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Fiddless!

Posted by Sassafrassa on Friday, December 3, 2010

I went to see Joe Shelton today, and he was a joy!  He was recommended to me to take a look at my fiddle since I"ve been having some concerns about the tone lately.  He was as nice as could be.  He looked it over and played it a bit.  Hated the strings....REALLY hated the strings.  They are Dominants, but he really hated them on my fiddle.  Said they were probably contributing to the mushiness.  But also...my nut was too high and the bridge a bit too thick.  Plus the sound post needs a bit of adusting.  The neck is a little rough, so he's going to smooth that out a bit as well.  All things I didn't notice, but I'm such a novice, that I didn't know any better.  I really like my fiddle...but now I see what needs adjusting.

He let me play his fiddle a bit to show me the difference between a properly set up instrument and mine.  Wow.  I was blown away by the ease of the playing on his vs. mine.  The action was much lower.  The strings felt completely different (he plays with Helicores), and the tone was bright and focused.  Not overly bright, but happy sounding, if that makes sense.  The neck was much more delicate than mine, and was so smooth. The finish was gorgeous, too.  Loved it.  Probably way more fiddle than I would ever need, but....wow.  Gave me a picture into what I want in my next fiddle, that's for sure!

But...I had to leave my girl with Joe for the week while he fixes what needs to be fixed.  I'm fiddleless.  Guess I'll have to make up with my banjo for the weekend!! 

Thanks for reading!  Hope I'll have good news next week when I get my girl back....



11 comments on “Fiddless!”

M-D Says:
Friday, December 3, 2010 @2:46:44 PM

Sounds like a good reason to have two fiddles, to me. One just never knows when the unexpected will occur, so. . . . ;o)

bj Says:
Friday, December 3, 2010 @2:52:53 PM

Yes, we all need a second fiddle, even if it's a junker. Fiddles need periodic maintenance no matter how good they are, and you need something to play when your baby goes into the fiddle clinic.

Feodosia Says:
Friday, December 3, 2010 @3:01:19 PM

I saw the word " Fiddless " and thought that meant a " Goddess that plays the fiddle " :-)

Straight steel strings are pretty stiff , and so I think they need lower action then the other types of strings ... Helicores are composite , so they have alittle more flex .... I set my bridges purely on guess work and just try not to lower the action so much that a buzzing starts .
A task best left up to experts , Im sure !

M-D Says:
Friday, December 3, 2010 @3:05:00 PM

LOL I thought the same, Jimmy. :o)

Sassafrassa Says:
Friday, December 3, 2010 @5:40:45 PM

Yup. I definitely see a need for a second in my stable. Just have to wait for the finances to catch up!

Feodosia, I love the idea of a fiddle goddess! We have coined a new term!!

No idea about the setup, hence the trip to see Joe. He's going to set it up the way he would want to play it. Since I'm going to take lessons from him, I will trust him to do his best for the instrument. He's been playing for 25 years, so he seems to know his stuff. I don't trust my self to do any tweaking without guidance!!

eerohero Says:
Sunday, December 5, 2010 @10:44:33 AM

I use Helicores for now,and somewhat pleased with them,kind of rough sound, which I like also, soft strings are good in many ways,yet Blues and Swing requires rough strings, which is on my brain right now.

Second Fiddle, yes, my dream also, I just have to find it first, and fall in love on it, blowing me out of my mind immediately.Im still looking at the live auctions here.

cheekee Says:
Sunday, December 5, 2010 @1:10:22 PM

i love making word smashups. they're fun! lol

Sassafrassa Says:
Sunday, December 5, 2010 @2:41:24 PM

eerohero--I will be very interested to see how the Helicores sound on my fiddle. I liked the Dominants until I tried the Helicores on Joe's fiddle...we'll see if they like my fiddle as well as his! I'm sure it will take some adjusting to. I haven't started looking seriously, yet. I just started playing earlier this year, but I think that I've got it pretty bad. I've got fiddle lust. :-D

cheekee--Me, too! I love inventing language. I do it all the time...sometimes on purpose! :)

cheekee Says:
Sunday, December 5, 2010 @9:15:39 PM

right now i have a banjoaner in my possession.

that's a banjo that is on indefinite loan from a friend so i can see if i want one as a new toy. orrrrrrr....when a person is just really happy to see a banjo player. ba-dum-bum cha! (in this case, the first definition applies).

Sassafrassa Says:
Monday, December 6, 2010 @4:02:12 AM

LOVE it, cheekee!!!

cheekee Says:
Monday, December 6, 2010 @4:00:51 PM

i think i made a banjoaner joke every day for a week. i could hardly control myself.

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