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Jim Guinn

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since Oct 13, 2018
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Recent posts by Jim Guinn

@Johnny Mango and @Samnantha Wilson …  sorry I haven't posted in this thread in some time. I have been working hard on my blog and my fiddle since I last updated here. Thanks for your interest. I do have a few early progress tunes recorded on my blog, Johnny, but haven't done any lately. (I really should update that area.) Lately, I have learned to play Angelina Baker, the Battle Hymn of the Republic (better now than the first recording I made!...LOL), Amazing Grace, Yankee Doodle, When the Saints Go Marching In, and Oh! Susanna. Progress has been forward, but slow. I only finally found an old time teacher a few weeks ago.

Anyway, if you are still interested, check out my blog. I now have 22 pages and over 90 posts in it.
9 months ago

Chris Kott wrote:
I can't do simple tasks with my mind wandering without finding myself singing. At those times, it may be lines from a massive choral work, a solo jazz number, or some random classic rock. Hell, it might even be a jingle from some random commercial.

I can relate to this. While I don't always realize it, I have been told by others that I am constantly humming, lightly singing or lowly whistling a tune. I know sometimes I will do this with a tune over and over because I have a family member who will put on a song on the radio just to get me to "change my tune".
1 year ago

Jason Hernandez wrote:
That same book I referenced earlier also said that, according to the best research, "talent" is not a real thing, but rather, a label we apply after the fact to the ones who worked the hardest. It said that it takes 10,000 hours of work to become a virtuoso, and that virtuosity is within reach of anyone who has the time and discipline to put in those 10,000 hours.

Now that I have decided to learn how to play the fiddle, I have read very similar statements by Wayne Erbsen:

Some people have more natural ability to learn musical instruments more than others. However, after teaching people to play for over fifty years, I still feel that determination is more important than natural talent. In fact, if I had to choose between having talent vs having drive, I’d pick drive every time. People with talent sometimes don’t appreciate their gift and often squander it. On the other hand, people with drive tend to succeed at whatever they’re working on, be it the fiddle, or pinochle. If you’ve got the will to learn to play the fiddle, and the drive and determination to focus and apply yourself, I have no doubt you’ll be successful.

and by Dr. Josh Turknett in speaking about learning a musical instrument:

Those who have reached the level of mastery have done so because they were masters of the learning process, or masters of changing their brains. They did not reach mastery on account of any special genetic gift, or talent.

1 year ago
Oh boy! That looks like they are having fun. I had two large apple trees in my backyard that I used to climb all the time as a kid, sometimes just to pick and eat apples. Other times, these trees were my fort, spaceship, hide away, or some other imaginary place depending on what games we were playing.  We also had a huge maple tree taller than our three story house to which my father attached a rope swing up about 30 feet. That swing could swing clear over into our neighbor's yard. Those were the days!

I hope these little guys continue to have fun with their Tree Fort House. Post more pics if they make any modifications. I would love to see them.
1 year ago

Gail Jardin wrote:I would not consider myself a fiddle player, but I have a fiddle that I attempt to play on occassion. I would love to  become proficient enough to play old bluegrass songs and hymns. My biggest issue is tuning it as I find it impossible to tune by ear and I break more strings on the fiddle than I do on a guitar.

If you find it impossible to tune by ear, there are free online tuners that may help you. Here is one from Fiddlerman:
Just click on one tuning peg at a time.

As far as breaking strings, I found an article which may be helpful:

Aaron Tusmith wrote:mandolin player myself but have been around fiddle players my whole life, and I can play a handful of tunes on the fiddle. listen intently to all the bluegrass fiddling you can, be patient and avoid developing bad habits early on. Take's Bluegrass Album Channel is an excellent source on youtube. Pitch recognition is important, and having a good musical ear is essential for fiddle playing, with no frets you must have a great ear to even play the simplest tune. Best of luck!

Thanks for the advice. One thing I have already learned from all the reading I have done, is that bad habits are usually formed early on because the student does not master the basic steps before moving on. I have signed up for online lessons with Dr. Josh Turknett at
He is the inventor of the Brainjo Method and his home page describes his method.

My fiddle arrived from the Fiddlershop today

1 year ago
I've made a few more posts in my blog since I made this original post yesterday. I would love to hear from anyone out there who plays the fiddle, and I know we must have some.
1 year ago
Does anyone play old time and bluegrass fiddle? I am going to start learning, something I've wanted to do for a long time, but never did. Now, at 62 years old, I'm going to do it. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who plays, especially about things like how old you were when you started, how you learned, pitfalls and achievements. My fiddle will arrive on Monday (Feb 4th) and I am probably going to start with an online course and perhaps find a teacher for periodic lessons.

I have also started a blog to chronicle my experience at

I look forward to any replies and/or advice you can offer. Thanks.
1 year ago
Well, today I took the plunge. I have been thinking about it for so long and wanting to do it. I woke up this morning thinking what am I waiting for. I really love fiddle music and want to learn...even if I am 62. The past few days I've read a couple of pieces about folks who didn't learn to play until they were in their 70's and 80's.  I have had my eye on a violin I've wanted to buy for some time now, so this morning I bought it from Fiddlerman in Florida.

A new chapter.

1 year ago
I bought it from Greenhouse Megastore. They call these Cone-tainers.  You can see them and the trays (sold separately) about half way down this page:

1 year ago