Aren’t these Norwegian fiddles adorable?! Rhetorical question. They are adorable. I wonder how my $60 fiddle would feel about a metallic sharpie makeover?
After several months of attempting to teach myself to play the fiddle, I am slightly less horrible than I was when I first picked up the instrument. Which may be more a testament to how bad it sounded nearly a year ago than anything else.
I still scratch and squeak and play the not-so-occasional wrong note. However, I can play a handful of songs competently (notice how I didn’t say “well”). My favorites so far are: Ida Red, Shortnin’ Bread (the ultimate beginner fiddle song), Home on the Range, Run Johnny Run, and Sugar Hill. I can also play House of the Rising Sun and Amazing Grace, but only a few notes actually sound like the song. Sometimes I have to just tell Trevor what I’m playing because it is too hard to guess simply by listening to my cat scratch.
The fun part though is that playing the fiddle is a surprisingly easy concept. Since it is a stringed instrument it operates similar to a guitar. The most difficult aspect is keeping the bow touching only one string at a time when you intend to. The other strings often jump out and slide against the bow when they aren’t supposed to. Then again, that may just be me.
Trevor is a wonderful guitar player and also has a mandolin. We have been learning a lot of the fiddle songs in my book, Old-Time Fiddle for the Complete Ignoramous, together, he on the mandolin and myself on the fiddle. Incase you have never seen a mandolin before, the strings are the same notes as the fiddle, but are in pairs. It makes it easy to do ear piercing duets.
The other day Cami dug through all her crap to find her harmonica and we all played together. She also insisted that we march down the road like a parade, playing our instruments, but I told her that our neighbors probably wouldn’t appreciate it. She was disappointed, but our neighbors have done nothing to warrant such torture.