Robin, it's a skill, isn't it, to be able to hear the essence of a melody without all the clutter? And fiddles add a lot of clutter, that's for sure. I sometimes examine several examples of sheet music for a tune I'm working on. By looking at what they all have in common, you can sometimes isolate the core of a tune. Sometimes when I hear a fiddle tune I feel like the Austrian Emperor in the film Amadeus, who tells Mozart that his music has "too many notes."
Maybe you can lend me Mark for 15 or 20 minutes. A guitar accompaniment to my flatpicking version of "Pig Ankle Rag" would help out a lot (and maybe hide some of the imprecision in my picking). If I knew how to do even basic home recordings I would record my own guitar rhythm track, but I have no idea how to do that. Poor, poor ignorant me.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie