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how to properly how a fiddle
Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 (2 votes) 
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myguitarnow
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August 30, 2011 - 5:47 pm
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That's great! That man looks like a happy fiddler for sure...

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 30, 2011 - 6:48 pm
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The funny thing is that the fiddle has a chin-rest on it. He could easily remove it, LOL.

I'm amazed at how relaxed he is holding it too. Obviously it would be hard to shift down from positions or play way up on the strings holding it like that. As long as he is staying in first position I don't see a problem. cool

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Oliver
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August 30, 2011 - 6:56 pm
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Could it be that the original position of the violin and its ancestors was NOT "under the chin" ?  

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myguitarnow
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August 30, 2011 - 7:26 pm
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Where was it Oliver? I noticed that guy shifts the violin around instead of using his right shoulder to get into a comfortable bowing stroke for each string too.

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GennaLea
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August 30, 2011 - 7:48 pm
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That's how I used to hold my niece's 1/4 violin when she started playing (and her 1/2 and now her 3/4). I didn't find it very comfortable, but to each his own, right?

 

Anyway, I loved watching his dancing almost as much as his playing. dancing

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myguitarnow
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August 30, 2011 - 8:36 pm
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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 checksclap

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Oliver
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August 30, 2011 - 10:44 pm
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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:

Dobro
Dulcimer
Zither

And many others I'm sure.  (Think I saw a few from India.)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 31, 2011 - 3:22 am
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Many teachers would tell you guys why this is bad and how limited you would be if you played this way but I would like to say that whatever works for you is fine. I am sure that he could not play Paganini Caprices that way, but very few people ever get or have a desire to get that far anyway. Also it is my strong opinion that your progress would be slower holding the fiddle this way.

That being said, I loved watching him play, and especially dance, and am glad that he has that style. It is very entertaining.

In Scandinavia they have this fiddle which is a wooden shoe violin and it is made to be held in a similar position as this old man is using.

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Paul
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August 31, 2011 - 4:45 pm
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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.

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Oliver
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August 31, 2011 - 5:36 pm
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I just had a funny thought.  I bet there are some percentage of fiddlers who never play standing up and maybe can not play standing up and really don't care smilesmile

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Oliver
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August 31, 2011 - 6:23 pm
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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.

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Fiddlerman
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August 31, 2011 - 6:59 pm
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Great observations. I practice standing up most often but played in symphony orchestras sitting down 6 plus hours a day more than 250 days a year for around 25 years. Truth is that you get used to the thing you do the most often.fish

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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GennaLea
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August 31, 2011 - 9:13 pm
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For me, I'm comfortable standing or sitting. I guess it just depends on the kind of day I've had. LOL Some days I prefer to stand, while others (usually tiring, stressful days) I prefer to sit my butt down. amuse But as with bow holds and violin holds, I guess it all depends on the person.

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pky
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Fiddlerman said:

In Scandinavia they have this fiddle which is a wooden shoe violin and it is made to be held in a similar position as this old man is using.

I like that wooden shoe violin, it's cute and representative of the region and culture. 

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myguitarnow
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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....?

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myguitarnow
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September 1, 2011 - 2:27 am
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Sitting or standing? Just make the most of your posture and breathing in either case.violin-student

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myguitarnow
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September 1, 2011 - 8:03 pm
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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!

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myguitarnow
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September 1, 2011 - 10:21 pm
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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.

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Fiddlerman
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September 2, 2011 - 6:38 am
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This is so cool. Look forward to seeing the results of all these projects.flag_usa

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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dionysia
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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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