Implementing Classical Technique in Fiddle Playing
Posted by PatrickClark
I thought I would post about a practice session I just had. As of late, I haven't had a lot of time to practice and I was worried about loosing chops. So, I started slow. I warmed up with an arpeggio
instead of a scale. I did three octaves so that I would get a good amount of elbow
movement in both arms. I focused on smooth bow transitions and all the proper things you are supposed to pay attention to. Within 20 minutes, I was humming right along. Then, I practiced a fiddle tune I had learned incorrectly a long time ago. To my surprise, that muscle memory was still there.
After years, it was still there! I couldn't believe it.
So, how did I solve the problem? I played a classical piece that I had learned correctly and analyzed what I was doing wrong. It turns out, that I lost my focus when I played the fiddle tune. I started thinking about other rings besides the notes I was playing. Consequently, my index finger on my right hand started to hurt a bit. I realized that I had practiced this
tune this way a long time ago and when I played it, I went to a different head space. So, I practiced the fiddle tune as if I was learning it all over again. This included a metronome, and focus. and playing it with all the classical technique I teach my students.
What's my point? My point is, that if you learn a tune by playing it too fast or by not focusing on it the entire time, you will forever play it incorrectly. That is unless you decide to do what I did and relearn the tune. The problem with this is that if you have to relearn the tune, why didn't you just learn it right to begin with.
The focus that comes with classical playing is critical to your fiddling!