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Help : Fiddle Squeaks

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Annie 12 Feb 04 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Les B. 13 Feb 04 - 12:16 AM
Dave Hanson 13 Feb 04 - 12:24 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Feb 04 - 12:44 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Feb 04 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,Sarah 13 Feb 04 - 02:35 AM
Liz the Squeak 13 Feb 04 - 04:09 AM
Dave Bryant 13 Feb 04 - 09:51 AM
Jeri 13 Feb 04 - 11:51 AM
Jeri 13 Feb 04 - 11:54 AM
Grab 13 Feb 04 - 12:53 PM
Sorcha 13 Feb 04 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,HiHo_Silver 13 Feb 04 - 06:13 PM
Annie 13 Feb 04 - 10:23 PM
Dave Hanson 14 Feb 04 - 05:30 AM
ced2 14 Feb 04 - 08:59 AM
Dave Hanson 14 Feb 04 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Hakman 14 Feb 04 - 07:07 PM
Hand-Pulled Boy 15 Feb 04 - 04:34 AM
Dave Hanson 15 Feb 04 - 04:48 AM
fiddler 15 Feb 04 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Al 16 Feb 04 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,John McCusker 16 Feb 04 - 12:17 PM
Jeri 16 Feb 04 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Annie 16 Feb 04 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 16 Feb 04 - 10:32 PM
harpgirl 16 Feb 04 - 10:58 PM
GUEST,Al 17 Feb 04 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,HiHo_Silver 17 Feb 04 - 07:35 PM
Annie 21 Aug 04 - 07:11 PM
Stewart 21 Aug 04 - 09:03 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Aug 04 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,Frank 22 Aug 04 - 10:47 AM
Annie 22 Aug 04 - 10:08 PM
Janie 23 Aug 04 - 08:56 AM
FIDDLE-4 23 Aug 04 - 12:59 PM
GUEST 23 Aug 04 - 03:49 PM
Annie 23 Aug 04 - 08:34 PM
Annie 12 Sep 04 - 09:53 PM
Dave Hanson 13 Sep 04 - 12:23 AM
Annie 19 Nov 06 - 06:16 PM
Bert 19 Nov 06 - 06:51 PM
Stewart 19 Nov 06 - 07:40 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Nov 06 - 08:04 AM
Bert 20 Nov 06 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,ash reeder 20 Nov 06 - 11:54 PM
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Subject: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Annie
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 10:42 PM

It's not a buzz. It's a high pitch eeeeeeee. It's like the rosin on the bow is not grabbing the string very well no matter how hard I bare down. And it's all four strings. Short notes, long notes. Slow tunes, fast tunes, short tunes, long tunes. I've tried more rosin, less rosin, new strings, different bow. I'm thinking it's a dry air thing or a bridge problem. Second guess is that the fiddle wants to be played more than once per week. Appreciate any help. I'm thinking about sending it to a luthier. It's a good German fiddle that naturally favors the highs anyway, but this is ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:16 AM

Some fiddlers recommend using a wound E string. I think Heliaporte (or something like that) makes them. I tried that on my fiddle's squeak and it seemed to help somewhat.

If that doesn't work, try oil :) !


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:24 AM

Get a banjo.
eric


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:44 AM

Yeah! Go! Squeaks! Fiddle!


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:55 AM

Seriously,

You can have too much rosin you know...

Robin


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 02:35 AM

Without hearing it I'm not sure, but if it's all four strings then it could be the glue which holds the back, sides and front on!

Try it with a different bow (with plenty of good rosin - soft stuff, not that hard cheap crap). Also, get some good strings (Thomastik Dominant are OK). If it still does it, take it to a fiddle shop and they'll be able to give you a better idea.

Every instrument sounds better once it's 'played in' though, so keep playing it as much as you can - and definitely more than one day a week. It will adapt to the way you play it.

Cheers
Sarah


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 04:09 AM

And just what is wrong with squeaking?

Seriously, hope it gets fixed soon. You could try PMing Ned Ludd, he's fixed a few fiddles in his time.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 09:51 AM

Just don't let your fiddle hear any more Les Barker CDs !


