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FiddlerMan

Guest blog by FiddlerMan, Pierre Holstien.
Meet our latest SJ friend and join us for the FiddlerMan Jamboree, Feb 21st, 2015, on StreetJelly.com.
The whole fiddle-SJ-gang will put on a fun day of string music in support of their community at FiddlerMan.com.

The FiddlerMan Bio

Pierre Holstein

Pierre Holstein

I’m, Pierre Holstein, otherwise known as FiddlerMan. I grew up and studied in South Florida. Don’t want to bore you with my education 🙂 Played professionally for over 30 years in the US and Europe. Began working as a violinist in South Florida for 5 years including South Florida Symphony Orchestra and Miami City Ballet before moving to Sweden with my wonderful Swedish wife.

In Sweden I was a concert master in Gävle Symfoniorkester and had two great children, Michael 1988 and Emilie 1990. Four years later I became one of the Section Leaders in Malmö Symfoniorkester and stayed for 16 years before giving it all up to move back to sunny Florida with our family. Since professional orchestras in South Florida don’t provide acceptable income, benefits, and security, I felt the desire to do something slightly different.

Fiddlerman.comNot knowing where it would take me I founded FiddlerMan.com with the intention of providing violinists, both new and experienced, a great place to learn, improve, get motivated, and just hangout. In addition to all it’s many resources, interested members participate in community virtual group video projects which they work on, record, submit for me to mix and post on YouTube.

The popularity of FiddlerMan.com led to the start of FiddlerShop.com in January 2012 which I am running with the help of my son. My knowledge of string instruments makes it easier to choose, test, adjust and suggest great affordable instruments for our customers. We also sell Basses, Cellos, Violas, Guitars, Ukuleles and Mandolins plus accessories. I believe that if we can’t satisfy a customer we haven’t done our job.

I strongly encourage our members to perform on streetjelly for it’s unlimited benefits of performance and motivation.

Thanks for this site.

How to get a 1000 Viewers

Special group-guest blog by StreetJelly musicians: Clifton Printy, Peter Bensen, Josh Cline, Image and Family.  They have a combined 28,900+ viewerships to their StreetJelly shows …and still growing.

How to get a Thousand Viewers?

Here’s a clue for you. If you want to set records for the most viewers in an online show, own the world record for the most tips, become an internet streaming pop icon, and maybe even have some fun while making a little scratch; here is all you need to do…

Don’t Suck!

So where do we start? At a show with no viewers, of course. We have all been there. No fun at all. So what should you do? Get viewers! Not too difficult really. What is your mom doing? How about your best friend? Where are you fans from the real world? Did you invite them? Are you using the twitter link? Did you post your show on Facebook? It doesn’t take much time to post a message telling your friends that you are performing.  Also, it may seem like such a small thing, but it’s amazing how much people respond to the personal touch. Send them a message to ask them out to your show.

1,000s of ViewersYou can get a little creative, too. How about posting, “live music no cover with free imaginary drinks,” on your favorite social venue. It works! Try it!

If you have the computer savvy, try using Photoshop, or other such programs, to create posters for your shows. You can post them on Facebook or any other social media type sites to help get your name out there. Print a couple off for your job, friends, and acquaintances. (editors note, i.e. Frankie – try BandPosters.com)

Next, Don’t Suck! No one wants to hear the beginning of Stairway to Heaven sixteen times only to listen to 4 bars of Smoke on the Water. One song well performed is worth more than 100  hours of garbage.

Are you interacting with your guests? Ask them if there is anything about your show they “don’t love” (answers could hurt, but you’ll get an answer).  Want to engage someone? Ask them about themselves.  Be gracious and friendly. Support other artists. Support other artist supporters. Try dedicating a song to your viewers, it’s a great way to show them that you appreciate their support.

It helps to acknowledge your viewers. They are “gold” to you. Try to mention EVERY visitors name. People LOVE hearing their name treated respectfully. Keep an eye on the comments, clappies, and tips. You’ll get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Play what the audience says is good (another hard pill to swallow). Let them tell you if it’s good.

Be aware that every show is different. It’s all good. You can do a killer show with only 5 viewers or a horrible show with 20, and those five viewers will come back.  I’ve even found that mistakes I’ve made in a performance are not always caught by the audience. They can still be entertained by a less than perfect show.

