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Learning to play the fiddle (Irish music style). Any thoughts??

(9 Posts)
eliphant Sat 26-Dec-15 22:39:36

DD is G2 at moment, but likes Irish style violin music. Wondering if it is something different to the kind of classical violin she is learning. Would she need to go to a different teacher? Can she learn it herself? Is it too early for her to learn? It looks hard because the fingers move so fast in Irish music though. Should she be at a certain grade before learning it? And if she needs a different teacher to teach it, would it be a violin teacher who is listed as specialising in "folk music" who is best?

Sorry, many questions! She is going well with her playing so far. She got a distinction in G1 in July and going for G2 in April next year. She likes playing fast but needs work on her dynamics. She is impatient by nature. Classical is fine for her if she likes the song but otherwise she doesn't really like it. Was thinking one day she might enjoy learning fiddle music more than violin, but I notice many good fiddle players can also play classical violin pretty well. I do wonder if people generally learn the one formally and then pick up the other on the side or something.

I don't know much about violin playing or fiddle music as you can tell, but maybe some of you here do and can tell me a little more about it.

eliphant Sat 26-Dec-15 22:46:34

I meant Irish Ceilidh music - the kind with the Irish tap dancing

Noteventhebestdrummer Sat 26-Dec-15 22:51:08

Get Jigs Reels and Hornpipes by Huws Jones - it's a great book for this level and beyond. Then look online for resources and recordings. You might find a course she could do like the one I did with 2 DC at Band on the Wall in Manchester.

Ferguson Mon 28-Dec-15 20:33:37

I don't know if 'fiddle' and 'violin' are two different instruments, are they, or is it just the STYLE of playing that is different?

I played drums (regular kit) in a barn dance band and our violin player also taught clarinet, and was in a military band as well.

He was a competent violinist, and we also played standards, Latin, ballads and party music, with two accordions and sometimes guitar. One accordion was MIDI electronic, so had bass and other sounds available.

Playing 'fast' is good, but timing and accuracy are more important than just speed!

If I find out more, I'll come back sometime.

treaclesoda Mon 28-Dec-15 20:38:02

There is definitely a different 'style' to the way they play. I know someone who is a very highly regarded traditional fiddle player and she holds her violin and particularly the bow in a different way. But I also know that she learned classical violin at school, so the two definitely aren't incompatible. I'm not sure which one she learnt first though, I must ask her...

But if your DD enjoys traditional style music more than classical then I say go for it, there is no point doing one type of music if there is another that you would enjoy more. Music is meant to be enjoyable. smile

Ferguson Mon 28-Dec-15 22:37:20

Here are a few ideas, but there are plenty more out there:

www.alan-ng.net/irish/learning/

www.allthingsstrings.com/Technique/FIDDLE/How-to-Make-Irish-Fiddle-Music-Sound-Irish

fiddlingaround.co.uk/ireland/index.html

thesession.org/discussions/32476

However, I would suggest a good Classical training to Grade 5 or so should come first.

eliphant Fri 01-Jan-16 19:36:31

Thanks! Very helpful smile

Luckystar1 Fri 01-Jan-16 19:42:31

They're the same instrument. Just a different word. Most Irish music, traditionally, is learned by ear, so she might find it an easier way than trying to learn in the classical, sheet music style.

It's mostly just about listening, getting the gist, and joining in, all rather fluid and natural. (It's easier than it sounds honestly!)

It's great fun, and I would definitely suggest she looks up any local Irish trad sessions in your area so she can really get a feel for it!

slightlyglitterpaned Fri 01-Jan-16 19:58:53

Not all fiddle players are classically trained too. I chatted to one at a folk night who was very envious of those with classical training (he sounded fantastic though!

It may be worth getting the book suggested and asking her teacher if they could do a few of the pieces together?

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