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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

An Online Venue is still a Venue

A special message from Martina, StreetJelly co-founder.

An Online Venue is still a Venue

Store FrontsThe Internet has become a big part of our lives and is often viewed as one big entity. In reality it is an enormous collection of services, businesses and venues. Frequently it is free to users, but it is not free to those who decide to make it their medium of choice to conduct business or offer a service. Instead of paying rent for a physical location, virtual venues pay for bandwidth and hosting. As soon as an individual logs on to a website this person enters a space very much like a physical location. When someone walks into a concert hall or store, it is widely accepted to conduct oneself in a respectful manner and comply with a few rules. Everyone understands a customer walking into a restaurant cannot simply go up to someone’s table and scream insults at a stranger. Online venues are not really that different from conventional locations especially if they offer live video and the opportunity to chat. Live communication among participants closely resembles an actual gathering place. StreetJelly falls into this category.

We are a small company created by music lovers and musicians who pour our hearts, time and financial resources into this undertaking with the intention of making StreetJelly a pleasant, welcoming and fun entertainment venue for musicians and viewers. It is our mission to be all about the music. The musical performance is our focus of attention and the chat was predominantly designed to offer a way of communication between the artist and audience.

We would like to thank our musicians, viewers and all the volunteers behind the scenes from the bottom of our heart and are grateful for all your support and feedback. Constructive criticism and suggestions are always considered and taken seriously. However, no matter how hard we try it is impossible to please everybody and meet the entertainment needs of every single person visiting the website. We are all individuals with varying likes and dislikes and no venue on this planet will be able to satisfy 100% of the population. Over the course of the last year our staff was repeatedly confronted with some extremely rude and disrespectful treatment behind the scenes simply because we did not accommodate the personal entertainment needs of a very small group of our users. We are doing our very best 24/7 and personally go out of our way to be polite and respectful to our musicians and viewers. StreetJelly offers musicians the opportunity to showcase their music and earn some money. We do not charge for broadcasting and pay the fees to songwriter associations to enable musicians to play covers. For those of you who believe StreetJelly is not the right place, be assured we understand. We appreciate the time you spent to give us a try and sincerely wish you the best of luck in finding a venue fit for you. It neither helps us nor does it help the few who spend a vast majority of every day on the website simply to inform us over and over how much you dislike our business model. MartinaHow many people would frequent a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner which serves a type of food they don’t enjoy just to tell the cook every time how much they disliked their meal?

I can’t mention enough how much we appreciate the vast majority of wonderful musicians and viewers. Many of us have even made cherished friends. For those of you we can’t accommodate it is time to move on and search for your perfect place to spend your time.

Thanks again to everyone who shares our vision of creating an online space of mutual respect and extending this respect to our staff and team of monitors who have a very ungrateful job. Hope to see you on StreetJelly very soon. This is not just a business to us, but also a labor of love.

Put Butts In Da Seats

Special guest blog by DannyC, South Louisiana, USA

Larger audiences . . . am I doing my share to “Put Butts In Da Seats?”

Rock CrowdI ask this question as while StreetJelly is no doubt a wonderful site for musicians and songwriters to showcase their talent the fact remains for ultimate success, for performers anyway, we as a group must do all we can to boost the “civilian members” of our audiences. This is of prime importance if indeed you truly want to get compensated i.e. tips from your performances.

For you “true” buskers out there, I’d be willing to bet when you stake out a setup location you are looking for the highest traffic and target music demographic audience you can reach. Well on SJ while we have a built in audience, they are like family, and while I love my “real” family as much as the next guy they are the last group I would ever expect to support my living, especially as a musician. With this said, if we want to grow our tips and audience size we simply must get more music fans to visit SJ.

As a group we can instantly start bringing in more audience members. Look, we all have email accounts, 99% of us have FB pages or websites. I urge you to take a little time, say once a month or so to do some blitz emails campaigns, FB sharing promotions and website links and yes “blatantly plug” your future performances. It’s numbers game guys, the more we “all” tell the story to our contacts and get them to tell it to their contacts the larger the “civilian” audiences will be. And every new music lover we drive to our performance will eventually check out other performers. In fact I encourage you to point out the diversity of music they can hear on SJ in your campaigns. I learned long ago you only gain by plugging other acts as you highlight yours.

Frankie and Martina have a wonderful website built with the musician and music lover in mind, and I like many of you are very thankful for the platform they have given us to showcase our music. But, IMHO, the time has come for “us” to do something to grow SJ. We as musicians just can’t sit back, plug in and expect for our popularity and tips to grow. We owe it to ourselves to do something with this platform they have afforded us to insure it does, as the saying goes the ball is in our courts.

Bottom-line . . . How often do we hear lines like, man we can’t get squat for a 3 hour gig in my town, and the next thing you learn is that very often some cat is playing a gig for “nadda” just so he/she can get “the exposure”. Well we can’t do much about that but we do have the ability and means to help build our SJ “civilian” audiences. My bet is that not only will your tips increase but the more local audience members you bring in the more audience members you will have supporting you in your live events around your town . . . therefore your number of live paid gigs should also increase.

DannyCFellow SJ family members please take this for what it is and no more, a personal opinion offered with the hope that if some of you agree you will get on board with trying to build civilian audiences. Either way, I thank you for your time to read it.

Now let’s count off the next tune 1 ana 2 ana 3 . . .

Best Regards,

Danny C.