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Mr.Scratchy's Achievements

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  1. Hello! I'm more of a fiddler kinda guy (I play by ear) but I know that a heckuva lot of you are classically trained. You guys read music right? Anyone have sheet music for any of David Rubinoff's pieces? I have a dear friend who is looking for "Danse Russe", "Dane of the Russian Peasant" and others and I'd love to help him out. He found them somewhere but they wanted $60.00 to make xeroxes for him and that was too rich for his blood. If you could help or even just point me in the right direction I'd really appreciate it. Thanks and take care everyone, Matt.
  2. Time to confess. I had a truly stupid accident this week with super glue that I thought I'd share with you fine folks. I was making a new mandolin bridge out of ebony and decided to glue a bone "cap" on the top of the bridge to give the strings a good hard contact point. Anyhow....the super glue bottle was a little clogged and when I exerted some pressure the glue squirted onto my hands. Not wanting to mess up the bridge, I sucked the glue off my hand. Bright huh? It was just one of those reflexes that I obviously didn't think through. So I was down in my shop with my teeth glued together and my tongue glued to the back of my teeth. After much jaw grinding and explitive humming my teeth and tongue came free and I learned my lesson. Don't lick up excess glue. My wife just wonders why I've been flossing so much lately (still some residue)....
  3. I use about 3 parts water to 1 part glue. I use a hairdryer to thoroughly heat the pieces to be glued, spread on the glue (thinly) to both surfaces with a brush or knife, clamp, wipe off the excess (with a warm watered rag) and heat it all one more time with the hairdryer. The only time I've ever had something not stick is when I skipped the hairdryer part. Heat yer banjar and glue away my friend!
  4. I have the double curse of being both an artist and a musician - two professions that are usually preceded by the adjective "starving". Happily I'm not starving though. I pay the bills by doodling. I'm a commercial artist - I illustrate for a wide variety of clients from big companies that you've all heard of, to a job I got drawing "Diarrhea Boy". It's pretty great drawing for a living. Not to mention that it has given me enough free time to apprentice with a violin maker a few days during the week. Maybe some day I'll also be selling violins that I make. Who knows.....
  5. Polecat - I went to the Old Time Music Week at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, North Carolina (just outside Asheville). Go. Really great place. Brad Leftwich was teaching an advanced fiddle class and I hope to be in his class next year (if I go - I may be taking some lutherie courses instead). John Herrmann wasn't an instructor but he came to the jams almost every night - along with a guy named Polo (who is thanked on the Songs From The Mountain CD for the use of his cigar box fiddle) - he was French I think. Man whatta player. Anyhow, the music was wonderful - especially the jams. There would be maybe 10 different jams going on in different rooms every night and you could just stick the fiddle under your arm and go the the jam that was your speed or listen to the folks that were way beyond your own abilities. It took me a couple weeks to come down off my fiddle-high after the camp. Go! BrooklynFiddler - The Boss is an important person and, well, it is in everyone's best interest if she is happy. On the other hand, if you go, then you could talk shop with lotsa other folks (and stop boring her with fiddle-talk) and you'd come back a VERY happy little BrooklynFiddler and you'd be nicer to live with. I'm sure she'll understand. You could also take her! They had plenty of beginning classes in banjo and fiddle and they had workshops for dancing and apalachian singing and stuff like that. Hmmmmm. It's worth considering - believe me. My wife was happy I went. She got a week's worth of rest from both my playing and my talking about fiddles. Take care and hope to see you there sometime!
  6. Hello! I know you weren't asking me about camps but I have to chime in. This year I went to my first music camp and it was more fun than I could even begin to describe. I went to the Old Time Week at Mars Hill and I swear I left playing twice as good as I did when I came. I was nervous at first about my skill level but happily found that I could hold my own. There really is a place for everyone. There were people who had to be told that the scroll goes AWAY frow your head, to people that sound like they really couldn't get much better - a lot of folks go year after year after... I can't speak for all the camps but this one was great. You had the option of putting together a band with other campers (who played bass, guitar, banjo, dulcimer, or mandolin) or just woodshedding on your own and attending "slow jams" to learn tunes. There were classes during the morning, an afternoon concert, an evening concert, and jams every night where people literally came out of the mountains (and from Japan) to play with us. The jams went well into the morning. The instructors were also wonderful. Not only were they BIG players, but they were entirely accessible as well. They lived in the dorms with us, they ate with us, they were at all the jam sessions. Wonderful people. Where else can a guy who had only be fiddling for 6 months play with Brad Leftwich, Alice Gerrard, John Herrmann, Kay Justice, etc.. and not be playing with CDs? If you're interested at all I would say GO! Very fun, learned a lot, and I have tapes of tunes to learn for the rest of the year. Woohooo!
