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Celtic Women


melody4u
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Just a silly question.....how many of you have had young girls come to you for lessons so that they can play like the Celtic Women?? I've had a few. I usually tell them they have to learn the basics before they can prance around with their violin on stage. I live down South and the other type student I get occasionally is a young man wanting to learn to play "The Devil came down to Georgia". I think it's really funny. What do some of you hear???

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Just a silly question.....how many of you have had young girls come to you for lessons so that they can play like the Celtic Women?? I've had a few. I usually tell them they have to learn the basics before they can prance around with their violin on stage. I live down South and the other type student I get occasionally is a young man wanting to learn to play "The Devil came down to Georgia". I think it's really funny. What do some of you hear???

++++++++++++++++++++++

I am not a violin teacher but I was a violin student for a long time and long time ago.

I am glad my teacher took me in when I told my teacher a lot of nonsense.

What matters most was that I stayed with my teacher for a long time. Whatever nonsense I requested

would be gone after a while with lessons..

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++++++++++++++++++++++

I am not a violin teacher but I was a violin student for a long time and long time ago.

I am glad my teacher took me in when I told my teacher a lot of nonsense.

What matters most was that I stayed with my teacher for a long time. Whatever nonsense I requested

would be gone after a while with lessons..

Yes, you are quite right. I never make fun of them and go out of my way to encourage them. I was just introducing a light moment on a hot day.

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Yes, you are quite right. I never make fun of them and go out of my way to encourage them. I was just introducing a light moment on a hot day.

+++++++++++++++++

My teacher told me nicely " you are ready for anything except playing in public "

I thanked him with a (bitter) smile. I said in retun " I don't make mistakes, only in practice and in your studio"

We understand each other.

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Every single person who takes up a hobby does so from an uninformed and often rather immature perspective--of course they do--they know nothing about the activity--they are beginners. I am not a teacher, but if someone wanted to start violin/fiddle lessons because of "Devil Went Down to Georgia"--a showy sensational fiddle piece, I would probably start them on the basics, and quickly get them playing a bar or two or three of the simple parts of this tune--and let them sample other fiddle/violin music that was fun/zanny to broaden their perspective. These folks are a different case in terms of motivation than the parent taking a child to lessons. A good teacher recognizes this and starts them where they are coming from. Never heard of the Celtic Women--will have to look them up.

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Máiréad Nesbitt plays great Irish fiddle but that's classical training you're hearing. She's a very talented performer and not limited to just Irish fiddle.

It doesn't hurt to teach young people to play some simple fiddle tunes without dwelling on how much training it takes to be really good.

Ech! There is nothing more abysmally awful than a classically trained violinist playing Irish music. Well, maybe a fiddler playing classical music comes close, but the two worlds do not mix if you are serious about either.

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I don't agree. Playing a fiddle style well takes study and dedication that most classical players aren't willing to do but good players can do both. There is nothing strange about being classically trained and also an all Ireland fiddle champion. Top commercial fiddle players may concentrate on a fiddle style but it isn't unusual to find some degree of classical. I've seen Mark O'Connor on TV playing Orange Blossom Special, maybe the most hackneyed fiddle tune of all time, but he managed to throw in a few bars from the Bach Chaconne in the middle of it just for fun.

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I don't agree. Playing a fiddle style well takes study and dedication that most classical players aren't willing to do but good players can do both. There is nothing strange about being classically trained and also an all Ireland fiddle champion. Top commercial fiddle players may concentrate on a fiddle style but it isn't unusual to find some degree of classical. I've seen Mark O'Connor on TV playing Orange Blossom Special, maybe the most hackneyed fiddle tune of all time, but he managed to throw in a few bars from the Bach Chaconne in the middle of it just for fun.

Maybe I should have prepended the word "traditional" to "Irish music". Those that record commercially nowadays are anything but trad. Yes they play traditional tunes but not traditional music. They think they do, and a largely uniformed public think they do, but they don't. As for the All Ireland, it's just a sham for kiddies and sad adults. Winning an All Ireland means nothing as an adult, there are a thousand people who could beat you but are too busy playing to join in with the Comhaltas middle-class games.