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 11:51 AM

The 'not enough rosin' thing is a feel as well as a sound. If you've tried using more rosin, that's not it. If it FEELS like the bow isn't making the strings vibrate as it should, there are a few reasons. These are the most likely causes:

SLIME:
Some jerk in a pub lubricated your bow by spilling something on it or fondled the hair and got hand oil on it. It happened to me, and I had to carefully shampoo the bow hair. The same thing can happen to strings. Alcohol removes hand-slime from strings, as well as rosin build-up.

ROSIN QUALITY:
You're using crummy rosin. Get a better type. Get newer rosin if yours looks like it might have pre-historic insects trapped in it.

Go to a session and sit next to another fiddler. Say "Damn. I forgot my rosin. Could I please borrow yours?" I did that, and tried somebody's Pirastro Goldflex Rosin. I couldn't BELIEVE the difference it made. It costs a lot, but fiddlers don't go through a lot of the stuff.

HUMIDITY:
Really dry air makes my bowing sound a bit scratchy. Super-humid air can totally destroy the friction needed, but it has to be pretty bad. When things get less humid, the bow should work just fine.

Rosin build-up just sounds scratchy to me. I clean the strings, I scrape the bow hair with a razor blade. This can be dangerous, as you can accidentally cut the hairs or get really frustrated and go straight for the wrists.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 11:54 AM

Oh yeah - maybe you need new hair too. On your bow.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Grab
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:53 PM

Another possible is that the end of the string behind the bridge is resonating. Play a few open notes whilst touching the bridge lightly and see if you can see which one it is (probably the E). A little Sellotape wrapped round the string (behind the bridge) will muffle that.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 01:09 PM

I have no clue about this. Take it to a shop and have the set up checked....maybe all the strings are worn out. Maybe the bow hair needs replacing. Maybe you need a better quality bow stick...the bow itsself is just as important as the fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,HiHo_Silver
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 06:13 PM

My advice is to take your violin to a good luthier. Without knowing the history of your instrument and at what point this squeak began to appear it is hard to diagnose properly. If this squeak has been an ever present problem since day one or if you have had some set up work performed recently I would guess that the sound post has been repositioned or was cut too long from the start. A sound post that is too tight will often produce squeaks (commonly referred to as wolf notes.) However as mentioned before too much rosin can be as much of a factor as too little. A host of various other things can cause the same problems. Another that comes to mind is strings not running parallel to the bass bar. Hope this helps just a little.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Annie
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 10:23 PM

Uh...do I have a bass bar? I hope so cause I need a drink.

I'll look into wolfe notes. Not familiar with that.

I like the possibility that I need new, soft, expensive rosin, 'cause I can handle that.

The fiddle started doing this in the summer after a weather change so naturally I thought I had cause and effect. It stopped doing it then started again in December. It's apparently not correlated with daylight hours, diet, or the war in Iraq, so keep those theories coming. I'm willing to consider anything....even a new fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 05:30 AM

Try soap instead of rosin, it works for me.
eric


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: ced2
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 08:59 AM

2 sure fire answers (1) feed the mouse that you have got caught in there, if that fails let it go!


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 09:32 AM

Must be stone feckin deaf by now, best answer, burn it along with the fiddle and get a shakey egg.
eric


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,Hakman
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 07:07 PM

I know exactly what he is talking about if its as though the fiddle does not want to play the notes you choose on any string.

There are some cheap yet old violins with a rather square shape at the top that will produce these unwelcome sounds. Getting the best sound post adjustment possible is not a total cure but works most of the time.

If the notes are all true then a loose seam is likely.
Which seam? Tapping various areas followed by the sound of a click will tell you where it is.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 15 Feb 04 - 04:34 AM

Scrutinise the top. There may be a small crack within the grain of the wood. Otherwise give it a good pluckin'.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 15 Feb 04 - 04:48 AM

A ' hand job ' perhaps.
eric


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: fiddler
Date: 15 Feb 04 - 02:42 PM

in the middel of all this - sorch is rtight get an expert to look at it it coiuld be one of a number of things especially with the set up - nut worn down can have some funny effects - without the fiddle toooooo dificult to call.....

