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3 is company

Posted by Faire Fiddler Maid on Thursday, May 31, 2012

For any of you folks who have multiple fiddles:

Do you play them all about the same amount?

Do you favor one?

How do you chose if you favor one?

Do you have names for them?


I just got fiddle #3 which is an awesome 5 string. I've been playing that more than the other 2 right now and keep it in STD tuning (CGDAE) because it sounds best that way to me.

I still try to play my other 4 string fiddles. I keep them hung on the wall and ready to go. I like playing them cross tuned for how they sound best. My bright one is AEAE and the other darker voiced one is some sort of D variant like DDAD, ADAD, or ADAE.


I've been thinking about names that would suit each individual but not really sure if I want to name them and talk about them by name...feels strange to me (not sure why), even though I'm attached to each one.



9 comments on “3 is company”

richdissmore Says:
Thursday, May 31, 2012 @10:51:18 AM

hi Amy i have three fiddles all so the oldest i call o-pa ,the next one i got from a friend of mine she gone now i call that one o-ma and my fender elecric i have not named as of yet i play on o-pa and o-ma most the time i spend more time with o-ma she sounds good. then i,ll play o-pa thats german for grand ma and the other grand pa you know any were grand pa goes grand ma not far be hind

nfritzjr Says:
Thursday, May 31, 2012 @11:03:07 AM

Sounds like instrument acquisition syndrome. . . Welcome to the club. . . lol
I would like a 5 string one day when I grow up but for now still learnin the 4 string:)

fiddlerd Says:
Thursday, May 31, 2012 @11:07:47 AM

I do favor one over the other. It's the sound, the way it plays and responds to me. Is it in my head or does it really play better? I have named my favorite. The other one has to earn a name( it's getting there). I just put new strings and tailpiece on it. That helped and one day out of the blue a name for it will come to me. I just saw a show on pbs about the history of violins they all had names and favorites. One girl said she doesn't play late at night because her violin don't sound as wants to sleep (stay in the case) late at night. It's a personal thing.

Mandogryl Says:
Friday, June 1, 2012 @10:36:35 AM

I try not to have alot of instruments. I do not have violin acquisition syndrome. I have one really good one that I made, and a second one, a trade fiddle that I rebuilt and regraduated, as a backup. I guess I am rather boring that way/

Faire Fiddler Maid Says:
Friday, June 1, 2012 @11:34:17 AM

Gosh.........I hope it's not a syndrome!! (do you have to try hard not to have too many?)

Mandogryl, I don't think that's boring at all to have 2 fiddles. You sound very content, satisfied and proud to have them.

I feel very satisfied with 3 but who knows what the future holds. My needs have changed in the past so maybe they'll change again. I had just one 4 string that I really like since I started playing about 4 years ago . When I began to play at Faires, that's when i got #2 as a cheapo for 50$. to play out in bad weather. When I'm home. my #2 stayed AEAE. Then I really wanted to experience a 5 string and get more creative and grow in that way.. So I decided to get #3, my 5 string. It sounds so good in STD that I figured i would put my favorite 4 string into a D cross tuning.

I think it's good for the fiddle to be played so for me, keeping them cross tuned helps me be motivated to play them all often. ...but, I may have just reached my limit they say, 3's company, 4's a crowd or maybe 4 is a flock of fiddles!!

fiddlepogo Says:
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 @7:00:42 PM

I have 3 Knilling 4KF Bucharest models. So I can't refer to them by brand name or model.
One is made of a funny smelling wood- that's "Stinky".
One is named "Booker"... sounds a bit like the "Buchar-" part of Bucharest. And George Booker is the name of one of my favorite fiddle tunes, and apparently the name of a fiddler from Texas in the 1840's.
And the most recent acquisition is "Carthy" from the "char-" part of Bucharest. I thought it was going to be my "Irishy" sounding fiddle, and it may yet be, but it's been crosstuned AbEbAbEb a lot lately, partly because it has Perfection pegs, which is part of the reason I bought it.
And stinky is currently tune EbEbBbEb.
When I crosstune, I like the flat keys because I figure it averages out the tensions to close to standard, and plus they sound good that way.

Guitarists talk about G.A.S. attacks.... Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.
Banjo players have B.A.S., violinists V.A.S. and fiddlers F.A.S. attacks.

How many guitars does a guitarist REALLY need?

Just ONE more!!!

I find it's easier to get it with fretted instruments, because it's so easy to make one you are not used to sound good.
With fiddles, that's not so easy. I don't start really wanting an instrument unless it really helps me play at a higher level.

fiddlepogo Says:
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 @7:04:33 PM

Oh yeah... I currently favor Booker- actually have for a long time... I think I've tweaked it and found just the right strings and bow for it so that it "punches above it's weight". But getting played a lot helps... oh yeah... that's part of the problem with violin/fiddle- violins need to be played, and get cranky if they get neglected... they need to get playing time, and it's hard to give it to them if you have very many.
Oh yeah... one of the reasons I got three of the same brand and model was so that they would feel as similar as possible in my hands as far as size and string spacing... and they ARE mostly easy to switch between.

Faire Fiddler Maid Says:
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @6:08:10 AM

Well, I finally made the decision to name my 3 fiddles and I feel comfortable with it. For me they are all girls....

My first 4 string has really been the staple of my playing and I have loved it from the start. Good full, solid tone that had served me well. Lianne is her name.

Than came very inexpensive (50$) second fiddle that has a high voice without much depth. She stays cross tuned AEAE for the most part.

My newest fiddle is the 5 string..and what a learning curve she has put me on. This one I named Porche because she has a deep, dark strong tone with great depth, ring and sustain. Also was the most expensive of the 3 but totally worth it. By design, it was set up to be just like a fiddle on a 14 inch viola body so no new fingering was required.

Now that I've made the move to names, I find I'm growing a bit more attached. I love them all for different reasons.

Faire Fiddler Maid Says:
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @6:37:14 AM

I've had a change of philosophy. Now that I need to replace my fingerboard because I have acid fingers and wore the darn thing down (been planed twice in 4 years and more groves under the D and A string). that's a pretty penny to make it right.

So now I'm going to use my backup Suzette to practice more in whatever tuning and try to keep the other 2 from wearing down so quick!

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