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Hey guys!

I recently applied for a job in YNP as a musician/cookout entertainer. I'm a classically trained violinist (13 years) and thought it would be fun to experience something new for the summer. Can anyone tell me what a musicians job specifically entails? Has anyone ever worked in that field before that could give me some advice?


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I can't really tell you what the job entails but I play the violin too! Not for a job though. I took lessons in middle and high school and now I just play on my own for fun.

The music you're used to playing won't be a lot of help. You should learn (and have absolutely nailed down) a series of "cowboy tunes" for entertaining guests. Keep in mind, you'll be playing a "fiddle," not a violin (I know they're actually the same instrument, but the tuning and the techniques are different). The primary difference between classical and "Americana" violin/fiddle is that in American fiddle playing (imported from Celtic and Breton traditions), the musician applies a significant amount of pressure on the upstroke as well as the downstroke. This is often referred to as "the driven bow" and one of its foremost modern practitioners is Alasdair Fraser--he has several recordings out and they might give you some tune ideas (I don't know how much freedom you'll have to choose what music you play).

You'll probably be paid very little--maybe even subminimum wage--as this will be a tipped position. The good news is that the tips can be pretty good in a gig like this. You will, of course, be expected to help out with the cookout itself, setup, tear-down, etc. as well as play for the guests in the evening. You'll become very close to the rest of your crew as you'll all be working togetherto provide a great experience for the guests. It's one of the best jobs IMHO, and beats hell out of making beds or waiting tables.

Thank you! I'll start learning some western music/ cowboy tunes right away!

I'm sure everyone knows the difference between the violin and the fiddle. lol. And you never know what she might play. I'm sure there will be western cowboy tunes but there will probably be also classic pieces too.

Actually, not everyone knows that there IS no difference, "lol." And the average American knows about as many classical violin pieces as he has pet water buffalo in his basement. It's a cowboy atmosphere, you've gotta do cowboy to keep the guests happy.

The "chuckwagon cookout" shtick is kind of hokey, but fun. There are definite things you're expected to do and provide if you're an employee. I doubt you can play anything that you want, or that a nice Bach sonata would go over very well. But what the heck--you can always try!

I'm just saying that the fiddle and the violin are the same thing so does it really matter what it's called?

I don't have a problem with anything classical but it'll be an interesting change learning the western techniques. I'm up for the challenge!


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