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Classical and Traditional Fiddle Training Differences ?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (14 votes) 
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cid
September 24, 2019 - 10:14 pm
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I am thinking that both intonation and speed would improve by playing with others at your skill level and just a tad above? I couldn’t do it, though. I am thinking that if you play with people that are too far advanced from you, especially in speed, it would hurt because you would have issues taking a giant step up in speed? I don’t know because I can’t play with others. Seriously, they might hear me.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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September 24, 2019 - 10:23 pm
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@cid 

Ever heard of air bow?  Just kidding, kinda.

When playing in a group, such as orchestra, I'd imagine if one is not at the same level you might need to "fake it til you make it".  I recall @AndrewH commenting on this in the past.  It is more common than you think.

I hope I don't have to do that.

- Pete -

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GregW
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September 24, 2019 - 10:30 pm
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I think playing with others in general helps your playing especially those more advanced.  Irish and old time play the melody as a group so you can hide somewhat.  Sometimes its better to listen, record if possible and  try to work on it for the next time.  These groups generally are understanding types and have been where you are as a beginner and are pulling for you to progress or indifferent and more worried about how they sound like yourself..  Everyone is there for the social aspect and love of playing.  Ive only read about bad jams..haven't experienced one where people are rude to each otther about skill level.  

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GregW
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September 24, 2019 - 10:33 pm
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Haha..air bow..yes done that..AND..played maybe one note each time it came around..like  oh here it comes again..annnd Gcrotchet-1218  there it is..man I played the best G ever...that was fun!  Lol

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cid
September 24, 2019 - 10:44 pm
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Oh, air bow! I thought it was a Playstation or Wii thing, part of “Air band” or whatever it is. 

Makes sense what you all said.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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AndrewH
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Pete_Violin said
@cid 

Ever heard of air bow?  Just kidding, kinda.

When playing in a group, such as orchestra, I'd imagine if one is not at the same level you might need to "fake it til you make it".  I recall @AndrewH commenting on this in the past.  It is more common than you think.

I hope I don't have to do that.

  

Let's be real: outside of professional orchestras, everyone fakes at least a little -- if nothing else, because of the volume of music to be learned in limited practice time. (For that matter, there's even a little of it in professional orchestras, because musicians are often performing a new concert program every week and sometimes performing on as little as one rehearsal.) The question is how much, and what kind of faking it is.

How much faking happens depends on the difficulty of the music being played, the skill and experience of the musicians, and the amount of rehearsal time available.

The type of faking that happens changes in higher-level orchestras. In the semi-pro orchestra I now play in, everyone is expected to be able to play almost everything cleanly and in tempo -- but because we're still mostly amateurs with day jobs, we don't have time to practice to the level of consistency the pros have. When the music is moving quickly, it may not be possible to recover from something like a missed shift or the bow coming off the string the wrong way, so we fake until we can find a spot to jump back in. Sometimes, if there are too many difficult passages in a piece to practice everything properly in our compressed rehearsal cycle (we play professional repertoire on 4-5 rehearsals), there may be some "I can't play this" faking, but that is mostly because practice time has been focused on other difficult passages rather than because the musicians aren't capable of playing everything; the general idea will be that each difficult passage has still been practiced thoroughly by the majority of the section, and there aren't single passages where half of the section is faking.

In more casual community orchestras, it's much more obvious that quite a few people just aren't capable of playing the difficult passages, and it sometimes it gets to the point where fast passages turn into solos for the principal player. When I started out playing in orchestras, I was there as the guy at the back of the section faking 75% of the time; eventually I spent some time playing in that kind of orchestra as the principal violist frequently playing solo in fast passages. It really depends on what the orchestra is playing, of course. You tend to see a lot more faking if the conductor is overly ambitious and tries to program things that are above the level of the majority of the musicians.

What I can say for playing in orchestras is: if you're playing with people above your level, they tend to be happy to give you pointers to help you play more and fake less.

I can probably write quite a bit on the categories of community orchestras that you might see (I've played in orchestras in every category) and what the expectations tend to be in each.

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Gordon Shumway
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September 25, 2019 - 8:01 am
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On Friday, I'll have my second orchestra rehearsal followed by a violin lesson.

I assume the lesson will cover not only some of the orchestral material, but also some of the faking techniques.

Andrew

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cid
September 25, 2019 - 9:05 am
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That is interesting. I wish I had the courage to play with others. In reading this thread, it really seems beneficial. When I took guitar lessons my instructor had to keep asking me to play louder. I was trying not to let him hear me. LOL Can’t play that soft with a cello, violin or viola. 

