My name is R. J. Storm, a well seasoned violin maker and a restorer who spent time in a New York City violin shop and, as a great lover of bluegrass, catered to the many fine people playing good American classical music – fiddlers. Moreover, in future columns, I will do my best to answer your fiddle questions, your bow questions, and give good sound advice to those convoluted and Byzantine problems that cause undue stress, rob necessary sleep, and unsettle even those endowed with a cast iron stomach. Consider this then an invitation – send in your questions on aspects of violin making, repairs, restorations, bows, etc. Together, we can make this column POP!
This initial column will focus on the very common question, “What exactly makes a good violin?” Why not? We have to begin somewhere, so let’s jump in. The answer to this question frequently depends upon the eyes of the observer since “good” does not necessarily equate to “expensive.” Not at all, and there are many ways and styles to build, voice, and finish a violin. With that hat-tip and admission, there is a general adage of, “form follows function.” A good violin sounds great, it also looks great, and the construction is clean and precise.
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Dan MacDonald: Organically Grown Music
Born in Ironville, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Dan MacDonald grew up with the sounds of his parents and a few of his 11 siblings making music.
Christiaan Van Hemert: Arpeggiating Jazz
For anyone trying to learn to play Gypsy jazz, one of the main hurdles is becoming a fluent improvisor.
Gerry Harrington's Search For The Soul Of Irish Music
Few fiddlers, Irish or otherwise, are as sensitive or insightful interpreters of traditional music as Gerry Harrington.
Bronwyn Keith-Hynes: Opening Windows
Bronwyn Keith-Hynes is a fiddler who likes to open windows, not only to hear what is out there, but also to let some of that air into the sound of her band Mile Twelve. She and her bandmates are happy having one foot in traditional bluegrass, while the other foot is dipping its toes into other genres.
Big Family: Documentary Celebrates Bluegrass
Late last August, Kentucky Educational Televison (KET) brought an in-depth look at bluegrass music to the small screen through many Public Broadcasting Stations throughout the US.
Violin Maker's Corner
Hello friends, I am pleased you have joined me this quarter as I, and the wonderful staff here at Fiddler Magazine, kick off a brand new column!
Kenny Kosek: Tales From The 'Fertile Crescent Of Fiddle Music'
It was nearly a half century ago that Breakfast Special swung by the Rutgers University student center for a performance at the Tuesday Night Folk Music Concert Series.
Ira Bernstein's “Chips and Sauce”
Ira Bernstein’s “Chips and Sauce”
Memories Of Manitoba's Carl Grexton
An old man’s squint reveals much as he digs into a fiddle. How he squeezes the instrument, shuffles his feet, puckers his lips, staring – at what? Listen and look.
Ryan Young: A Study In Contrasts
Ryan Young is a study in contrasts. Known for wild and percussive playing onstage with Trampled by Turtles, he is almost shy offstage.
STUDY INDICATES TYPE OF NETTING USED MAY AFFECT SURVIVAL OF FISH
T-BONE RACING FULL CHASSIS SKID AND A-ARM SKIDPLATES FOR X-MAXX
More beef for Traxxas’ hardest hitter
Knitting a shrug-yoke top-down seamless tee shirt – part 1
Maybe you’ve never heard of a shrugyoke sweater construction. I’m not sure I’ve heard the name before, but I haven’t seen this type of design before either, so to me this is something new.
Granny to the rescue
Jump-start an old woolly and join in the granny square revival with Emma Friedlander-Collins’ design
Make your MARK
These colourful clay markers are a smart and stylish way of labelling up pots of herbs
Pick ‘n' mix for six
It’s all about the hexagons in this design by Vicki Roberts
Love cardigans? Try out this summer version by Kristen TenDyke for cool layers
Perfect for a day out, our tile-inspired bag is stylish and spacious
BACK TO THE FUTURE
One of these is the closest you’ll get to owning a piece of the future
Put a spring in your step and a smile on your face with a top to welcome the new season, by Simone Francis