If you've visited Violin Student Central for a while, you've undoubtedly read about Mark O'Connor on one of our History pages. Today we mentioned his Violin Concerto No. 6, Old Brass.

Back in the 1980s O'Connor was a session musician working in Nashville.  He was good, but he felt that he still needed more work.  And although he had studied music as varied as Classical, Texas Swing and Bluegrass, a lot of what O'Connor recorded wound up being cut. 

O'Connor approached various people about how to get more work and keep his playing on the albums that he worked on.  Ricky Skaggs told him to listen to as many country fiddlers as he could and learn to play everything that they played so well that it seemed that the music was just coming straight out the back of his hand.

This discouraged O'Connor.  He wanted to be known for his own abilities, and not just the ability to imitate what other fiddlers already did.  O'Connor decided that he would continue to work on his own style and become even better.

He says that it was a very bleak year and a half, but eventually producers came to like the music that O'Connor played, and he picked up even more work.  Not only that, but he was happy with what he was doing!

The lesson here?  As long as it doesn't hurt someone else, do what is right for you.  You'll be happier with everything in the end!

More about O'Connor in a few days.
        Hint:  Jazz Beckons!
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Famous Fiddlin' Tunes - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Famous Fiddlin' Tunes Arranged by Craig Duncan. Fiddle songbook and performance CD for fiddle. Qwik Guide Series. 61 pgs. Published by Mel Bay.
See more info...
Fiddler Magazine
Violin Mark O'Connor Double Concerto
Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp Back to Basics. Performed by Mark O'connor. Homespun Tapes (Instructional). DVD .
See more info...
Mark O'Connor - Contest Fiddling Championship Style - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Mark O'Connor - Contest Fiddling Championship Style Performer: Mark O'Connor. Homespun Tapes (Instructional). Video cassette. See more info...
Fiddler Magazine
A Fun Resource for Fiddlers and Violinists Alike!
Mark O'Connor's Double Concerto with another of my favorite Violinists, Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg!
Yamaha Standard Model AV7 Violin Oblong Case 4/4 Size
Need a New Violin for School? Check Out This One!
Violin Tip of the Day - August 11
* Violin Tips for Practice and Rehearsals.

* Violin Technique and Exercises.

* How to Care for Your Violin.

* Inspiration and Motivation for Violinists, Fiddlers, or
   Anyone Interested in Stringed Instruments.
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Violin Tip of the Day -- Violin Student Central -- February 1