ready to convert... classical to bluegrass!

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Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Groups: None
ready to convert... classical to bluegrass!

Hi all,

I'm new at this. I'm moving to the Hartford area of connecticut in a few months and am looking to learn how to fiddle. I played classical violin through high school, took about a decade off, miss playing, but am ready for something new. Does anyone know a teacher in the area who could teach me the ways of bluegrass fiddle?


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jfiddle - I don't know of

jfiddle - I don't know of teachers in the area, but your background sounds a lot like mine. Classical violin training through high school and a bit into college, work became a priority for the better part of 10 years with little playing, followed by getting back into playing.

I still play classically, but I've found playing folk styles to be so rewarding and just plain fun.

I recommend finding several local jams and attending them as regularly as you can. A teacher is helpful, but I suspect you'll find as I did that simply diving in is really important.

If your goal is competition fiddling, then a teacher is very important. If you want to learn to improvise or get better at improvisation, get out and just do it.

Learn cording on the fiddle if you don't know it, learn the I, IV, V chords in G, D, A and C to start with and go play.


PS: Consider getting a mandolin. Fiddle to mando is not "hard" once you get past not having a bow, and it helps to have a rhythm instrument at bluegrass jams.

Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Groups: None
Awesome! Thanks Scott.

Awesome! Thanks Scott. Glad to hear that there are other folks out there who have switched styles successfully. I'm excited to get out there and give it a go. I've tried a bit on my own, and at this point I just need to get over sounding so stiff. I joke that I sounds like a ballerina trying to dance hip-hop. But I suppose I'll loosen up with time and practice. Thanks for the advice and happy fiddling.


Jump In

Sharon Hall
Our backgrounds are much the same. You know how to play, just start playing to get your chops back. Find a nice jam, sit in the back and doodle quietly away.
I still have at times the "classical" sound mixed up with all the styles that I have played in my 54 years of playing. In some areas, if you play in tune, you are classical!
I call myself a "Folk" fiddler.
It is a plus if you can learn to play by ear or memory, many times a jam can lose its punch, playing time wasted, waiting for page turning (just my opinion). Jump in and get your boots full.
Most of all, HAVE FUN!

Joined: 27 May 2008
Groups: None
Finding a teacher / Fiddle resources

I'd recommend checking out the website AKA the Fiddler's Hangout. It is basically just a huge huge community of fiddlers. It's super nice, friendly, and the forum has tons of lessons and advice and info. There's almost certain to be someone on the hangout who can point you to a local teacher, and there's just a bunch of resources for fiddle players there. I highly recommend it for any aspiring fiddler.
Best wishes, Jessica

Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Groups: None
Starting to feel at home

Starting to feel at home here - I've got the same background. Played first chair second violin in high school. But it has been 30 years since I picked up my fiddle. Just like riding a bike. :) I'm LOVING it - can't stay away from my old fiddle. Found Bluegrasscollege and a couple of Mel Bay books that came with tracks and I'm thrilled. Would love to find some more gospel and bluegrass sheet music that comes with tracks to practice. Seems a good place to start, other than the jam sessions. Not too many in my area - maybe some will pop up as the site grows.

Joined: 5 Jun 2009
Groups: None

Hi Lady,

There is a wonderful computer program you might try to get some good jamming practice. It is called "Band in a Box" and it is easy to use and a very valuable musical companion. You simply type in the chords, set a tempo, select a style of music (bluegrass, rock, jazz or any of 500 others) and press the play button. It is fabulous.

Joined: 8 Aug 2009
Groups: None
try BMAD?

You should try BMAD, a monthly jam in Bethany CT. There are tons of bluegrass musicians playing and networking there. I'm sure you would get some great advice. The date for August has not been posted yet, but will be soon.

re: BMAD

Hi tone,

Would you want to share the details of BMAD with the whole site by posting it as a regular jam: ?

If you add the event via this form then it will show up on all of our maps and calendars and be available for people searching specifically in that area. You don't have to "own" the event to post it on folkjam, only be able to occasionally verify that it is still occurring.


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