As Seamus Tansey said "Comhaltas was formed by a bunch of Dubliners to save Irish music. They didn't know it was alive and well here in the West of Ireland and didn't need saving." Unfortunately the world at large think Comhaltas *is* Irish music. Not so, far from it.

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I first picked up my fiddle ohhhhhh, some years ago, and made a promise to myself that I wouldn't be happy until I could play 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia'.

Well after all these years I still can't but that doesn't stop me trying!

In these years I've played in a well liked ceilidh band, do play in lots of sessions and still enjoy learning when I can; indeed I now go along to an amateur orchestra and happily do the second violin thing...by ear...but dont tell anyone!

The thing is, can all of these folks who diss 'The Devil went Down to Georgia', play it?

Honest answers please.

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I first picked up my fiddle ohhhhhh, some years ago, and made a promise to myself that I wouldn't be happy until I could play 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia'.

Well after all these years I still can't but that doesn't stop me trying!

In these years I've played in a well liked ceilidh band, do play in lots of sessions and still enjoy learning when I can; indeed I now go along to an amateur orchestra and happily do the second violin thing...by ear...but dont tell anyone!

The thing is, can all of these folks who diss 'The Devil went Down to Georgia', play it?

Honest answers please.

Yes, I can play it. As a classically trained violinist, I do not diss any style of music or piece. If people like it, enjoy. If I don't personally like it, then I don't play it or listen to it. (I like 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia' and it's kind of fun to play)

Just glad that "Ashokan Farewell' has passed its day. :)

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I've loved all your comments. Now to be truthful....I can't play "the devil came down to Georgia" or real fiddle music or fast Irish....but I love them. I was lucky to have had a great fiddle player to enjoy music with....and he taught me how to play by ear. That was wonderful and it freed me up to play and hear music better. I could never get his wonderful bowing right....and he was self-taught just by listening and watching the best. I think it's good to at least try as many types of music as you can....and enjoy them all...even if you can't play them better than the best. Music makes life much richer...and I think I'd die without it.

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Just a silly question.....how many of you have had young girls come to you for lessons so that they can play like the Celtic Women?? I've had a few. I usually tell them they have to learn the basics before they can prance around with their violin on stage. I live down South and the other type student I get occasionally is a young man wanting to learn to play "The Devil came down to Georgia". I think it's really funny. What do some of you hear???

++++++++++++++++++++

I do believe "traditional training" can bring a player or a student to go farther and can do more because

the way of holding the bow and having ability of reading music etc.

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In my younger days, I once told my teacher. " I am tired of scales and Kreutzer, can I do a bit fiddling?" She then asked me what music I would like to play. I told her someone played "Hillary's Polka and Molly's Waltz". She edited the music for me and I found it was quite easy to play this types of music after I was through half of the 42 Kreutzer Etudes.

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Look for "Lonesome Fiddle Blues" by Vassar Clements. That's the source. There is a transcription in the Fiddlers Fakebook, among other places.

http://www.musicnotes.com/download/viewer/...C7&dltype=0

Lots more choices, too, if you do and advanced Google search on ' "The Devil Went down to Georgia" sheet music '

With my own students I like to get them to "Devil's Dream" which is a bit easier well before they are half-way through Suzuki Book 1. In fact, it fits in well with the 4th or 5th Suzuki piece and helps those who want to play fast to "get some religion."

Andy

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"who want to play fast to "get some religion."

I know all they want in fiddling is speed. I feel every thing they play is rushed. I haven't heard a fiddler who can play a slow music with vibrato (and good intonation). For this reason, I cannot play in a jam session. Sometimes, too many people play the cords, it's very annoying. Another problem is: the piano always starts from the end (isn't that strange?) and I have no idea when I suppose to come in.

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"who want to play fast to "get some religion."