  7. Hmmmmmm. Or I guess you could play with ebony thimbles on your left fingers so that all of your fingered notes would sound like the open strings. Just a thought.
  8. Mr Scratchy, If Desert Rat follows your advice, his soundpost will likely wind up not standing at all. Mark - it shouldn't fall. Not if it has been cut correctly. The soundpost should stand on its own accord. If it does fall, then it most certainly needed a luthier's adjusting anyhow so it's time to go to the violin shop. I would never advise any tinkering that would hurt anything. That's all.
  9. Michael is right - sometimes it's hard to tell if a soundpost is straight up and down by looking through the f holes. If you feel like taking things apart, take out the end button and peek at the soundpost - that's a better way to see if it is fitted properly. Your luthier will be able to see in an instant if it is straight or if it was properly fitted in the first place. Good luck!
  10. I've done a few books for Scholastic, some funny little wheel things to teach multiplication tables to kids, stuff for a few kid's magazines, Chattanooga's Creative Discovery Museum, oh - do you ever go to the Great American Cookie Co.? I draw all their in-store promo stuff as well. Glad you liked it!
  11. Journey, there's just gotta be some fiddling jam sessions near you. You're hopefully not the only one! Do you subscribe to Fiddle L? Here's their web address: http://www-openmap.bbn.com/users/gkeith/fi...s/fiddle-l.html Subscribe and ask if there are any good jam sessions or good fiddle teachers in your area and you're sure to get a nibble. Good luck!
  12. I'd either stop lessons all together (for your fiddling - not for your classical side) with your current teacher or find a real fiddler to learn from. I took half a dozen fiddle lessons when I started just to learn how to hold the darn thing but stopped as soon as I started playing out. That's the second thing to do - play out! There's bound to be other people like you where you live who get together and jam. I have 3 different places I can go every week where I live to suck in as much fiddle music as is humanly possible. Get your fiddle and go to a jam session and sit to the right of the best fiddler in the place. Watch and listen and jump in! Fiddling and classical playing are different creatures entirely. I hope you don't hurt your classical chops by going to the fiddle side - but you are in for a helluva lot of fun. Wonderful people too. Brooklynfiddler is on the mark. I agree with him on all counts. I also strongly recommend surrounding yourself with fiddle music. It'll get into your blood and after you hear enough you'll not only be able to play what you hear, but you'll be able to play tunes you've never heard before - many of the techniques are the same from song to song as well as the bowing patterns and rhythm stresses. Hmmmm. Brad Leftwich is great - I also had the pleasure of sitting in with him quite a bit this summer and just playing across from him and watching his bow and fingers tought me more than any lesson. Oh - as for bow technique goes - Brad showed me a video of Tommy Jarrell where they taped him playing with a light attached to his right hand.That's what Brad was talking about when he talked about writing letter "e"s with the frog. Tommy would swoop and fling the bow around in a hypnotic caligraphic fashion that is both willy expressive while being in complete control. Try to see it if you can find it. Anyhow, a classical teacher can't begin to teach you what you can learn from simply listening watching and playing. Good luck!
  13. I don't know if this is what you're looking for but I received a couple CDs from Amazon today that are absolutely incredible! It sounds like you are looking for Irish fiddlers but do you like Old Time American fiddlers? If you do I STRONGLY RECOMMEND ED HALEY! I hadn't heard him before today but had read and heard a lot about him and his playing for quite some time and all I can say is that the CDs are perfect. Just what the fiddle doctor ordered. The CDs, ED HALEY VOLS. 1 & 2, (both having 2 CDs) were recorded from 78s (some aluminum, some wax on cardboard) that had been floating around Ed's family since they were recorded. Go to Amazon and take a listen. Truly amazing playing that transports you to a different place and time. That's my $.02 - good luck!
  14. I've always felt that although Monroe wasn't as successful, he was a fine luthier in his own right. Monroe was simply misunderstood and certainly ahead of his time both as a violin maker and as a hamster.
  15. Glad you liked my doodle! It just made me happy and thought I'd share it with some fellow fiddlers/violinists. Maybe a nice practice aid? I hope it's not toooooo cute (in a sickening way) - sometimes cute things just have a tendency to fall onto my paper.
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