Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

114
Fiddle Lovers Online


Page:  First Page   Previous Page   1   2  3

May 27, 2020 - 9:28:30 AM

Peghead

USA

1600 posts since 1/21/2009

I experiment with tuning slightly differently depending on the key and type of tune. The minor modal keys and cross tuning to my ear are better sounding if the 5ths are tuned "perfectly" that is with the those intervals slightly wider. Lydian type tunes and some major mode keys, of E and C sound better tempered to me?  It's been my experience ( I may be imagining it) that the harmony of 3rds has less margin of error to sound in tune. In the key of C, a "perfectly" tuned E string (in relation to the A string ) forces me to play the C slightly sharper to get the double stop to sound right. Then the root note is off slightly.  Locking in on the 5ths has always seemed easier and more forgiving.

Edited by - Peghead on 05/27/2020 09:39:36

May 27, 2020 - 10:15:06 AM

1879 posts since 8/27/2008

"...tune all the strings to an electronic ET tuner...

Not necessarily to play in ET... it is quite common for fiddle or voice melody to use just intonation or some other like neutral with an ET chord accompaniment..."

I think that tuning open strings in Equal Temperament is nessessary for the reason that those are the only 4 notes that can't be adjusted by the player. Those notes won't match the mandolin or any other instrument that is fretted or otherwise in a fixed tuning like piano.


... aww. I said I didn't want to go into this, but it's actually pretty interesting...

May 27, 2020 - 11:04:22 AM

38 posts since 3/29/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood

"...tune all the strings to an electronic ET tuner...

Not necessarily to play in ET... it is quite common for fiddle or voice melody to use just intonation or some other like neutral with an ET chord accompaniment..."

I think that tuning open strings in Equal Temperament is nessessary for the reason that those are the only 4 notes that can't be adjusted by the player. Those notes won't match the mandolin or any other instrument that is fretted or otherwise in a fixed tuning like piano.


... aww. I said I didn't want to go into this, but it's actually pretty interesting...


I like it too. Humbling also, as evidenced by my earlier post :D

May 27, 2020 - 9:52:04 PM
likes this

Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

While I admit that C can be different when first starting to improvise, I don't think it should be thought of as hard. In fact, that difference can be good. I think of each key on the fiddle as having its own language. Learn the language and you'll embrace the different and unique sounds particular to a key. Learning a solo from one of the masters in the key of C will really help you figure out how they navigate and think about the key and help you navigate it on your own in the future. C is also kind of interesting because you can play it out of a closed position kind of mindset or you can think of it as an open key. It's fun to go between both ways of thinking in one piece of music.

May 27, 2020 - 10:19:49 PM

doryman

USA

140 posts since 2/10/2020

I must humbly point out that this discussion regarding ET, while fascinating, has done NOTHING to ease my mind about playing in C, in fact it has done the opposite!

May 27, 2020 - 10:40:11 PM
likes this

DougD

USA

10033 posts since 12/2/2007

I don't see how you tune your E string really has anything to do with playing in C. Just don't create your own mental blocks and practice a bit and you'll be fine. There are many quite easy tunes in C to start with. JP Fraley doesn't seem to be having too much trouble with this one: youtu.be/nYMLiC9wdAQ

Edited by - DougD on 05/27/2020 22:48:35

May 28, 2020 - 3:55:03 AM
likes this

Swing

USA

2009 posts since 6/26/2007

People tend to forget that playing a scale (pick one) on the fiddle is really basic... think intervals..... the intervals are all the same for each key, thus, playing in the key of C should be no more difficult than the key of A..... what happens is that many players only want to learn to play a tune and not how to play the instrument, so when they come upon challenge such as playing in a different key, playing in third position , bowing behind their back...they get lost. I always suggest to new players that they learn to figure out the scales for all the keys and I show them how the intervals work. It most always amazes them just how basic it is...

Play Happy

Swing

May 28, 2020 - 8:25:42 AM

DougD

USA

10033 posts since 12/2/2007

Another pretty easy C tune that's popular around here: youtu.be/Vq8rwzPHbdI

May 28, 2020 - 8:32:08 AM
like this

38 posts since 3/29/2020

quote:
Originally posted by doryman

I must humbly point out that this discussion regarding ET, while fascinating, has done NOTHING to ease my mind about playing in C, in fact it has done the opposite!


