Vidar Underseth:
My First Fiddletunes

Published by Forlaget Felespelaren

You can order the DVD from
Forlaget Felespelaren, Nybømarka 17, N-6011 Ålesund Norway.

Telephone: (+47) 70 15 09 10
Mobile: (+47) 92 68 55 16



Revet kant

My First Fiddletunes - Instruction DVD in Hardanger violin and traditional fiddle

The first instruction DVD in Hardanger violin and violin on Norwegian traditional tunes (”fele-slåtter”) is on the market. The publisher ”Felespelaren” (”The fiddler”) lead by the violin player and violin teacher Vidar Underseth, has made a DVD that instructs you how to play 42 traditional tunes (21 tunes for ordinary fiddle and 21 for Hardanger violin). To make it clear, this is instruction in traditional music, not classical music.

-> Til omtale med norsk tekst.

The Hardanger violin is the Norwegian national instrument, though it isn't very old in Norwegian tradition. The oldest Hardanger fiddle is younger than 400 years, and geographically it is only in the southern parts of Norway it has been played before the twentieth century.

If you want to learn how to play this instrument, the best thing is to live nearby a - ”Spelemannslag” – a society of fiddlers. The ordinary violin is a bit easier. The DVD has made it possible to multiple this opportunity. There are lots of instruction DVDs on the market for other instruments. It has been very positive for me to buy Pete Seegers How to play the 5-string banjo or Learn to play the Irish bouzouki by Zan Macleod. If there are no teachers or society of fiddlers around, this will be the best solution. It will also be a great solution beside playing with others. I enjoy watching My first fiddletunes and learn a new tune now and then from the DVD.

In the societies of fiddlers you learn by master-pupil method. The master plays and shows how to play the tune, and the pupil try to copy as best as he or she can. You learn by the ear and the eyes when you listen to what is being played and you look at the teacher's fingers and how he uses the violin bow.

On the DVD My first fiddletunes, the teaching method is the same as in traditional fiddler societies. You see the fiddler from the front and there is also a box on the screen where you see how he works with his left hand fingers. This is very smart, because then you see how he works with the violin bow, and you can study his left hand again and again. The tunes start with very simple and easy played tunes, and then moves forward to tunes where you have to play on two strings. The melodies are mostly played on one string and sometimes the strings beside will have to sing as well. The bow is not very hard to follow. You will fast experience progress without too much tears and blisters on your fingers, I believe. If you have a computer, you can print the notes and you can use the DVD on the computer or in the DVD-player.

You can slow down the speed

Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to see what the teacher does with his left hand fingers. But it works fine. A very good thing with this DVD is that you can slow down the speed to 3/4 and 1/2 if you prefer to play the tunes a bit slower. The pitch is the same. Here you can repeat as many times as you like. This is a great advantage compared to a teacher that might be a bit tired after 100 repetitions ;-). I am learning to play Hardanger violin myself, and I know a lot about difficulties with this intrument. Many repetitions and slow speed on the DVD is very smart. On this DVD you will also hear girls singing verses to some of the melodies (”slåtte-stev”). There are also traditional dances danced by youngsters when the fiddler plays dance tunes.

An instruction DVD cannot do the same job as a teacher, but it will be a great help if you don't have one, or want to have a ”teacher” beside the ordinary teacher. I use this DVD to learn some tunes now and then when I have time. It is very good for me.

My first fiddletunes does not tell you anything about the bow, or how to tune, though it demonstrates standard tuning in the first cut on the DVD. This DVD will be a good purchase and a great supplement to a teacher.

To Norwegian version.

Flere musikkomtaler – Omtaler fra før jan 2010

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