As part of our newsletter series, we show appreciation to our awesome customers, and share their musical stories, and -- in this case -- their ingenuity.
From Crescent City, CA, Chad makes it in our list of awesome individuals who took the saying “necessity is the mother of invention” to heart. He applied his creativity to his chin rest.
I've had my Hamburg chin rest for a couple days, thanks very much! Just to let you know, it still wasn't quite right for me. Better than the Stuber, but the angle of the valley was still wrong. And it was still a bit high. SO! I took it out to my shop and (wearing appropriate eye and breathing protection) put it on the belt sander... and voilà!!! It's darn near perfect! I've just invented the Chadwick chinrest! (3M belts polished it up pretty nice after the shaping and fine sanding).
BTW, you guys are the best! Slowly, as I learn more about fiddling and about my fiddle itself, I've been fixing it up, and Fiddlershop has been the best resource. I started with my carbon fiber Fiddlerman bow, which I love. Then Fiddlerman strings, which sound wonderful. I got rid of the old-style fine tuners that were on it, and replaced the E with a Hill type fine tuner. My new Artino practice muteis perfect. My wife says she doesn't mind listening to me practice, says she likes to hear the progress I'm making. But I'm certain the mute helps in that regard!. And I just ordered a tube of Peg Compound from you, because my A peg is sticky.
There are so many great instructional videos available online. Pierre's are some of the best - he's a great teacher. As I learn more, it's possible I'll decide to pay for some more advanced lessons, but I haven't even scratched the surface of the Fiddlerman videos, so a huge thank you for making those available!
I totally failed to learn to read music as a kid taking piano lessons. Never got it. Can't play a lick of piano. Spent my life convinced I didn't have a music-playing bone in my body.
For some reason, the light came on gradually over the last few months, after spending a couple evenings around the campfire with a new friend, listening to him play his banjo.
Somehow, that time with my friend, and listening to his CD a few times since then, worked some magic on me. Made me realize there's no reason in the world I can't do this! I've been wishing I could play some instrument for the past few years (since I retired), either the accordion or the fiddle, or the maybe even the clarinet. When the light came on and I decided I WOULD learn to play something, the decision was rather easy. Accordions aren't cheap. Neither are good fiddles, of course, but I just happened to have one that has sat in the attic (ugh, really!) for years. Like the last 35 years! Amazingly, the wood beetles never found it!
The adjusting screw on the bow was frozen solid, hence buying a new one from you. But the fiddle, aside from the ugly scrape that it's had since before I got it, is in quite good shape. And sounding better all the time. It's an Anton Becker "Stradivarius copy", probably from the '40's or '50's, but they weren't cranking out junk back then, (listen to me, as if I knew anything about fiddles...!). It may not be concert quality, but it's not just a "violin shaped object" either!
Anyway, like I said, I'm having the time of my life, and you guys have been a big part of helping me make this happen. I'm learning to read music, I'm understanding music theory, and I'm starting to play tunes and even improvise a bit as I practice! Vibrato will take a while... but even that is starting to improve! Woo hoo! A whole new wonderful world is opening up!
So thank you for your great service and for helping me make this happen!
We want to thank Chad for his story with Fiddlerman and Fiddlershop and invite anyone who wants to add their mark on this new spotlight series! Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.