Haha, thread drift. My apologies for my part in that. 

My best advice is play like in G, but one string down. Low first finger for the F note on the E string. That's it. That's all there is as far as fingering. 

You have all the open strings ringing out to compare your notes to. If you're worried about how in tune your lowest C is, play the one on the A string against the open E, moving your stopping finger up and down until you like how it blends. Stay there a while. Enjoy the sound that it makes. Become one with the sound. Then gradually play less and less of the E. Memorize the sound of the C, then start hitting the lowest C. You'll get it. Go to YouTube and look up "C drones." Space out in the glory of playing the C scale against those drones. Play each note of the C scale individually against that drone. Feel the uniqueness of each interval. Every interval can be played perfectly in tune with that drone. Then start turning the drone down, so you hear more of yourself.

Download Intonia to check how in tune you're playing. Just Google "Intonia." Fantastic software. 

I practice intonation for at least a half hour a day. It never stops. This is what has proven to be successful for me in the keys I don't like.

Another cool thought is that there are only four keys on the fiddle. One for each finger. It takes the fear out of playing in weird keys for me. "Oh, this is the key that starts on my middle finger. (Always the hardest one for me). I can do this!"

And you can too! C is such a rich and lovely key on the violin. 

May 28, 2020 - 8:33 AM
likes this

DougD

USA

10033 posts since 12/2/2007

And one from Henry Reed, with an unfortunate ad hoc title: loc.gov/item/afcreed000174/

May 28, 2020 - 8:44:40 AM
likes this

DougD

USA

10033 posts since 12/2/2007

One more from the great Lowe Stokes: youtu.be/6rIq5bRdWMg
If these are too hard for now, try the old favorite "Three Blind Mice." There's toom for some exciting variations there.

May 28, 2020 - 3:09:13 PM
like this

1774 posts since 12/11/2008

All the space devoted here over a such a simple non-controversial key (no sharps! no flats!) demonstrates what a can o' worms See Kan Bee for an OT fiddler. As much as I've learned to enjoy to play in that key, the various intellectual, pedagogical arguments that try to tell us how easy it to use it just don't stand up to the physical difficulty of actually mastering it. It's like having size nine feet and size eight shoes.

May 29, 2020 - 6:25:02 AM
likes this

Beardog

USA

130 posts since 8/12/2012

Good, long, thread! Lots of disagreement back and forth. I love it! Many of us have essentially become lurkers, because there is seemingly never anything new and interesting to talk about. I am more guilty than most of just breezing through a new thread and never jumping in to banter. I have only posted about 130 times in 8 years....LOL.

May 29, 2020 - 7:12:28 AM
like this

5095 posts since 9/26/2008

I don't get it. The key of C in first position is the same as G except for one note. One note. Otherwise entirely the same.

Are those struggling with reaching F struggling with the high F or the low one? Or do you struggle with the key of G too? I can see where the high F can take some getting used to, but the low one is right next to the C note (which is right next to the G). They both require a reminder for me to hit them solidly, so I like to run a two octave scale to remind myself of that before I get into a C tune.

If the high C note is part of your tune, it is time to shift positions, but likely only for a moment. I can't think of too many tunes that do that other than "Monkey in a Dog Cart" (which I play in Bb because it falls nicely under the fingers there) and "Quince Dillion's High D" which goes up to the D (not C) for a single quick note. What tunes are you playing in C that are causing the trouble? 

Edited by - ChickenMan on 05/29/2020 07:12:44

May 29, 2020 - 8:33:01 AM
like this

1879 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

I don't get it. The key of C in first position is the same as G except for one note.


I'm with you. Reading this topic is liable to psyche some people out into believing C is a hard key for some reason, and that's a shame.

May 29, 2020 - 9:30:53 PM
likes this

doryman

USA

140 posts since 2/10/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood
quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

I don't get it. The key of C in first position is the same as G except for one note.


I'm with you. Reading this topic is liable to psyche some people out into believing C is a hard key for some reason, and that's a shame.


Well, there's nothing to "get."  I started this thread with the observation that, as a beginner, the key of C is harder for me play in than D, G or A.  I further elaborated that I can improvise better in D than C. For me, that's just a fact and there you have it.  No need to key shame anyone. 

