Fiddle Jam Club Newsletter September 2015

Welcome to another installment of the Fiddle Jam Club Newsletter! 

Topics: News – Site Edits – Clinic & Gig Announcements – New Developments


So, what’s new? 

1) LESSON POSTS: I hope this finds you all Jamming Happily and in the swing of another new educational year.  Things have been humming along here in Fiddle Jam-land.  I haven’t had the time to do a ton of new content, but HAVE done a TON of edits to the site behind the scenes… maybe a TON and a HALF and still going!  As you may have seen in the last newsletter we had a software audio player that we had only used in the first couple years, fail on us. I’ve had to go back and edit each one (hundreds!).  The upside, is that I found a few other little boxes that needed to be checked on those older posts too… like one that would put those lessons on the auto generated “Lesson List” you now find in our “A-Z Lesson List” tab.  So, you should be seeing many “new” lessons in the list.  These have actually been there from the beginning, but were not showing up on the list… the A-Z list being a newer feature.  It’s a bit (maybe a LOT) tedious, but will make for a better website.  If you find any missing things or anomalies, by all means let us know.  I surely appreciate the help!

2) FIDDLE JAM CLINICS: I am in talks with my contacts at the University of Florida here in Gainesville to do some Fiddle Jam Clinics in their facilities.  The first one should happen a couple weeks from now and I plan on video taping it so that others can jam along at home.  If the technical gods smile on us, I’d like to stream these live on the internet so that anyone worldwide could jam-along live at home too.  I’ll keep you all posted here.

3) ORCHESTRA GIG: I’ll be hitting the road in a couple days to do a gig in my old hometown of Buffalo, NY, USA.  We were asked to reunite the Gypsy Jazz group Babik and will be performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra once again.  It’s pretty cool to have a 100 piece backup band!  On the program is “Nuage” (with a gorgeous long Debussy-esque intro by arranger Brent Havens), “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” will be the vocal feature (sung by our crooner/rhythm guitarist Josh Assad), and the quirky “Rhythm Futur” that was the “B” side of Nuage when it first was released.  Futur is supposed to depict the horrors of WWII with its pumping diminished chords, but we put parts in the arrangement where the Allies come to the rescue with quotes of Hava Nagila, Bbethoven, Mozart, Dueling Banjos, Ozzy Osborn, Smoke on the Water, American Woman, and other Rock tunes for a bit of comic relief too.  I get a kick out making all those Classical-only orchestra folks play Smoke on the Water!  Ha!!  I’ve created a post of this chart for our AAP members to see here: Rhtyhm Futur.  I’ve had to shake the rust of some of these parts, as it’s been a couple years since we last performed this arrangement!

Many have asked if we will videotape this one, but unfortunately it would take a boatload of attorneys and probably a second boatload of money to pay each orchestra member union scale, to make it happen, so we are just hoping that our hometown fans will just do some “against the rules” bootleg cell phone video and be kind enough to post it for us.  I will try to find that for you after-the-fact.  Mike Spears of has suggested that I could do a little video montage about what it takes to put a show like this together.  I’ll try to do some behind the scenes shooting.

4) ELECTRIC VIOLIN: On the gear side of things: I am still working in my Outlaw Fiddle shop on a new kind of electric violin pickup.  I had one good prototype that tested well when I took it to our local Guitar Center and plugged it into as many amps as I could (my goal is to be able to do just that, and sound full and rich without extra preamps or EQ gymnastics, and be able to sonically stand toe-to-toe with any electric guitarist).  I am having some inconsistencies yet as I try to apply my ideas to various instrument designs.  I’ll keep plugging at it as I can.  I’ve done about 250+ experiments on it so far and will keep you posted.

Another cool thing my webmaster Patrick “Kumquat” showed me this week is an open source electric violin that can be printed via 3D Printer!  Pretty neat!  Sounds like it has potential …I love stuff like this that pushes the stuck and stiff boundaries of violin luthiery!  Check it out here: FF Fiddle

5) REFERRAL OFFER: I’m feeling like the site is currently heading in a pretty solid direction, and am looking to step up promotions again.  Do you have a friend who you think would benefit from the creative Fiddle Jam Method?  Please refer them to us!  If you let me know who they are, I’ll be glad to give both you and your friend a free month All Access Pass!  You can contact me from just about any page on the site and I’ll make it happen (all the comment forms get pushed to my personal email at this point).  If you need help convincing them, show them some of the new testimonials that we’ve gotten recently.  I’m very honored and flattered to share them with you.

Overall, I’m pretty excited about the new developments!  I hope you are with me!  Stay in touch.  Don’t be shy about sending me your thoughts, questions, and requests.  You can use the form below.

Talk soon!


PS: if the contact form (that is supposed to be below) does not appear in your browser, click here to send me a message instead.

Remember, if you ever want off of this list, just let me know!  I’m not looking to spam anyone with unwanted inbox intrusions.  I’ll most likely be sending this out a couple times a month as we head into this new phase… maybe just a little more when there’s something new going on.  Till next time!


FJI Newsletter, Vol 4 #6, Sept 19, 2015

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