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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

What's in your bag?

Here's a way to improve your fiddling without even fiddling.

Take a look at what you have with you when you're on your way out the door. Do you always have your tuner? Do you have extra strings? Or, are you loaded down with things that you don't use or unlikely to use? Maybe it is time to take a little inventory, either to be better prepared or to lighten your load.

It used to be that my shoulder rest gave me a hard time. It didn't fit in my bag easily because of its irregular shape. Twice that I can remember, it fell apart. I spent the better part of an afternoon at a festival a few years back trying to find a replacement screw. When my last one busted for the last time, I said 'to heck with that!' and guess what - I stopped using the bloody thing altogether. Now, not everyone is blessed with no neck, so I understand that it's not an option for everyone. But, catch my drift? Take what you're likely to need and find a way to carry it that is convenient and reliable.

That is one of the true joys of playing by ear. Leaving 20 pounds of books at home where they belong. Saves room in the backpack and case for my:
tuner
Sony minidisc recorder
2 extra discs, sometimes more
a good microphone
extra rechargeable AA batteries
Swiss Army knife
nail clippers
rosin
mute
cards with my contact info
extra strings (leftovers from changing out old strings)
tune list
pen
handkerchief
a card from an old friend that says "Life was hard for the pioneers. But, then someone would bring out the fiddle and make it all worse." [Humor is a great ice-breaker.]
busking license
extra peg
tuning fork

One of these days, I really should get a spare bow. My frog broke once and luckily a friend had one to lend me. But, gosh, I'd hate to be somewhere with good tunes going on and me with no bow.

1 comment:

Bob Nation said...

WOW! What a list of stuff. I carry a tuner, a cake of rosin, a mute, and a pick. I guess I could eliminate the pick. My tune list is in a small pad in my pocket.
The mute is a keepsake from one of my first jams. It was at a music store. the other players took up a collection and bought me the mute.