How do you become a performing fiddler

August 1, 2007 at 04:15 PM · Hey everybody, I am just joined this forum, though I have been lurking for mroe then a year now. But I have a question: How does one become a performing fiddler? Especially a celtic one?

Replies (11)

August 1, 2007 at 04:17 PM · Um, learn to play, play in jams, practice, play out....what?

August 1, 2007 at 05:37 PM · You could form a Celtic band and send a demo to all the labels interested in Celtic music. Or find a good agent... If you want to be a performing Celtic fiddler as a hobby, then just do it:) I would guess it could only be a hobby for 99.999% of good players, like Bluegrass. But you might end up being .001%.

August 2, 2007 at 02:33 PM · The fairly obvious answer is practice. Learn the music, style and execution. When you get good enough, people will listen and connections made.

August 2, 2007 at 02:52 PM · You'll need to research the style you want to play. There is no such thing as "Celtic" fiddling---it's more of a marketing term for people trying to sell cds and concerts to audiences who don't know any better. The most common forms are Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton, but there is also music from Brittany, the Isle of Man, Wales, and other places. There is also English fiddling in several forms, none of which are "Celtic", but often are included with the rest by the aforementioned music marketers.

August 2, 2007 at 03:38 PM · Does anyone know of any good books on the subject of Irish fiddle playing? Or any good learning materials?

August 2, 2007 at 04:06 PM · Try Kevin Burke:

he has 2 DVD's

"Learn to Play Irish Fiddle"

Excellent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 2, 2007 at 04:18 PM · Actually, there is such a thing as Celtic music. It's just very broad and not specific. It refers to any music associated with Celtic rituals. Enya is the first that comes to my mind when I think of Celtic music.

August 2, 2007 at 04:40 PM · You mean that new-age "Celtic" atmospheric stuff that has nothing to do with actual traditional music? Okay, I guess so. It's still a marketing term.

August 3, 2007 at 03:05 PM · Well, not just the new age stuff. A lot of folk music falls in the Celtic genre. But really, Celtic is more a classification that has several, like polkas and waltzes, but a bit more versatile, as it now includes a lot of new age music. I think it's odd, though, that we call a lot of Irish fiddling Celtic-- slight nationality difference.

August 3, 2007 at 04:56 PM · Rob, you're confusing me. First you say that "Celtic" music is associated with "Celtic" rituals, and then that the "Celtic" genre has classifications like polkas and waltzes. Honestly, unless you know something I don't know, I think you're mistaken about this. "Celtic" is a modern marketing term that many people use to describe cultural aspects of the areas once settled by the Celts many hundreds of years ago. There is no "Celtic" nation. There is no "Celtic" fiddling. If you walk into a music store, however, you will usually find a "Celtic" music section, which is usually where the employees file any vaguely "folk" or non-commercial music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, and even England, even though England wasn't settled by the Celts. It's a convenient label for classifying music that is otherwise hard to categorize.

The only reason Enya is classified alongside traditional Irish musicians is because that's the tradition she comes from---her family plays it, she used to sing traditional songs (and probably still does)---but she's gone way past her background. The music she makes is her own modern invention, a product of her own creativity. As for "Celtic rituals", I have no idea what you're talking about! Do you mean things like pagan sun salutations? And there is music for that?

I'm uncomfortable with the "Celtic" label because it's not accurate---the question was how to become a performing fiddler, and anyone thinking about "Celtic" fiddling needs to be able to make the distinction between the various traditions (Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, etc.) because there are great differences in the styles---Scottish jigs are quite different from Irish jigs---even the same tune can sound very different played in one style or the other. So it's important to know which style you're talking about, or you won't be able to play properly, it will sound wrong. It's like saying a violinst who specializes in Baroque music would have no problem playing a Sibelius piece because it's all classical music

August 4, 2007 at 10:52 PM · Ok,If you want to be a Celtic Fiddler,you may want to listen on cd to:

Natalie MacMaster

Paddy Canny

Paddy Glackin

Alaisder Fraiser

Tommy Peoples

April Verch

Seamus Connelly

Sean Keane

Randal Bays

Patrick Ourceau

Bonnie Rideout

Brenda Stubbert

Bruce Molsky

Ciaran Tourish

Eileen Ivers

John Carty

Edel Sullivan

Gaelic Storm

Michael Coleman

Desi Donnelly

Maeve Donnelly

Noilliag Casey

Winnie Horan

Kevin Burke

Liz Knowles

Zoe Conway

Liz Carroll

Martin Hayes

Martin Mulvihall

Matt Cranitch

Jerry Holland

James Kelly

These are JUST a few...

Go to Celtic Festivals--they are everywhere !!!

Pay attention,notice EVERYTHING the fiddle players are doing and incorporate into your own style.

Don't try to replicate their playing---expand upon these players [if you can] and make it "YOURS"...

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