Sunday, August 30, 2009

Advice for Fiddle Players

Fiddle music is very popular, and some of us even aspire to play this fine instrument. Some things to remember if you want to play the fiddle:

1. Practice, practice, practice! If a note is off-key and sounds like a finger scraping across a chalkboard, play it over and over and over and over and over until you get it right. Do this in a church if possible, where folks are less likely to kill you.

2. No matter how tight you are for money, do not substitute pig gut for catgut strings. It not only doesn’t sound right, but when the fibers heat up they tend to curl.

3. Never use your bow to play fetch with your dog. The slobber will affect the sound quality, as will attempting to play with any other object he chooses to bring back.

4. You will learn to play faster if you butter your strings.

5. A good way to get a job is to get to know all the fiddlers in your locality, then hide their instruments.

6. Once you start getting jobs, always dedicate one song to the wife of your host. Be sure it isn’t about murder or unrequited love.

7. Another way to earn money is to find a sponsor and play his theme music wherever you go. You will either be paid by the sponsor for advertising his product, or by your listeners for agreeing to play elsewhere.

8. A fine, sustained note impresses a crowd, and when done right can also kill flies.

9. Do not wink at anyone while playing. It will either earn you a black eye or extra helpings of Aunt Verna’s prune cake.

10. And last but not least: Always ask to be paid in paper bills. One is not weighed down with bags of coins and can run more quickly if need be.

copyright ©2009 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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