What the Users Think

Comments from famous pickers and just regular people

From Bobby Hicks, Grammy winner and bluegrass fiddle legend:
"I recommend the Fiddlewidget to anyone that wants to expand their double stop toolbox. It helps you find combinations of double stops on your fiddle you might not ordinarily think about, with an easy to use, color coded sliding rule type scale"----- Bobby Hicks, Marshall, NC

From Becky Buller, fiddle player and vocalist with Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike:
"The Fiddlewidget is a remarkable tool for helping your students increase their knowledge of the fingerboard and chords. Leave it to a retired engineer to come up with a slide rule for the fiddle! I highly recommend this fine product."----- Becky Buller, Murfreesboro, TN

Here's one from another professional musician--a guitarist in Northern Kentucky, who is learning some mandolin:
"Hi Bruce, I am sorry it took me two weeks to get back with you. I have been having a BLAST !!! with these new toys. I wish these were around 35 years ago when I first started playing. This is the most fantastic learning tool I have ever seen (or used) in all my years of playing . This would have accelerated my study of classical guitar and musical theory in my formative years while I attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. This is a must have for anyone, either a beginner or a seasoned p rofessional to have to advance their musical understanding and skills." ---- JAMES WARNER, Professional Guitarist

From Joe Booher, mandolinist for Ohio-based New Found Road:
"The widget is wonderful and has helped me and my students tremendously. Right now, I lent it to my girlfriend's brother when I was in Toronto, Ontario. He is a music major and is trying to learn mandolin to add to his array of talent. I brought it with me in my case and he fell in love with the idea. I have found that "The Widget" is most "deadly" to those who have learned from wee lads to read and write music. It makes the transition so easy from paper to ear. (vice-versa) Most "bluegrassers" are surprised with the idea of a little tool that can translate and break down the instrument's mental lock on beginners and even old vets! The Widget has allowed me to expand my knowledge of the mandolin that surpasses the boundaries of bluegrass in just a few weeks of use. Missing an opportunity to get a Widget would only make the road to understanding any instrument harder when it doesn't have to be!"----- Joseph Booher

And from the students'side, here's one from Becky Wise, a mandolin student in the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Music Program:
"Widgetry Rocks! I have a mandolin and a guitar widget, and both have become very valuable learning tools in helping me "step up a notch" here and there in my musical education! For years I mostly "hummed and strummed", with a few rock and transitional licks thrown in, so learning to pick bluegrass style has been and is still a challenging new adventure! I take private instruction on both instruments, and have discovered my widgets have served to expedite the learning process time after time! Recently I was given an assignment to learn a lead on new song totally by ear in the key of B, which is a key I have limited experience playing in. When I stopped just fumbling for the notes that matched those on my tape, and set my mandolin widget in front of me in the key of B, I easily found first the notes in the B scale (high and low scale in first position) and then on up the neck into second position. I was then was able to use eye and ear together to determine the accurate note progressions in the tune and access my options in playing them. I probably saved myself an additional evening's work by giving myself a visual as well as an audio guide. I have also been trying to learn the more commonly played scales and arpeggios on both instruments to increase my "off the cuff" lead picking ability and have found the widgets equally useful in that exercise. They have also helped me put chords together that I needed to play for a particular song, but rarely use and didn't know, and helped me (find) "minor","7th" and other unfamiliar chords at times when it just wasn't convenient to use a chord chart Since a widget has multiple functions, I will take it with me when I travel instead of multiple chord charts. I have found it to be an extremely valuable tool and would highly recommend it for musicians at any level, and especially students trying to familiarize themselves with the potential and possibilities of the instrument they are learning to play." ---- Becky Wise Blountville, TN

Here's one from a music teacher in Texas:
"What I thought was keen about the fiddlewidgets was that if you have no music training, no music theory knowledge, you could look at the fiddlewidget, slide to the chord or scale you wish to play and the information that you need is right there, very easy to understand. All beginners should have one handy. Keep me posted."--- Annmarie DeMattia, Richardson, TX

From a lefthanded multi-instrumentalist in North Carolina:
"I could not believe anything so small could put so much knowledge in your hands-everything you need is right there, and you can either use it while practicing or take it wherever you go and practice without your instrument. I want one for everything I play. Can you make them for alternative tunings as well?"---- Chuck Brown Columbus, NC

And from Todd Meade, a young fiddler who recently spent a year touring with Ralph Stanley, until his mama made him quit and go to college. Todd taught a fiddle class at Mtn Empire college in Virginia and used an earlier Fiddlewidget version in his class----
"The fiddlewidget- Easy to learn and great to teach by!!" --- Todd Meade, Nicklesville, Va

And from a banjo teacher in South Texas: ----
"The Banjo Fiddlewidget is such an ingenius, yet simple tool, I don't know why anyone hasn't thought of it before. This simple little chord guide not only educates you on chord structure, it allows you to broaden your scope of chord positions up and down the neck. The practical uses of the Banjo Fiddlewidget are limited only by one's imagination. I highly recommend this tool not only for beginner players wishing to learn the chord structures, but also to more advanced players eager to create new innovative licks." Wil Huckabay - BanjoMD