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Fiddle Demo Videos, What do you prefer?

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Aug 10, 2020 - 9:01:39 AM
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5497 posts since 7/1/2007

I'm getting ready to start selling more fiddles, and I think that to sell fiddles online, good photos and good demo videos are important. I think I know what good photos entail, but what I'd really like to ask is what people would like to see included in a demo video. Some of the elements might be a scale to demonstrate the overall sound, a slow tune with some double stops, and something fast and lively to demonstrate response and how it sounds when played fast. An accurate recording would be important or how else could you tell how the fiddle sounded.


I recently took about half a dozen test recordings with a couple of my friends. Made some errors that I know needed to be corrected, such as setting the gain too high, wrong lighting presets, etc. Those I already recognize and can correct.  Here are two of the test vids, and more are on my YouTube page with them.

The first player. PI, is classically trained, and isn't capable of pulling a bad sound. I only ask him to bring out the native sound of the instrument he's playing, which in this case happens to be a damn good one. He plays classical, jazz, ragtime, and has won a Missouri old-time fiddle contest or two. https://www.fiddlehangout.com/myhangout/videos.asp?m=d&catID=0&id=12657

The other player, KVW, is a damn fine pro fiddler, plays almost anything, including OT, BG, Country, and Swing, but mainly Irish.https://www.fiddlehangout.com/myhangout/videos.asp?m=d&catID=0&id=12658

So what do you think?  What should I do differently to make a better sales tool?  HOw could I change the room to make a better recording? Any opinions or comments would be welcome. I have a VERY thick skin and only want to do the best job I can of presenting my fiddles accurately, so whatever you have to say will be seriously considered.

You might want to be sure to listen to those videos with headphones, and set your YouTube settings on "Full 1080HD".

Edited by - KCFiddles on 08/10/2020 12:34:57

Aug 10, 2020 - 8:15:16 PM
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2512 posts since 10/6/2008

If someone were marketing to me--an unpolished old-time fiddler--I would want to see a video with a couple of old-time tunes played without any hint of classical vibrato.

But more than that, I think what would really sell me would be the fiddler (or someone else) talking about the instrument in an informal and genuine sort of way. I'd love to hear descriptive comments on the things I'd be wondering about: Do the pegs turn smoothly? How does the neck compare to that of other fiddles? Does the instrument seem to like a particular kind of strings? Does it have any interesting wood patterns or blemishes? How about the provenance? What kind of music would it be best suited to? What about the tone? Anything unique about it? What's the overall assessment? Who might the instrument best suit?

When I bought my fiddle from you five years ago, it wasn't the video that sold it. It was the description. :) And, by the way, from the first notes I played on it, I haven't thought once about looking for a "better" fiddle.

Aug 10, 2020 - 8:36:51 PM
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58 posts since 11/19/2019

I've been an amateur musician for over 30 years and bought way too many instruments.

I really dislike demonstrations that have top players laying it out there with all they've got. Reality is that they could make a cigar box sound like a Strad.

To that end, I like your suggestion of including a scale run or two, a slow song, etc. Definitely give us what the instruments sound like as well as what they are capable of.

Aug 11, 2020 - 6:20:43 PM

5497 posts since 7/1/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Cyndy

If someone were marketing to me--an unpolished old-time fiddler--I would want to see a video with a couple of old-time tunes played without any hint of classical vibrato.

But more than that, I think what would really sell me would be the fiddler (or someone else) talking about the instrument in an informal and genuine sort of way. I'd love to hear descriptive comments on the things I'd be wondering about: Do the pegs turn smoothly? How does the neck compare to that of other fiddles? Does the instrument seem to like a particular kind of strings? Does it have any interesting wood patterns or blemishes? How about the provenance? What kind of music would it be best suited to? What about the tone? Anything unique about it? What's the overall assessment? Who might the instrument best suit?

When I bought my fiddle from you five years ago, it wasn't the video that sold it. It was the description. :) And, by the way, from the first notes I played on it, I haven't thought once about looking for a "better" fiddle.


That's the kind of feed back I am wanting, thanks!  Things that I might not otherwise have thought of. I didn't know that the copy I put in is so useful, or that people pay attention to it!  I try to keep it succinct, and to the point. Sometimes there are fiddles that just sound like some I've heard favored by really well known players of a certain genre, so I guess it wouldn't hurt to mention, but OTOH  everybody's bow hand is different, and everybody sounds different. so all I can really hope to do is to give an honest depiction of what an instrument sounds like in competent hands. Maybe when I have a particularly fine instrument like the W&K, or the Meinel it might be worthwhile to do two demo videos on a given instrument. Maybe when you're getting up in the higher price brackets, say above a few thousand dollars, it would be worth it for comparison purposes.