I know all they want in fiddling is speed. I feel every thing they play is rushed. I haven't heard a fiddler who can play a slow music with vibrato (and good intonation). For this reason, I cannot play in a jam session. Sometimes, too many people play the cords, it's very annoying. Another problem is: the piano always starts from the end (isn't that strange?) and I have no idea when I suppose to come in.

I guess you are talking about American fiddling? You'd be shot for using vibrato in Irish trad music. The only worse crime is mechanical bowing patterns a-la classical training. It always sounds like someone is using a sewing machine in the session.

I've spent most of my (moderately long) life playing Irish trad. It was only once I was comfortable that it was too ingrained to be lost to classical training I took up classical lessons. I know exactly how awful I still am at classical music and I know exactly how awful classical players are at trad, especially when they say they find it "easy". That usually means they think that playing the notes as written is all it takes, or perhaps throwing in the odd roll or cut. Tain't so, get yourself steeped in the tradition, and when you think you have it right come and live in Ireland for another ten years or so. If you hook up with the right *very* old guys here then you might eventually get it right :-) The young eejits selling "trad" CDs nowadays are our version of pop groups, Don't learn from them.

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"who want to play fast to "get some religion."

I know all they want in fiddling is speed. I feel every thing they play is rushed. I haven't heard a fiddler who can play a slow music with vibrato (and good intonation). For this reason, I cannot play in a jam session. Sometimes, too many people play the cords, it's very annoying. Another problem is: the piano always starts from the end (isn't that strange?) and I have no idea when I suppose to come in.

I guess you are talking about American fiddling? You'd be shot for using vibrato in Irish trad music. The only worse crime is mechanical bowing patterns a-la classical training. It always sounds like someone is using a sewing machine in the session.

I've spent most of my (moderately long) life playing Irish trad. It was only once I was comfortable that it was too ingrained to be lost to classical training I took up classical lessons. I know exactly how awful I still am at classical music and I know exactly how awful classical players are at trad, especially when they say they find it "easy". That usually means they think that playing the notes as written is all it takes, or perhaps throwing in the odd roll or cut. Tain't so, get yourself steeped in the tradition, and when you think you have it right come and live in Ireland for another ten years or so. If you hook up with the right *very* old guys here then you might eventually get it right :-) The young eejits selling "trad" CDs nowadays are our version of pop groups, Don't learn from them.

I agree with mayofiddler6, except I'd suggest living in Scotland: same sentiment though!

Slow gaelic airs, 2/4 Pipe Marches and Strathspeys are not about speed but feeling, syncopation and grace notes, things which don't show on the written music stave.

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Those that record commercially nowadays are anything but trad. Yes they play traditional tunes but not traditional music. They think they do, and a largely uniformed public think they do, but they don't. As for the All Ireland, it's just a sham for kiddies and sad adults.

Yep, it's folk rock. Entertaining in its own right sometimes, but it isn't quite folk music, just as classical music with a beat added isn't quite classical. And I don't know what it is about grabbing the bow in the middle and holding the fiddle funny. That doesn't quite make it traditional music either, to my ear.

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The method of learning is an interesting question, though. Anyone can learn this music and learn to play it well if they have respect for the tradition. But there's a wide range of polish and finesse between different traditions. If you grow up with traditional music and learn to play in a traditional style, you're a tradition bearer and you have a special gift, even if you lack a little polish. The price is that you may never be able to play anything else credibly.

If you learn to play with great tone and technique, you can still learn folk styles. If you respect and adhere to the tradition, you may be able to play the music wonderfully, even if you will never be mistaken for a tradition bearer. You can't go home again. But I love to hear both. Folk rock is something quite different. It can be especially creative and interesting, but not traditional.

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  • 1 month later...
Ech! There is nothing more abysmally awful than a classically trained violinist playing Irish music. Well, maybe a fiddler playing classical music comes close, but the two worlds do not mix if you are serious about either.

Jay Ungar had classical violin lessons as a kid....I SERIOUSLY doubt anyone would claim his playing is abysmal :)

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