fiddle

As I mentioned in my first entry, Aisling was no longer working out for me.  I didn’t want to go through a lot of money and trouble to find those “perfect” strings, because I had a feeling no matter what I tried, I’d be disappointed.   It’s a low-end fiddle, and I’m sure there is only so much I can do (I would love to replace the bridge, but wondered if even that would be worthwhile).  There was just something about Aisling’s tone that literally hurt my ears.  Plus, I just felt clumsy like I had no idea what I was doing (and I was definitely practicing enough).  I chatted with my fiddle/mandolin-playing friend, C., and her banjo/fiddle/mandolin-playing husband, T.  They loaned me T. Fiddle (I named it after her husband — T. Fiddle is one of his two fiddles).  I was excited to try another instrument to see what I might like about this one, and to see if it would help me.  The tone was also a lot warmer to my ears.

Not only was I excited to try another fiddle, it seemed to be working!  I started feeling like I was making progress again.  It was a HUGE help, and a much appreciated gesture from friends.  There were a few quirks I had to get used to.  T. Fiddle is a little more touchy to temperature changes, so I had a fight with the strings depending on how hot or cold it was.  In summer, the wood expands so much I can’t budge the pegs.  In winter, they not only come out of tune, I’ve found a peg on the floor after getting spit out from the string unwinding so hard!  There are some things I would love to have if I ever buy another fiddle, so trying another one has been a big help.

Unfortunately, I started having more problems again.  I’m self-taught, so I probably have some bad habits that keep me from progressing until I discover and fix them.  I had some issues with sore hands.  My left hand would not relax, no matter how hard I tried, and eventually even my right — the bowing hand — ended up stiff and sore.  I tried my best to limit practice times, to ease into faster songs, and just to relax.  I ended up letting the fiddles sit for a while out of frustration, and because the holidays were keeping me busy.  My husband ended up laid off a few days before Christmas, so I didn’t want to disturb him with my practicing while he was trying to write, job hunt, or deal with important paperwork.  If I feel like I’m going to be disturbing someone, which happens when I don’t feel confident, it’s a vicious cycle and I get worse and worse.

I started questioning my ability to play the fiddle.  I didn’t want to stop, but I didn’t want to hate it either.

Next Monday: My realization, and another fiddle!

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
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7 Responses to Fiddle Introductions: Part II, T. Fiddle

  1. It’s weird when you’re sitting there and a fiddle pops and unwinds. Texas’ 60s/70s temperature one day and 20s/30s the next has to make fiddles creak and groan.

    T-fiddle is cool. It’s nice seeing dual fiddles around.

    I do hope you can get the perfect fiddle in the not-too-distant future, because I love hearing you play.

  2. Yeah, I can sometimes hear them creaking or popping all the way back here.

    T Fiddle has been a HUGE help, but I do agree… I hope I’m able to get a new fiddle sometime soon. I’m sure T. would like his fiddle back — he’s been incredibly kind letting me borrow it for this long! I sometimes flip-flop on making a few changes to Aisling to see how I might do with that fiddle so I can return T Fiddle. I’m not sure how long it’ll be before we can buy me a new one — even if I suddenly had the funds, I’m not sure how long it would take to find the one I really want, you know?

  3. Mary says:

    It’s good you’ve had experiences with 2 fiddles to help you know the wide range of differences out there.

    I really enjoy this series, and I look forward to next week’s entry! The reminders are really helpful.

  4. Mary: I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series! I wanted to do something a little special to introduce the music part of my interests. Although I had already written all three parts, I’m already finding myself having to make a decision about what to do next. I think I need to get Aisling worked on and take T Fiddle back to its home soon — I have borrowed it long enough already. I’ll definitely miss it, but I’m so incredibly glad to have had the chance to try another instrument to see what else I might want for a future fiddle. I’m a little nervous that Aisling will give me fits no matter what I do to improve her, but I’ll just have to make do for a little while longer, I think.

    I hope to occasionally do things like this — unfortunately I don’t think I would have enough to do a series like this too often, but I’ll have to see. It’s kind of fun!

  5. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Fiddle Introduction: Part III, P. Fiddle

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