Vern's Verbal Vibe

Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of folk 'n' roll: spirit-filled sad songs made better.

September 30, 2013

Fiddler on the Goof

You'll recall my quasi-bluegrass tune, "Year of No Tomorrow," in which I quoted the opening bars of Coltrane's A Love Supreme on my virtual keyboard fiddle. Upon further reflection I loved the part, but the tonal qualities of the patch were wanting. In short, it sounded like a cheesy keyboard fiddle. I tried EQ'ing and remixing, but no avail. So, guess who's bought himself a fiddle for his birthday? Yup. Mine is the blue one:

It's a Stentor student violin, it cost me under $200, and no, I don't know how to play it. Yet. But I'm confident I will eventually. You see, many birthdays ago, circa Grade 8, I played violin in school, and I recall that after the initial screechy period I was able to produce some quite musical sounds. As for how I'll learn, I won't be entirely on my own because these days, all the violin lessons a beginner could want are available online for free (hooray for YouTube; pity the out-of-work violin teachers).

Sure, I could have hauled in a professional to play the part, but I'd rather do it myself. It's a bit of a goof, a lark, a fun challenge. My neighbours will hate me, but hey, a practice mute should mollify them. And I don't envision my fiddle as a one-shot deal: I have my eyes on a dulcimer next, and armed with a dulcimer and  fiddle I'm seeing some lovely British folk music in my future.

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