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bruce.molsky

The Problem

Your classical training prevents you from making old-time fiddle melodies and phrasing sound authentic.

The Solution

How many times have you had to field the question: “What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?” One of the things that jumps out when listeners first hear Southern old-time fiddling is how different the overall sound of the instrument is in that genre than in other fiddling styles. Even bluegrass fiddling, which is thought to be old-time music’s closest cousin, has a different “bite” and a different shape to the sound of the phrases.

There’s an adage that the last ten percent of a task done right takes 50 percent of the effort. That easily could have been written about learning old-time fiddling. Yet, compared to other styles, the melodies and phrasing in old-time fiddle music are pretty straightforward. But just “playing the notes” ...

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