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Help - violin or fiddle?

Allan C. 05 Nov 00 - 08:09 AM
Dave T 05 Nov 00 - 07:54 AM
Jo King 05 Nov 00 - 02:29 AM
Thyme2dream 05 Nov 00 - 01:03 AM
Jon Freeman 04 Nov 00 - 11:53 PM
zander (inactive) 04 Nov 00 - 11:41 PM
Matt_R 04 Nov 00 - 09:35 PM
Jeri 04 Nov 00 - 09:22 PM
Louie Roy 04 Nov 00 - 08:28 PM
MMario 04 Nov 00 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Laura 04 Nov 00 - 08:11 PM
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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: Allan C.
Date: 05 Nov 00 - 08:09 AM

I was taught to play by ear (guitar, not fiddle). That teaching has served me very well indeed. Some of the advice above is to find a teacher who will teach bluegrass by ear. I think that is a great idea. But I must tell you that one of my major regrets is that I have never learned to read music. While it is fun to be able to play songs I have heard before; it is impossible for me to play songs I have never heard.

My advice is to find some way for him to learn a bit of each. The music reading lessons wouldn't even necessarily have to be in direct conjunction with the fiddle lessons. He will someday figure out how to apply one to the other (when he is ready to do so). Whatever way you can do it, I strongly urge you to do both.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: Dave T
Date: 05 Nov 00 - 07:54 AM

Jo KIng is essentially correct about the different set ups. Bluegrass and old-time fiddler's tend to use a flatter bridge and lower action than classical players. It does make for less bow-travel to get from string to string when playing double stops. However, some Bach pieces require 4-note chords which have to played by really "crunching" across all strings so there goes that theory!
Anyway, I've been taking "fiddle" lessons for just over a year. My instructor, unlike me, is a young guy (early 20's) and can play bluegrass, Irish, jazz and classical (as well as guitar, piano, mandolin...makes you sick don't it?). Anyway the point is, there are many techniques that cross lines of style and are great to know. Try to find an instructor who knows more than simply bluegrass or old time. That way if your son wants to learn some different techniques after a while, you won't have to switch instructors.

Dave T


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: Jo King
Date: 05 Nov 00 - 02:29 AM

Hello Folk I do not play either instrument or style, but I just thought I would add that, as far as I know, there is a difference in the way the instruments are set up. The set up of a fiddle tends to have a more flat radius on the fingerboard and bridge. This allows for more easy double string playing, and less motion in the bowing arm to reach from treble to bass strings. In addition the string choice may be different in trying to attain a different tone.

This is what I have gathered from another luthier (who work with bowed instruments). Hopefully someone who plays will confirm or refute this assessment.

As for which is the best route to follow, The more you know the better. Also I find it amazing how our musical destinations change the more we learn and the more we are exposed to. So, I say encourage every musical interest your son has, and keep an eye on the big picture. Who knows where he'll wind up. Maybe he will revolutionize bluegrass fiddle, or play oboe in a malasian symphony, or be a regular Joe with a pasion for music. Who knows... Good luck JK


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: Thyme2dream
Date: 05 Nov 00 - 01:03 AM

A good point raised there, Jon... in my opinion, one of the best Bluegrass fiddlers in the world is Kenny Baker (used to play for Bill Monroe)-when Kenny plays you can hear the 'violin' touch, and yet its pure Bluegrass.. I'm fairly sure that I've heard Kenny mention that he did have some classical training along the way, and also had such varied influences as Stephan Grepelli (sp?) and Django Reinhardt.

To answer Laura's query tho, I'd have to go with Louie Ray's advice...learn him a little music reading, but for a fiddle player the ability to play by ear is essential! The classical training would probably be more useful along down the line.


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 11:53 PM

I'm not a fiddler (or violinst) and I'm certainly not dissagreeing with the advice given here which I'm sure is correct but I have a question: I have met fiddlers (Irish style) who have told me that they have felt that they have benefited from some degree of classical training - any thoughts?

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 11:41 PM

Find a fiddle teacher and remember someone once said that a violin is a derogatory name for a fiddle. best of luck, Dave


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: Matt_R
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 09:35 PM

And as a pre-emptive strike, please no "fiddlers are the best thing since sliced bread, violin players are braindead robots" lines.


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 09:22 PM

I'd look for someone who'll teach him bluegrass. He'll get tired of the instrument very quickly if a teacher has him doing a lot of things that aren't fun to him.

And yes, the styles are very different.


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: Louie Roy
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:28 PM

Laura,If your son wants to learn Blue Grass find a fiddle teacher one who plays by ear.They say the difference between a fiddle and a violin is the violin went to college Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: MMario
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:15 PM

the styles are very different. if his interest is bluegrass - you would probably want to find a fiddler to teach him. He would most likely be very frustrated taking classical violin.


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Subject: Help - violin or fiddle?
From: GUEST,Laura
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:11 PM

Please help. My son is very interested in bluegrass and wants to learn fiddle. However, when finding a teacher, do I find him someone who will teach him classical violin or someone who will teach him fiddle. Is there even a difference? Sorry to be so ignorant but I really don't know where to start. Thanks for any help you can give.


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