Friday, April 16, 2010

Why I Like the Fiddle

I always set my iPod to "shuffle songs" because I have a hard time making decisions and will spend my whole drive in total silence trying to find the perfect song if I don't. I'm getting worse too, I can't even go to Subway anymore without getting all frustrated and anxious about my toppings, then ending up with some God-awful sandwich that I just want to trade with the person sitting next to me, but that's neither here nor there. Tonight on my way home from the grocery store I was skipping through all the "filler songs" that I just put on there so that anyone who might steal my iPod would think I'm cool and I stopped when "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" came on. I turned up the volume, rolled down the windows, I sang the wrong words really loud and smiled when that band of demons joined in. I love to hear someone play the fiddle because I love to watch someone play the fiddle. I've thought about why that is because I spend a lot of time thinking about myself, and I suspect that I like the fiddle because of how one has to play it. You've got to hold it with your chin, which means you have to hold your head very still, the neck is small so your fingers have to move very little, but very fast at times so they have to be precise, the bow has to strike the strings just-so but it's long, so while one hand is making very short, very precise movements, the other is required to be a lot more active. There's a lot going on, but the size of the instrument and the way it's held don't allow for a lot of bouncing around and "soul"-demonstration, as in "man, he's got SOUL!" The sound is beautiful, especially when it's Johnny playing, he's the best there's ever been, but I think it's the intensity and control required to play the fiddle that makes it so appealing to me. Self-control, even in situations when self-control is of very little importance like a concert, or when your soul is at stake, goes a long way with me. When you follow a performance with "that's how you do it, son," like in the Charlie Daniels Geico commercials the fiddle seems even more cool. I do miss that cute little Geico gecko, though.

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