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new to fiddlin'

Posted by salishsilver on Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Just a week or two ago I picked up this fiddle at the 2 hand store for $75.  it's kinda purty, can't tell about the purflings or anything else.  the 4th string is off and I haven't gotten around to getting a set ti fix it up.  I play a bit of banjo and thought I'd try something else, a man can never have enough hobbies.  I have a suspicion that this is a pretty cheap korean or something like that.  the sound post is up and now i have set up the bridge, and when I run the bow over the strings it makes something close to music.  it came with a case and a busted up chunk of rosin.  Anybody suggest a set of strings for a beginner?  Or would I be in the very small category of the three stringed fiddlers society?  I can get strings close by, but at 25 to 30 bucks a set I have to wait and get them after I buy propane.  Its propane season here in NW Montana, and I need some, or I'll be spending nights in my office to keep warm.  Oh well, another day. 

3 comments on “new to fiddlin'”

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 @10:51:51 AM

Does the fiddle have four string adjusters?  They are also called fine tuners.  Those are the nickel-plated or black thingies with a screw at the tail piece that when you tighten it, the tension increases, and when you loosen it, the string tension decreases.

If you have four string adjusters, you can get the cheapest steel strings around, say of the Super Sensitive label.  If you have only one string adjuster, then get a set with a steel E (the high string) and synthetic cores for the others.  Since you are just learning, it frankly doesn't matter what kind you use.  Personally, when I was learning I preferred the softer tone of the synthetic cores.

Spend an extra $4 and buy a cheap practice mute.  You kith and kin will thank you!  Big hint: an Ultra viola practice mute is bigger and still fits a fiddle, quieting it down even further.  If money should rain from the sky and you can afford $11 - $13 for a mute, get a metal one, trying it at the store to make sure that it will stay on the bridge.

Speaking of mutes, in addition to using a metal mute, I slip a brass Gold Tone Ultra Banjo Mute onto the bridge below the fiddle strings for extra dampening.  If you have one, use it.

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