The idea is to keep your nose to the wheel. When in doubt, PLAY!!! As it has been said, “If you build it, they will come”. StreetJelly beats performing on your sofa alone for your metronome. People will come and go, but your (total) viewers will accumulate!

Don’t just be a performer in an ivory tower. Watch other shows! Become an active part of the StreetJelly community. There are a lot of people participating in the StreetJelly “thing.” Making new friends, and showing an interest in other artists will foster a curiosity about you, in viewers of other shows. Also, glean from other shows. Nobody knows everything. There is more to know about performing. You can learn a lot from what other people do. Stand on the shoulders of the giants that have gone before you. And, if you can’t stand a show then I like to say, “take the chicken and spit out the bones.” Take the stuff that works and try it. It can be a big help.

“Not sucking” contains a few ingredients. It’s more than playing your instrument, and singing in key. Your overall image as a performer is huge. An engaging, friendly player/singer will do better in the long run at this racket than a pure virtuoso that has the personality of a cardboard box. That doesn’t mean that you need to be something you’re not. It means that consideration for your audience, and their desires will be rewarded in the long run.

The most important part of a successful show is to have fun. If you are enjoying yourself it will show and it will rub off on your audience.

Lastly friends, you are a visionary, so pony up. You have seen that the internet age is going to change the world. You have stated that eventually everyone will want to interact directly with their favorite artist. You know that this is the herald of a new age for performance of music. Time to pay for your entertainment. What? Oh yes we have to make this work from both ends. Why should someone believe that this is a legitimate venue and support you when you wouldn’t support it yourself? Where is the crowd? What are you?

More Fiddlers are Coming – Part 2

More Fiddlers are Coming – Part 2, by Barry Nelson

Continuing guest blog introducing the new fiddle players on StreetJelly.
See Part 1 – The Fiddlers are Coming!

BillyG

BillyG

Hi, I’m Bill Gunn, a.k.a. BillyG on StreetJelly and MadBill on the FiddlerMan.com forum. I’ve always enjoyed music, of any style, and have played guitar for over 40 years. On occasion I have messed around with piano and low-whistle, and some five years back I got hold of an old fiddle. Unfortunately, it was extremely sensitive to temperature and humidity, and the tuning drifted so much it was almost unplayable, and after about 4 months of fighting with it, I gave up. But in March 2014 I decided to return to the fiddle, got myself an electric violin, and followed that up in July with a new acoustic in the form of a FiddlerMan Concert Violin.

Musical tastes? Well anything from the 60’s is good for me, from pop/rock to easy listening. Classical, I enjoy listening to, but rarely attempt to play.
Favourite performers? Neil Young, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, Suzanne Vega, Kate Bush – oh far too many to mention. Groups? Stones, Nirvana, RHCP, Led Zepp – again too many to name. Violin? David Garrett, Lindsey Stirling.

With my friends and colleagues on the FM site, I’m beginning to get a serious liking for specific “fiddle” music such as Irish, Scottish, Bluegrass and so on – but still have a long way to go!

My journey with this instrument has really just started, but I’m loving every second of it. I’ve always enjoyed playing guitar for my own pleasure and other folks’ general amusement – so let’s see how it goes with the fiddle!

See you on SJ!

 


fishnrodds

FishnRodds

SJ name: fishnrodds
Hi, I’m Paul. I’ve been fiddling for about 5 years, grew up listening to dad and grandpa play old time music, some Scandinavian, mostly USA stuff. It’s been a great experience so far. Other than family, my bigger influences have been guys by the name of Tommy Jarrell, Chubby Wise, Johnny Butten and the awesome people I get to play with at our local jams that keep me challenged. I will update this more on down the road. Thanks for listening! I play mostly two old fiddles, one is a no name that came off of eBay for 20 dollars. It almost went in the woodstove, but I decided to give it a new life. the other is an old stainer that my wife and daughter gave to me for Christmas last year. It’s my forever fiddle. Both were trainwrecks when I got them, I spend a lot of time monkeying and repairing old fiddles.

