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Interesting Discovery
Tuning down a cheap fiddle
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Strabo
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January 24, 2024 - 8:45 am
Member Since: October 4, 2021
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I’m a big fan of cross-tuning, sometimes called “open” tuning. The drones, resonances and double-stops make the fiddle rock & roll.

I have lately been thinking about the best tunings for my two good fiddles. I’ve been keeping one cross-tuned to ADAE and the other in standard GDAE tuning -- which is of course essential for many reasons. That system also keeps both instruments stable.  However, it does require retuning for the AEAE tuning which is also useful for some BG and old-time tunes. 

I still have my starter (gift) violin, a cheap-o which was built to withstand the ravages of 10 year-olds. Its tone is somewhere between scratchy and screechy. I recently saw a suggestion that tuning a cheap violin down could improve the tone, so I tuned the cheap-o to GDGD.

That allows me to practice A tunes with no need for any retuning. (Obviously I’m practicing one full tone low, so I need retune one of my good fiddles for performances and jams. But that does not happen every day.) 

And, astonishingly enough, the cheap-o sounds much, much better when tuned down. It’s like a different instrument, a pleasure to play. What a revelation!

The world of the fiddle never ceases to amaze...

Strabo

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ELCBK
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January 24, 2024 - 11:12 am
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@Strabo -

Great discovery, finding a way to enjoy a fiddle that might otherwise be gathering dust! 

Means more fiddling - Woo Hoo!

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Cajun
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February 12, 2024 - 8:58 am
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I still have my starter (gift) violin, a cheap-o which was built to withstand the ravages of 10 year-olds. Its tone is somewhere between scratchy and screechy. Strabo said

lol if that ain't the truth for El Cheapo's. I started for about 6 months on one I'd borrowed from my sister... that she got back in 2000 for $50 at a pawn shop.  it still had the original strings and bow hair.  Mind you, I got it from her in Oct 2022 so....

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Sharon Begley

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