As some of you know, I got it in my little brain that I can learn to play fiddle. It’s an instrument with a steep learning curve, but I feel as if I’m turning a corner on it – maybe with enough time and effort fiddling is within my grasp.
One of the things I’m doing is listening – a lot. I did that with banjo too. I think listening and practice are the two cornerstones. There are so many ways to play any tune. A good example is a tune I’m working on now, Big John McNeil. It’s a Scottish tune, which also goes by the name Lord Ramsey’s. It’s been kind of adopted into the Canadian Old Time and Métis repertoires. When I attended Midwest Banjo Camp, a number of American players called it a Canadian tune, perhaps because they first heard Canadian fiddler’s doing it.
Here are some wonderful versions of Big John McNeil…