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Jul 31, 2019 - 10:15:29 PM
1140 posts since 7/26/2015

I'm looking for examples of fiddlers with really good intonation, I mean little or no ambiguity concerning pitch.

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 07/31/2019 22:23:33

Aug 1, 2019 - 12:20:08 AM

1377 posts since 12/11/2008

Mark O'Connor.

Aug 1, 2019 - 6:16:55 AM

4200 posts since 9/26/2008

Bruce Molsky
Rayna Gellert

Aug 1, 2019 - 6:35:45 AM

1598 posts since 10/22/2007

The late Johnny Gimble. Also Vasser Clement.
In my estimation, you want somebody that plays a lot with a group in a recording studio. What those two didn't record, Stewart Duncan did.

Aug 1, 2019 - 9:45:44 AM
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Fiddler

USA

3943 posts since 6/22/2007

Missouri fiddlers - Cyril Stinnett, Bob Walters, Lonnie Robertson, Pete McMahan, Lymon Enloe - aamong others.

Current - Charlie Walden - is outstanding. Chirps Smith is another.

Aug 1, 2019 - 1:26:04 PM

DougD

USA

9203 posts since 12/2/2007

I guess I don't understand the question. Don't most good professional fiddle players (and accomplished amateurs) have good intonation? Seems like its just part of the skill set.
A few more I've known would be Betse Ellis, Heidi Clare, JP Fraley and Paul David Smith. Kenny Baker? I think he played in tune. Also Ann Marie Calhoun.

Aug 1, 2019 - 3:56 PM

1140 posts since 7/26/2015

I've noticed that even some of the best players have a bit of ambuguity as to whether they are going for an F sharp or F natural on the E string when playing in C.
quote:
Originally posted by DougD

I guess I don't understand the question. Don't most good professional fiddle players (and accomplished amateurs) have good intonation? Seems like its just part of the skill set.
A few more I've known would be Betse Ellis, Heidi Clare, JP Fraley and Paul David Smith. Kenny Baker? I think he played in tune. Also Ann Marie Calhoun.


Aug 1, 2019 - 5:36:38 PM

DougD

USA

9203 posts since 12/2/2007

Interesting. I don't think I've ever noticed that, except when people play "beteeen the notes" delibérately and consistently. Do you mean sharp on the F in C or F, or flat on the F# in D or G, etc. Or both?
Funny but I was just thinking that just about all the fiddlers I know have better intonation than I do, so maybe I'm not the best judge.

Aug 1, 2019 - 6:00:54 PM

1140 posts since 7/26/2015

Sharp on the F in the key of C major, specifically on the E string, unless they are playing an F double stop. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't typically notice this in the other keys you mentioned.
quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Interesting. I don't think I've ever noticed that, except when people play "beteeen the notes" delibérately and consistently. Do you mean sharp on the F in C or F, or flat on the F# in D or G, etc. Or both?
Funny but I was just thinking that just about all the fiddlers I know have better intonation than I do, so maybe I'm not the best judge.


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 08/01/2019 18:06:59

Aug 1, 2019 - 11:27:26 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
Sharp on the F in the key of C major, specifically on the E string, 

 


I was recently complimented for my good intonation, especially on the high notes in high positions.

Can't imagine why one would play sharp, it would kill my ears.  

Aug 2, 2019 - 5:24:36 AM

1598 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
Sharp on the F in the key of C major, specifically on the E string, 

 


I was recently complimented for my good intonation, especially on the high notes in high positions.

Can't imagine why one would play sharp, it would kill my ears.  


This the reason why i didn't mention Alison Krause. Yes, more than 15 Grammys, but if you notice, she sharps many of her breaks so they stand out. It's intentional. It is a technique. 

NFN, had to play in Gflat last Tues. night. I was just happy to be there. Fortunately, it was just, I, IV, V.

Just to echo KH, if you've not heard and watched Cyril Stinnett play, you owe it to yourself. You won't be able to duplicate it, but one needs to see/hear to believe.

