My wife surprised me with a fiddle for Christmas! I have been playing guitar since the age of 10. But I'm now 62 and have never played without frets or with a bow. I have "played" it every day since I got. Progress is slow but sure. I starting playing mandolin several years ago. That has been a huge help. In fact, I have been using mandolin as a crutch. I memorize tunes on the mandolin so I don't have to try to read music and play the fiddle at the same time! Is it normal for one note to be more difficult than all the others? For some reason D on the A string almost never sounds as good as the other notes.
Welcome, Dale, to the Hangout.. Since you play a mandolin I can't imagine that your 'ring' finger isn't strong enough to make good string/fingerboard contact so that would have been my first guess... weak finger.. SO.. since that is probably not the problem.. tell a little about the violin..IF it is old, the fingerboard may be the problem..just guessing..The experts will respond soon and I'll be wondering what they say..
Thanks for the welcome. I too am from Indiana... but I'm near the shore of Lake Michigan. The violin is a very inexpensive student model from Cecilio. I suppose it could be part of the problem. But sometimes the "bad" note sounds fine. Well... as "fine" as the other notes. I've only been playing it for (less than) 3 months. It seems odd that I would have more problems with one note than the others. Thanks again.
That ring finger is very strong but it's one of the more difficult fingers to develop fine control. It's in the wiring and tendons. It can and will improve with time and practice. It may not be coming down on the string the same way twice. With no frets, that becomes audible as an off-key note or as bad tone. Or it's something else entirely. $.02 worth.
Well, here's my two cents, well, my one cents, since I've only been playing for one year (but I started when I was 60...so MUCH younger than you). Anyway, that D on the A is sitting there right next to that big ole open D string, and when you get that D on the A right on, that open D rings with it, and the entire violin resonates, and it's a beautiful thing. You can hear it and you can feel it. But if you're just a little off, that open D doesn't ring and the violin does not resonate, and it sounds bad and feels wrong. Because of all that, I think that D on the A is the most obvious note when you get it right and when you get it wrong. At least for me. In other words, it's not harder, you just notice it more when it's wrong. Do you play with a tuner? That may help you narrow in on that D.
Just keep makin' noise. Before too much time goes by you'll be making music. And yes, certain pitches can be tough to both hit and sound pretty. Just keep at it. In any case it truly helps when you become relaxed and comfortable with the bow.
One thing to keep in mind as you start fiddling is that, at least in GDAE standard tuning, the key of D will probably fall under your fingers with the most ease. D sits in a spot on the fingerboard where it's easy to go both down into the bass regions and up into the trebles. G is a close second. A ain't bad, but there's a reason why Old Time fiddlers usually tune their instrument to what is known as Cross Tuning when they play in A. The key of C, meantime, may be a cinch on the piano but it has been known to start fistfights over its relative ease/difficulty on this genteel website.
The key of C, meantime, may be a cinch on the piano but it has been known to start fistfights over its relative ease/difficulty on this genteel website.
You're right about that. One of my first posts here was about me having difficulty with the key of C. Some folks were sympathetic and others thought I was an idiot and weren't afraid to tell me so. Which is about that same that folks think about me outside of fiddling too, come to think about it.
Sorta off subject, but since you are new, be sure and check out the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering coming up in August. Great festival!
Thanks for the heads up! I have been to The Indiana Fiddler's Gathering a few times... as a lowly mandolinist and guitar player. It was big fun. I got to see Uncle Earl when Abigail Washburn was in the band! I just checked out their web site. It looks like they're planning to have it this year!