I’m putting some effort lately into improving the technique and tone of my playing. This involves taking a look at the way I hold the fiddle and playing long, slow notes in order to spend time with the intonation. Slowing things down reveals my weak spots and curiosity is the best teacher. I’m listening to the sounds coming from the instrument and exploring ways to make it better. My favorite practice technique is to play random notes on the fiddle, not playing tunes, just making pretty sounds. I think this trains my ear (and my fingers) to find the best sounds.
At the same time, it seems that shifts and breakthroughs in technique are always accompanied by everything else in my playing falling apart. I hold the fiddle just slightly to the left so I am in a better position to use my fourth finger, and the bowing becomes wobbly and weak. I know this will correct itself. It’s all part of this crazy process and I love it.