Between classical and fiddle, which do you think would be more comfortable for a person who does nothing in front of people to attempt, a fiddler group or orchestra type? I did not even want a wedding. I wanted to just elope because I did not want to walk down the aisle in front of people. I was so uncomfortable having that stupid visible spotlight. Very stressful. 

My guess is that it would be fiddle because the seem to be so relaxed, happy and have more of friendly connection to each other in videos.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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cid
September 25, 2019 - 9:06 am
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@Gordon Shumway Cannot wait to hear more about your orchestra work on Friday. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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cid
September 25, 2019 - 9:13 am
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@starise said

-Classical players hold the violin further to the side over the shoulder to allow for better arm movement, so when you look at printed music you're actually turning yourself to the side. Fiddle teachers play with the instrument more towards the center of the bodyor maybe even directly in front.

That is actually quite interesting. Do you think that is why I hold FiddleDeeDee differently than Rudoulf? It is making for a different setup on each.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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starise
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September 25, 2019 - 9:35 am
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Gordon LOL! 

To answer cid on type of strings/violin projection as it pertains to fiddle music .vs classical music. Seems to be a lot of variation there, at least in Irish music. I mean, you generally want a high projecting instrument for loud bar situations or no one will hear you. Exceptions to every rule. If not playing jigs I like to hear a more discrete sound. Say with Irish waltzes, reels and such. Much of this has more to do with technique than the violin or strings, not discrediting either as factors. I think it can be done with either though, at least the "darker" violins I've heard have a different flavor to the tone, yet can still be heard.

In classical music it seems the soloist or group leaders are intended to be heard, so some of them have high powered violins for that. Sorry I don't have a better term than "high powered". Maybe similar to an Irish musician playing in a loud bar...you need to be heard. The flip side of this for classical is, those who play 2nd and 3rd parts often probably have the goal to blend and not stick out....so firecracker violins might be prohibited or discouraged? Some violinists need ear protection to practice because those violins are so loud.

I get the need to learn beginner classical fingering techniques for some of the fiddle tunes. Many of the Irish tunes often use a higher 1st position E which as a beginner, I always played open E and have started to move away from that to often playing the 4th finger E if it's easier for that tune. Same can be said for G and A 4th finger alternates if they fit and have a place. I should mention one of my violins has higher tension strings and I was struggling with the 4th finger positions. When I went to a violin with less tension that whole thing got way easier. So far, that's about as far  up the neck on fiddle tunes as I've gone. When that feels almost automatic I plan to move on up further. Many of the tunes are so much easier to play using those 4th finger moves. 

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starise
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September 25, 2019 - 9:39 am
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cid said

@starise said

-Classical players hold the violin further to the side over the shoulder to allow for better arm movement, so when you look at printed music you're actually turning yourself to the side. Fiddle teachers play with the instrument more towards the center of the bodyor maybe even directly in front.

That is actually quite interesting. Do you think that is why I hold FiddleDeeDee differently than Rudoulf? It is making for a different setup on each.

  

Well I had to go to a center chin rest to get the right hold. Holding a violin classically still doesn't feel as natural to me. I tend to want to hold the fiddle more like a fiddler which is more down over my shoulder. Facing the music from the side angle has made a big difference. Sort of forces me to hold it better. If music is memorized, I need another trick or I'll be back to the "fiddle" hold again. 

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cid
September 25, 2019 - 9:47 am
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I actually wear Plantonics (?) ear protectors that I bought from the Fiddlershop. The ear is so close to the sound. I don’t for my cello. It seems to be more so with the brighter FiddleDeeDee. 

So, do they at times, maybe amp up the solist with a little hidden mic in the instrument in orchestras? Is that something a person has to get used to, or does it not really affect the player the first times doing it? Or is it not done at all? 

It always seems soloists are pretty clear in videos I have seen. Take into account, I generally look for non-orchestral videos because I am focusing on specific instruments. Given that, maybe I just have not seen that enough to get an accurate idea of how clear they sound above the background.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Gordon Shumway
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Re the differences between violin and fiddle, the difference for me is that fiddle is a) mainly done from memory and b) no offence to Billy, but all fiddle tunes sound the same to me. Both seem like insurmountable difficulties to me, although if the second were true, it might make fiddle easier, lol!

Andrew

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starise
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The more I get into some of the more esoteric fiddle tunes I would say they seem less alike. There are a bunch that are very similar in construction.

Some of the main differences I'm finding between the two types is: In classical they start you off on slow material trying to develop solid tone and intonation. During that same time a person who is learning fast fiddle tunes is building up speed on the music. From what I've seen the result is fiddlers learn to play faster earlier while classical players learn to make a long solid tone and vibrato. Judging from my classical education so far, it's a sin of the highest order to play fast in the beginning. I don't think this is a good thing because two or three years into their training they still struggle with fast material, while fiddlers can't  play slower  melodic material with as much feeling.