May 29, 2020 - 9:58:51 PM
likes this

2665 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by doryman
quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood
quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

I don't get it. The key of C in first position is the same as G except for one note.


I'm with you. Reading this topic is liable to psyche some people out into believing C is a hard key for some reason, and that's a shame.


Well, there's nothing to "get."  I started this thread with the observation that, as a beginner, the key of C is harder for me play in than D, G or A.  I further elaborated that I can improvise better in D than C. For me, that's just a fact and there you have it.  No need to key shame anyone. 


I don't think the responses were necessarily directed at you; nor were meant to shame anyone. Rather to help, to realize that C isn't really any more physically difficult; that it's more likely just unfamiliar that puts up blocks/limits.

You started thread asked was if anyone would mind?... it doesn't matter, if you are happy with results and limits of your approach, or don't ever want to learn C...  By all means it's your fiddle, do what works for you.

May 30, 2020 - 12:27:21 AM
likes this

1489 posts since 4/6/2014

The key of C for me is the easiest to think of in terms of music theory, for obvious reasons. But not the easiest Key to visualize, or play intuitively on the fiddle, but it's certainly not the hardest for me.

Putting the easier music theory to practice in the key of C has been good for my  practical Techniques, and my understanding of music theory. And imo is a good starting point for any chromatic instrument.

May 30, 2020 - 7:12:50 AM

5095 posts since 9/26/2008

No shame intended, just noting that C is like G, which seems not to be a problem.

I used to retune my fiddle to play Bb tunes out of A when I started playing bluegrass (the band I played with played A LOT in Bb). It worked, no one else even knew (or cared because they weren't the fiddler) - I used two fiddles and just switched as need be. After several months of that, I decided to hunker down and figure it out. Now, Bb is less of an issue for improvising and I like the few Bb tunes I play.

Edited by - ChickenMan on 05/30/2020 07:13:33

May 30, 2020 - 8:58:16 AM

doryman

USA

140 posts since 2/10/2020

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan


I used to retune my fiddle to play Bb tunes out of A when I started playing bluegrass (the band I played with played A LOT in Bb). It worked, no one else even knew (or cared because they weren't the fiddler) - I used two fiddles and just switched as need be. After several months of that, I decided to hunker down and figure it out. Now, Bb is less of an issue for improvising and I like the few Bb tunes I play.


Yes, this is exactly my issue at this very early point in my fiddle career.  Coming from a banjo background and having an established group of friends I regularly jam with...who play frequently in C,  an immediate solution to my current limitations would be to tune a fiddle down one whole note. Of course I hope one day soon not to do that, but right now I don't care to inflict my C playing on anyone else.

As aside,  when someone calls Bb in our jams, I usually just grab my banjo!  

May 30, 2020 - 9:01:48 PM

5095 posts since 9/26/2008

If you tune lower, heavier strings would help with the change in tension (looser) and beef up the tone.

May 31, 2020 - 5:41:05 AM
like this

Peghead

USA

1600 posts since 1/21/2009

To the OP.- Every key has it's lessons. G, D, and A have strong open harmony strings that make them "fiddleistic" and are good entry level keys. C is somewhat closed and it's 3rd's are front and center which can make it funky, it also has little shift to 2nd position to complete the octave and a closed position option if you like. Reaching back for the F natural can be a new thing, the F made me support the fiddle slightly differently. F leads to Bb and the flatted keys etc. This is why we practice. Key of C isn't all that hard, just new and slightly different, I worked a little harder on C than on than on G,D, or A but people stumble on different things for various reasons. Retuning for C is OK I guess, but that's a short term work around (in my opinion). Plus it takes too damn long! Just keep it, it's all just practice and familiarity. A logical approach to learning keys would be through the circle of 5th's. C to G to D to A, to E etc. You can see how the fingering positions evolve. In terms of ease however fiddlers rarely start with C .   

Edited by - Peghead on 05/31/2020 05:56:15

May 31, 2020 - 7:25:06 PM

1774 posts since 12/11/2008

Peghead -- an excellent analysis!

Page:  First Page   Previous Page   1   2  3

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.21875