 


SJ name: Juan Violin
Hi I’m Juan, I’m 28 and come from Uruguay, South America. I’ve been playing for almost 3 years. I like music in general, my favorite is Irish music then I go with classical and some tangos. This is a style I’m just starting to get into.
Juan Violin

 


FiddlinSteudel

FiddlinSteudel

SJ name: fiddlinsteudel
I grew up playing the violin at the age of 4. Did the usual Suzuki method thing, and quit once when I got into middle school. I decided to take up guitar and played classical and jazz guitar for many years. After probably 12 years of not playing the violin, I decided to try it again. But this time, I decided to check out Bluegrass music. After that I didn’t look back. I’ve been playing bluegrass music for probably 12 years now. I play in two different bluegrass bands and frequent as many local jams as possible.

 

 


Mad_Wed

Mad_Wed

Mad_Wed
My name is Naska. I was born and still live here in Kazan, Russian Federation, Tatarstan republic.  =)  Yep, try to find that place on the map LOL! (editor’s note: we found it!)  I was born on 12/11/1982 so I’m almost 30 years old.  =)  I was actually a present to my mama on her birthday (she was also born on the 11th of December.  =))  OMG! I was not the best present in her life LOL!

I bought my acoustic violin at the end of summer in 2008. But can’t say that I really learned to play it. My parents refused to listen to my off notes and horrrrrible bowing XD….Unfortunately, no mutes to be found in our stores =/ … Then I got an e-violin in February of 2010, and with this violin I developed lots of bad habits and no useful skills for playing it.  =(  When I met my teacher, she told me that we not only have to start from 0 but from backwards, LOL. She says that I’ve been playing since April of 2011, and who am I to argue?  =)   See more at my FiddlerMan interview.

 

 

 


1stimestar
I’ve always wanted to play something, piano, guitar, what ever. About 10 years ago after I arrived in Alaska, I decided I would love to learn to play the fiddle. After all, it’s so portable. You can play it around the camp fire, on a mountaintop or in the woods. It’s light enough to pack out on a backpacking trip over tundra and small enough it doesn’t take up much room in a small cabin.

1stimestar

The Fiddlers are Coming!

The Fiddlers are Coming, by Barry Nelson

Special guest blog introducing the new fiddle players on StreetJelly.

Barry Nelson

Barry Nelson

I’m sure you folks have seen them on StreetJelly. Those bow sawin’ fiddlers! Who are these guys and what’s up with those fiddles? Well, a little about the Violin first. The violin & fiddle are exactly the same instrument. Even classical violinists refer to their violins as their fiddles. But there are fiddle styles: old time, Irish, Bluegrass, Cajun, Western Swing…the list goes on and on.

The Violin has four strings (from low to high) GDAE, the Viola (the bigger one) is tuned a fifth lower and its strings from low to high are CGDA. We have no frets, so intonation is something we keep a close ear on.

So enough about the fiddle itself, there’s lots of great info on the internet and forums to help learn nearly any style. So lets meet a few of these StreetJelly fiddlers.

Barry Nelson: I picked up the violin 6 years ago and recently found the Viola a better fit. I play a mix of styles from Irish, Rock, Old Time, etc. If I like it, I play it. I also play guitar and piano, and I record my own backing tracks to jam with.

 


Toni Gomez

Toni Gomez

I am Toni, 49 year old violinist. I have always loved pianos and organs. A few years back, I thought I would learn to play the piano. I did not have a piano or know how to read music. So the violin came to mind. I thought about violin as my sister had one growing up. She had lessons through the school system for a few years. I was overlooked for playing instruments as I was painfully shy. Anyway, I started up on my own learning with YouTube videos tutorials and online sites. I also took about 12 lessons my first year. Since then I have learned from my violin community and my violin friends in real life. I am at 2½ years and I am as passionate about it as ever. I have broadened my horizons and I am learning fiddle and Bluegrass …I can’t believe how that good ole sound feels to play. I am obsessed with playing and continuing to learn all I can and be a great violinist/fiddler.

 


My name is Robin Swan, a.k.a. Feathers. I’m self taught on the fiddle, and that journey didn’t begin until I was almost 34 yrs old. I’ve been playing it for 18 years now, and still learning. I mostly play by ear, but can also read music. My ability to read music came from playing piano starting at age 4, followed by many years of lessons. And during my adventure, there’s been many great violinists and fiddlers who have inspired me along the way.

Robin Swan - Feathers

Robin Swan – Feathers

 


Stone Dog

StoneDog

Hi, StoneDog here. I am 62 years on the planet and rocking on. I live in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. The sound of this instrument sends bolts of pleasure though my spirit. I’m a guitar player. I like putting musical tracks together. I also play with vids a bit. I have a few things out there. I can put the rhythms, base, drums, and other various percussion to my tracks. But what has always been missing and something one cannot just import into the tracks I work with is the VIDDLE. When working with my music I have always had the need to hear some violin/fiddle within the track. SOooo I figured I better learn how to play one.

 

 

 


Pierre Holstein

Pierre Holstein

Pierre Holstein was raised in South Florida. Concert master of youth orchestras and a concert master at Eastern Music Festival in NC at 17 years of age. Studied with Thomas Tzaggaris and Tom Moore. Majored in music performance at the University of Miami. Took some lessons with Dorothy DeLay at Congress of Strings and world famous soloist, Ida Haendel in Miami. Played with the South Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Miami City Ballet before moving to Sweden in 1988. Associate concert master of the Gavleborg Symphony Orchestra for 4 years, then moved to the south of Sweden and became one of the principles in the Malmo Symphony Orchestra for 16 years. Recently moved to Fort Lauderdale with plans on staying in Florida. Pierre manages his website: Fiddlerman.com.

 

 


Diane - KindaScratchy

Diane – KindaScratchy

Diane, a.k.a. KindaScratchy. I’ve always loved violin and fiddle music, and have played a number of other instruments over the years, but a seemingly unrelated sequence of events led to my taking up the violin.

A number of years back I had occasion to travel to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, a few times for work. I discovered a place called O’Hurley’s General Store, which has a Thursday night jam session for local musicians who play guitars, fiddles, banjos, hammer dulcimers, harp, tin whistles, sometimes a bodhrán or Celtic drum. They play Appalachian folk music, Celtic music and the like. The seed of an idea was planted, albeit unintentionally. A few months later, my husband gave me my violin for Valentine’s Day. Read the full story and interview on Fiddlerman.com.

 

 


Dennis Boring. I started playing (learning) violin about Feb 2012, although I owned a violin for all of 50 years. Yep, our family had an old one that was broken and never got used. I figured I might want to play it a little after a David Garrett concert in Reno got me inspired. I fixed it, stayed with it, and now have four beautiful violins to play. I don’t play by sheet music and instead devote many hours to “picking out” the notes from a tune I hear. My oldest violin is about 130yrs, another around the 100yr mark, and the electric/acoustic is around 12yrs. Finally, the newest is one I made myself and play as much as the rest. I’m the only one in my family that plays an instrument. I learned music some 30yrs ago on piano. I still live in the same house I started first grade in. All my kids have grown and left the nest, and that leaves me plenty of time to practice! I’m single, a self employed mechanical engineer, and can play at all hours of the day or night!

Dennis’ violins, left to right: 130yr old Roberts, 100+yr old German Production, Chinese Aco/Ele, Handmade 2014.Dennis Boring - Fiddles

Meet Chuck Foster

I love artist interviews where you get to learn about the person behind the skills.  Our Chuck Foster recently did such a TV interview.  It’s a great way to understand the passion and meaning behind Chuck’s art.  Enjoy the show…  ~frankie

Musician, artist, and teacher Lynn Charles Foster, a.k.a Chuck Foster, interview June 2, 2014, on Measure for Measure.

“Children of Rock & Roll,” “Life is an Elevator,” and more…


http://www.streetjelly.com/chuckfoster
http://www.lynncharlesfoster.com/
http://www.youtube.com/rockandrollgrandpa
http://www.facebook.com/chuckfostersongwriter
http://www.reverbnation.com/chuckfoster

First Gig Advice from a Newbie

First Gig Advice from a Newbie, by Rewind

Special guest blog about playing the very first time on StreetJelly.