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cid
September 25, 2019 - 11:21 am
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This is quite interesting with the different theories behind learning classical and fiddling. It explains a lot of what I thought was just me, and my lack of experience in each. 

Unfortunately, I am interested in both, which given the differences, makes it hard to actually use lessons for one to help with the other, in a few aspects. But, not impossible. 

I wonder, though, would doing the fast fiddle on your own, help with using more speed with the classical? I am really slow with the classical lesson songs, but I can go a little, just a little, faster with the fiddle. 

How about memorizing? I can memorize a lesson classical piece, but it took me forever to memorize, “Going to Boston”, and for the life of me, I cannot memorize, “Irish Rover”. Why?

Given than this is basically a classical and fiddle talk, where does, for the lack of a better term, pop music fall in the way you learn it, hold tbe violin, etc. I am talking “Moon River”, “Over the Rainbow”, “Rainbow Connection”, not the current music the teens are listening to, 60’s and 70’s and some show tunes. How does that play out?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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cid
September 25, 2019 - 11:25 am
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A note on memorizing. I only memorize to make it easier to pay attention to my intonation and bowing. After I am more comfortable, I actually prefer to look at the music and try to figure out how to do the dynamic markings. I have not really dealt with that with cello or violin, but am dabbling. Plus, actually reading the music, gets me more familiar with reading music. So, I realize that memorizing and never using sheet music is not all encompassing beneficial. I know there is a lot of debate on that, so I wanted to make that clear. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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GregW
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@cid said..."and for the life of me, I cannot memorize, “Irish Rover”. Why?"

Being a pub song ( one you sing that has lyrics )  maybe give that a try.  It can even help the memorization process to whistle or hum a non singing type tune.  For instance you probably didn't need sheet music for twinkle little star or happy birthday possibly even Amazing Grace.  Maybe an over simplification example but it does help.  

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starise
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cid said
This is quite interesting with the different theories behind learning classical and fiddling. It explains a lot of what I thought was just me, and my lack of experience in each. 

Unfortunately, I am interested in both, which given the differences, makes it hard to actually use lessons for one to help with the other, in a few aspects. But, not impossible. 

I wonder, though, would doing the fast fiddle on your own, help with using more speed with the classical? I am really slow with the classical lesson songs, but I can go a little, just a little, faster with the fiddle. 

How about memorizing? I can memorize a lesson classical piece, but it took me forever to memorize, “Going to Boston”, and for the life of me, I cannot memorize, “Irish Rover”. Why?

Given than this is basically a classical and fiddle talk, where does, for the lack of a better term, pop music fall in the way you learn it, hold tbe violin, etc. I am talking “Moon River”, “Over the Rainbow”, “Rainbow Connection”, not the current music the teens are listening to, 60’s and 70’s and some show tunes. How does that play out?

  

While classical seems to get into faster string crossings eventually, most of it seems to be later on and in small amounts until a player gets to the intermediate level.. Fast playing involves accurate string crossings and fingers in positions that maximize the minimum distance. Dexterity is important and I think fiddlers tend to develop some of that earlier, possibly at the expense of other things. I think the best training is well rounded. If I only have an hour to practice I try to cover all of it in smaller increments. Fiddlers who want to branch out should probably be looking at vibrato, holding notes out for longer duration with accurate intonation. Moves at extremes on the scale. This is something I think classical is known for. It's a whole lot deeper than just these few things. 

Pop music violin is likely borrowing most of that technique from classical music. It's still mostly long melodic music. Really "dumbed down" classical but still classical technique. Amplified violins are often used in pop. Has some advantages that I think trade good tone. Lots of possibilities though. Can play softer on the strings and still be heard because you're amplified.

For me, songs that have a repetitive sort of construction are easiest to memorize. Many of the Irish songs throw in something unexpected not as predictable as is found in more western music, so I always need to be wary of that. Basically anything can be memorized in small chunks, like eating an elephant. I have spent weeks trying to memorize more complicated material. I don't want to think about how many times I've played some of it until I finally started to get it right. Most of memory is based on associations and connections to other things....like an invisible chain. If one link is missed it can throw off the whole thing. Most songs I've memorized have at least one or two sticklers where I can easily get hung up because the links don't always flow well there.

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GregW
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Gordon Shumway said
Re the differences between violin and fiddle, the difference for me is that fiddle is a) mainly done from memory and b) no offence to Billy, but all fiddle tunes sound the same to me. Both seem like insurmountable difficulties to me, although if the second were true, it might make fiddle easier, lol!

  

I agree Gordon...the more popular tunes have a lot in common.. For instance hag at the churn can turn into old hag youve killed me if your not on your toes and paying attention.

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