Aug 2, 2019 - 5:40:53 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
 she sharps many of her breaks so they stand out. It's intentional. It is a technique. 

 


There is plenty of room for 'expressive intonation' such as higher leading notes, lower minor thirds and narrow half steps etc. Yes, sure is intentional and good technique for playing ''in tune''. 

However, I thought the OP was referring to the ''ambiguity of pitch'', ie, playing ''out of tune''.  

Aug 2, 2019 - 6:00:22 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
 if you've not heard and watched Cyril Stinnett play, you owe it to yourself. You won't be able to duplicate it, but one needs to see/hear to believe.

I did my home work. Too right, I could never duplicate his playing. Maybe I'm missing something but he just sounds like all the other OT fiddlers to me. 

Aug 2, 2019 - 9:48:03 PM

1140 posts since 7/26/2015

You're right.
quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
 she sharps many of her breaks so they stand out. It's intentional. It is a technique. 

 


There is plenty of room for 'expressive intonation' such as higher leading notes, lower minor thirds and narrow half steps etc. Yes, sure is intentional and good technique for playing ''in tune''. 

However, I thought the OP was referring to the ''ambiguity of pitch'', ie, playing ''out of tune''.  

 


Aug 2, 2019 - 10:11:49 PM
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1377 posts since 12/11/2008

To me, toying with pitch is yet one more weapon in your expressive arsenal. And the fiddle (along with the saxophone & electric guitar) is the instrument that can do it the best. Piano players... Eat your hearts out. cheeky

Aug 2, 2019 - 10:27:04 PM
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1140 posts since 7/26/2015

Adding to this, again, I'm especially interested in those who play plenty of double stops and slides but still have little ambiguity. One of my mentors told me that I should keep all my notes distinct. He said, "Even when you slide, you should hear two, distinct, notes."

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 08/02/2019 22:40:40

Aug 2, 2019 - 11:03:47 PM

2027 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy

 those who play plenty of double stops and slides 


Dare I say again... Double stops are one of my favorite effects, and I took particular diligence in practicing how to play them in tune. Sliding double stops up the neck  is also a favorite effect I engage in. 

Aug 3, 2019 - 5:45:30 AM
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2133 posts since 10/1/2008

Well ... a fiddler with clear and expressive doublestops and intonation that skims through harmonies that don't even occur to me is Bobby Hicks. Dale Potter and Randy Howard also come to mind whan talking intonation and double stops. Some players are just scary good. R/

Aug 3, 2019 - 4:49:50 PM
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DougD

USA

9203 posts since 12/2/2007

Soppin - What do you think of the fiddle intonation on this song? youtu.be/8goeSmVTuN4

Aug 3, 2019 - 5:25:44 PM

1377 posts since 12/11/2008

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Soppin - What do you think of the fiddle intonation on this song? youtu.be/8goeSmVTuN4


Charmingly off-key.

Aug 4, 2019 - 4:42 PM
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DougD

USA

9203 posts since 12/2/2007

Interesting, Ed. I thought the triple fiddle stuff was pretty good - you don't hear that too much these days. Some now pretty well known violinists are on that track. A couple of them also played on this tune: youtu.be/uZmxZThb084

Aug 4, 2019 - 8:22:52 PM

1377 posts since 12/11/2008

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Interesting, Ed. I thought the triple fiddle stuff was pretty good - you don't hear that too much these days. Some now pretty well known violinists are on that track. A couple of them also played on this tune: youtu.be/uZmxZThb084


Yeah, this one's superlative in every respect, from interpretation to technique to tonality.

Aug 6, 2019 - 9:04:33 PM

26 posts since 12/16/2016

I’m very keen on James Bryan, but so too, so many more fiddlers with good intonation. On the other hand, many other OT fiddlers that purposely used the effect of slightly off intonations. Same goes with pretty or scratchy bowing. Kind of overwhelming in personal pursuits. Steve

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