A good shop / luthier will mgiver you a general - it sounds like diagnosis fgor free.....

heaps of luck

A


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 12:38 AM

Butter on the bow hairs is likely. Never set the bow down on the kitchen table.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,John McCusker
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 12:17 PM

I thought my fiddle had a tendancy to squeak but then I realised it was Kate


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 01:08 PM

Last night, I got out a fiddle I'd loaned to a friend and hadn't played since he returned it. I noted that it looked like he'd cleaned it up nicely and even put new strings on. I tuned it, I played it, and got a horrible squeaky-rattly noise. I made sure the strings were in their little grooves on the nut and the bridge. I moved the bridge to an upright position. I tuned it so the fine tuners were at least a bit screwed in (a loose one will make noises), played it and STILL got the noise. I thought "Oh no - there's a loose strut or something inside," looked around a bit more and noticed...you know that little sleeve thingie on the higher strings that's supposed to fit in between the strings and the bridge? It was sliding around on the tail-piece end of the string and any vibration on any string made it buzz.

Of course, a buzzy-sqeak is not a sqeak-squeak, and nobody else but me would take so long to notice something so simple...


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,Annie
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 07:31 PM

I think my plan of attack is to order a new bridge, fine tuners, and tail piece....and get the bows rehaired. If that doesn't help, I'll be asking for luthier names in the Baltimore/Washington area....or south PA....

I appreciate everybody's help and humor, mostly the humor....


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 10:32 PM

If you've tried different bows, it's probably the rosin. Is there rosin buildup on the strings? Or are they squeaky-clean (aha! I wonder if that's the origin of that phrase?), meaning the rosin won't "take hold?" The suggestions about cracks or the little sleeves that are meant for the bridge slots aren't likely sources of a squeak, especially if you've tried a few pizzicato notes to make sure there's no harmonic resonance causing the sound. (By the way, a "wolf tone (or note)" isn't a squeak by any means -- it's a 'wooomph' or 'howl,' hence the 'wolf' in the name.)

A clean bow, with no finger-oil (one of the main reasons that rosin won't stick to bow-hair), and good hair on it, should be enough, even with "ordinary" rosin, without loading up the rosin till it makes a cloud about your head while playing. (I get a cloud around my head while playing, but that's just because my playing draws flies). The point someone made about good rosin is a good one, just like the amazing difference good strings makes. And the humidity can be a factor, for sure. If all else fails, try putting a humidifier in the case and leaving it a few days, to see if this changes the sound. If it does, then a case humidifier would be a good investment; if it doesn't, don't bother. Oh, I said to put one in before you buy one, didn't I? Well, a piece of sponge can be wetted down and placed in a baggy, with the top of the baggy open, as a quick-and-cheap humidifier; a proper one can be purchased if it proves useful.

Anyway, you've had several good suggestions here, so, good luck.

Songbob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: harpgirl
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 10:58 PM

Kate, if you are in the Wilmington, Delaware area, your best source for advice is David Bromberg, whose shop is across from the University of Delaware.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 17 Feb 04 - 12:42 AM

Remember, if you got grease on your bow, it's on the strings too, and they'll need to be changed.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,HiHo_Silver
Date: 17 Feb 04 - 07:35 PM

Dear Annie: Any good Luither will tell you fine tuners are not required on a well set up fiddle. The exception is one on the E string. They do take away somewhat from the tonal quality of the violin.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Annie
Date: 21 Aug 04 - 07:11 PM

I bought a second fiddle for backup, and sent mine to Bob Smakula (Elkins, WV)for a new setup. We discovered there is no air between the string and the finger board just below the nut so the strings might be worn too far into the nut. And the chin rest cup is hitting the top of the fiddle. I've had the original fiddle for about 25 years and I don't think it's had a set up since it was made in 1937, so this will be good.

Annie


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Stewart
Date: 21 Aug 04 - 09:03 PM

What is a wolf-tone? Look HERE

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Aug 04 - 10:49 PM

A wolf-tone is a Ruff thing for a fiddler to deal with... :-)


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 10:47 AM

Annie, I'm a beginning fiddle player. Any advice I have must be taken with that in mind. In listening to Old time fiddlers, such as Tommy Jarrell, they squeak.

The way out of it might be technique. Is your bow moving perpendicular to the string? Is it straight or does it slide into different angles? Are you gripping your bow too tight?

