Friday, July 27, 2007
If you have a bow that has real horsehair and you won't be playing for a while, be sure to loosen the bow hair and also store the bow in a plastic bag or in a case with mothballs. This will keep the carpet weevils out of your bow hair. Otherwise, you will open your case and find loose hairs all over the case and little insect larvae and/or shells all around inside the case.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
First of all, I owe a big thank you to all who made this float possible. Terry Lewis painted his 21' flatbed trailer and loaned it to us for the parade. Terry Hill did all of the decorating, which included a real stuffed possom, coyote skins, old traps, washtubs, lanterns, a make-shift roof of old tin, and all kinds of other "cool" hillbilly stuff! Rodney Schilling was kind enough to loan us 10 bales of straw and a trailer to haul them in to get them here. Becky Hill drove the truck during the parade route. Mike Easton, Denny Hepp, Terry Hill, Bill Barttelbort and I know several others helped drag the PA equipment out of the Bluegrass Shack (immediately following the fiddle contest) and onto the truck and float. Bill & Zane helped lead our songs along with me on banjo. Our fellow banjo & guitar players and banjo player want-to-be's (using inflatable banjos) included Igg, David, Terry, Carie, Dillon, Angie, Jackie, Jim, Makayla, Charlie, Emily, Rosemary, Denny, Corrina, Nicole, Paige, and Marilyn. Earl sat at the helm and threw out candy, harmonicas, recorders, kazoos and plastic trumpets. Mike took pictures for us, and here are just a few:
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
1st Place - Zoey Hill
2nd Place - Paige Johnson
3rd Place - Joy Winkeler
4th Place - Nicole Warnecke
5th Place - Mallory Warnecke
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all who participated! You made our waiting room a beautiful place!
The results of the contest are as follows:
12 & Under Division:
1st Place - Martin Hill
2nd Place - Colton Dever
3rd Place - Rose Marie Hill
4th Place - Paige Johnson
5th Place - Alexa Wacker (1st contest)
13-15 Year Old Division:
1st Place - Rachel Neel
2nd Place - Elizabeth Fedorchalk
3rd Place - Charlie Hall (1st contest)
4th Place - Ashley Heyen (1st contest)
5th Place - Angela Winkeler
16-18 Year Old Division:
1st Place - Corrina Logston
2nd Place - Tyler Moore
3rd Place - William Boyer
4th Place - Joy Winkeler
Congratulations to all the contestants for doing an outstanding job! This is some of the best fiddle playing we've ever heard.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I haven't had a chance to post the new video clip yet, but we finally took another one last night so we could replace the older one that has been posted on the website for a while.
Click here for WSIU newsclip
Our thanks go out to Tiffany and to all our friends and students that agreed to take part in this exciting event!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
In case you are wondering, the kids band is a group of students that I put together so that they could learn to play with other people and in a band type setting. It is a way for them to sing lead and harmony, learn to play backup, learn how to go from backup to breaks, and everything else they need to know. Austin (banjo) is 11 years old, Haley (fiddle) is 9, Jaclyn (guitar) is 10, and Makayla (bass & fiddle) is 13. The songs we worked on tonight were Old Joe Clark, Mama Don't 'Low, I'll Fly Away, Bile Them Cabbage, and Turkey in the Straw.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
I bushed three of the four peg holes so that I could use the original tuners. Generally, these decorative fiddles don't sound very good. Story has it that they were made from poor quality wood, so they decorated them. I guess they figured if it wouldn't sound good, it would at least look good. This is not the case with this fiddle! It is very loud and has a lot of bass in it. It was quite a nice surprise.
The beautiful red varnish is original, and although this one has quite a few cracks in the top, they were already repaired when I got it. None of them are bass bar or sound post cracks, so that's also good. I had to glue some loose seams, clean and polish it, make a new bridge and soundpost, and give it a basic setup.
The decorative edge is made from mother of pearl and dyed pear wood. The design on the back is made from various woods and mother of pearl. The inlay on the fingerboard is also mother of pearl. The pegs and the tailpiece are yellow, marbled plastic.
If you are interested in purchasing this beauty, it is for sale. If you want to come by the shop and pick it up, it will cost $799. If you want it mailed to you, add another $30 for insurance and postage. If you don't want to purchase it but you want to see and play it, come on by!!!!
To view larger images, click on the pictures:
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Larry R., one of our new participants, sang for the first time. He decided to do Amazing Grace, which was good because we all got a chance to practice the 3/4 (waltz) strum.
John picked Blue Moon of Kentucky for his second song, and did an amazingly good job. We talked about different ways to arrange the song, and what to tell people if he were to do this in any jam session. We decided to start off slow, then have a banjo or fiddle lead-in with the faster tempo. I think it's good for everyone to be able to practice this.
Charlie, another new participant, took leads on several songs. I know he was nervous because he had not ever practiced the breaks before, but he did great. His sister also took a nice break on her mandolin on Worried Man Blues. I like it when everyone is trying to take breaks because not only is it good for them, but it allows me to stay on guitar so everyone can see the chord changes.
We talked several times about not using books and chord charts when jamming. I try to encourage everyone to close the books unless you are the lead singer and need the words. I want everyone to get used to looking at the guitar player's hand for chord changes. We continue to discuss the Nashville Number System every session, and we also review plenty of other topics.
John asked a really good question about how to figure out what key to sing something in. We used his new song, Blue Moon of Kentucky, to demonstrate how to do this. We talked about making sure the song didn't get too high or too low in any spot, and then we talked about trying several different keys to see which one was best. One of the hardest things about trying different keys is figuring out which keys to try and what order to try them in so that you are not just haphazard about this. A person must figure out whether to try a higher or lower key based on how they felt when they were singing. (Were they straining to reach any notes?) Using the musical alphabet, you will either go up or down one key at a time, trying each key until you discover which one is best. Having another person listen can also be helpful if you seem to be able to sing the song okay in several keys. We also talked about how most people will sing songs in the same or similar key, but how this is not always true. Jambalaya is a good example of this.
Our new participants are supposed to be deciding on a song to sing for the next session. I think we'll be ready to try an easy instrumental soon.