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Why I faddle and foddle as well as fiddle

Posted by FiddlerFaddler on Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I was inspired to wax eloquent if not verbose on why I also play the faddle (viola) and foddle (violoncello) as well as the fiddle.   By the way, the reason for my pet names for the faddle, foddle and foeddle (bass) is to underscore their roles in folk as opposed to classical music.

The low C string on a faddle allows one to take the melody of most fiddle tunes down an entire octave.  When backing up a fiddle, a harmony part on the faddle can be below the melody, even when it's in the fiddle's low octave.  It's a really choice instrument for harmonizing with a fiddle or just about anything else, especially for waltzes.  Most times you can easily cover the fiddle melody on a faddle, even in the high octave, if you are willing and able to shift out of position.

I played the violoncello for 9 years before I became interested in playing the foddle.  The foddle (my pet name) is a violoncello used to play and/or accompany folk music.  On the foddle I can play the melody of Snake River Reel, and Dog Treed a Possum Up a White Oak Tree.  I am currently learning to play the melody of Liberty, and Arkansas Traveler.  When I get a little time I will start working on some foddle harmonic progressions that kind of double as frenetic bass or tenor lines, but which remain compatible with a more traditional plucked bass line below.

Anyway, I'm having lots of fun doing all this.  If you are comfortable on the fiddle, consider getting yourself a faddle.  If you don't have long fingers, get a small one, say 15-1/2 inches.  Another alternative might be to get a five-string fiddle, or better yet, a five-string fiddle-faddle, which is wider at the waist and possibly the upper and lower boughts as well to produce a greater sonority for the low C string.

4 comments on “Why I faddle and foddle as well as fiddle”

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Thursday, July 3, 2008 @3:52:03 PM

Okay, so when I'm comfortable on the fiddle, in about twenty years, then I should get a...hold on...a faddle, which is a viola.  You're good, Michael!  But I'm not so sure you're supposed to wax the faddle, foddle, or fiddle....


John Gent Says:
Thursday, July 3, 2008 @8:25:08 PM

I'm fumbling and befuddled by all this. Flabbergasted, if you will. So you mean fiddlin's fun, but foddlin's fantastic? If faddlin's fingerings are too far to reach, get a fifteen incher?
Fiddlin', faddlin' and foddlin' out some folk. Far out.
- John

Russell Sampson Says:
Thursday, July 3, 2008 @8:33:51 PM

A potential for great sound, just not at the same time huh?

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Thursday, July 3, 2008 @9:49:15 PM

Russell, I am in desperate need of being able to create multi-track recordings.  I need some gear and some software.  Actually I need the cash to buy some gear and some software.  For now the tack I am pursuing is patiently waiting for Christmas and birthdays, and when my family members ask, What would you like for Christmas/your birthday, I respond with something I need.  That's how I got my mini banjo and an instrument case, and other things I'm forgetting at the moment.

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