Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Well I took the plunge. I now have my very own fiddle. Sweet husband's gift for our 25th anniversary (Can't believe it!!) Late last year we thought about taking a sailing trip out in Seattle, but around Christmas we decided not to go. B's dad's health had declined, the scare with Mom in early December, and with Dad's rapidly declining health we thought it too risky to be away for very long. We'll have another chance to celebrate with a fun getaway at a later date, so we decided instruments would be the gifts: my fiddle and his small body 1956 LG2 Gibson. Woohoo!!
Now the reason for the subject line. My fiddle arrived last Friday about an hour before my lesson. We anxiously awaited all day long and when it finally arrived I was beside myself with excitement. It's so beautiful and sounded gorgeous even out of tune.
My husband came with me to my lesson (he takes lessons from the same guy). Not sure what happened, but it was the HARDEST damn lesson to date. My teacher taught me a new song, Soldier's Joy. I'd never heard the song before and had no frame of reference for the tune. By the end I was exhausted and discouraged though I didn't do half bad...well maybe half bad, but I did have a few decent moments. :)
That night I couldn't sleep. I woke up trying to remember the song and trying to remember the finger patterns. I was so in knots that I pulled out my iTouch and located a YouTube video of the song, just so I could remember the tune. Not a restful night. I practiced about a hour on Saturday without the bow just plucking my way through the fingering and two hours on Sunday with the bow.
I know this sounds strange, but I realized later that evening that I was really mad at my teacher. On the way to work on Monday I realized why. I felt like the lesson on Friday was like learning to diving off the high dive for the first time. Scared to death, really hard and my teacher wouldn't let me quit. Walking out to the end of the board only to turn around and walk back a few steps and maybe even a few times turning tail and walking back down a few stairs. That said, I never went all of the way down. I dived several times and did a few belly flops in the process. Ouch!!
The thing is something about diving off the high dive is so exhilarating and worth the pain. I remember this exact experience as a little girl (sans belly flop) finally getting enough courage to dive off the high dive.
So, I'm sticking with this fiddle thing even though it is SO hard, makes me feel so vulnerable and gives my perfectionistic voice a real talkin' too. It's stretching me, stretching my thinking. Try combining bow movements while moving fingers while thinking about slurring notes, going down with the bow while going up the scale with the fingers, all the while trying to stay in tune and balancing the bow not gripping, while...see what I mean? belly flop...
But she is gorgeous and calling to me. :)