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Hello from further North in Ohio
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Scared Fretless
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October 2, 2013 - 11:34 pm
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Bob from Cleveland here.  Hello fiddlerman.com forum.    I just started with the fiddle and I don't sound very good yet.  I've played guitar for forty-three years and currently play in an old time band with a great fiddler.  I was scared of the fiddle, so I added mandolin and irish bouzouki over the last few years to get used to GDAE tuning.  The tuning wasn't hard to get used to, but with the fiddle, it's a different story.

The biggest change is not the bow for me- I think I can deal with that.  But, how do you play in tune with no frets!  You move a micron and the pitch changes!  How does anyone play this?

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RosinedUp
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October 3, 2013 - 4:45 am
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Scared Fretless said

But, how do you play in tune with no frets!  You move a micron and the pitch changes!  How does anyone play this?

Ha ha ... nah, it's not as bad as that.  Playing E on the D string, for example, you should be stopping 35.5 mm (write that down, ha ha) from the nut, but almost anyone would be very hard pressed to detect it if you are off by half a millimeter.  That's 500 microns.  So you can relax a little ... but not too much.

It's a great sign that you recognize the importance of hitting the right pitch.  And BTW, IMO, extreme attention to intonation is likely to lead to both vibrato and ability to play by ear.

Yep, gonna have to use your ears, alright.  I recommend starting out checking yourself against a tuner and listening and playing along with music that you know is perfectly tuned.  In time you can increasingly do without those.

Nice to have you here, Bob.  Clever login name.laugh

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StoneDog
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October 3, 2013 - 8:10 am
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Welcome Scared Fretless

I hear ya on the no fret thing. I play guitar also and went to fiddleviolin about 8 months ago. I always liked the sound and was curious of playing a fretless string instrument. I found out it was a whole different world more so than I thought it would be. But it ROCKs!!!. I had a lot of trouble hitting the right notes. It has gotten better and gets better every day. I run scales a lot. I run them every time I pick it up. Being a guitar player you will know if you are hitting the right notes, etc. Scalesrepetition and it will come. Then there is all this other really cool stuff, sounds, etc you can get with this instrument, double stops, vibrato, etc. The bow is SWEET!!! > Whole different world. Keep at it. It will be worth your time if you enjoy music.

How those Browns doing???

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rockinglr33
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October 3, 2013 - 9:25 am
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Welcome to fiddlerman!!! 

I'm brand new to the violin myself and though i never really learned any other instrument I know exactly what you mean. But alot of patience and tons of practice and before long you have muscle memory and your hitting those notes :)  

 

Over all Welcome and good luck!!!

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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Griff
Columbus, OH
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October 3, 2013 - 9:54 am
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I'm right there with ya, Bob.  Ten minutes into the first lesson, we got to the "ok, let's talk about how you hold the violin" part, and I said "Hey!  There's no frets on this!"  There was a brief moment of hope that my instrument was defective, but no...  It's all on us now.

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Mad_Wed
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October 3, 2013 - 4:52 pm
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Scared Fretless said 
...
The biggest change is not the bow for me- I think I can deal with that.  But, how do you play in tune with no frets!  You move a micron and the pitch changes!  How does anyone play this?

Griff said 
I'm right there with ya, Bob.  Ten minutes into the first lesson, we got to the "ok, let's talk about how you hold the violin" part, and I said "Hey!  There's no frets on this!"  There was a brief moment of hope that my instrument was defective, but no...  It's all on us now.

Hahahahahaha!!! You guys are so funny!!!rofl

If seriously, you can add frets to your violin, if it's so much scary without it LOL!:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-FI.....1002235103

 

Welcome to the forum, BTW!!!

 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 3, 2013 - 5:24 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I bet if they built a guitar without frets you would be able to play it. After a while you know where to put your fingers automatically. Like typing on a keyboard. :-)

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

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Scared Fretless
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October 3, 2013 - 10:49 pm
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Thanks for all the encouragement, everyone!  This journey will be a lot more fun with folks like you to share it with.  Muscle memory is exactly right, fiddlerman, I have to remember when I was first learning guitar and had to stare at my hand to play chords that I can play without thinking now.

I have to confess that I haven't ever been disciplined about playing scales, preferring to learn new skills in the context of a new tune.  So, for the fiddle, more scales are in order.

I have a strange dichotomy in guitar- I play in church with professional or former professional musicians where we play from sheet music and I have to remember all my theory and all of the notation.  I also play in a band featuring Civil War era music where "catch" the tunes, play in the right key and wing it!

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1stimestar
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October 4, 2013 - 1:12 am
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Or you can play songs that you know.  After all, you know what they are supposed to sound like.

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
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October 5, 2013 - 10:31 am
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My experience is quite the opposite.

 

The first instrument I played was the violin. When I was introduced to guitar with it's frets, my thoughts were that the guitar is very constrained and limited.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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Ginnysg
Southern California
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October 6, 2013 - 3:57 pm
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Scared Fretless said 
The biggest change is not the bow for me- I think I can deal with that.  But, how do you play in tune with no frets!  You move a micron and the pitch changes!  How does anyone play this?

Welcome Scared Fretless !  Yea, it's that... move a micron... thing that get's me.  But playing scales, and scales, and more scales (and I play them with a recorded version in my iPod) it comes together.

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” 

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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October 6, 2013 - 5:45 pm
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Welcome from 'Down Under' aussie_flag

All good advise above.

With the 'fretless' bit, it all comes down to 'muscle memory'. Your brain and body will learn. It's not easy at first. If it was, where would the challenge be?

 

You use muscle memory every day. You just don't realise it.

You can find the right place to scratch your butt without having frets on it. rofl

 

You will find the forum and the people helpful and fun and the resources that FM has provided most valuable.

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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