I've been a classical player/teacher for 45 yrs.,and in the last 5, have become a very good by-ear fiddler. I use & teach my same playing position and especially my bow grip/bow control skills. I see & hear a lot of fiddlers who sound great, but who use anything but conventional technique. Think Jay Ungar's lush tone and vibrato. He plays with his wrist bent partway up and his thumb way up on the left. I've heard him tell people not to copy his way of making vibrato. I've arrived at a philosophy that hinges on a willing suspension of old beliefs. For fiddle novices I advise basically conventional tech., because we know it works. For experienced players, I advise they make changes that will get them to how they want to sound. I'm comfortable with my train of thought about this, but I'd still be interested in others' opinions about why we are as adamant in the classical world as we seem to be, and how it is that those who differ so radically can sound wonderful.
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