Category: Overcoming Obstacles

Tilting My Fiddle

My original title for this blog post was Tilting My Fiddle for Better Left Arm Position, Creating Less Upper Arm Tension, Allowing My Fingers to Better Cover the Strings, and Not Feel Pain in My Neck, but I thought it might be a tad too long, so I shortened it to Tilting My Fiddle. When…

Fixing Squeaky, Airy, and Scratchy Sounds

We all know them, and they can set our teeth on edge. Squeaky, airy, and scratchy sounds are all too familiar to new fiddle players. These sounds indicate bow hair that is not properly gripping and vibrating the strings. There are six common reasons why a new fiddler may be hearing these awful sounds, rather…

Practice Motivation and Excuses

Sometimes I have no motivation to practice. I can offer a lot of excuses. I’ll do it after this. I just don’t feel like it. I’m feeling frustrated. I’m feeling discouraged. I’m tired. My body aches. I’m too busy. I have other things to do. I can’t get to it. I just can’t seem to…

Trigger Finger

A few weeks ago I woke up and noticed the middle finger on my left hand was bent as if I was bent playing an F# on the D string. I had to consciously straighten it out, and with that it clicked back open. I bent it again and it stayed in that position until…

Baoding Balls

Yesterday, I wrote a blog entry about Hand Cramping. In the comments section, one of my readers, Stewart Holder, mentioned he has been using Baoding Balls to recover from hand cramps for over 20 years. Since I have never heard of Baoding Balls, I decided to do a little research. I found out Baoding Balls…

Hand Cramping

The Good News: I am back to practicing every day! The Bad News: I am experiencing a lot of hand cramping when practicing! Hand cramping is caused by muscle spasms, which is uncontrollable or involuntary muscle contraction. These spasms or contractions do not allow the muscle to become relax and cause pain prompting me to…

An Old Time Jam Session

The fiddle in America has always been a social instrument. Because of it’s small size, making it easy to transport, the fiddle was the premier instrument carried by many explorers and settlers as they made their journeys across America. It was used as the mainstay for listening entertainment, dancing, and just plain enjoyment. Fiddling skills…

Summertime and the Practice Ain’t Easy

I haven’t picked up my fiddle in 4 days! Today, I will finally have some time for practice. Last weekend was very good. I even recorded a new tune on Monday, Angeline the Baker. Then, everything began to fall apart. I was out of state for two days for a wake and funeral, came home…

Bow Grip Discovery

I have mentioned recently that I have become very frustrated with bowing straight. If I am just playing open strings, I can bow straight, probably because I don’t have to use any brain power remembering notes and fingering. However, once I do start to play a tune, I have a tendency to start off bowing…

Carving Out Time to Practice

As Winter wanes and Spring unfolds, I am experiencing a time squeeze on my daily fiddle practice. Gone are the Winter days when I was confined to the house because of cold weather, snow and ice with plenty of time for practice. With longer days and warmer temperatures, our seasonal home business is demanding more…