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Fiddle vs Violin
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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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March 24, 2012 - 12:47 pm
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I saw a post from DragonLady commenting on fiddle v orchestra strings.
Is there a difference?
I have a 2nd violin at the moment where the sound post has moved and it has Dominant Steel wound strings compared to my own D'Addario Zyex.
When I took it to my teacher this morning to have a look at the sound post, when she played it, it certainly sounded like it should be played in a mid-summer evening barn, with loads of people drinking whisky, wearing check shirts and denim ( sorry about the stereotype but that is how English people see Mid West Americans, especially if they are the Dukes ( not forgetting Daisy!!! if course)
So, is there a difference between a violin and a fiddle?
devil-violin

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Fiddle4Fun
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March 24, 2012 - 1:25 pm
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I've heard that the difference is that it's a fiddle when you're buying and a violin when you're selling.

 

laugh

 

Seriously, though, I don't think there's much of a physical difference between the instruments.  Alterations for a specific sound, for instance, seem to be more player preference than category requirement. 

 

Another difference is the playing style.  Folk musicians tend to focus on improv, playing by ear, and more casual technique whereas orchestra musicians focus on reading music, staying with the group, and being precise.  (I am seriously in awe of classicaly trained violinists.  There is no way I have that kind of discipline.) That said, there's a lot of crossover these days with classical musicians playing in folk styles and fiddlers learning classical techniques. 

 

I think it is not so much that the word "violin" or "fiddle" has a specific denotation that separates one from  the other but rather that it's the connotation that's important.  If you want people to think of a concert hall and precision playing, tell them you are a violinist.  If you want people to think of a square dance, tell them you are a fiddler.

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eoj02
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March 24, 2012 - 1:33 pm
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this is interesting.  but first, i am currently wearing a camo hat and flannel shirt.  hmm. and just to clerify, we are called red necks... not mid west americans.lol.

 

however, to me the difference between violin and fiddle is kind of simple.  i call it both depending on what i'm talking about and to who.  if i play (or try to play) something that can stand alone or with other orchestral instruments, i call it a violin.  if i'm playing something that sounds better with a banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass and drums, i call it a fiddle.

 

It seams the violin is like a lead singer and the fiddle is a band member.

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myguitarnow
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March 24, 2012 - 1:48 pm
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The only difference is in the style of playing. I don't think the English see it any other way either.

Ya gotta watch out... Us Mid West Americans love music and we are strong survivors from any other country. And we fight anyone that thinks otherwise.

Strings can make a difference for sure. It's about vibration and maybe how you play along.

The violin was first a fiddle then greedy people tried to take over that idea..... I love them Daisy Dukes!

jimi-hendrix

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myguitarnow
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Yep, my wifey was shaking her head last night when I wanted to watch the way D'Addario makes their strings.

A lower action (strings lower to the bridge make it easier to play). A higher action can bring out new tones.

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TerryT
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eoj02 said

Database Error

Error establishing a database connection

Haha, love it.
Tbh, we see 'redneck' as a slightly derogoratory name.
Certainly, with my South African upbringing, a Rooinek (redneck) was not a term of endearment directed at new immigrants.
In the US, isn't the term determined by the number of pick-ps in varying states of repair can be found in the front yard, lol

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and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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TerryT
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March 24, 2012 - 3:38 pm
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Barry said

Orchestra strings are just a heavier gauge, meant to project better. could be a bad thing on some fiddles.

Some old time and bluegrassers lower the arch on the bridge to make double stops and drones eaiser. I perfer the classical arch because I play other styles.

 

A violin has strings and a fiddle has strangs  serenade

Durn! I knew it had to be something like that. violin-student

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Ryan
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March 24, 2012 - 4:57 pm
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Well, I have never been ashamed to be called a Redneck lol.

 

As far as the difference between the violin and the fiddle, I have always considered the difference to be the style of music being played. 

 

I never will forget when I got my first Violin, I went into a very classical oriented "Strings" shop and told them I was looking to acquire a fiddle. You should have seen the looks I got. You would have thought I told them I was looking to purchase asparagus or something. Needless to say after they got over the shock of my "error", I made it a point to continue to refer to it as a fiddle just for fun, despite of their continuous correction.roflol

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Fiddle4Fun
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That reminds me of the time I was walking to class and carrying my fiddle since I had to go straight from my lesson.  I passed a guy on the sidewalk and he asked me what I had in the case. 

