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Old 08-06-07, 04:28 PM   #1
danmckenzie
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Musicians on the road

I was wondering if there were any musicians who took their instruments on the road with them. I play banjo and am just starting to learn fiddle. I have this aspiration to travel wherever I can and learn the local fiddle style. This would include anywhere I can take my bike. I was just wondering what kind of experiences have in terms of finding musicians or just finding music of the area. I like to think that there is still a good amount of cultural music in the world and everybody isn't listening to...well I don't know any hot names right now so we'll forgo that for now.

Dan
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Old 08-06-07, 06:48 PM   #2
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Bach in the saddle again



Christian Adam has been riding his bike and playing the violin for years He holds the world record at 60km.

Banjo picker on a bicycle? Somehow my brain is stuck with the image of Rodney Dillard riding a bicycle
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Old 08-06-07, 07:51 PM   #3
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I take my harmonica along on occassion for those quiet evenings around a campfie (or stove). Bagpipes are too difficult to carry on a bike.
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Old 08-06-07, 08:34 PM   #4
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See Band touring U.S.-- by bike for a discussion about a rock band who did a nationwide tour by bike.
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Old 08-06-07, 09:02 PM   #5
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I think what I am trying to ask is if anyone has used music to meet someone. So here is the scenario I picture in my mind.

So I am riding along thru a nice little town with my fiddle case (banjo is to big for and way too heavy) strapped on my rack. I stop to grab a bite to eat and someone comes up to me asking me about the bike and then asks if there really is a violin in the case. I say yes and with a big smile say they play some stuff. I aske them what they play and it turns out the play the local folk style (so if I were in Louisina it would be Cajun or Creole or in North Carolina it would be old-time fiddle tunes). They end up showing me stuff and I show them stuff. I learn a new style of fiddling and get to take that with me for the rest of the trip and home eventually.

Ideally that story would repeat most of the places I go. For me it would be one of the coolest ways of meeting people. It's one reason why I would want to go on an international tour. I hope the story sort of clears up what I am trying to ask here. Just want to see if anyone has any experiences like this.

Dan
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Old 08-07-07, 08:42 PM   #6
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I've toured with an ocarina (it's a lot easier to carry than a fiddle or banjo), and it's usually a good way to meet people. In Italy I've been invited in for coffee and sometimes dinner. Most people are more fascinated by the bike, but your fiddle should have more appeal than an ocarina, especially if you run across other fiddlers.

As far as learning music, I've never met a fellow ocarina player this way but I've met a lot of musicians who pulled out their banjo/fiddle/clarinet and shared their stuff with me. I even have a page in my journal where an old Greek folk singer wrote the words and notation for a song from his island--in Greek.

On one tour I stumbled upon a national banjo festival and met a lot of fascinating people, even though I don't play the banjo. (This was in 1993 so I don't know where or whether this festival still happens.) If you know of any fiddle/bluegrass festivals, show up on your bike and you'll definitely get a warm welcome!

Wherever you go, you'll always meet musicians. And it seems like the smaller the town, the more friendly and interesting the musicians are.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:01 PM   #7
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Harmonica here.

Plus I played piano for a couple of country churches.
And a fairly big church in Nebraska City.
But I don't bring my piano with me.

In fact, it has been an excellent way of meeting people -
Stopping in at churches and asking to play their piano -
Except that over twenty years - folks are less spur of the moment.
It used to be that whoever was at the church would say, "Sure!"
Now they are more skeptical - permission - who are you? - etc.

I guess it's a sign of the times.
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Old 08-07-07, 11:33 PM   #8
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Good to hear that that kind of stuff still happens. Now I just need to learn how to play at least one style (don't actually play yet) and then can't forget to get the whole touring equipment stuff. Damn I just want to go now and not worry about school or other things that my money should go towards. Argh.

Dan
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Old 08-08-07, 07:29 AM   #9
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I take my harmonica everywhere.
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Old 08-08-07, 09:35 AM   #10
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If you searched for sites like http://www.turkeytrackbluegrass.com/ and planned around them you could have a great tour. This is 60 miles in the middle of no where but the camp area grows by 3000+ people when it is going on. At any city you can stop at the local music shop and find someone pickin.
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Old 08-08-07, 11:31 AM   #11
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http://www.thedittybopsbiketour.blogspot.com/

They also did a bike fashion calendar
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Old 08-08-07, 11:45 AM   #12
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I would like to put my mandolin on my bike and do a small local tour and see what happens. Good idea. I took my mandolin on a camping trip once and started playing after dark. After a few songs I thought it was a little late and started putting it away and from the darkness I started getting requests for songs from across the campground. Surreal, but a lot of fun.

Steven
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