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Does Anyone Else Have a 5-String Fiddle?
A fiddle made to have 5-strings.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (7 votes) 
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ELCBK
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January 25, 2022 - 3:26 am
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Two and ½ years and I STILL 💖 my 5-string VIOLIN! 

https://violinoutlet.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/glasser-aex-carbon-composite-acoustic-electric-5-string-violin-outfit-8-116x300.jpg

Don't know why I just recently had a revelation about the way I look at it. 

Instead of thinking it's a VIOLIN with a few extra low notes - I should've been thinking more that it's VIOLIN AND VIOLA! 

It's very weird that just by 'calling' it one or the other - gives it an identity that makes such a huge difference!

I'm sure if I'd been thinking that it's equally VIOLA, I would have been searching for play-along solo VIOLA video scores and tutorials, much earlier - and, I'd be MUCH HAPPIER! 

...I don't really care to spend a lot of time on the E string, anyway - but sometimes it's just easier to learn a tune using it, then I can move it lower or to a different key.  

I think in a perfect World, a fractional 5-string VIOLA would be my recommendation for ALL beginner bowed string players... but nobody makes them! 

I'm very excited - I should be getting my new 16", 5-string VIOLA next month. 🤗  It will be interesting to see if I think of it in the opposite sense - VIOLA with a few extra high notes? 

...or will I just see it as a BIG VIOLIN, with a few extra low notes? 😳 

- Emily 

 

Food for thought: 

Bach Cello Suite #6 - can NOT be played in the original key on a four-string viola!

An article in “The Strad” Magazine. The Magazine quotes Simon Rowland-Jones’ comments in 1999. (The article was printed in July, 2021)

“The suite can only comfortably be played on a five-string instrument, although most cellists do play it on a normal four-string cello using thumb position to facilitate the higher registers. As thumb position is not possible on the viola, violists normally play this suite in the key of G.”

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 25, 2022 - 8:36 am
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True. It's both a violin and a viola.

So when you say a fractional 5 string you mean smaller than 14 inches? My thinking is that it's hard enough for them to learn on 4 strings but children have brains that are like sponges right? You could have a point there.
Most teachers and violinists don't play a 5 string and probably haven't even tried it. I first played on a 5-string through my business and probably never would have tested one otherwise. As fun as a 5 string instrument is, I have way more control on my 4 string instruments and they seem to project more as well.

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

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ELCBK
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January 25, 2022 - 10:50 am
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@Fiddlerman - 

Kids ARE sponges, you are so right! 

So, hypothetically speaking: 

If everyone started with 5 strings, NO one would know anything could be different. 

And, it's not like, WHAM - we start playing everything on ALL 5 strings.  Everyone basically starts learning on the higher strings, anyway - then, moves toward playing more on the lower strings... right? 

 

🤔... If I learned on a 4 string instrument, then was handed a 5-string, I might think "Oh no, I have to learn to deal with another string, this will mess me up - what do I do with it?"  

Instead: since I started with 5 strings, when handed a 4-string, I'd think "Oh no, how boring, I won't be able to switch parts with a 2nd voice, or use my favorite double stops and options to shift motifs for improvisation - I miss that string... and it's extra resonance!" 

Hmm... now, what if we were talking about learning to use 'telephone' vs. 'smartphone'?  My Grandkids only know how to make a call from a cell phone.  Not so sure I'd want to use a regular telephone if I grew up relying on a smartphone.  ...does anyone still have a telephone in their house? 

 

I'm pretty sure there's room for a little more innovation in 5-string acoustic instrument design.  Maybe more electronic innovation, too.

Could have sworn I saw a violin or viola design, somewhere, that had graduated the depth of the rib - so, increased depth on the C string side, etc... tweaking the body shape or fingerboard angle/height - might help with projection and better balance of sound (?)

Can't different types of strings help (a little) with projection?  I'm not talking 'miracle workers' here. (lol) 

Thought about 2 Clefs, but learning Treble AND Alto Clef shouldn't be difficult if starting with both - I mean, kids learn 2 Clefs for piano! 

 

 

Okay, this is fun, but I HAVE TO STOP... before I meander any farther down this rabbit hole! 

...or my brain explodes! 😳🤣

- Emily

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ELCBK
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October 18, 2022 - 3:29 pm
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@Fiddlerman -

Thanks for mentioning Kostia and the

Fiddlerman 5-string Master Violin! 

 

From the New VIOLA Day Thread

Fiddlerman said
Speaking of 5-string violas. Check out this guy that visited Fiddlershop a few times recently. Kostia. Not only a fantastic violinist, but a great guy.

 

 

Love his story!  

 

 

...serious about making the violin your life?  Check out the Eastman Music School!

Eastman Community Music School World Campus: Launch of New World-Wide Program

Monster Greeting Emoticons- Emily

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 20, 2022 - 10:09 am
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Of course. The guy is such a delight.

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

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ELCBK
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November 1, 2022 - 6:52 pm
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...okay, rant time - I'm really bummed out. 

It's now been almost another YEAR since I last reached out to see if anyone else visiting the forum plays a 5-string Violin or Viola!   Worldfiddler showed up playing a GREAT 5-string fiddle 8 months ago - with his "We Cat Mazurka"https://fiddlerman.com/forum/c.....a/#p123751

But where is everyone else? 😳

Can you deny how GREAT they sound?  

 

 

This one is actually a fractional size 5-string VIOLA!  It's a violin size, with a deeper body!

I really find it hard to believe that only professional Fiddlers play these! 

If you can at least handle the size of a 4/4 violin, I'm still an advocate for starting with 5-strings! 

It's perfect for encouraging creative people to broaden their outlook on music (all violinists, violists & cellists are creative people) - whether expanding on a Classical solo, switching between lead & back-up, or maybe you love the sound of lower notes & a large viola or cello is just out of the question.

String spacing should NOT be an issue, unless someone tries to convert a 4-string instrument without changing to a slightly wider fingerboard (don't do it). 

AND,THE STRINGS ARE ALL STILL A 5th APART! 

AND... if you learn on a 5-string Violin or Viola - you can easily play anyone's regular fiddle or viola (hey, maybe you're in a spot & forgot to bring yours)!

Are there any archaic rules that prevent people playing these instruments in an Orchestra... NO! 

Violinists With MORE Than 4 Strings in Classical Orchestra! Thread

5-string Fiddlers, Violists & Cellists -

WHERE ARE YOU? 

 

https://i0.wp.com/agoodgoodbye.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Bizarro-Thanksgiving-Grim-Reaper.jpg?resize=830%2C994

Violinist's Guide to the Five String Book - arranged by Danieldouglas Smith - at Fiddlershop

"The arrangements in this book are specifically designed to help the experienced violinists adapt their technique to the 5 string violin."

Recuperating after a wild Halloween? 

I am.  Rainy weather made for a crazy evening of wound up Grandkids running amok throughout the house like banshees! 

Surprised Eyes Emoticons

SEVEN of them!!!

- Emily  

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Mark
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November 2, 2022 - 12:11 am
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ELCBK

I'm sending my second fiddle,

<span;><span;>

 

To my granddaughter who's playing in the school orchestra, and now she's big enough for a full size fiddle.

I have been toying with buying a 5 string,  but it will be a bit before I get serious about buying one.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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ELCBK
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November 2, 2022 - 12:43 am
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@Mark -

VERY EXCITING! 

Can't wait to see what you decide on for yourself - so many that sound good! 

🤔... sending for Birthday?  Christmas? 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/b3/a6/4d/b3a64dd43fdc96c3b3523f39d749f90c.jpg

 

Your Granddaughter will LOVE your fiddle! 

Best gift ever! 

- Emily

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Mark
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November 3, 2022 - 12:05 am
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ELCBK

No special occasion, 

I had told her when she had grown enough to be playing a full size fiddle I would give it to her

I put a tail piece with 4 fine tuners and new strings on it for her, tried a steel tail gut on it and with the carbon fiber tail piece made the tone a bit to bright for my taste so I went to nylon and it toned the brightness down and it sounding good now. Cut a new sound post for it, and may cut a new bridge, the it the original has a very slight back bent to it at the waste of the bridge not made my mind up yet on that.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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November 3, 2022 - 1:28 am
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@Mark -

Think I read somewhere that a warped bridge can effect the tone (?)

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Mark
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November 3, 2022 - 2:05 am
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ELCBK

I'm sure that's possible, My first teachers fiddle had a bridge that was bent very bad(10 to 15 degrees) to the point I was afraid it was going to collapse,  I cut a new bridge for it and it made a small but noticeable change in sound.

I then straightened the old bridge and soaked it in wood hardner for a spare for him, came out looking good.

This one I had not noticed it until I was replacing the tail piece and being critical of the bridge location that I saw it had a slight warp to it.

I'm slow at carving bridges and it take me 2 hours plus normally to cut a bridge, fit it and get every thing set back up playing.

When spring break comes I'll be headed to Texas to see her and had been considering cutting it then when on vacation.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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