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why hasn't anyone ever shown us this before!!!!!!!!!
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (7 votes) 
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DeeLight41
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April 29, 2014 - 4:47 pm
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This thread has been dead for a while, but does anyone on the forum now play/own a fretted violin in 2014? Being a guitar player I would totally go for this. I could easily incorporate it into African-American Gospel music. jimi-hendrix

Patience is necessary to learn the violin: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.-James 1:4
When I get discouraged: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.-Philippians 4:13

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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April 29, 2014 - 6:40 pm
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I was in my luthiers shop a few weeks ago. A guy brought in a fretted violin and wanted a regular fingerboard put on.
My luthier wanted the fretted fingerboard as did I, but the man kept it. Was a beautiful violin.

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
April 29, 2014 - 8:18 pm
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That is a nice looking violin, Ken. I love the finish and color.

I've often wondered why violins weren't fretted to begin with or why fretted violins didn't evolve into the standard. I know violin purists would cringe at that and I kinda get it now. I can see where frets would interfere with many violin techniques. It would just be nice to not have to worry about intonation.

That said, I've finally come to realize that, in a way, playing the violin is more akin to singing or whistling than it is to playing the guitar or mandolin or any other fretted instrument. Playing the right note isn't about knowing exactly where to put your finger by sight or feel; it's knowing when it's in the right place by the sound and making micro adjustments very quickly if it's a bit off.

But if anyone plays a fretted violin, I, too, would love to hear about it.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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BillyG
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April 30, 2014 - 1:01 am
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KindaScratchy said

... Playing the right note isn't about knowing exactly where to put your finger by sight or feel; it's knowing when it's in the right place by the sound and making micro adjustments very quickly if it's a bit off.....

@KindaScratchy - indeed - and I don't recall where I read this - but it was from a serious, professional player - he said something like - "No-one's intonation is always perfect - it just depends how quickly you compensate" - and even I now start to see that while playing - if I'm real close to the note - without even sliding the finger - I find it's often enough just to add, or remove a tad of pressure, or a gentle push or pull-back on the fleshy/calloused tip of the finger without actually physically re-positioning it.
Unfortunately, there are times my original position on the string is still not quite close enough to be able to do that sort of correction...... meh - it can only get better !

And going back to the original post - a fretted violin - well - I live and learn ! What a lovely thing! Do I want one ? No - that would take away both the pleasure and the pain I experience in equal measure from learning to play the Devil's Own Instrument ! devil-violin

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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DeeLight41
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April 30, 2014 - 9:22 am
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That is a lovely fretted violin.
I get both sides, I love the intonation that the classical violin gives and how versatile the instrument truly is, but since I didn't start the violin at 4 years old, and honestly don't think I could be as good as Vanessa-Mae until I I get about 20 years under my belt,violin-student I would love to have the experience of a fretted violin. In my mind, I think I could learn faster as some of my guitar skills could be transferred to fretted violin, and if I had about $2500.00 to throw at a fretted violin I would certainly go for it.
I do plan to eventually get one, maybe around the 3 year mark as an reward 1st-place to myself, but until then I press on with with joy on my fret-less violin. pink-violin-girl

Patience is necessary to learn the violin: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.-James 1:4
When I get discouraged: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.-Philippians 4:13

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 30, 2014 - 3:02 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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DeeLight41 said

That is a lovely fretted violin.
I get both sides, I love the intonation that the classical violin gives and how versatile the instrument truly is, but since I didn't start the violin at 4 years old, and honestly don't think I could be as good as Vanessa-Mae until I I get about 20 years under my belt,https://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/violin-student.gif I would love to have the experience of a fretted violin. In my mind, I think I could learn faster as some of my guitar skills could be transferred to fretted violin, and if I had about $2500.00 to throw at a fretted violin I would certainly go for it.
I do plan to eventually get one, maybe around the 3 year mark as an reward https://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/1st.gif to myself, but until then I press on with with joy on my fret-less violin. https://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/pink-violin-girl.jpeg

You wouldn't need to give much more than a plain violin for a fretted fingerboard. D'Addarrio used to sell a nice glue on version. I guess it wasn't popular enough to keep it going. If there was enough of a demand for fretted violins, we would have some made for fiddlershop.

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

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
April 30, 2014 - 5:49 pm
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Fiddlerman said

DeeLight41 said

That is a lovely fretted violin.
I get both sides, I love the intonation that the classical violin gives and how versatile the instrument truly is, but since I didn't start the violin at 4 years old, and honestly don't think I could be as good as Vanessa-Mae until I I get about 20 years under my belt,https://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/violin-student.gif I would love to have the experience of a fretted violin. In my mind, I think I could learn faster as some of my guitar skills could be transferred to fretted violin, and if I had about $2500.00 to throw at a fretted violin I would certainly go for it.
I do plan to eventually get one, maybe around the 3 year mark as an reward https://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/1st.gif to myself, but until then I press on with with joy on my fret-less violin. https://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/pink-violin-girl.jpeg

You wouldn't need to give much more than a plain violin for a fretted fingerboard. D'Addarrio used to sell a nice glue on version. I guess it wasn't popular enough to keep it going. If there was enough of a demand for fretted violins, we would have some made for fiddlershop.

