Why playing fiddle is much like riding a bike

A few weeks ago I got 100 miles in on my bike and 100 miles in on my fiddle. I mean with two gigs and two sessions during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend I think we can count that as miles on the fiddle don’t you? Anyway, it got me thinking that my two passions are similar in so many ways.

  • You never forget how to ride a bike. Though sometimes it’s hard to remember tunes I learned a year ago, I still remember where to place my fingers and strike my bow. It’s always a bit refreshing when I start playing again after taking some time off.
  • Practice makes perfect. I’ll never ride like Lance Armstrong just like I’ll never play like Liz Carroll but the more I ride and the more I play, the more precise I get.
  • Biking is meditative. Whether you’re riding a long ride on your bike or playing fiddle in a killer session, both can clear your mind of stress.
  • You can do it alone or in a group. It’s nice to play in a session but isn’t it also nice to rock out a few tunes in the comfort of your living room?
  • You need to build up endurance. It’s not easy to play three shows on St. Patrick’s Day without lots of practicing in between. Just like it’s not easy to ride 50 miles on your first ride of the season.

Tis the season to ride more and play more. Happy playing!

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