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About JB

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  1. Hi Stephen, Like Simon, I play Irish fiddle, too, and I'd say listening to all styles -- Old Time American, Irish, Cape Breton, etc.-- is the best thing you can do. Also, I don't know about American, but I'm sure you'll find some excellent Irish fiddlers at pub sessions around London. Some fine Irish fiddlers (late Bobby Casey, John Carty) played frequently in England. My two cents on style: one thing that for me is important is a kind of relaxedness in fiddling. I've played with some former-classical players, and they often attacked the notes with too much energy and power. Some fiddling styles are OK with higher energy than others, but the sounds I prefer happen when the player is relaxed and comfortable -- something that's possible with even the fastest, most complex tunes. Some players even play a bit behind the beat, to get a softer sound. Another thing: learn about the role that ornamentation plays in fiddling (more in Irish than in American) -- Once you get the fiddling to sound clean and relaxed, then try changing the tune each time around via very tasteful bits of ornamentation. And always listen to good players to determine what ornaments work, and where, and where they don't work. Jim
  2. PB, Perhaps this is none of my business, but after reading thru the messages, it occurs to me that: -- trust is a two-way thing, and if I were you, I would now have a hard time trusting my teacher, which means - I would consider looking for a new teacher. Jim
  3. I typically take my second fiddle to gigs and sessions, and even then I watch it closely. If I'm sure of the environment, and if there's no amplification, then I'll take the good fiddle. But if I might end up near a heater, etc., then I'll take the second one. Also, watch out for your bow. I was playing with a fine bow a few weeks ago and a waitress, delivering drinks to a table, walked into it (it's OK...)
  4. I think this kind of thing happens more than most people realize. For me, neighbors frequently tell me to "bring the fiddle" if I'm going to a party. My rule of thumb: I never bring it unless there'll be another musician there I can play with, like a guitar/piano player. And I do an Irish session once a week at a local pub. This is great, because now any time a neighbor says they want to hear me play, I tell 'em to come out to the session.
  5. Polecat, If you really want to learn, don't bother with videos or books. Take a plane to Galway, rent a car and go to the town of Kinvara, on Ireland's west coast -- about 30 minutes from Galway. Stop in at the Pier Head on a Sunday at around 5Pm, or at Green's Tavern on a Monday nite. You'll see Johnny McDonough, formerly with DeDannan, Riverdance and others, playing away quietly. Grab a beer and listen.
  6. Listen to different bodhran players, and note their differences in style, too. I've played with many drummers, and -- realizing this is a subjective thing -- I really prefer the drummer who plays quietly and easily, who doesn't try to overplay or, for that matter, take charge of the tempo. Some of the best drummers (I feel) simply supply a kind of quiet pulse behind the music, and when they do things like change pitch with the left hand, or play triplets, they don't stand out as much as make the entire tune more pleasing and interesting.
  7. I flew to Ireland in late November and Aer Lingus made me check the fiddle in as baggage -- wouldn't let me carry it on because it's longer than -- get this -- the allowable 18 inches. Also, they made me sign a waiver to absolve them of damages. So I'd bring the second fiddle, for sure.
  8. I like minidisk recording because you can mark spots on the disk and then return to them very fast. Also, you can erase sections you don't want to keep. Only problem is that I think MD is on the way out as a recording medium. The stores are dropping their MD recorders in favor of CD burners and MP-3 machines. So I wouldn't put a big investment into MD gear.
  9. The archival film footage was obviously edited and clipped throughout the video. I know that I would be more than willing to pay for videos of the complete archival films from which these clips were taken from. If there was enough interest from fellow Maestroneters, do you think it would be possible to get the ball rolling for the public production of these videos? ___________________________________________ Go, Noops, go.
  10. Ron Midgett of Easthampton Violin would be able to tell you about Blodgett -- check this website -- Ron's phone # is there... http://worldinmotion.com/easthamptonviolin/museumexhibit.htm
  11. Faves: Garrett Barry's, Trip to Athlone, Fig for a Kiss, The Butterfly, Paddy Hughes', Tonra's, The Nightingale (in fact, most anything by Sean Ryan), Out on the Ocean Dorky: Dingle Regatta
  12. Or go where the good fiddlers are -- Irish or old-timey sessions, square dances, etc.
  13. Does anyone have any information on Giorgio Bairhoff, who worked in Naples around 1760? I tried this on the Pegbox but got no response. Thanks!
  14. JB

    Bairhoffer Value?

    Any idea on the value of a 1757 violin in excellent condition made by Georgio Bairhoffer of Naples? I played one recently and it's a very fine instrument -- I'm just wondering how fine...