Which reminds me, I had an applique on my fingerboard for a while that had raised lines that mimicked frets. I eventually took it off because I felt that it actually interfered with my playing and looked amateurish (as if I could fool anyone with my playing. :) ). When I took it off, I was sorry that I had put it on in the first place as it left a sticky residue that took a long time to get off.
bunny-headbang

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Uzi
Georgia
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April 30, 2014 - 6:20 pm
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They've been making fiddles for centuries. If fiddles were better with frets, you can be certain that by now, they would all have them. The fact is, that no one has been able to successfully and convincingly improve much on their design in the last 500 years, if they could have, they would have.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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DeeLight41
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April 30, 2014 - 8:02 pm
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Fiddlerman said

You wouldn't need to give much more than a plain violin for a fretted fingerboard. D'Addarrio used to sell a nice glue on version. I guess it wasn't popular enough to keep it going. If there was enough of a demand for fretted violins, we would have some made for fiddlershop.

I did find a link to the fretted fiddle which seems very similar to D'Addario's version.
I decided to get it and give it a try.

Patience is necessary to learn the violin: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.-James 1:4
When I get discouraged: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.-Philippians 4:13

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DeeLight41
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April 30, 2014 - 8:09 pm
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KindaScratchy said

Which reminds me, I had an applique on my fingerboard for a while that had raised lines that mimicked frets. I eventually took it off because I felt that it actually interfered with my playing and looked amateurish (as if I could fool anyone with my playing. https://fiddlerman.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif ). When I took it off, I was sorry that I had put it on in the first place as it left a sticky residue that took a long time to get off.
https://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/kawaii_whitehorns_10.gif

I don't mind looking amateurish for now. rofl My only environment will be in my Church and they won't mind at all. I figure by the time I need to take it off, I will upgrade my violin by then and wouldn't need it.

Patience is necessary to learn the violin: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.-James 1:4
When I get discouraged: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.-Philippians 4:13

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gwscheer
Pullman,WA, USA
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April 30, 2014 - 10:02 pm
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As someone who has played guitar for 45 years I investigated fretted violins in March of 2013 before I ultimately bought a non-fretted electric violin and learned on that. Wood violins (by Mark Wood : brand name not composition; one of the founders of trans Siberian orchestra) even makes a 6 string electric violin that I could have bought strung and tuned like a guitar so fingering would all exactly translate.
http://www.woodviolins.com/viper/ And they say that their low profile frets, which you play by pushing the string down on the fret (not between frets like guitar) let you stilll to traditional techniques like vibrato. To make a long story slightly shorter, after discussions with the helpful folks at Electric Violin Shop (hey, it was before I heard of Fiddlerman and Fddlershop), I decided to go with the non-fretted violin. My bass player has a fretless bass; I figure if a bass player can do it i could. I have not regretted it, as its been interesting to learn the fretless (NS Design 5 string) In this video at about 2:40 there was some interesting stuff that had me tending for the fretted viper a year ago

"Make every note beautiful", Ivan Galamian

“To play a wrong note is INSIGNIFICANT; To play without PASSION is INEXCUSABLE!” , Ludvig Van Beethovan

"It ain't rocket surgery"

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gwscheer
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April 30, 2014 - 10:47 pm
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@kindascratchy wrote " And going back to the original post – a fretted violin – well – I live and learn ! What a lovely thing! Do I want one ? No – that would take away both the pleasure and the pain I experience in equal measure from learning to play the Devil's Own Instrument ! devil-violin - "

got to agree; i decided to get a fretless initially rather than succumb to the temptation of fretted, and most days I am happy I went that way . gary

"Make every note beautiful", Ivan Galamian

“To play a wrong note is INSIGNIFICANT; To play without PASSION is INEXCUSABLE!” , Ludvig Van Beethovan

"It ain't rocket surgery"

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J583
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July 6, 2014 - 6:11 pm
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As a guitarist before coming to violin, I have to say that the fret-less nature of the violin is a huge part of what makes the sound so alluring and different from a guitar.

Ill do a short comparison here:

Fret-less > Frets

Sound

Slides are 100% smooth > Slides are graduated in half steps (fast slides can hide the fact)

Vibrato lowers the pitch and returns > Vibrato raises the pitch and returns

Intonation is entirely under your control > Intonation is locked + never 100% over all the neck

Practicalities

Harder to press strings down > Easier

Requires basically no maintenance > Frets wear out over time and need to be cared for

costs $0 > Frets would add a significant cost to building the instrument

Intonation is entirely under your control > Intonation is locked (easy finger placement) but never perfect

I dont mean to say one is better than the other, they both have their advantages. I just prefer them both on different instruments. The biggest advantage I see for frets its probably complex chords, which have little place on a violin. 

 

Just my 2c.

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Oliver
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July 6, 2014 - 11:23 pm
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I have yet to find an instrument that is easy to play at full potential.  Just check YouTube for some people playing anything but with a lot of skill.

Most recently I was mugged by a really small harmonica but I had a CD of someone else playing it.  No way!!!!!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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