Hello! I've recently treated myself to a gourd fiddle and it's fine while playing in 1st position, but as it's so bulbous, it's very hard to get it wedged under my chin sufficiently to grip it and be able to slide my hand up and down into 3rd position. I've been experimenting with bean bags but then the whole lot moves. I also notice on videos that everyone seems to stay in 1st anyway, so am I trying to do something it's not meant for?
Old-time fiddling, at least in my experience, rarely requires you to move past first position, and gourd fiddles are as old as they come. I have a hunch you are exceeding this gourd fiddle's original program parameters. That being said, experiment & have fun with it. Congrats on your new purchase.
Edited by - Earworm on 02/27/2021 08:08:00
Thank you. I used to play violin many moons ago, so first position feels like cheating! Maybe I should just try enjoying myself!
If the fiddle was played in "Old Time" then it probably was not tucked under the chin, but possibly nestled into the left shoulder between the chest and the shoulder joint. Standard violin hold was not an often-used position - check out some OT photos of fiddlers.
(There were even fiddlers who played with the fiddle on the leg, held and sawed on like a Cello.
Thank you. I like the sound of that!
baroque violinists go up and down the neck without touching the violin with the chin, there is a specific technique, you must move the inch of the left hand to the new position first then the rest of the hand... it is not easy (expecially when you go down from upper to lower positions) but once you get used to that it works
Yes, that makes sense. I'll look into that and see if I can manage it. Thanks!
or the opposite: the other fingers go up while the thumb remains in the lower position and then goes up, you must work on the indipendence between the fingers and the thumb movements
'Fiddle Lesson - Jenny Lynn' 12 hrs
'Chin rest' 3 days
'The Nightingale' 4 days
'The Nightingale.' 4 days