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I’m Vi Wickam, and here’s a Quick Tip for the day! Hey, it could be your Quick Tip for the week!
Play for a dance!
Now a couple of weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of playing fiddle at a barn dance for one of my good fiddle friend’s weddings.
As I was playing there for 2 1/2 hours of playing breakdowns, pretty much constantly, for the whole time, without a break, without being able to slur very much- I thought this would make a great Quick Tip!
Play for a dance. Everybody should do it!
If you want to become a better fiddler- play for a dance. It is one of the best experiences you will ever have.
And at the end of the night, your arms might fall off… not for real…but they’ll feel like it! You will be a little worn out.
You won’t be playing slurs because you have to keep the beat strong.
And you’ll be in touch with the feeling of the dance. You’ll be in touch with the tradition of the music because, as I’ve told you before, fiddling is dance music.
So you’ll get in touch with they rhythm. You’ll keep your versions a little more simple because if it makes you break time, you’re going to realize that’s not going to work. So you have to keep it in time, keep it in rhythm.
And that’s going to be one of the important lessons you’re going to learn.
You’re also really going to get in touch with these tunes.
Because if you’re in a bluegrass jam, you may play this song through once or twice.
Whereas, when you’re playing in a dance band, or a barn dance, or a square dance, or a contra dance- you may play that tune for 5 or 10 minutes.
And you will play that tune, and play that tune, and play that tune, until it is so in your bones that you know that tune backwards and forwards, and right and left. You’ll know that tune like the back of your hand.
So get out there and play a dance! You won’t regret it.
You will enjoy, and you will be a better fiddler for it.
So go out there and play a dance. That’s your Quick Tip for today!