I have problems with my E string squeaking occasionally and I have to watch the things that I described.

Sometimes, it becomes an obsession and the less attention you give it, sometimes the better it gets.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Annie
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 10:08 PM

Thank you Stewart. I found that very interesting at your link.

My fiddles change from day to day......or is it me? They don't keep the same resonance quality all the time.

Frank, I have to admit that my second fiddle got a little squeaky on me too so I'd have to consider that it could my bowing. I bought a new bow (used), so I took that variable out of it.

I just have to hope the fiddle is the major culprit though because when I loaned it to another gal for half a day, she agreed that it squeaked on her too.

Tommy Jarrell, and Melvin Wine, and a bunch of those old guys, in my opinion screech and scratch instead of squeak. Maybe whistling sort of explains it better. Screech and scratch is part of the game but this squeaky/whistling thing I think is different.

Annie


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Janie
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 08:56 AM

Annie,
Hi Sis. When I saw the title I thought it might be you. I am concerned that you have been playing fiddle too long in the presence of all of your cats, and can no longer distinquish the difference between cat sounds and fiddle sounds.

Screech and scratch is what Fuzzy does when Patches gets in the house. Squeak is what the mouse does just before Patches nails it!

Are we straight on that now:)?

XXOO,
Janie


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: FIDDLE-4
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 12:59 PM

LEAN A LITTLE BIT OF PRESSURE ON
THE BOW WITH FINGERS OR GENTLY PRESS DOWN
WITH YOUR ARM.
WILL PICK UP THE SOUND FROM THE STRINGS ...


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 03:49 PM

When my daughter's fiddle squeaks, it's because she's playing too close to the bridge.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Annie
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 08:34 PM

Did I mention the G string purrs?

Annie


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Annie
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 09:53 PM

Mystery has been solved (theoretically).

My luthier called and he has repaired a seam separation in the match book top. The problem was under the tail piece.

We shall see how squeaky she is upon return.

He also dressed up the finger board which created a little height in the nut. Two variables addressed at once does not good experimentation make.

Annie


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 12:23 AM

Amen.

eric


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Annie
Date: 19 Nov 06 - 06:16 PM

I've learned a little more and thought I'd bring this back for a quick refresh.

The squeak came back after the crack repair...so obviously it wasn't the cause.

I've found that if I keep the horse hair up to date (replaced semi frequently), carry little alcohol prep pads with me to clean the strings when they start squeaking, and keep the fine tuners from touching the top of the instrument (peak under your tail piece)I rarely, if ever, have the squeak problem.

Annie


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 06 - 06:51 PM

I missed this thread the first time around.

All I can say is, I'd like to but my wife won't let me (and most likely Squeaks wouldn't either)


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Stewart
Date: 19 Nov 06 - 07:40 PM

Annie, sounds like you fixed the problem. I just use 100% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol, from the drug store) with a cloth to clean rosin off my strings (be very, very careful not to get any on the violin as it will take off the varnish). And then I am very sparing of rosin on my bow, many people use too much. If your bow gets too much rosin accumulation, you can use the alcohol to clean it off of the hairs. That, and keeping the tuners from touching the top of the fiddle will keep you in good tone. Nothing worse than a fiddle that squeaks!

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 08:04 AM

Bert - you never know... try me!

Unless it's fiddling me out of my chocolate rations.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: Bert
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 03:24 PM

Well you do claim to have three sorts of tits.
Unfortunately there's still my wife to deal with - and the distance. I'm in Colorado and you're living in "The Smoke".

Ah well that's life.

And I would NEVER fiddle anyone out of their chocolate rations.


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Subject: RE: Help : Fiddle Squeaks
From: GUEST,ash reeder
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 11:54 PM

I agree with hi ho silver. if the soundpost is to tightly jammed in the fiddle will squeek. BUT, the single biggest thing is the player. You must be sure that the bow is square to the strings. Also, play at the tip of the bow not the frog, for a smoother sound. Most beginners are playing at the frog (lower half ) of the bow, and don't realize it. watch the good players and you will see that they only play at the frog during long slow passages such as in a waltz. and finally, you must play every day, not once a week.


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