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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Fiddle before banjo..

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Kye - Posted - 05/10/2019:  20:58:43

Hey mates!
Looking for a sound off of those who started playing banjo after playing fiddle a while.
Especially if banjo was your first chorded instrument. (of course, also just curious of other double-dippers, period!)

What advantages or disadvantages, insights, knowhow, whathave you do you you had from knowing fiddle before banjo? Is there anything you think was easier/harder to learn?

Any cross-fiddle/banjo tips for a banjo newb?


And yes.. this was xposted to BH. :) Curious how many others are on both..

2749guitars - Posted - 05/10/2019:  21:23:25

I'm just the opposite. I started playing Banjo a few years back. and Now I have recently purchased a Viola. I make lots of ugly noises with it.

soppinthegravy - Posted - 05/10/2019:  22:08:21

I played banjo first, but I'very know several fiddlers who picked up the banjo later, and most of them have a hard time. I've noticed that they typically use less slides than people who played banjo first.

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 05/11/2019:  01:38:49

I find that the fiddle and banjo are the two most different instruments in the string instrument family. Even when you include the fact that banjos can be fretless, too, the differences are major. Just to cite one example, the fiddle's sound is based on the idea of sustaining a note while the banjo's sound is based on attacking a note and letting it decay. I won't even go into the different techniques used to play the things or the way you hold them. You gotta say, though, that they sound great when they play together.

TuneWeaver - Posted - 05/11/2019:  04:37:59

I started fiddle first...that helped me learn the banjo in that I already knew what the tunes in my head that I wanted to play on the I didn't have to learn both tunes and technique at the same time..

coryobert - Posted - 05/11/2019:  12:38:21

I've played fiddle for 27 years, and started playing claw hammer about 2 years ago. My wife plays, so we have a lot of banjos around and I always wanted to learn. I have to say that it was the most liberating thing ever. I was completely unintimidated by it. I mean come on, after you've subjected yourself to learning the fiddle, what's there to be afraid of? You have frets, so even if you hit a wrong note, as long as your right hand is still chugging along, it won't sound horrible, and can even lead to some nice surprises. And a fretless with nylon strings is a lot of fun if you're already used to the fiddle.

farmerjones - Posted - 05/11/2019:  13:17:38

Started banjer in 1980. Started fiddle in 2003. I didn't know better.

birdseyemaple - Posted - 05/11/2019:  20:59:17

I started playing clawhammer banjo about a year and a half ago, which was also when I fell in love with old time music and fiddle tunes. I started playing fiddle about a month ago because I had to scratch that itch. I think both are challenging for different reasons. I am finding fiddle a little bit easier than when I first started playing banjo because the frailing pattern can be very counterintuitive (at least it was for me). However, fiddle has also been difficult for other reasons. I think the fiddle/banjo duo when done well is one of the most beautiful things ever.

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