"Violin," I said.

"You mean fiddle!"

And he kept on walking. 

 

I think one of my favorite sayings as to the difference between the two is: "A violin sings.  A fiddle dances."

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Ryan
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March 24, 2012 - 5:08 pm
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someone once told me the difference is that you don't mind getting beer spilt on your fiddle.

 

I tend to disagree, I don't wish anything to be spilt on my fiddle

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Kevin M.
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March 24, 2012 - 5:40 pm
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A fiddle can't produce long drawn out notes it only works with quick short bow strokes.  By the way I had 2 trucks removed form the property so am I no longer a red neck?

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TerryT
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When I first started the violin it was because I had witnessed some Irish fiddle
Music. I thought I better get violin lessons to build a good foundation, but now, trying to learn both styles is like trying to pay your head and rub your tummy at the same time.
Haha, sorry Kevin, it would seem that you can no longer carry that title. But then again, we are talking more about blood than petrol.
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TerryT
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March 24, 2012 - 6:47 pm
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Ryan said

Database Error

Error establishing a database connection

Funny, good one.serenade

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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eoj02
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March 24, 2012 - 7:58 pm
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it is difficult to switch from fiddle to violin for a beginner, i'm sorry, i mean violin to fiddle.  i practiced over the rainbow with different fingerings and vibrato.  then tried to move to the shuffle fiddle stuff when a guitar player came over.  ouch.  it took about ten minutes to get it going.

my ear tends to like violin type better so its hard to adjust to fit the fiddle song. 

this does seem to be rough for me, with my deer target in the side yard.  i actually shoot my bow from across the street across the cultisack.  the neighbors love that as much as my late night jam's in the garage.

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Kevin M.
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March 24, 2012 - 8:11 pm
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Do you play with the same bow you shot?

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TerryT
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I'm guessing not, haha, getting that blood off will take more than a bit of rosin rubbing!

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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eoj02
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March 25, 2012 - 2:11 pm
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well, i might as well have seeins how my playin isn't progressing all that fast.

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ftufc
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When I bought my violin/fiddle, about 3 months ago now, I asked the shop to set it up as a violin with violin strings (Perlon core, steel E, Aluminum A&D, Silver G) and a violin-profile bridge; AND send me fiddle strings (Nickel flat-wound on steel) and a fiddle-profile bridge, because I loved both violin and fiddle music and wasn't sure to which I would gravitate.  The fiddle bridge is definitely a lower profile to make double-stops easier.

At this point, I'm learning violin with a teacher and just learning and trying to play a few fiddle songs with fiddle style on my own.  Because I'm so new to the violin, I sometimes clip a second string unintentionally as it is, I clearly don't YET need a bridge which makes that easier.

That's why I LOVE this site,,, it's my "alternative" to strictly violin.

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TerryT
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March 25, 2012 - 3:51 pm
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Maybe the fiddle playing will help eliminate the adjacent string drag when playing as a violin. I hope so as I encounter exactly the same problem

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Fiddlerman
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March 26, 2012 - 12:15 pm
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ftufc said

 

Database Error

 

Error establishing a database connection

Sorry everyone. I will be changing hosts soon and this site will fly......

ftufc said
When I bought my violin/fiddle, about 3 months ago now, I asked the shop to set it up as a violin with violin strings (Perlon core, steel E, Aluminum A&D, Silver G) and a violin-profile bridge; AND send me fiddle strings (Nickel flat-wound on steel) and a fiddle-profile bridge, because I loved both violin and fiddle music and wasn't sure to which I would gravitate.  The fiddle bridge is definitely a lower profile to make double-stops easier.

Have you been switching between the two set-ups?

At this point, I'm learning violin with a teacher and just learning and trying to play a few fiddle songs with fiddle style on my own.  Because I'm so new to the violin, I sometimes clip a second string unintentionally as it is, I clearly don't YET need a bridge which makes that easier.

I am most positive that there is nothing a fiddle player can do with a flatter bridge than I can't do with my normal violin set up. I can play three strings at once if I had to without a flatter bridge. I'm not saying that it doesn't have it's advantages for the fiddler, just saying that you are probably right in leaving it the way it is for now.

That's why I LOVE this site,,, it's my "alternative" to strictly violin.

I'm happy that you love it. dancing

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

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