He grew up hearing fiddle music, as his older brother, Randy was playing and entering fiddle contests. At the age of 10, Marty learned his first fiddle tune, Rubber Dolly, from his sister, Debbie. From there he started learning from his brother, Randy, and later in his teenage years he would occasionally go visit Bill Gilbert in Millsap, Texas and get a lesson. The summer he was 14, he met Benny Thomasson at a fiddle contest in Arlington, Texas. Benny gave him his phone number and told him to call and come see him. His dad took him to see Benny a couple of times that summer and those are two of his fondest memories. To this day, Benny Thomasson is Marty’s favorite fiddler and when he learns a new tune, he looks through his CD collection of Benny and learns his version first.
Marty entered his first fiddle contest when he was 10 years old at Alvarado, Texas in 1973. Since then he has entered hundreds of contests through the years all over Texas and Oklahoma. He also is asked to judge numerous contests each year.
Learning to play by ear is a great way to learn, but at the age of 35 he took on the challenge of learning to read music. Part of his motivation was so that he could transcribe fiddle tunes in order to preserve and pass them on to the next generation of fiddlers.
Marty is an avid collector of professional and jam session recordings of great fiddlers, past and present.
He currently works as a Tooling Inspector for Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. He teaches a few lessons each week from his home, teaches at Elmore Fiddle Camp, and does several workshops throughout the year. He has also been rehairing fiddle bows since 1998, a skill learned from Larry Joiner of Fort Worth.