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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

NFD ("New" Fiddle Day)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Steve Holt, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    657
    May 29, 2016
    Kansas
    Okay so it's not really new, nor is it really new to me. This is my Great Grandpa's Violin and it's been in my possession since around 1995. We're not exactly sure how old it is but my dad thinks that he was playing it before my grandpa was born in 1918. And then my dad suggested that my great grandpa might have inherited it from his father. So we're pretty sure it's over 100 years old...but how much older who knows. So it was in rough shape and hadn't been played much since the 70s, and we got it restored professionally in the 90s just before I got it and then I never had a teacher so it gathered dust.

    Fast forward to last week, I was in Nashville and got to see Old Crow Medicine Show at the Grand Ole Opry. I bought their concert DVD and met the band (briefly). When I got home and watched the DVD I was hooked. I've watched it a few times now, and last Tuesday I drove out to my parents house and grabbed my dear old violin off the top shelf of the entry-way closet. I've picked around on it every now and then over the last 20 years, but usually I'd give up after minimal effort and return.

    This time has been different. I put a few pieces of tape on the fingerboard to mark the finger positions, new strings, and a practice mute (for the sake of my girlfriend). I figured out the major scale in a few positions and I was off. I print out a few new pieces of music every day at work and bring them home and crank them out. And I'm just having so much fun. It's actually pretty straightforward and though it's tuned differently, a lot of my guitar knowledge gas transferred over, so that's sped things up. I know my dad is happy that I'm finally figuring it out, and I wish I would have put more time in it while my grandpa was still around. But this Fiddle now lives on in another generation, because I have a hard time putting it down! Any fiddle players around this forum?


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    Paul in Colorado likes this.

  2. Preacher

    Preacher Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    Fingers too fat and short for the fiddle. Although I do get mine out every so often. The string set up with GDAE messes with me though.
     
    Steve Holt likes this.

  3. Stefanovich

    Stefanovich Tele-Holic

    578
    Jan 27, 2010
    Kingston, Ontario
    I took lessons for a few months and got better, but didn't pursue it. As a guitar player, your ears will be quite good, and so you will notice every time your intonation is off. Don't let it throw you. Intonation gets better with time. I would stop a phrase every time I heard a bum note and it impeded my progress.
     
    Steve Holt likes this.

  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I picked up the fiddle shortly after picking up guitar in 1980.
    Played a lot more guitar but plenty of fiddle/ violin as well, and have owned one superb 200yo German violin.
    Now due to arthritis and degenerative disc disease in my neck I pretty much never play, and my current higher end Chinese violin sits idle.

    For a real kick, get a Fishman pickup and run it through a clean guitar amp with some reverb!
    Killer sound, you really need to try it. The bottom end is like a cello or string bass, huge sounds can be conjured up. Bowie would fire Eno for a good electric violin player.

    When it was restored in the 90s, did the luthier tell you anything about the instrument?
    It could be worth $100 or $10,000.
    Even a good vintage bow can be worth big money, some orchestra players have a $3000 violin and a $5000 bow. Pernambuco is like Brazilian rosewood, no longer being harvested.
     
    Steve Holt likes this.

  5. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    Colorado
    I've played fiddle seriously for ten years now and it's become my main instrument. I love it. I recently started lessons and it's been extremely helpful. I've advanced so much faster with a teacher than I ever did on my own.

    One (probably obvious) thing I learned from my teacher is to practice scales over a drone note (I use a phone app called Drone Tone Generator). It has improved my intonation a lot.
     
    Steve Holt likes this.

  6. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    657
    May 29, 2016
    Kansas
    It's a well known copy of a famous violin maker. The tag on the inside says Joseph Guarnerius Fecit Cremonae anno 1720. And from the research I've done from time to time (as well as what the luthier who repaired it told us) it isn't worth too much. I'd like to figure out an age, because I'd never sell it. From what I've read though, they're still very well made copies, and when I was in the music store the other day looking at violins, there was nothing there for less than $1500 that even had as nice of wood as what mine has. As for the bow...well they threw it away. After it was fixed it came back with a plastic bow and the guy told my grandpa the bow was no good and got rid of it. Although I have my suspicions that he kept it. It didn't mean anything to me at the time because I was 6 when it happened.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.

  7. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    657
    May 29, 2016
    Kansas
    Hey that's good advice! I'll have to try that when I get off work today. So do you do an A Major scale over an A I'm guessing? Or is it more tricky than that?
     

  8. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    Colorado
    Yeah, start with turning on an A drone note and work on your A major scale. Later you can pick other drones, like a fifth instead of the root, or even a second (makes it sound dorian). But mostly I use a root drone to work on my ear and intonation.
     
    Steve Holt likes this.

  9. Reggie77

    Reggie77 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    206
    Jul 16, 2017
    Connecticut
    Really cool, love the backstory

    Got to be up there with the trumpet in the "hardest instrument to play well" category
     
    Steve Holt likes this.

  10. BadMojo

    BadMojo Tele-Meister

    159
    Sep 17, 2017
    Maryland

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