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Fiddlin' old style! It all depends on the styles of music and what makes you comfortable to play your best. It's always good to experiment with different styles and techniques to learn what is best and more fun n comfortable for you. When I got really serious with guitar playing a long time ago (late seventies n early eighties), I wanted to learn classical music to play on the guitar...I took lessons with a few classical guitar players and was told how to hold the guitar by the left knee pointing up to my left shoulder so I practiced that but now I play classical like I do with a regular acoustic guitar resting by my right knee. And I don't even want to hear any of my classical guitar teachers comments on my electric guitar styles, hanging the guitar too low, dancing all over the stage... They're still teaching and I get royalty checks
There is however some suggestion that many stringed instruments survived history as horizontal "lap" instruments ( or almost horizontal ) When I see a fiddler with a strange violin hold I am not convinced that WE might have the strange grip and not him ? Besides, it doesn't look like the usual violin would have any rational fit to the human chin/neck (and for many, it doesn't). Do we not also complicate things with our bow holds while some people just hold the stick? Yes, I know, that is too simple for bows made from materials that have gone to the moon.
Horizontal (lap) strings:
And many others I'm sure. (Think I saw a few from India.)
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
I was watching some fiddlers play about 10 years age. There was one old timer sitting down in a chair. The fiddle was in his lap when he switched from one string to the other he rotated then fiddle instead of moving the bow. His playing was good but I can see how he could be very limited on what he could play.
It's always good to learn the proper technique when playing, especially if you are planning to be a professional. But if you are learning just because you love to play it's not as critical unless it hinders you from playing.
Believe it or not, I monitor things like that …. standing/sitting. In the quartet clip the violinist has the right knee in a lower position in order to clear a long down bow. This, obviously, is not an issue for someone standing so I think that standing/sitting is a bit of a difference even at the classical level. No big deal, but a difference. I also find it harder to hold a violin while standing.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
I like that story Barry. I'm pretty sure that I will be heavy in the blues, Irish, Gypsy and rock n roll style fiddling. But I'm going to use the classical styles of holding the bow and techniques. I would love to see you try those bow styles too instead of choking up so much on the bow. When you choke up that much on a bat in baseball, you can get on base with a bunt, but to hit a home run you need to use the whole bat....?
I hear ya Barry. I'm just at the beginning with learning violin n fiddle stuff so gotta put stuff out there on the Fiddlerman forum so we can all learn from each other.
By the way Barry, I just got my book and CD, "43 Fiddle Songs In Tab" today from that link you posted about fiddle tabs. If you have that book, I worked on Shortnin' Bread and Ida Red. Tomorrow I'm working on Bilem Cabbage Down (easy single string version) and Cripple Creek. Great stuff!
Love it Barry! Have it bookmarked! And will let you know when I'm ready for Bilem Cabbage Down. We could easily do a duet of that song. Just email me your audio and video and I will mix in me and we can upload to the world 😉
And, I have transposed the beginner version of Ode to Joy that Fiddlerman transposed and will have a great guitar backing track uploaded in a day or 2. I told you that already Berry but I have the guitar part finished now.
OMG that video brought a tear to my eye. That fella played very similar to how my Grampa played fiddle. His fiddle doesn't have a chinrest on it. I am not sure if he called dances or not when he used to play. I was also interested in the pic of the shoe violin. Grampa learned to play from watching his dad, who was a Swede. Is it a Scandinavian thing, I wonder?
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