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Question for fiddlers
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ryonass
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December 11, 2017 - 4:34 pm
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Random question for fiddlers. Do you plan on learning to play different positions? Or is fiddling done on 1st position?

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damfino
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December 11, 2017 - 4:45 pm
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It is true that a lot of fiddling is done in first position, but I am learning how to play in other positions. As my teacher has said it gives you more places to go with the tune, more sounds to create. 

I have one fiddle book that has lots of shifting in the arrangements.... I can't think of the title off hand, I can come back and post it. 

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ryonass
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December 11, 2017 - 4:51 pm
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@damfino ah I see that makes sense. I'm focusing on classical approach but I would love to give fiddling a try one day.

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Ferenc Simon
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December 11, 2017 - 4:55 pm
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I'm kind of at the stage where it would be nice to introduce at least 3rd position or something.. but so far I'm kinda confused.. trying to find a fun way to introduce it.

Maybe there is some special song out there that's perfect for it.. or I might just end up re-arranging one of the songs I already play. 

That's the problem with learning too fast without a teacher 😀 you're kinda left there 'staring at the gate' from time to time 🙂 

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ryonass
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December 11, 2017 - 5:00 pm
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Ferenc Simon said
I'm kind of at the stage where it would be nice to introduce at least 3rd position or something.. but so far I'm kinda confused.. trying to find a fun way to introduce it.

Maybe there is some special song out there that's perfect for it.. or I might just end up re-arranging one of the songs I already play. 

That's the problem with learning too fast without a teacher 😀 you're kinda left there 'staring at the gate' from time to time 🙂   

I'm amazed at your progress, didn't know you were doing it without a teacher. Do you have previous music experience?

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Ferenc Simon
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December 11, 2017 - 5:09 pm
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Uuuuhm.. well I always liked to sing and used to be in a choir for a bit.. then even learnt it with a teacher at one time.. 

Other than that I learned the guitar like 5 years ago (only chords so I can play along with singing).. and in January this year I got a digital piano as well... learnt the slow parts of Fur Elise like every beginner haha (sooo typical) then moved on to just playing chords on that as well... and now almost 2.5 months ago I picked up the violin so I finally have an instrument where I can't 'cheat' that much and actually learn some solo for a change.. also got a ukulele for Christmas 2 years ago and I've been transferring some of the guitar stuff over.. 

That's pretty much everything I guess, it's not much 🙂 I wouldn't say I'm proficient in any of these though, just meddling around in them.. 

On the other hand I got slightly discouraged today as I've been talking with my cousin who's attending a music conservatory atm. (not for violin, but she meets lots of them there) The goal was actually if she could recommend me any teachers in the area, but she pretty much was rather trying to convince me that I've no chance of learning the violin 'properly' as an adult and asked to see a video.. I showed her one to which she said.. well the song is recognizable, but I'm holding everything the wrong way lol..  Anyway, once we got past that part, sadly she couldn't recommend anyone in the area so I'm still looking.

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ryonass
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December 11, 2017 - 5:19 pm
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 @Ferenc Simon I always find it as a motivation when someone tells me I can't do something. I'm sure you realize you can learn the violin and at the rate you are going, I'm sure you will be playing a full Concerto soon. As far as lessons, this site https://takelessons.com/search?service=Violin&vertical_id=&location%5Bzip_code%5D=&location%5Baccuracy%5D=&session=1 and this site https://www.thumbtack.com/ are the ways I found my teacher.

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Ferenc Simon
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December 11, 2017 - 5:22 pm
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Yea.. I kinda had the same "I'll prove you wrong!' initial reaction 🙂 but you know.. stuff like that always gets stuck in the back of your mind.

Thanks for the links! 🙂 - Edit: Checked them out, unfortunately one of them doesn't support my country, the other one only offers up the online ones for my location, but I'll just keep looking locally. Thanks anyway!

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ryonass
Maryland
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December 11, 2017 - 5:32 pm
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Edit: Checked them out, unfortunately one of them doesn't support my country, the other one only offers up the online ones for my location, but I'll just keep looking locally. Thanks anyway!  

Oh sorry, didn't realize you were not in the states.

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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December 11, 2017 - 7:29 pm
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Ferenc Simon said
Uuuuhm.. well I always liked to sing and used to be in a choir for a bit.. then even learnt it with a teacher at one time.. 

