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Learning the Violin/Fiddlewhat to buy

violin fiddle

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#1 Ayaura

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 01:19 PM

Hi,

So I have been wanting to learn the violin for some time now, and I want to go out and buy something.
However, I am not very educated on violins versus fiddles, and am not sure what is best for me to begin on.

I have been playing guitar for ages so am not new to the stringed instrument, but I would like to learn some Ashley Macisaac, Natalie Mcmaster sorta stuff.

What are the advantages, pros/cons of the fiddle to the violin? And what is a good starter model?

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#2 Matt B

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 04:04 AM

There is no practical difference between a fiddle and a violin. It's all in the way you play it. Some instruments have a more growly-midrange tone to them, which tends to sound better when doing double stops (which are very common in fiddle playing). Some have a brighter sound, which lends it self a little better to classic style violin playing. That being said, my g/f has one instrument (well 2, but one's an electric) and plays both classical violin and country/bluegrass fiddle on it. As far as models, it really isn't like guitar. Your best bet is going to be to go to either a Pawn Shop or a store with a decent selection of classical/folk stringed instruments and see what you can find. If you know someone who plays ask them to come with you. Or if there's a salesman at the store that can play it, have them play alittle. Find one that you like the tone of, and doesn't have any cracking issues, doesn't look like it's been repaired a ton, and has stable tuning pegs. I'd budget $200-$500 for a first fiddle. You should be able to get a pretty nice one for that price, then if you are sticking with it and improving, you can start looking for an upgrade, and keep the older one around as a campfire instrument.

I would also recommend getting a teacher. Even just someone to play with two or three times a month. Here's a couple of other fiddle players you should check out too (all can be found on youtube, some even have instructional clips up); Stuart Duncan, Jason Carter (plays with Del McCoury), Darol Anger, Brittany Haas, Sam Bush, Ron Stewart, John Hartford, Bobby Hicks, Tim O'Brien, Alison Krauss (that one seems obvious, but you never know), Michael Cleveland, Chubby Wise, and Kenny Baker.

Hope I didn't ramble too much, it's getting close to bed time. If you have any more questions or anything, feel free to ask. My g/f is a pretty serious fiddle player, so while I don't play, I have picked up some knowledge by osmosis.

#3 Ayaura

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:45 AM

There is no practical difference between a fiddle and a violin. It's all in the way you play it. Some instruments have a more growly-midrange tone to them, which tends to sound better when doing double stops (which are very common in fiddle playing). Some have a brighter sound, which lends it self a little better to classic style violin playing. That being said, my g/f has one instrument (well 2, but one's an electric) and plays both classical violin and country/bluegrass fiddle on it. As far as models, it really isn't like guitar. Your best bet is going to be to go to either a Pawn Shop or a store with a decent selection of classical/folk stringed instruments and see what you can find. If you know someone who plays ask them to come with you. Or if there's a salesman at the store that can play it, have them play alittle. Find one that you like the tone of, and doesn't have any cracking issues, doesn't look like it's been repaired a ton, and has stable tuning pegs. I'd budget $200-$500 for a first fiddle. You should be able to get a pretty nice one for that price, then if you are sticking with it and improving, you can start looking for an upgrade, and keep the older one around as a campfire instrument.

I would also recommend getting a teacher. Even just someone to play with two or three times a month. Here's a couple of other fiddle players you should check out too (all can be found on youtube, some even have instructional clips up); Stuart Duncan, Jason Carter (plays with Del McCoury), Darol Anger, Brittany Haas, Sam Bush, Ron Stewart, John Hartford, Bobby Hicks, Tim O'Brien, Alison Krauss (that one seems obvious, but you never know), Michael Cleveland, Chubby Wise, and Kenny Baker.

Hope I didn't ramble too much, it's getting close to bed time. If you have any more questions or anything, feel free to ask. My g/f is a pretty serious fiddle player, so while I don't play, I have picked up some knowledge by osmosis.


Wow, thanks for the info.

I am wondering about frets verse no frets... what are the advantages of no frets, and what are the drawbacks?

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#4 Matt B

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:18 PM

As far as I know, they don't make fretted fiddles. And if they did I would not recommend one. What most people do when they are learning is tape the fingerboard with pieces of masking tape. Another thing to do is to play with a tuner on all the time. That'll help make sure you're putting your fingers down in the right spot. Personally, if I ever try to really learn the fiddle, I'll do both.

#5 docsimon

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:44 AM

violin is best



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