Rewind TN

Rewind TN

After watching other shows on StreetJelly for a few weeks, I decided it was time for me to test it out from the other side of the webcam. I had seen and listened to how things sounded through other people’s gear and knew what I wanted to do. Also, I had made connections with other performers who ended up tuning in to my first performance.  I purchased a webcam for the video (since my computer is ancient), and I used the same gear I have previously used for recording to handle the audio (mics, mixing board, audio interface). Here are a few pointers for your first broadcast:

  • Take advantage of the “Test Broadcast Settings” button before you go live. You get to this from the broadcast page, right above the “Start the Show” button. Even though it might look and sound great on your end, you want to know how it will come across to the viewers. Maybe your lighting is terrible. Maybe your mics are distorting. Maybe there is no audio at all. This will help you figure all that out.
  • Make sure your computer’s power settings are such that your computer does not go to screensaver mode while you are performing. That makes it a bit challenging to interact with the viewers.
  • Let your friends know that you are planning to perform on StreetJelly and give them the web address. Chances are good that at least some of them will tune in. There are casual viewers who will likely tune in anyway, but it’s always a good idea to bring along folks you know, just like at a “regular” gig.
  • I was confused when I didn’t show up on the main screen after I scheduled my first show. It showed up in the little scrolling banner on the side of the screen, but not in the main area. This is normal, as you don’t show up there until your first broadcast has begun.
  • Have a tentative set list. This will help you avoid long periods of silence in between your songs. But be flexible in case a viewer suggests a song you know how to play.

RewindI had a blast with my first show on StreetJelly, and I plan to be a regular.  It was fun to be able to interact with music fans I had never met before. Think of it like you would any other gig. It’s all about playing great music and connecting with the viewers. If you just play songs and don’t interact at all, it doesn’t create a great experience. One last thing:  have fun!

-Rewind

http://www.soundcloud.com/rewindtn
https://twitter.com/rewindtn

 

 

Live Paying Gigs – Where The Fish Are

Live $$$$$ Gigs – Where The Fish Are, by Danny Campo

Special guest blog with great advice and marketing tips to find paying gigs.

Disclaimer: Please take the content of this blog for what I intended, and that is to help us maybe take a different approach to both the way we look for gigs but even more importantly “where” we look for gigs. If you have already adapted this plan obviously the content does not apply to you, but if this approach is news to you, it should help you get more “paying” gigs starting as soon as you want to start.

Danny Campo

Danny Campo

“Man, the live music scene is dead in my town, I just can’t seem to get a paying gig any where.” If I had a nickle for every time I have heard that over the years, well I wouldn’t be rich, but I’d have a crap load of nickles! What I do hear a lot of, “the venue owner wants me to come in and play for nothing until he deems me acceptable to his establishment and clientele, and maybe then we can negotiate my fee.” I like to tell them, OK that will work as long as I can bring my family in to dine and drink until we decide if we like your food, and then we’ll negotiate your menu pricing.

First and foremost, I thank the Good Lord every day for the number of “payed bookings” I get every year. They keep me buying my music toys and help me fund my charitable non-paying gigs and related expenses. Now with that said, I am no fool as I know that many of you SJ performers blow me out the water with your talent and skills. So why is it that I am booked while some of you are not? Well maybe some of you don’t want any live gigs and I respect that totally. But for the ones who would like to be playing more and getting paid for the gigs there must be another reason. I think that reason, as another good fisherman SJ performer Kenny Z would agree, is that I am simply fishing where the fish are. And of course by that I mean adapting to a different type of venue that is not usually associated with live music and its patrons, at least in our musician minds.

Now before you read down further please keep two very important words in mind when dealing with these alternative venues. The words are “adaptability” and “versatility” because very often these venues will ask and expect you to adapt your style and maybe be more versatile with your play-list to suit their clientele. So if you are a musician who says, “I will not play a certain genre of music.” Some of these gigs will not be for you. Of course personally, I offer right up front, No Rap and No Heavy Metal or Hard Rock. In my case I can just about see what they are thinking, maybe something like, “duh no kidding pops.” But these genres are usually not a big request with the clients you will find down below anyway.

In the next paragraph I am going to let you know what took me years of research, planning and cold sales calls to make the connections. In other words I am going to tell you where the fish are.

