PEOPLE

Dave Swarbrick

Monday, 28 October 2013

Words of wisdom from the English fiddler

A good musician should have stamina, belief, interest and imagination

The best advice I’ve had was from an old fiddler on the set of the film Far from the Madding Crowd. He said to bow with a loose wrist, and to imagine I was using a paintbrush.

Fiddlers should learn to read music because much of our tradition is in printed form.

Whatever tempo you think is right in the recording studio may be too fast!

A good musician should have stamina, belief, interest, imagination, and they should be able to criticise themselves.

I tell all young fiddlers to enjoy themselves, and to join the Musicians’ Union!

It doesn’t matter what style of music you play, its all music in the end: a road to the heart and mind. What one is moved by, what you see with your eyes closed when listening, that’s what matters.

Look after the talent you have. What makes you happiest is doing what you do best, to the best of your ability.

Originally published in The Strad, April 2011. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.

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