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Fiddle/Violin For Beginners

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Stringbanger, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jan 18, 2013
    West O' Philly, PA
    I have a violin that has been neglected. I don’t think it’s an expensive one, My wife got it out one night and “jammed” along with me. I was playing an acoustic guitar. She sounded pretty darn good playing it for the first time ever, without any knowledge or training.

    Anyway, I know that there are many internet resources, but I thought I would check with the TDPRI denizens first to see if you had ideas for a beginner violinist. I think my bow is pretty good quality, but I need to buy some resin. I love experimenting on different instruments, which I think, in the long run, makes one a better guitarist. Although that’s debatable, since it takes time away from guitar playing.

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
    cyclopean likes this.
  2. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 14, 2009
    innsmouth, MA
    i'd imagine putting it in old time tuning may make it easier for someone just starting out.
    Stringbanger likes this.
  3. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Aug 12, 2008
    Most beginners lay out the notes with thin tape on the fingerboard to start, 3-4 positions. You really need the rosin so the hair grabs the strings.
    The same thing I tell aspiring guitarists, keep your fingers close to the fingerboard. Good luck!
    Stringbanger likes this.
  4. Nahtabot

    Nahtabot Tele-Meister

    Aug 19, 2020
    . . . . . and we're back!

    It's been 8 months. Is that violin still neglected?

    I have 3 Major scales under the fingers having a blast on the violin.

    I do have this book . . . but lost the play-along disc that I needed for intonation support :)

    Mojohand40 and Digital Larry like this.
  5. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

    May 13, 2020
    Virginia, USA
    Hey, I know this is old, but wanted to chime in just in case you’re still interested. Been playing violin/fiddle for almost 30 years. Here are some tips:

    - if you can’t read music, get the O’Connor method books first and start from there. He uses great tunes to teach intonation and the positions, so you’ll be able to play stuff you recognize and enjoy really quickly. Mark O’Connor has played with everyone from doc Watson to Tony rice, and his method will get you playing no kidding fiddle tunes in the first pages of the first book.

    - if you can read music, get the fiddler’s fakebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0825602386/?tag=tdpri-20 it’s got notation for every tune you might need, as well as chord progressions for accompanying guitar. I take it to every jam I go to just in case, plus it’s great for guitar flatpicking melodies.

    - every time you open the case to play, wipe the excess rosin dust off the fiddles strings with a rag. You’ll see it there- it’s white buildup on the strings, and will affect the playability and sound of the instrument. Rosin your bow with about 10 long swipes up and down the bow hair. You’re ready to play. Don’t touch the bow hair ever, the oil on your fingers will mess with it.

    - make sure you relax and don’t tense up when you play- fiddle is probably the instrument that requires the most attention to posture and physiology. It’s actually really easy to get tendinitis or a rotator cuff strain if you don’t take it easy.

    - I wouldn’t use cross tuning yet. Because there are no frets, you’re going to have to get used to fingering in tune by muscle memory, almost like the voice. It’s ok to use tapes on your fingerboard to feel where the in tune pitch is until you get the memory down.

    - the secret to good tone is all in your bow hand. Starting and stopping the bow without crunching will be an early challenge, and so will keeping your bow parallel to the bridge for the best sound. Fiddle is all about touch, and it’s insanely difficult to master that touch for a good sound.

    have fun! Hope this helps!
    Nahtabot likes this.
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