The Fish

Corporate Functions: From annual award dinners to all types of holiday parties. Everyone who has a sign on their door doing business is a potential client. From doctors and dentists to hardware stores, lawyers and banks. They will also help you get your foot in the door of venues who cater these events. FYI . . . I play all of the above including auto dealerships “Special Sales Events” and can even be found at some “Bank Branch’s Grand Openings” sitting on a stool playing some background jazz from time to time.

Often you can speak with your local restaurants and caterers to find out who is booking these type of events. You can then start the contact by doing a mailing inquiring about their corporate social events, let them know a little about what and where you play, where they can hear some of your music and an offer to meet with them to discuss any “special events” they may have in their plans. Sometimes I just knock on their doors and introduce myself to the receptionist and ask who plans their corporate functions, that simple.

Independent and Assisted Retirement Communities: These are not your granddad’s nursing homes, heck I play one where it costs the client a $150,000 upfront non-refundable fee just to get an apartment. So you can bet these clients are not satisfied with a movie in the VCR and some warm milk for Happy Hour. They expect good local lively entertainment, great food, and a 2nd-to-none selection of Wine and Spirits …and they get it. All of these establishments have a Social Director on staff along with a budget to hire live entertainment. I have also booked many private functions including birthday, anniversary and assorted social events held in private homes and other venues as a direct result of playing the retirement circuit.

Google them, then pay a visit to the Social Director to discuss what you have to offer and your fees. I am lucky enough to have been playing upwards of 75 of these upscale venues over the past 10 years. Nice easy fun one-hour gigs for wonderful music savvy audiences. Mostly late afternoons which leaves plenty of time to play elsewhere if I choose later in the evening or night. Another plus is that they like to book in increments of 6 months to one year in advance.

It may take a couple of years but once you get intrenched in the corporate scene in your area I can almost promise you will get as many of these gigs as you like, to the point of picking and choosing who and for what fee you want to perform.

If anyone would like to speak with me in depth as to my personal experiences with these venues just drop me a note on my Facebook page.

Now let’s play some music, one . . . two . . . three . . . etc!

PS: Now don’t get so many gigs that we won’t see you on StreetJelly anymore. Oh, I think that is in the contract anyway, just ask Merv! lol

Setup USB Mixer on a Mac

It’s very easy to use a USB Mixer with StreetJelly.com. Anna Laube shows how it’s done in the video with her Behringer XENYX Q802 USB mixer on her Mac.

  1. Plug in the USB
  2. Click on the “Settings” icon
  3. Choose “Sound”
  4. Click on the “Input” tab and choose the USB device

That’s it. The StreetJelly player will see the mixer as the default sound device and use it when broadcasting.


USB Mixer Setup on Mac

Many thanks to Anna Laube for making the video. Check out her music, it’s fantastic! www.AnnaLaube.com

It’s a Small World

It’s a Small World, by Amanda Crann

Special guest blog about twin brother’s amazing reunion over StreetJelly!

Merv and Chico

Chico (left) and Merv (right)

We hear this phrase so often in our day to day lives. Recently, Merv, a.k.a. Image, and his twin brother, Chico, were reminded of just what a truism it really is. After almost nine years apart, these two brothers have reconnected through the magic that is StreetJelly.com, and I have been lucky enough to bear witness to this wonderful family reunion.

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 started off like any other day. Image was buzzing around StreetJelly, like he always does (lol), little did he know that he was about to get a huge surprise. Completely out of the blue his twin brother, Chico, just happened to come across StreetJelly and he stopped to check it out. The two of them ended up in the same show. They both were shocked to be looking at a picture of themselves in the chat while someone else was talking.Merv and Chico Jam

So with the help of Skype, the two of them got talking and even arranged a visit that happened earlier this week. Our home was full of the sounds of music and reminiscing as the two of them shared their stories and filled each other in on their lives now.

It was an amazing experience for all of us to be able to welcome Chico into our home and our family. ☺ We look forward to seeing much more of him. Keep your eyes posted to the Jelly and you just might see him pop up in one of our shows or us in his.

Thanks once again goes to Frankie for providing us with the amazing site that is StreetJelly.com. A site that really does go to show that anything is possible with the power of music behind it.Merv and Chico Hats