This evening I've been thinking about my sister. I love her so much, because she just gives and gives. I'm a little concerned about her but she's a smart, strong woman and she knows what to do. She just tends to fret, for good reason.
Later this evening I went to see my pal Jawbone who helped me with a little fiddle repair. I decided it was time to learn the basics if I were to properly understand Son of Mando and his desire to fiddle. Jawbone is a fine fiddler and a treasure trove of knowledge. He doesn't know it but he's also a fine teacher. It felt good to thread the string through the peg, tune the fiddle, and learn how to hold it, and to hold the bow. Before I left I got the hang of where not to put my elbow, and how my hand should feel at roughly a 45 degree angle with a bow cradled between my thumb and third finger.
When I got home, I fully expected to have forgotten most of what he showed me. To my surprise, I didn't. I love the feeling of the fiddle, the closeness and how the sound resonates through. I love trying to find the notes, which I tried for Cluck Old Hen and Amazing Grace (my late mother in law was on my mind). I find that goin' fretless ain't too bad.
We should all fret less, and play more. That's what John Hartford did, and he did alright. Here's a little story and an old tune called Bonaparte's Retreat. I'm sure I'll learn it someday. Some of the parts and phrases will sound slightly familiar to you, as they should. (If you don't know the Copland ballet, think, "Beef: It's what's for dinner.") Of course, this is just one of many hundreds of renditions that have been recorded, not to mention those that may not have been. Maybe yours or mine will be next.