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I can answer questions about the musical genres of folk, country, bluegrass, rock, swing, and early jazz. I can answer general questions about the performance of and history of country, bluegrass, rock, swing, dixieland, folk music, and early jazz, and also more specific questions pertaining to not-classical-music fiddle playing such as: technique (vibrato, bowing, reading/playing music, etc.), music theory, style, ear training, feel, tradition, culture, authenticity, execution of various classes of fiddle tunes (i.e. reel, jig, hoedown, waltz, strathspey, hornpipe, etc.) and improvising your own solos, fills, and breaks. I have some knowledge (limited) of recording artists or performers. I can answer questions about lyrics and titles, especially questions about what they mean (as they are filled with colloquialisms). I can also answer questions about violin/fiddle lessons (clarification, extra help, what to expect, suggestions, questions to ask, etc.). I CANNOT answer questions pertaining to: brand name, age, authenticity, value, worth, production, etc. or anything that has to do with major repairs.

***PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME WHAT YOUR INSTRUMENT IS WORTH*** (or anything to that affect). It is impossible to put a value on them sight-unseen because musical instruments need to be individually evaluated visually.

Experience in the area

As a fiddler, I was 3rd in the State of Ohio in 2007. I am also a session musician who is hired by recording studios to play on the cds of recording artists and for stage performances. Though classically trained, I have a preference for country, bluegrass, rock, and swing. I am also a guitar player and vocalist. I have a college degree; however, instead of pursuing a career in law I have been a private teacher and performer for over 10 years. I play by ear, I read music very well, and I can also improvise. I have played in bands ranging from bluegrass to punk rock to heavy metal to classical orchestra.



For my actual fiddling education, I began my classical instruction at the age of 9 and studied under Mr. Keith Holliday (currently of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Ohio String Quartet, and the Divertimento String Quartet) through high school. I studied privately, for many years, under Mrs. Simma Korostyshevsky, former Master Violinist with the Toledo Symphony. My education in musicianship is in that I have also played the piano since the age of 5 (of which I play ragtime, stride, and pop/rock), the trumpet since the age of 10 (of which I am a member of Bugles Across America), guitar since the age of 16 (country and rock), and electric bass since the age of 16. I also received instruction from my mother, Ms. Shirley Ann M. Walker, M.M.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

People always ask, "What's the difference between a violin and a fiddle?" Here is my short list of answers:

1.) Spelling;
2.) A fiddle's got 'strangs' (not 'strings'); or
3.) Whether or not I feel like following directions.

Really there's no difference, not even in instrument quality. A fiddle is a violin & a violin is a fiddle. Period.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Joe S.01/11/12101010Awesome!!! More than enough to get me .....
Ivan08/19/09101010thanks taht really helped :]

Recent Answers from Jessica Vaughan

2012-01-10 use of modes:

Hi Joe,    I love modes! They're the most misunderstood and yet the most useful tool (and most underused) that a musician has at their disposal, especially when improvising.  Personally, I think it's because

2010-07-21 Does Simon Cowell know about music theory?:

Hi Vicky,    Honestly, I can't speak for what he knows, but I do know that he plays the piano.  However, whether or not he can play an instrument or if he even knows music theory really has no bearing

2010-05-22 Need market statistics on the Recording Studio Industry:

Hi Dee,    You probably won't be able to find much on the home-based recording studio because of what it is...home-based.  As long as a person has the money to buy equipment, the know-how to make it work

2009-12-10 getting in a band:

Hi Trevor,    Playing music out in public and being recognized for your talent takes much more than just getting into a band.  In fact, if you find yourself in the wrong band it can kill your musical career

2009-08-11 Cleaner sound:

Hi, Ivan!    I can answer your question in part and perhaps you can re-ask what I have not covered to someone else who knows more about it.  I can help you fix your strumming (but I'm not really good with


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