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Everything posted by toc

  1. Well, I have a Heinrich E. Heberlein job labeled 1922, and no matter what its lowly pedigree may be it has very nice tone for the fiddling I do. On the other hand, my '20s "Jacobus Stainer" factory job is a real canoe paddle....
  2. My instruments are not costly ones. My main fiddle (which I love and which has a terrific tone for old-time fiddling) is labeled 1921 Heinrich E. Heberlein Jr. My "beater" fiddle is your typical Stainer factory job from about the same time. So these are not what you'd call fine instruments, MANFIO. I've been playing for many years, but I recently started wondering this about cross-tunings. Oh, and I use Prim steel strings on my good fiddle and Pirastro Chromcors on my "second fiddle".
  3. Hi, I am a fiddler who plays old-time, and thus I use odd tunings. My question: I often tune AEAE or ADAE (please don't poke fun), and so I leave one of my fiddles tuned to one of those tunings. Question: Knowing how sensitive these instruments are, am I causing stress on my fiddles when I store them tuned "up" like that? Should I tune them back to standard when I put them away after playing? thanks...mike
  4. After saying all that, I certainly hope you enjoy the 10 hours of being detained that would follow.... :-)
  5. I'm happy to say that the screener did no apparent damage to my fiddle (not sure of the value...1922 H. E. Heberlein, half-decent box for fiddling but hardly a valuable instrument, execpt to me). However, what if he knocked the soundpost down or something while doing this? People who don't play violin or fiddle have no idea how fragile these things are.
  6. You asked what I played for the screeners. I'm a fiddler, so I played "Soldier's Joy," which is like the Esperanto of fiddle tunes.
  7. I fly with my fiddle every couple months from New York to Vancouver. The only bad things that have happened with my fiddle are: 1. One ham-handed TSA fellow insisted on sticking a dental mirror into the f-holes to look for, well, whatever. 2. At a small airport, the security crew playfully did not let me pass till I played them a tune, which after 12 hours of traveling I was not in the mood to do. But I did it anyway.
  8. UPDATE: Saw the luthier today. He says he thinks I wasn't cautious in "pulling back" the bridge before each tuning; he says my current setup is the most sensitive I've had and that I need to be more careful with it. (Imagine...telling a fiddler who plays old-time music to "be careful...") Denouement: He offered to replace the bridge free of charge, since he was the one who installed it six weeks or so ago. I was not going to ask him to do this. I think this is a very nice gesture and will continue to speak highly of his shop.
  9. I will call the guy tomorrow and report back...thanks, all!
  10. I don't have the best eyesight, but it didn't look to be leaning....
  11. Six weeks ago, I had a new "winter" bridge put on my fiddle by a highly respected local violin shop. I am a fiddler who tends to play pretty hard. I'd played it for a couple weeks and it sounded just great. The other night (luckily at home rather than at a gig) I noticed the fiddle kept going out of tune, which is unusual for my instrument. Then, suddenly, the damned bridge snapped clean in half lengthwise. Stupid question, perhaps, but any idea how this could happen? And for those of you who do repairs: Would I be within my rights to ask the repairman, who has a good reputation in town, to replace the bridge for free?
  12. The bowing is indeed the thing, especially in old-time playing. I can't read, but I don't think there is a way to write it. You gotta hear it and learn it by ear.
  13. And happy violining to you!
  14. Right, La.... No war at all here. I have no interest whatever in playing classical music. In fact, I have been playing for nearly 30 years and can't read. Just wanted to point out that to a fiddler, chances are "hand position" is totally irrelevant. And yes, call it rustic or whatever, fiddlers generally want a different sound than do classical players.
  15. Oh, and TropMom, a question: I don't understand your "thing of horror" comment about hand positions. A lot of fiddlers don't think about things like hand positions because it's not relevant to traditional music. It reminds me of a comment someone made a while back on this board about how posture is important and that they were horrified at the posture some fiddler had. This made me laugh, since I could not at all understand why posture was relevant. Someone posted a good point: that if I went to see the Philadelphians and half of them had their legs crossed or were hunched down, I'd be horrified. True. Because it's relevant in classical music. In fiddling it's not relevant. Fiddlers don't worry about hand positions. That's just the way it is. These are two different musical worlds with two different sets of rules.
  16. I'm a fiddler who plays old-time music. Suggestion: there is an excellent fiddler named Brad Leftwich (Leftwitch?) who has a couple instructional videos that I hear are quite good. What I really recommend is finding the local fiddle session...there probably is one near you somewhere...and going there weekly, sitting in the background and playing softly. You will learn more in a month of that than you ever will from any video.
  17. Thanks for the interesting response.
  18. Curious what people think of this... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...mp;category=359
  19. I fully agree on its value as folk art...esp. since I'm a fiddler and not a violinist. But man, this thing is homely. Imagine someone actually playing it. Amazing.
  20. The Quasimodo of fiddles... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...mp;category=357
  21. I remember going through something like this on the board a while back. I really can't relate to the violinists' view on this. I have always been a fiddler and never and violinist, and posture has never been of any import to me whatsoever. The other fiddlers I play with...and there are some damned good ones...don't have any concern at all about posture. To each their own.
  22. Hey...like me, Bobbi is a fiddler...fiddlers don't care a dang about posture..
  23. Hi, Bobbi...long time no see... I try to break out of slumps by trying new rosin...by buying new strings...by fiddling in a place I usually don't, including outside or a different room in the house...by tackling a new tune that's been rolling around in my head forever, or by revisiting a tune I haven't played in years. Some ideas. cheers, mike
  24. toc

    Price book?

    Hi... I once had a guy look at my favorite fiddle, which bears the label Heinrich E. Heberlein 1922. He gave me his opinion and looked it up in some sort of manual before giving me a rough price. I didn't think to ask him what the manual was. Any idea what it might have been? I'd be really interested to read through such a book. Of course, since I like this fiddle, relatively cheap though it might be, it is priceless in my eyes. Thank you, Mike
  25. Well, sessions also are a great way to immerse yourself in my favorite style...American old-time, or old-timey. Yeah, like Donna says on that link to her fiddle page, it may sound scratchy to you violinists, but it'll be music to your ears once you get to know the style. Our old-time sessions here in the Albany, N.Y., area are rollicking good times, and that's not to mention the all-night campground sessions at our local festivals. As for recordings to listen to if you want to get your feet wet, I recommend the '20s Georgia band called Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers. Or the later recordings of Tommy Jarrell of North Carolina. Or some of the great modern folks, like Bruce Greene or the Red Mountain White Trash or Highwoods String Band. Lots of great, great music in this genre. I play French Canadian and Irish because, where I live, I have to. I play old-time because I LOVE to. I'm self-taught. I can't read music. I don't hold the fiddle or the bow "right," or so I am told. But for some 30 years I have been having the greatest time anyone has ever had producing music. mike
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