Cyndy, I'm really pleased that you are happy with your fiddle. It is always my goal that every fiddle I sell is a "keeper". People change, tastes change, I know, but that is always my goal.

I'm still interested in comments about the quality and usefulness of the videos as a tool for comparison, and adjustments I could make to make comparison easier. I know there is some clipping in the recording that causes distortion, and I can get rid of that, but any other technical suggestions as to room setup would be interesting. I don't hear much room reverb, myself, and I'll keep the extraneous noise (a/c) and fingernoise) down in future, but I want these demos to make it as easy to tell one instrument from another as possible, and to give a true to life preview of what the instrument sounds like in a room.

Aug 11, 2020 - 6:57:27 PM

5497 posts since 7/1/2007

quote:
Originally posted by ChinnRest

I've been an amateur musician for over 30 years and bought way too many instruments.

I really dislike demonstrations that have top players laying it out there with all they've got. Reality is that they could make a cigar box sound like a Strad.

To that end, I like your suggestion of including a scale run or two, a slow song, etc. Definitely give us what the instruments sound like as well as what they are capable of.


Thanks for the comments! I didn't quite understand whether you thought the players were "laying it out there with all they've got" or just demoing the instruments. Pat always pulls a good sound with his normal technique. If he worked at it, yeah, he could pull good sound ot of the proverbial cigar box.  My request to him was to demonstrate the "native sound" of the instrument, and that's what I think he did. Keith, on the Meinel video, is a pro fiddler, self taught, and still pulls a nice sound. Is there any point in playing a demo and doing poorly?

There are a total of six test vids on my page on Youtube. Just click on my name on the lower left of the linked videos and the page will come up if anyone is curious about the rest of them.

I'm still interested in further comments and suggestions.

Aug 12, 2020 - 4:03:28 AM

186 posts since 11/26/2009

Aug 12, 2020 - 4:05:14 AM
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186 posts since 11/26/2009

You might could mention what kind of bow each violin is played with.

Aug 12, 2020 - 6:17:08 AM
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58 posts since 11/19/2019

Michael, I should have been more clear- I do like your suggestion and vids. I think they are a good indication of what I (an amateur player) could do with the fiddle, as well as what is possible with it.

What I don't like is when a demo is purely someone 'showing off'. Those vids really only show off the chops of the show-off. They don't indicate the true capability of the fiddle.

Aug 12, 2020 - 8:05:27 AM

5497 posts since 7/1/2007

quote:
Originally posted by ChinnRest

Michael, I should have been more clear- I do like your suggestion and vids. I think they are a good indication of what I (an amateur player) could do with the fiddle, as well as what is possible with it.

What I don't like is when a demo is purely someone 'showing off'. Those vids really only show off the chops of the show-off. They don't indicate the true capability of the fiddle.


Got it. Just wanted to be sure I understood. I think we agree.

Aug 12, 2020 - 11:07:37 AM

2534 posts since 7/12/2013

quote:
Originally posted by ChinnRest

Michael, I should have been more clear- I do like your suggestion and vids. I think they are a good indication of what I (an amateur player) could do with the fiddle, as well as what is possible with it.

What I don't like is when a demo is purely someone 'showing off'. Those vids really only show off the chops of the show-off. They don't indicate the true capability of the fiddle.


Seems like a catch-22 .. if you have someone who isn't very good playing it, it'll sound crappy and nobody will want to buy it. I would much rather hear what the instrument is capable of, than to wonder if it's the player or the instrument.

Aug 12, 2020 - 11:08:25 AM

2534 posts since 7/12/2013

You might provide some close ups of various parts of the instrument ... obviously requires some more shots, and video editing ... but I think people would like to see some closeups.

Aug 12, 2020 - 11:09:05 AM
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LukeF

USA

60 posts since 10/15/2019

For a video review, I'd like to hear the opinions of the reviewer, such as likes and dislikes of the sound, feel, and quality of the instrument. But it should be an honest opinion. You don't have to be brutally honest (like "sounds like crap"), but you might choose words like "not a professional grade instrument but may be appropriate for a beginner".

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