In this lesson, I would like to
show you some places to look for bluegrass that you might not have
Recently, I visited my sister
for Thanksgiving. She had a satellite dish for her television
reception. I was amazed because there were so many music channels.
Bluegrass music was playing on one of them. The title of the song, the title of the album, and
the name of the artist was all that was on the screen. There
were no commercials at all; just good music. This was a great
idea to me because I have always had a problem learning the name of
the song and the artist. Now, rather than just buying a CD and
hoping that I would like the group, I could have some idea of what was available.
There were so many music channels. Finding what
I was in the mood for was not a problem. I could not get home
fast enough to get a satellite system.
While standing in the store
trying to find out what I was getting into, I learned from the
salesman that cablevision also had the same service. I had
basic cable, but
knew nothing of the extra features. The trick was to rent the box that would
allow me to rent "Video On Demand". I did
just that the next day. You see, you don't have to rent any
movies to get the music channels. I installed the box and hit
the little button on the remote labeled "Music". The
music channel list came up and I selected Bluegrass. I said,
let there be bluegrass and there was, and it was good. Just
about thirty seconds later I had my bass fiddle out and playing with
Chances are that you already
have one of those services. Call your provider and see what
you can find out. The internet also has some sites that are
set up like radio stations. There are more choices on
the internet than cable or satellite. Live365, below is one of
There are also sites like http://www.bluegrasscountry.org/
The world is at
our fingertips with the internet as long as we know how to use
it. It is my intention in this section to show you how to
better use the internet. First of all, use www.google.com
. There are many search engines, but to me, none can
Google is very
fast to gather new information for you to find. One
problem with the internet is that there are things that you might
not want to see and the makers of that information have all of the technology
to get it in your face. If you are not careful, you might give
up on the internet before learning how to protect yourself;
therefore, robbing yourself of a lot of pleasure.
A typical Google
search looks like this:
I typed in the
words Bluegrass Bass Fiddle and this great site was number
one. This guy must be a genius, he knows what I have been
thinking. I could have gone to the top of my browser and typed
in a site that sounded reasonable with a .com on the end and
what ever opened would be my surprise. There is a rule at my
house that if we need to go to a site, we type it into Google so
that we have some idea what is there first. Example: In the
Google search box put www.projectsandhobbies.com
and it will look something like this.
This looks safe so we can now click on the
link to open it. Had it not looked just right, we could back
out just as easy. In the search you will see a link labeled
"Cached". This is on of the best tools ever.
When you are looking for key words like Bluegrass Bass Fiddle, you
can open the link and find your key words highlighted so you can
find them quickly. This is great for homework and research.
|What is a "Bass"?
If you are reading my section on fishing
then it might be a fish with a very big mouth. If you
are in the music section, it would be an instrument used to
lay a low foundation sound in a song. It is pronounced
like the word "base". The bass
is known by many different names. Bass
violin, acoustic bass,
and so on. There is a washtub bass
that is used for the same purpose but not the same thing.
You can read more about them on my washtub
page. The bass
is the largest instrument in a bluegrass
band and in my opinion, the most fun to play. With the bass
you don't have to know every song. You can follow the
basic outline of the song even if you don't know the song in
most cases. With all of the other instruments, you need
to know more to get through it. When walking toward the
area where the band is playing, the bass
can be heard from a distance long before the other
Notice that there are three
different colors for three different words. This will give you
sites that display the words at random. If you want them all
as a sentence rather than separate, then put quotations around them
and the computer will see them as one word. Example: "Bluegrass
Bass Fiddle" Your result will be Bluegrass
Bass Fiddle with no quotations will show up as Bluegrass
with this and you will understand very quickly.
Have a Little Fun With Pictures
at the picture at the top right hand corner of this page. The
guitar, banjo, and fiddle leaning on an old country porch. How
would you like to have this to be the background "Desk
Top" for your computer? Here is how to set any picture up
that way. Right click on the picture. Select "Set
as Background" and it is done. Pick some other picture,
repeat the process and it is now that one. Some computers have
a screen saver setting that will display all of the pictures in your
"My Pictures" file. Put in the pictures that you
want in there and that is what you have. If you see a picture
picture of the day, right click on it and save it into your
"My Pictures" file.
you have a problem with this set up, you can set it up at: Start,
Settings, Control Panel, Display, Background and Screen Savers.
have neglected the fiddle in past lessons mainly, because I am
not fluent in the playing of it. Even though I build them and
understand them thoroughly, it's best that I don't terrorize the world
with my audio examples.
should a person start that wants to learn the fiddle?
Let's first look at the instrument itself. You can get a
fiddle from eBay!
that is made in China in the range of $100 and they are not all
together bad. They will not be ready to play right out of the
box; they will need to be set up.
look at the parts of the fiddle. The tuning pegs are tapered
wooded pegs that fit tightly into a tapered hole. This is not
a good system for fine tuning the strings though it has been the
standard since their beginning, even with the Stradivarius violins.
There are two things that you will want to do to help this
|The picture to the right shows the position of
the bridge as the rectangular shapes. They are aligned
with the inside notches of the sound holes. The round
circle below the right leg is the sound post on the
of the most important things on a fiddle that controls sound is the
sound post. If a sound post is set correctly, the fiddle will
be even in sound. If it is set in the wrong place, one string
can be dead while the next string is strong. Sounds can loop
the box as if there is a rat inside it running laps. A sound
post should be straight up and down. If it is too far away
from the bridge, you might get a hollow sound. Too close or
under the leg and it can be too stiff. The side to side
adjustment will control the evenness of the strings. If a
string is dead, move it over slightly and see if it opens
do you get in there to set it? A sound post tool is a bent piece
of flat metal that is sharp on one end. The sharp point is
used to stick in the the side allowing you to get it wedged into
place. The other end has curves to give you push and pull
capabilities. With that, you can move one end at a time until
you have it in place. See Soundpost
The new "Transcribe!"
software allows you to slow CDs down to a 1/2, even 1/4 speed,
without affecting the pitch. It will help you to
understand what is going on in the music.
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