Other than that I learned the guitar like 5 years ago (only chords so I can play along with singing).. and in January this year I got a digital piano as well... learnt the slow parts of Fur Elise like every beginner haha (sooo typical) then moved on to just playing chords on that as well... and now almost 2.5 months ago I picked up the violin so I finally have an instrument where I can't 'cheat' that much and actually learn some solo for a change.. also got a ukulele for Christmas 2 years ago and I've been transferring some of the guitar stuff over.. 

That's pretty much everything I guess, it's not much 🙂 I wouldn't say I'm proficient in any of these though, just meddling around in them.. 

On the other hand I got slightly discouraged today as I've been talking with my cousin who's attending a music conservatory atm. (not for violin, but she meets lots of them there) The goal was actually if she could recommend me any teachers in the area, but she pretty much was rather trying to convince me that I've no chance of learning the violin 'properly' as an adult and asked to see a video.. I showed her one to which she said.. well the song is recognizable, but I'm holding everything the wrong way lol..  Anyway, once we got past that part, sadly she couldn't recommend anyone in the area so I'm still looking.  

You can show your cousin some of my videos. I started "too late" and self-taught for the first 16 years of playing, and most of the people in my orchestras have no idea. :p

But back to the topic of the thread. As for higher positions in fiddle music: I've done a little bit of fiddling, and I like to add double-stops, so I end up using 2nd and 3rd position a lot. I've seen Alasdair Fraser, a leading Scottish fiddler, go up into 3rd position quite a bit.

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zpilot
Kansas City, Mo.
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December 12, 2017 - 8:34 pm
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1st position, until I get to a point to where I NEED to learn others.  I'm more interested in getting to where I can properly learn vibrato.  That's more important to me right now.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 14, 2017 - 9:50 am
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Like everything in this world, learning to do more will both broaden your horizons and help you in other ways.

If you learn to play in positions you can avoid string crossings and open strings. Also, you can produce a different sound higher on the strings and you'll be able to play much higher notes on the E string. 🙂
There are times where playing in positions allow you to play a passage much faster as well.

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

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Charles
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December 14, 2017 - 6:06 pm
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Ferenc Simon said
I'm kind of at the stage where it would be nice to introduce at least 3rd position or something.. but so far I'm kinda confused.. trying to find a fun way to introduce it.

Maybe there is some special song out there that's perfect for it.. or I might just end up re-arranging one of the songs I already play. 

I mentioned being interested in Schindler's List to my teacher, and he jumped on it as a good way to teach me higher positions.

It's actually a fairly easy song, and playing higher positions isn't really any more difficult than playing first position. You will have learn a whole new set of finger patterns, because the notes are closer together as you get higher up. If you use your muscle memory from first position, all of your notes except first finger are going to be sharp.

You may also have to develop some new fingering techniques. I have big fingertips, and in 7th position, the notes are so close together there's no way I can play two notes that are close with separate fingers (if speed is needed). I roll my fingertip over in order to get the adjacent note. That only works for about two notes, but at least in that song, that was enough.

My teacher put tapes on at 3rd, 5th, and 7th position. I balked at that, but he was adamant that it was a good idea in the beginning.  They're not accurate enough that I can play precisely on them and be sure of getting it right, but having landmarks does help me find stuff. The 3rd keeps coming off, and I doubt I'll replace it next time it does - I've found I don't need it anymore.

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Charles
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December 14, 2017 - 6:22 pm
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ryonass said
Random question for fiddlers. Do you plan on learning to play different positions? Or is fiddling done on 1st position?  

I'm guessing you're talking about "fiddlers" vs "violinists" as different styles of play?

Even if most music that most people would describe as "fiddle" is played in first position, I suspect the vast majority of good fiddlers handle higher positions just fine. One aspect of the majority of fiddle playing that I've heard is speed (they tend to be fond of it).  The further your arm is stretched out, the harder all the various motions involved in fingering become. So someone might want to play a piece that's all the top 3 strings in 5th position on the bottom three strings. That would make life easier on your left hand, and you wouldn't have the strongly resonant (and loud) notes that open strings are. Those sound nice, but in the middle of a bunch of notes that do not sound that way, they can jar.

Higher positions can be good for awkward keys, too. Try playing a B scale with no 4th finger, staying 100% in 1st position. It's seriously ugly. Play it with what I call the "universal scale pattern" - 1st finger is the tonic note, then 2nd, 3rd and 4th play 2-2-1 half steps, shift one string up and repeat all 4 - and it's easy. Extremely handy when you're playing with other instruments, some of which can't change what key they're in. And playing in small bands is probably the most common style of fiddle playing (at least when it's out where other people can hear you doing it).

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