A tune a day for a year ...with strings attached

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A MUSIC student from East Wemyss is nearing a remarkable achievement.

Violinist David Grubb (20) for the past 11 months has been learning a new fiddle tune every day and posting it online, with the intention of reaching a full year.

So far, the undergraduate at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama he’s reached 348 out of his 365 day target and has built up a loyal following on his way.

So why did he decide to ‘fiddle while the year turned’?

“I originally started the project as a bit of fun to learn new tunes,” he said.

“However, it soon began to gather a fair bit of attention; the total video hits recorded has almost reached 60,000, something I’m very proud of. Not only has the project been good fun, it’s also served as a valuable resource to new fiddlers who are looking to learn new tunes and techniques.”

Although he admits it’s impossible to remember every day’s tune, David does have favourites that he continues to play to himself and in his folk band.

“It has got easier as I’ve progressed,” he admitted.

“I’ve streamlined the process of filming and editing, and the music itself comes more naturally as I’ve developed over the course of the project.”

The hardest thing about the project has been finding the time to balance it against his college course in classical violin.

The tunes are selected form a variety of sources – books, sheet music, recordings that he transcribes and databases on the internet.

He also gives his online subscribers the opportunity to suggest tunes they want to hear, which can be done directly from his YouTube page and Blog.

David started learning the violin at Coaltown of Wemyss Primary and continued to play at Buckhaven High.

With his sights firmly set on a career in music, when he was in sixth year he started going to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama on Saturdays – now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

After finishing school he did a year of music at Stevenson College, Edinburgh, then went to Cardiff to study.

When he finishes his course in the summer of 2013, he plans to audition for post-graduate courses both in Cardiff and Glasgow.

“What I do once I finish studying really depends on what happens over the next few years,” he added, “ but I’d love to be a performer whether it be in a symphony orchestra, theatre orchestra or a folk band. I’d be more than happy either way...”

Meanwhile, though, his tune a day target is getting closer, and closer.

“There’s a great sense of achievement as I approach the final day,” said David, whose family still live in East Wemyss.

“I’d love to keep going the way I am but, unfortunately, as I progress with my studies, I have more and more work to be doing and won’t be able to keep up the daily posts.

“However I don’t plan on stopping. The project has been great fun and I’ve built up a small yet consistent fan base, who really enjoy my playing and give me great feedback.

“Although I’ve learnt a lot from doing it there’s still a lot more for me to learn, and I plan to continue the project in the form of a “Fiddler’s Blog”; essentially it will be the same formula with a new lick of paint, and instead of daily posts I’ll be doing them on a weekly basis – or more, depending on my availability.”

•The links to David’s projects on YouTube and Blog are: