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Just started to play the Fiddle and.....

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Mar 19, 2019 - 3:34:10 PM
232 posts since 6/5/2012

I been toying around the idea that I would like to learn on a Fretted Fiddle. I looked at reviews and for a older person starting out it might be a good choice. I have to learn Devil went down to geotgia and orange bloosom special by new years eve show. Any advice of the fretted ones?

Mar 19, 2019 - 5:58:55 PM
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4016 posts since 9/26/2008

Those are THE cliche (popular amongst non fiddlers) tunes and ver ambitious. laughAre you already proficient on a fretted melody instrument? A fretted Fiddle can be a solution to one of the challenges one faces as a fiddler, but the bow is the trickier piece of the puzzle to figure out. I know nothing of the commercial options.

Mar 19, 2019 - 6:29:24 PM
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1296 posts since 12/11/2008

Just go fretless. When your fingers must seek out the notes you want to play, you find so much more emotional and musical expression. When you don't have frets getting in the way, you're able to do slides -- something that allows you to bend pitches just like a human voice or an electric guitar. It's sheer magic.

Mar 19, 2019 - 6:55:59 PM

232 posts since 6/5/2012

I do play 7 instruments. But Bass and guitar are my Bread and butter. Iam 58 and dont have the time to practice as much as I would like. Im a cut corners kind of guy. And after reading the reviews and seeing alot of fiddle players play a fretted violin on stage i got to wondering if there is a easy way.

Mar 19, 2019 - 7:15:04 PM

66 posts since 3/19/2012

Some old players in the old days used to tie fish line frets(fret knots) around the neck. Somebody probably has a tutorial up on this. Another option is readymade fingerboard stickers, like the Don't Frets brand. That's as easy as it's going to get though. You will have to practice a lot, and learning to use the bow seems to puzzle some guys. That's why Doc Watson never played fiddle, he said he couldn't get the hang of the bow. Respectfully suggest you start with easier tunes. Devil Went Down To Georgia seems to be loosely based around Vassar Clements' Lonesome Fiddle Blues. Gene Lowinger's Bluegrass Fiddle Book (Oak Publications) has a rudimentary version of Orange Blossom Special. Have fun!

Mar 19, 2019 - 8:14:39 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

363 posts since 6/22/2016

So ... wouldn't it be a lot easier to just find a fiddler to play those two tunes?

Mar 19, 2019 - 10:22:04 PM
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90 posts since 7/27/2018

I'll be straight-up, I really don't think you can reach performance level playing on those two tunes in 8-9 months. I'd say to it takes around 2 years to get tone that doesn't make your neighbors run for the hills. 2.5-3 years and you might start saying you sound "purty good" if you practice everyday. Not trying to put you off, just don't want you to be disappointed come New Years! The fiddle is a slow, but very worthwhile endeavour. As for the frets, I'd say just learn fretless. Intonation isn't the hard part imo, especially if your ear is already trained. It's that bow... trying to pull good tone, trying to keep it from squeaking and squawking, when to slur, phrasing, string crossings, etc. And The Devil Went Down to Georgia has some parts that require a lot of sliding (glissando) that I don't would sound very natural with frets. OBS also uses slides to immitate train sounds and highlight the bluesiness of that tune.

Mar 20, 2019 - 5:22:25 AM
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130 posts since 11/26/2009

Try some tape on your fingerboard for starters. I know it doesn't look cool but it helps.

Mar 20, 2019 - 6:21:54 AM
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190 posts since 6/21/2007

I doubt you can learn play well enough in such a short time. Plus the fiddle is a demanding mistress,30 minutes a day isn’t going to cut it. Your other instruments will suffer. {Just ask my banjo :-) }.

Some people have mentioned fingerboard stickers. you might want to take a look at the fiddle fretter. It is between having a fretted fiddle and just stickers. I put it on my lower priced fiddle for learning 3rd position. It worked for me. Good Luck.

Rick
frettedfiddle.com/

Mar 20, 2019 - 10:04:59 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

363 posts since 6/22/2016

Having said all that we've said: there is the very rare case of someone who gets good on the fiddle really fast - maybe, just maybe, good enough to fake a couple of quite demanding pieces, in public performance, in 8 or 9 months, I don't know. But you know by now, I would imagine, if you could be one of those rarities. And if you are, then you won't need frets; they'll just get in your way. But you need a good ear. I have known people who are accomplished players on fretted instruments who just don't seem to have the ear to get the fiddle ... so, I don't know .....

Also, those rare people who get really good really fast, devote themselves entirely to the instrument - all day, and half the night, months on end. Personally, I would recommend taking your fiddle to the crossroads at midnight ......

Mar 20, 2019 - 11:25:43 AM
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ehoard

USA

4 posts since 7/15/2017

please post a video of you burning these tunes up on the fiddle in a couple of months. It will be very inspiring for the rest of us. I've been practicing a lot more than 30 minutes a day. (I'm afraid to type how much i actually practice) I cant play those two tunes.

I've been playing for 1 year and 9 months. I play guitar, banjo, and mandolin. I honestly haven't tried, but I am pretty sure that I cant do them justice. The fiddle is a great way to keep me humble. I get to feeling good about myself and I pick my fiddle up. I love it though.

Mar 20, 2019 - 2:11:01 PM
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51 posts since 11/28/2018

quote:
Originally posted by jimmyprince

I have to learn Devil went down to geotgia and orange bloosom special by new years eve show.


Says WHO?

I've been at it for a few decades and wouldn't consider playing either of those tunes in public. I expect your time would be better spent working on "Auld Lang Syne".

Mar 20, 2019 - 4:21:30 PM

232 posts since 6/5/2012

quote:
Originally posted by stumpkicker

I doubt you can learn play well enough in such a short time. Plus the fiddle is a demanding mistress,30 minutes a day isn’t going to cut it. Your other instruments will suffer. {Just ask my banjo :-) }.

Some people have mentioned fingerboard stickers. you might want to take a look at the fiddle fretter. It is between having a fretted fiddle and just stickers. I put it on my lower priced fiddle for learning 3rd position. It worked for me. Good Luck.

Rick
frettedfiddle.com/


Yup I checked them out and ordered a set. I hope they help. Hey I learned a Irish song already for my wife.

Mar 20, 2019 - 4:55:26 PM
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232 posts since 6/5/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch

Having said all that we've said: there is the very rare case of someone who gets good on the fiddle really fast - maybe, just maybe, good enough to fake a couple of quite demanding pieces, in public performance, in 8 or 9 months, I don't know. But you know by now, I would imagine, if you could be one of those rarities. And if you are, then you won't need frets; they'll just get in your way. But you need a good ear. I have known people who are accomplished players on fretted instruments who just don't seem to have the ear to get the fiddle ... so, I don't know .....

Also, those rare people who get really good really fast, devote themselves entirely to the instrument - all day, and half the night, months on end. Personally, I would recommend taking your fiddle to the crossroads at midnight ......


Having ADD Helps alot as well.....;-)

Mar 20, 2019 - 5:36:19 PM
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7102 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by jimmyprince

I been toying around the idea that I would like to learn on a Fretted Fiddle. I looked at reviews and for a older person starting out it might be a good choice. I have to learn Devil went down to geotgia and orange bloosom special by new years eve show. Any advice of the fretted ones?


You say you play 7 instruments.. If so then your EAR will be the best marker.. I once put markers on a fretless banjo.. After just 5 minutes I realized that my ear worked better than the markers...

Mar 20, 2019 - 9:23:09 PM
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354 posts since 9/1/2010

I suggest buying a Powerball ticket and hiring Charlie Daniels and Mark O'Connor with the winnings yeslaugh

Mar 20, 2019 - 9:24:59 PM
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Earworm

USA

51 posts since 1/30/2018

Why are these the tunes that you must play? Are you playing for friends? If so, play the tunes you love and can do well by New Years. The titles won’t matter nearly as much as you think. Also once you enter the fiddle zone, prepare for insanity. You won’t be the same again. ;)

Mar 21, 2019 - 5:15:28 AM
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51 posts since 11/28/2018

If you're committed to those 2 tunes on New Year's Eve, be sure to play them AFTER the champagne bottles are empty --- Trushht me, zhay szhound buch metter!

Mar 21, 2019 - 7:20:27 AM
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gapbob

USA

573 posts since 4/20/2008

Devil went down to Georgia is pretty simple, and it can be scratchy as heck and pretty out of tune, at least as CD plays it. Orange blossom special can be played pretty simply as well, all you have to do is figure out the hokum bowing.

Why would anyone want a fretted fiddle?

Mar 21, 2019 - 5:56:08 PM

232 posts since 6/5/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Woodcutter

If you're committed to those 2 tunes on New Year's Eve, be sure to play them AFTER the champagne bottles are empty --- Trushht me, zhay szhound buch metter!


I always said. The more they drink the Better we will sound....lol

Mar 21, 2019 - 5:58:46 PM

232 posts since 6/5/2012

quote:
Originally posted by gapbob

Devil went down to Georgia is pretty simple, and it can be scratchy as heck and pretty out of tune, at least as CD plays it. Orange blossom special can be played pretty simply as well, all you have to do is figure out the hokum bowing.

Why would anyone want a fretted fiddle?


That was my question as well. But after investigating the web I was surprised that there were a lot of Pro players that use them in live playing. And everyone I found that plays them loves them. I  want to give it a try. But do a Youtube search and see what I mean.

Mar 23, 2019 - 2:54:56 AM
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DougD

USA

8985 posts since 12/2/2007

Gapbob - I came across this YouTube video that explains why would anyone want a fretted fiddle youtu.be/DoqKSS1_9Ps
There are also a couple by Mark Wood that show where Jimmy is coming from on this.
Good luck with your project, Jimmy.

Mar 23, 2019 - 9:16:05 AM

Earworm

USA

51 posts since 1/30/2018

So much of the character of the sound of the fiddle derives from those in-between sounds. Sure it takes more skill and practice, but a fiddle is not a piano, and it is not a guitar. IMO, by adding frets and becoming dependent on them, you will rob yourself of the chance to explore and discover the instrument's nuance, and its true potential.

Mar 23, 2019 - 9:59:02 AM
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DougD

USA

8985 posts since 12/2/2007

Here are two videos of Mark Wood playing his fretted electric violin. This is a different musical world than some of you are thinking of.
youtu.be/LW6ZC5dutMY
youtu.be/vBAlAgvE-gI

Mar 23, 2019 - 1:24:38 PM
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4016 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Here are two videos of Mark Wood playing his fretted electric violin. This is a different musical world than some of you are thinking of.
youtu.be/LW6ZC5dutMY
youtu.be/vBAlAgvE-gI


But......is the idea to sound like an electric guitar?  Why not just play the guitar then? It is seriously easier and the chicks dig it. wink I know the electric guitar can have a Violin-y tone, but for that flavor of rock and roll, the guitar delivers it in spades. And it has the added bonus of not having to be in the upper register all of the time. 

For jimmyprice, if you can wrap you brain and body around the use of the bow (and remember it is not a guitar pick) you’ll be able to figure those tunes out on a fretted fiddle. You can start by looking for bowing tips on YouTube before you even have a fiddle.

Mar 23, 2019 - 1:26:56 PM

4016 posts since 9/26/2008

Also, who are the professionals who use a fretted fiddle?

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