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"I'm not creative."

Many people tell me that they are not creative.  That they aren't musical, artistic, or inventive.  Then, almost always, in the next sentence they tell me of something amazing they designed.  This always makes me smile and I always point out that they just told me how creative they are.

These "non-creative" types often are creating in huge ways and don't even know it.  They create entire well-thought out designs and plans.  They can orchestrate the flow of point A to point B.  They can take a vision and implement it at the highest level.  Sometimes the tool of creativity is a spreadsheet and not a paintbrush.   But don't let that fool you.  There is still creativity flowing through.

The same thing happens when people say they aren't "musical" and that they "don't have a musical bone in their body."  That the only instrument they are good at is "the radio."

Do you know that you are a literal, walking instrument by...

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Giving Up Too Soon

Hi!  Laurel here from Drunken Fiddles.  After teaching adult beginners for  years I've noticed a common thread in students who give up on their fiddle dreams too early - people who come to the first class and maybe the second and then I never see them again.

The number one destroyer of fiddling: Perfectionism.  

The phrase "Practice makes perfect" has always been floating around in our group consciousness, implying that "perfect" is the end goal to what we are trying to do here on the fiddle.  But if you really think about it, perfect doesn't even exist in music.  You can always play something a little better, cleaner, faster, more expressively, more in tune, more rhythmic, etc.....  You'll never get there.

Perfectionists are easy to spot.  After one lesson they tell me they aren't cut out for the fiddle.  That they can't get it to sound good.  That they aren't up to speed.  They are used to be good at things, right...

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How Not to Practice

"Every day I practice one hour more than the day before." 

This is what my soon-to-be best friend told me upon meeting her at orientation for music school.  I was shocked, because as we know, time is limited and there are only 24 hours a day.  Plus she was still finishing up high school - which takes up 7ish of those 24 potential practice hours.

After hearing what my competition would be like in college I was dismayed at my own 30 mins or so of practicing and was determined to practice more and harder.

That being said, I completely burnt myself out on music in school - trying to practice 8-10 hours a day. My love of playing was gone.  My progress was meek and I was questioning my musical path entirely.

After college,  my desire for playing came back, but it was creeping back not through classical music, but through improvisation, composition and learning fiddle music and styles from around the world.  I took what I learned and started writing...

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How much should I rosin my bow?!?

how much to rosin rosin Mar 24, 2023

The question of how much rosin to use is a common one amongst adult beginners.  There is a lot of stress about it.... "Did I rosin too much?"  "Is my rosin too old?"  "Is my rosin working?  "I'm squeaking....therefore I NEED more rosin!!"

Okay, let's stop stressing and break this down...

As a beginner, best thing to do: get in the habit of rosining every day for 15 seconds.  That's all you need to do, simple.

Rosin is the sticky stuff that dancers put on their feet and gymnasts put on their hands to keep from slipping.  Putting rosin on the bow functions in the same way - you keep your bow from slipping but also, you have enough friction to get the string vibrating. 

If your bow has NO rosin it will not be able to pull the string to make a sound. If your bow has too much rosin then your sound will be a little gritty.  But, like I said before, don't stress.  Just take your cleaning cloth and wipe your bow once or twice to remove...

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Practice Tips for Adults

 Today I wanted to give you some practical tips for practicing as an adult.
As an adult, there is no one telling you "go practice" except your own brain (and then there's the other part of the brain that says "let's watch Netflix instead.")
I've been experimenting with practice habits for years and here's what I've come up with that is the most universally relevant my students:
  • Leave the fiddle out of the case and ready to go. If at all possible, have the  fiddle available in a safe place (away from pets, heating or a/c vents, etc)
  • Practice in the morning. Five minutes before you go to work can perk up your day and inspire you to pick it up later on.
  • Get rid of practice streaks. Humans love doing things consecutively in terms of habits. We like to accomplish practicing EVERY day, which is great until life happens and we don't play. Instead of trying to make an endless streak of practice days work on the skill of getting right back to it after an off...
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Ireland Retreat, Booking Now!

Uncategorized Jan 10, 2023

Book Now >

Join musician Laurel Morgan Parks and the Drunken Fiddlers for an experience of a lifetime! Grab your passport and fiddle case (even if you’ve never played before), We are going to Ireland! We will take a musical journey deep into the heart of Celtic lands rich in fiddle traditions and the folklore that inspires them. Regardless of whether you’re a true first time absolute beginner, an intermediate player or just want to come and support, the Drunken Fiddles Retreat to Ireland offers a fun and relaxed environment in which to enjoy music.

Retreat participants will have a special experience with all the bells and whistles! Nestled in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of the Delphi valley, Delphi Resort is a hidden gem immersed within the wilderness of Connemara and South Mayo. During our retreat we will enjoy two days of curated historical and scenic tours of Connemara and Kylemore Abbey. We will also have an evening out at the pubs to listen...

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The Wires Concert Series

Uncategorized Nov 02, 2020
A ticket gets you a life time private link. This is the perfect soundtrack for the Autumnal Season.
And also....
Their Christmas CD was scheduled to come out 3 years from now, but they are now recording and is due out this year!
They are also publishing a sheet music BOOK for all of the tunes on the album.

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Danse Macabre

Hello Everyone! We arranged Dance Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens for string duo. If you'd like the sheet music for this please send us an email at [email protected].

We also teach online through this website!  It's full of videos that teach a variety of fiddle styles for fiddle/violin and cello.

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The Pitch

Uncategorized Apr 16, 2020

Read the article in The Pitch about Drunken Fiddles!

Click Here >

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Drunken Fiddles Featured on KCUR

Uncategorized Apr 16, 2020

Making music should be fun. But when adults squeak through their first violin lessons, they may not get the compassion a child might receive. Enter Drunken Fiddles.

Listen to Program >

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