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Fiddle Lovers Online


Mar 2, 2021 - 12:26:38 AM
5 posts since 3/2/2021

I've been playing since 2012. My first teacher was a strict classical teacher and had me on Suzuki and it was stifling to me. She drilled into my head proper posture and stuff.  I then switched to a fiddle teacher and had a blast. Well in 2019 I was diagnosed with spondyloarthritis in my neck and shoulders and haven't played since and I miss it a lot. My friend has been sending me photos of alternate ways to hold the fiddle and I am going to try and figure out a hold that works for me.

I'm looking at a chest hold, more an armpit hold, and I'm looking at holding it more like a cello resting the bottom on my leg.

I'm curious if anyone here has some hold suggestions with photos they can share with me?

I play mostly celtic tunes and Jewish tunes with pop stuff thrown in.

Mar 2, 2021 - 5:03:43 AM
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5096 posts since 9/26/2008

The cello hold will require you to literally learn the bow again as it is the opposite of how you learned - you approach the instrument from the bass side (G string) rather than the treble side (E string). Not sure if you want that much of a change.
The chest/armpit hold is very comfortable. I myself do not use my neck at all, I just lay the fiddle high on my chest/shoulder as if it were under my neck. Frees me up to talk and sing as needed. Good luck, I'm sure you will work it out.

Mar 2, 2021 - 5:36:53 AM
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2337 posts since 10/1/2008

I have seen people play with a string attached to the violin keeping it next to their shoulder and chest. Some elastic may have been involved. Good luck ... R/

Mar 2, 2021 - 6:10:55 AM

Earworm

USA

185 posts since 1/30/2018

I recently decided to try the little "Red Sponge" shoulder pad that Shar Music has. I was just looking for something cheap and basic to add a little more grip & stability without adding hardware. I strapped it on to my fiddle with some thin elastic. and that works fine. 

I think it does what I needed, but I'm not overcoming any particular physical conditions like you are, either ... other than, like, the presence of a head. I don't know if you already use a gadget like this that helps you, but this is one idea. Good luck to you!

Edited by - Earworm on 03/02/2021 06:16:16

Mar 2, 2021 - 6:17:23 AM
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DougD

USA

10034 posts since 12/2/2007

Sounds like you're on the right track. There are many variations on the "chest hold" - check out the cover photos on "The Fiddle Book" by Marion Thede and Miles Krassen's "Appalachian Fiddle."
There have been several discussions here about fiddle straps. Might try searching for them.
Hope you find something comfortable.

Mar 2, 2021 - 6:55 AM
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67 posts since 1/21/2017

I would love to be able to play with my fiddle down low, on my chest or tucked into my armpit. I've tried it and while my intonation is laughable, it's amazing how it instantly changes my whole "bearing". My body feels more relaxed, probably from not having every single screech and scratch at volume 11 right in my ear. I sometimes sing while I'm playing and it actually feels enjoyable with the fiddle low. I guess I should just buckle down and see if I can get it. This is my goal...youtube.com/watch?v=jnoENvb_GkY

Mar 2, 2021 - 10:31:23 AM
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5 posts since 3/2/2021

Thank you everyone for your replies! I also play the cello so if I can't figure out any sort of chest hold the cello hold will probably work for me ok. But I'd really like for a chest hold to work. I'll look up fiddle straps as that could be exceedingly helpful too

Earworm yeah I've tried about 150 different variations of shoulder rests, sponges, shoulder scoops ect and nothing works. The closest I could get was a very expensive shoulder scoop that literally held my violin in place but with the arthritis it still caused a lot of issues. That's the point I was like 'ok this isn't going to work anymore'

DougD Thank you for the information re: those book covers. Apparently from what my grandmother says. Her grandpa would play his fiddle while sitting with his legs crossed and his fiddle propped up on his knee. There's no photographs about how this might have worked but it's definitely interesting to me!

coryobert I can definitely see how it would be more relaxing to some to play it lower. It's a more natural body position than the regular way of doing it.

Mar 2, 2021 - 10:37:02 AM
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5 posts since 3/2/2021

If anyone needs shoulder rest help and nothing seems to work. The closest I could get with shoulder rests was the Mach One shoulder rest. Here's how it looks

Just wanted to share this information to maybe help others too. It actually helped me play for probably 2 more years than I could have without it. :)

Edited by - TippingtheStrings on 03/02/2021 10:38:27

Mar 2, 2021 - 3:23:56 PM

Quincy

Belgium

46 posts since 1/16/2021

TippingTheStrings, I ordered a Match One Hook model a while ago, it is so wonderful! It helped me out a lot with my decision to leave out the chin rest (allergies and the alternative was not ideal).
The Match one shoulder rest is ideal to compensate the height loss of the chin rest for me, and it fits my shoulder so well. I love it!

It got me how you wrote down your story, my teacher is classically schooled, but she has the drive to give me the basic techniques , she uses also the Suzuki-method and the André Gertler method.
She rocks, the way she performs fiddle music has a somewhat classical touch , but she has her own style for sure, and learning by intuition and feeling and playing relaxed is what counts in our classes, not reading notes.
I feel free under these methods she uses and we have a lot of fun during classes!

