Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fiddler's Summer wraps up here next Friday, the 31st. If you've been taking part in the challenge—please get out your digital cameras and take a short video playing your favorite song. Everyone who submits a video is entered in the contest which we'll all vote to pick a winner (I reserve the right to break ties, however). The top new fiddler gets a gift package from Vermont of CAF goodness. The basket will include a tee shirt from the Wayside Country Store, Maude's raw wool, maple syrup in a leaf-shaped bottle (VT tapped, of course), and a copy of Wayne Erbsen's Southern Mountain Fiddle which comes with a CD. Other prizes will be handed out as well. I have some Storey books here to give out to runners up.

Honestly folks, this isn't a talent show. It's a chance to prove to yourself you did this. Even if all you submit is a slow rendition of Ida Red, that's still a fiddle tune you learned! Do you realize how amazing that is? That just a few weeks ago you didn't know how to hold the thing and over these past few weeks you chose to pick up a new instrument and give it a shot? Even if you are still squawking through your D scale that is epic in its intention. And if you can play one simple song, you're flooring me. Please do not avoid sharing your music because you think someone else will sound better. The fact you took this challenge on earns you a spot at my campfire, and you should be damn proud without worrying about pride...If that makes sense. Post your YouTube links when I make the announcement on the morning of the 31st. Until then, keep practicing!

14 Comments:

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Jenna, I'm curious...have you taken creative writing courses, or does this come naturally to you? Your book inspired me to start my own blog and I love your humorous style. I'm thinking of taking clases, but wanted to know if you have any writing suggestions that helped you along the way?

Thanks for your time...keep up the EXCELLENT work...I so look forward to your entries!

July 25, 2009 at 6:58 PM  
OpenID chickadeeworkshop said...

I'm sorry to say that I have participated daily but have no way to video myself playing. No video camera, no video phone. Nada. It doesn't matter to me at all. I tried this because Jenna said it was possible and I wanted it for myself. I am a winner! I have begun a new, satisfying hobby and am learning something I never thought that I could learn.

I am grateful for the encouragement and I look forward to learning more and watching with delight the entries of the others. Whatever you guys have learned will be great!

July 25, 2009 at 8:38 PM  
Anonymous René said...

Way to go chickadee! Ultimately you do it for yourself anyway.

Jenna, I seem to remember you writing that you'd gotten a good deal on your first fiddle. Can you tell me where you got it? I played viola oh so many years ago and have been thinking of taking up an instrument again.

July 25, 2009 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Heathers T and E said...

HI Jenna,

I am responding to your post of a few days ago about "gettin to know" your readers.

I live in Maine on half an acre in South Portland. The house is an old 1840's farm house (previously the Dyke Farm ,which is rather ironic as I live here with my female partner of 9 years and our 18 month old daughter). The former farm land has been developed into a suburban neighborhood, so we are quite lucky to have the space we do. We have a small garden, belong to a CSA that requires us to dedicate a portion of our time to helping out there, and have plans to rev up a backyard chicken tractor next spring.
I grew up in upstate NY and there we gardened, had lots of chickens and ducks and raised and raced Siberian Huskies. I thought I had a fantastic childhood and would like to provide some of this for my daughter-even if on a small scale.
We are members of MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers) and garden for wildlife (hopefully to be certified by NWF). Larger dreams include bees, and fantasy is baby doll sheep and mini cows.
Since reading your blog and your book (I don't remember how I found it), I have taken on the fiddle challenge, starting with a $39 deal from ebay, but just purchased an upgrade today from a local violin shop. Saving up for a Norwegian kicksled and a strumstick; love fishing, design,Vermont and fall. So you can see why I enjoy checking in to see what is happening at Cold Antler Farm. Visit www.urbangrangehall.blogspot.com when you get a chance.

July 25, 2009 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Jennifer - I took some classes in college, but they were just basic 101 things. I try to write as if I'm talking to one person I'm comfortable around and just transcribing that conversation. I think when people relax they write better.

Rene - Ebay! look for 4/4 violin sets. you can find a fiddle, case, rosin, and bow for under 45 bucks if you're just looking for training wheels.

Heather! that name is hilarious, i mean that in the best way possible, know that!

July 26, 2009 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Cristiona said...

No fiddle, but thanks to your book I've ordered my first strumstick off of Ebay. It hasn't arrived yet but I look forward to playing it.

So as not to spam I'll also follow up with the 'meet the readers' by saying that I'd love to have my own farm someday, but right now am in the suburbs of CT. I have a small container garden on my porch, two cats, and that's all my co-op allows.

Still, I knit, I spin, this summer I'll be putting up food for the first time. It's a small space but I try to make it handmade in my own way.

July 26, 2009 at 12:15 AM  
Anonymous René said...

Thanks Jenna!

I checked on eBay and god I feel like such a bumpkin. They come in colors? I'm not sure how I feel about a purple violin. Anyway, looks like the place to get a set cheap so thanks for the tip!

July 26, 2009 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

rene, for me, please don't buy purple. Blackest Crow is not meant to be played on a magenta.

July 26, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous René said...

No worries there! I found a nice, plain looking one that was a lovely natural wood color. There's nothing I can imagine playing on a purple fiddle (or red, or white). Just wouldn't be right. I was nervous last night after I ordered it but now that I've slept on it I'm excited and I can't wait for it to arrive.

July 26, 2009 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm ready! Well, ready enough, I guess. I have never posted a video on youtube, but I will learn. I'll have to go somewhere else to post it, since I'm on dial-up here. :)

July 26, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger johnrweait said...

I have played guitar for 15 or so years and recently acquired a fiddle and started learning. Right around the time I started picking up the fiddle my sister sent me the fiddle book from your site by mail and it has been a huge resource for learning the basics. I absolutely love the simplicity and fundamental approach to old fiddling. Anyway, here is my video. Hope you enjoy. I have a little dancing help from my daughter.
http://wapsipinicon.com/cherokeeshuffle.html

July 29, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger claygirrrl said...

Jenna,

Just to let you know, thanks to you I have decided to try learning fiddle on my own and whilst I am still squawking, i am enjoying it immensly!

Thanks, Lisa

August 5, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
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August 23, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

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