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Fiddler gone keyboard!!

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I play fiddle, and have always wanted to play keyboard. So I bought one yesterday! Must admit, I am wondering if I am mad trying to perfect my fiddle and learn keyboard at the same time - any advice??

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Go for it. I took up piano about a year and half ago, and have made pretty good progress. I've been surprised by how easy it is to transfer some of the skills I have from fiddling. I knew I had good control of my left hand fingers, but was surprised at how quickly I transferred that control to the right hand - the skill is as at least as much a mental one, how to direct your fingers, as a physical one. I'm currently working on the Chopin "Minute" Waltz, and the right hand is quite easy, even at speed. The left hand is another matter - jumping up and down the keyboard, and hitting the chords accurately are things that will take me a lot of time to be able to do comfortably.

That kind of music - melody in the right hand, accompaniment in the left - is where I've made most progress. At the moment I'm trying a Bach Fugue as well, which is totally infuriating. I'm not used to thinking in four parts, let alone tieing my fingers in knots trying to play them all. smile.gif

I've also found that the discipline of learning a new instrument has helped my fiddling. I've always had a tendency to tense up in the shoulders when the fiddling hots up - I find it much easier to notice this tension (and get rid of it) when I'm at the keyboard, and that skill is gradually transferring back to my fiddling.

I suggest in the early stages you spend all your practice time on the keyboard. Let yourself get obsessed with it. About a year ago I even went a whole month without playing my fiddle, not through choice but because I just didn't think of it. That was actually a bit scary, but things have settled down and I now find that if I hit a plateau on one instrument, I spend some time on the other.

Anyway, enough rambling - none of that was really the advice you asked for, except to say go for it, you're not mad. smile.gif

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It's always a good idea for fiddlers to take up some rudimentary keyboard skills. In that way they can then analyse their string music and understand and appreciate the harmonic structure of the music. This is often lost with melody line instruments (just using the term loosely here!).

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I'm the opposite of you: piano player turned fiddler! Either was, we get the best of both worlds, not to mention more money if we actually get a paying gig 'cause we can do it all! Pick up the guitar next, then you can have a one-man-band.

Ava

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I'm also the other way around - I've been a piano player since I was 7 and now I'm learning the violin at 25 (been 9 months now!). I found that having a piano background really helps with my violin playing as I don't have to worry about learning to read notes, rhythm etc. I can fully concentrate on my bowing and learing different positions. My violin teacher also teaches piano, she reckons that it's more advantageous to have a piano background first, then switch to another instrument later.

Something interesting though.... every time I play the piano now, my left hand is louder than my right.... it must be from pressing hard on the fingerboard

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I'm the same as you, started piano at 5 and took lessons off and on for the next 10 years or so. I've been taking violin lessons for a year and 9 months now, started in my mid 30's (don't want to get too exact!). I take piano lessons twice a month and 2 hour violin lessons twice a month. I don't like to practice either instrument daily so this works out great for me. I love both instruments and plan on taking lessons as long as I can. I think learning the violin has helped me with the piano and vice versa. Mad fiddler, if you enjoy playing the piano then I don't think you'll regret it, unless it ends up taking too much time away from your fiddle.

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