September 2008

The latest issue of Trad and Now magazine has arrived and with it, the announcement that they have revamped their website. And it’s great – catalogue, reviews and all sorts is there with an online shop too! So you don’t have to wait for the next folk festival to find those CDs of artists that you don’t find in the ‘world music’ or Folk sections of the stores – Trad and now has a huge list of CDs – including very soon the new Full Circle album…

Trad and Now Trad & Now aims to promote, preserve and support the cultural diversity and heritage of all traditional and contemporary folk music and related performance arts such as poetry, dance, storytelling and folklore and to encourage this as part of our everyday lives. And the subscription is amazing value!

I love the news about festivals in Australia and elsewhere, the developments in folk, blues, roots and world music and the tunes being highlighted in each issue.

Melody Lane Studios in Sydney have done an excellent job recording my fiddle and after a long day recording three tune sets we now have enough for a CD.

jerry recording

Of course, recording is only half the battle – the tunes and songs need to be professionally mastered – balanced with each other, and some post-production work to ensure that the instruments sound their best. And there are other things to do like design a cover, write track notes and so on, and after mastering the CD will need to be pressed professionally

I also discovered – courtesy of the super-sensitive studio mics that I need to replace my violin bridge. You see, after the last crack repair on the fiddle’s body the bridge is now a little low on one side – so I’ve had to bow more lightly on that side to eliminate string buzz on the fingerboard.

We’ve had a our lighter moments during recording too – at one point to relieve the tension, our guitarist started some 12-bar blues – so I joined in on fiddle – and the sound guys fell about – they’d never seen 12 bar played on a fiddle before :-)

Anyhow the hardest part is over and I can relax for now. We drive back to Canberra tomorrow.


This question came up on The Violinist forum – and I think everyone has their take on the subject. I would say that the decision to leave a teacher is a personal one – it may just be time to change teachers. Also, if you have reached a good standard I have always found it useful to take on a student – it really forces you to show good technique for the student – and by doing so, you keep yourself in check. And I agree with the other respondents there that there is always more to learn with the violin, and it is good to have at least irregular ‘tune-up’ sessions with a good teacher to ensure you don’t reinforce bad habits. Yes even Perlmann gets other teachers to help maintain good technique.


You may have seen my posts on the pochette fiddle or backpacker fiddle that I made some time ago. And in fact I’m about to embark on another one – but that’s another story.

In the meantime, I see that some people are now making backpacker mandolins – I guess for the same reason I made my fiddle. This is one I spotted on YouTube recently – nice sound to it :-) Click on the image and hear it for yourself!

Pocket mandolin


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