Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fiddle Women

I attended the second gathering of the women's fiddle group last night. Before the gathering I spent some, but not enough, time learning "Booth Shot Lincoln," which the larger group has been playing for a few months now. It is a perky little tune, despite its name, and repetitious, which makes it both easy and initially confusing to memorize. It's in the key of A, which is not so easy on the cello as it is on the fiddle. I'm playing around with the octaves on the B part of the tune; I like the low sound on the cello, but the high octave might suit this tune better.

It took me forever to tune my cello last night. Perhaps it did not like the journey out into the cold because it usually holds a tuning very well. I finally got it in tune as the group was finishing up "Booth." Because this is a kindly group, we played it again later so that I could practice it too. This is a good tune because it is played at a speed I can handle, though I didn't quite get all the notes last night. Obviously I need to practice the tunes every day, not just the day before the session. We played the Scottish tunes I brought to the group last time, as well as some others we've been working on. All in all it was a good session, except that the host's dog insisted on barking loudly at the cello. Frequently. I've never had such a negative reaction to my playing!

I like this group for many reasons, not the least of which is that we are focusing on a small group of new tunes, rather than playing a whole selection of new (to me) tunes each time. The people (9 women tonight) are good and dedicated players, we tolerate sheet music, we play a little slower than the main group of fiddlers to better learn the tunes, and we meet only once or twice a month, which fits into my schedule. All I have to do is remember to practice between sessions, and all will be well.


Guanaco said...

I'm still chuckling after reading about the dog that didn't like your cello... Many years ago, whenever I visited the home of a certain friend, his dog would start barking at me and would not stop. It did not seem to be aggressive - on the contrary the dog seemed to be having a blast. According to my friend I was the only person the dog did that to. I never did figure out what that dog was trying to tell me.

Maricello said...

Maybe there is some connection. In my case the dog owner said the dog was upset by tallness. On the other hand, it definitely reacted to the sound of the cello in an aggressive or defensive way. The dog owner is petite and plays tin whistle, which I gather the dog finds more pleasing.

There is something to be said for cats.

nicnik said...

Hello :)

This is actually more a comment to your previous post about the holiday music at Johnson Strings! I am going to be in Boston area over the holidays, and I think I might be able to get myself to Johnsons for the event! I will be in touch, it would be really fun to play with all my Cape Cod music friends again.


Maricello said...

Hi Nicole! It would be great to see you at Christmas!! And this event at Johnson's combines fiddling, early music, and holiday music, so I am sure you will find lots of music to play and people to talk to. We miss you, but it sounds like you are doing great. I'll loan you a fiddle, if you need it. :-)

cellodonna said...

Tuning with the pegs makes me crazy. Once when I was trying to tune the D string, I was unknowingly turning the G peg by mistake, wondering why nothing was happening, until ... SNAP!

Maricello said...

Donna, I think we've all had that happen--hopefully only once!

Doris said...

Hi Maricello:

Have been trying to keep up with all of your adventures. Love the cello stories and your fiddling group. Still practicing, but I don't know that I am getting any better. Will be logging on to your novel this weekend.

Love the card, I think you have a wonderful talent for drawing. Hope to speak with you soon. Bunny

Maricello said...

Hi Bunny, Thanks for dropping by and thanks for liking my artwork. I have been meaning to send you a pumpkin card, though it is a little dated now. I know you're getting better on the fiddle. I can just feel it. :-)

Hope things are going well.