I don't pick classical tunes, and get encouraged a lot to just randomly experiment with the sounds I can get out of my instrument.

Edited by - Quincy on 03/02/2021 15:26:41

Mar 2, 2021 - 5:23:23 PM

5 posts since 3/2/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Quincy

TippingTheStrings, I ordered a Match One Hook model a while ago, it is so wonderful! It helped me out a lot with my decision to leave out the chin rest (allergies and the alternative was not ideal).
The Match one shoulder rest is ideal to compensate the height loss of the chin rest for me, and it fits my shoulder so well. I love it!

It got me how you wrote down your story, my teacher is classically schooled, but she has the drive to give me the basic techniques , she uses also the Suzuki-method and the André Gertler method.
She rocks, the way she performs fiddle music has a somewhat classical touch , but she has her own style for sure, and learning by intuition and feeling and playing relaxed is what counts in our classes, not reading notes.
I feel free under these methods she uses and we have a lot of fun during classes!

I don't pick classical tunes, and get encouraged a lot to just randomly experiment with the sounds I can get out of my instrument.


Your teacher sounds amazing. My first teacher would start griping if I slouched and stuff and it really wasn't my cup of tea. It made me very stressed when playing. She was very religious about me finishing the Suzuki book too. My second teacher was very much 'ok I'm going to put on these sounds and you play this key however you want free style' and we'd both start playing. He also very much would be like 'what do you want to learn today' and I'd pull up a youtube video and he and I would figure it out by ear and write down the notes. I can read music but I also very much like to go with the sound of things sometimes.

I much preferred the relaxed air of my second teacher.

The Mach One hooks are amazing and I have been recommending them to so many people across facebook. I'm also encouraging people to try other holds as I'm running into quite a few people with stories like mine.

Mar 2, 2021 - 5:48:15 PM

Quincy

Belgium

46 posts since 1/16/2021

quote:
Originally posted by TippingtheStrings
quote:
Originally posted by Quincy

TippingTheStrings, I ordered a Match One Hook model a while ago, it is so wonderful! It helped me out a lot with my decision to leave out the chin rest (allergies and the alternative was not ideal).
The Match one shoulder rest is ideal to compensate the height loss of the chin rest for me, and it fits my shoulder so well. I love it!

It got me how you wrote down your story, my teacher is classically schooled, but she has the drive to give me the basic techniques , she uses also the Suzuki-method and the André Gertler method.
She rocks, the way she performs fiddle music has a somewhat classical touch , but she has her own style for sure, and learning by intuition and feeling and playing relaxed is what counts in our classes, not reading notes.
I feel free under these methods she uses and we have a lot of fun during classes!

I don't pick classical tunes, and get encouraged a lot to just randomly experiment with the sounds I can get out of my instrument.


Your teacher sounds amazing. My first teacher would start griping if I slouched and stuff and it really wasn't my cup of tea. It made me very stressed when playing. She was very religious about me finishing the Suzuki book too. My second teacher was very much 'ok I'm going to put on these sounds and you play this key however you want free style' and we'd both start playing. He also very much would be like 'what do you want to learn today' and I'd pull up a youtube video and he and I would figure it out by ear and write down the notes. I can read music but I also very much like to go with the sound of things sometimes.

I much preferred the relaxed air of my second teacher.

The Mach One hooks are amazing and I have been recommending them to so many people across facebook. I'm also encouraging people to try other holds as I'm running into quite a few people with stories like mine.


Hehe, I haven't seen the Suzuki book so far , I don't think I ever will ;-) 

I hope you will find your way.  Jaakko "Hittavainen" Lemmetty from the Finnish band Korpiklaani holds the fiddle like this in Wooden Pints:


Mar 3, 2021 - 4:26:46 AM

151 posts since 12/30/2008

I tend to rest the fiddle on the clavicle. Sometimes I'll use a chest hold, just to do it, I guess. Maybe for the visual. Once in a while, another hold I use is one I used to see a guy do at times. It's done seated, legs crossed left over right, and the upper bout of the fiddle rests on the left knee. This has your left hand lower the than the knee. It seems to be easier if I also choke up on the bow. It's kind of fun to play that way, but, of course, you have to be seated.

Mar 3, 2021 - 4:58:32 PM

5 posts since 3/2/2021

quote:
Originally posted by hokelore

I tend to rest the fiddle on the clavicle. Sometimes I'll use a chest hold, just to do it, I guess. Maybe for the visual. Once in a while, another hold I use is one I used to see a guy do at times. It's done seated, legs crossed left over right, and the upper bout of the fiddle rests on the left knee. This has your left hand lower the than the knee. It seems to be easier if I also choke up on the bow. It's kind of fun to play that way, but, of course, you have to be seated.


I'm in a wheelchair full time so the seated part won't be too hard. LOL I might try the resting on the knee thing! Thank you for this description.  I tend to choke up on the bow anyway because it just feels more natural to me

Mar 4, 2021 - 5:52:29 AM

5096 posts since 9/26/2008

I think resting the scroll on the knee is enough; I'd have to be hunched over to rest the upper bout on the knee. I totally do that (scroll resting) when an individual dance gets to be long. Keeps the fiddle in playing position
:-)

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