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Rodger makes good points. I would add a couple of things. It took me a couple of years of fiddling to get to the point I could start learning to be a fiddler. In other words, the foundation must be there before you really start building. That said, many of the tunes on the intermediate list are waltzes. Find a few you love and start learning them. Maybe you can’t play all the double stops so just play single notes. Ashokan Farewell and Faded Love are the two songs that got me interested in fiddling.
Fred, that is great. Keep us posted on the repair.
Rodger brings up good points, also how long has it been in the pot, what temp was the glue applied at, what was the humidity, and on and on. Kind of funny that on an instrument that has no equal in the number of variables that can affect the sound, the glue that holds it together can have many variables as well. Only in the violin world. HA.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Bruce.
Hide glue will fail if exposed to high heat and humidity. That is the downside but the upside is that violins are made so they can be taken apart. Hide glue allows that. Whoever you get to fix it, make sure they use hide glue and not Titebond, If the luthier doesn’t then I’d find one who does as it shows he understands violins. I have worked on fiddles for several years, spend many days in the shop of a good friend who built violins (not fiddles- ha) for 40 years so I’ve seen how it is supposed to be done and done a lot of repairs myself and hide glue is the glue the experts use.
Thanks John for all tips on order of song selection. I go to a lot of local shows and one thing I have learned ( from performing and from listening) is that it is much better to leave the crowd wishing you would play a few more songs than for the crowd to be wishing you had stopped a few songs back. You will also get asked back a lot more often if you leave the crowd wanting a few more songs.
That happened to me on my old MacBook. It would not play John’s videos but I got sound. Tried to load Firefox and it would not load, OS too old. Finally threw in the towel and got a new computer, problem solved. Expensive solution but my old MacBook’s hardware was at the limit as far as the OS.
I like Jade in the winter when it is dry in the house and the humidity is low. It is “grippy” but leaves a lot of dust. I like Melos, one of John’s recommendation from a while ago, in the summer. It is lighter and less grippy which is good in the summer in Mississippi and less dust.
Thanks for the tip on the e-book.
I was thinking this morning about how I practice and how I could do better in this new year. I tend to play stuff depending on my mood. Some days is it old time, some days it will be waltz’s, some days Monroe stuff, one day gospel. I know I need to focus a little more. Depending on the style of music de jour I will work on weak areas for each type or trouble spots on each tune. I am always working for better intonation. Finally at least one day a week I’ll just start down the line on the fiddle lesson list here on BGD and play with the backup tracks until I get tired or run out of time.
My 9 year old MacBook won’t play them either. It was because of obsolete OS that could not be upgraded due to hardware limitation. I had to bite the bullet and get a new one.
Great review. I play them on all my fiddles after years of trying many other brands. Why? Because they just seem to make all my fiddles sound as good as they are going to sound (which for a couple of them is not real good-ha). I also found that it takes a few days for them to settle in but once they do takes only a tiny tweak before playing to get them all in tune. I have not had to change an E string since by the time it “goes squeaky” the rest of them are close to needing to be changed. I watch the Shar music web site and they will have them at 25% off with free shipping from time to time. I usually pick up a couple of sets.
Prims on my fiddles are very bright. If you have a dark sounding fiddle they will brighten it up. I have one fiddle that “likes” Helicores and one that sounds terrible with them. Sound is so subjective but I’ve settled on Zyex on all my fiddles because tone and longevity. I have had several Helicore A strings just break. Fiddlershop has a new string that is not expensive and reviews say it is as good as Dominants. If anyone has tried them I’d like to know.
Finally, Shar runs specials fairly often with 20% off on all their strings and free shipping over $25. Makes it affordable to try different strings.
Glad he is better. We had a very sad day here yesterday. Our 17 y/o yellow tabby, Dillon, left us. Our vet lives just up the street and came to the house to send him to “kitty heaven”. It is so weird here today without him but he was suffering terribly and it was time. Knowing he isn’t hurting helps the missing him.
I can echo your thanks to John for his lessons. I am good enough now to play with a little string band that preforms at local spots and I am able to go to festivals and join jams with some confidence. I owe it all to John and his hard work putting the lessons together. I started way back before BGD when he did did lessons from his office. I love the BGD family! Ya’ll are a blessing too.
I’ve heard Micheal Cleveland do this live. One of my favorites that he does.
My brain is thinking Kenny Baker, Bobby Hicks, Stewart Duncan, Michael Cleveland, Aubry Haynie, Mark O’Conner— by fiddle plays Twinkle Twinkle little star– ha ha ha
8 years and still have those days when trying to play. A couple of things-
A little practice every day is much better than a long session every other day.
Play scales, learn scales, play scales and arpeggios in the “fiddle keys” of A,G,D and C. The more you play scales, the faster your fingers will get to “know” the fingerboard and it will help your intonation a lot.
Pic a few songs that you love and don’t stop until you have them. Add another one, and on and on. In a few years you will have so many fiddle tunes in the bag that you can play for hours and never play the same tune.
Finally, stick with BGD and John, he’s the best teacher and this is the best fiddle site around.
I’m having problems printing music too and it’s not my printer. John is checking on it but if you are having trouble too that is not your printer, it may be something going on with the web site.
Shar music has a good chart on price and tone (bright to warm). I have found it to be pretty accurate on the tone scale.
Also lots of really good info on strings in general:
I like John’s last line cause that is want I do a lot if I don’t really know the melody well. If it’s a “standard” at a jam I usually have a version that I can play fast in the hat. It’s usually very simple because so many time when I try and play something fancy too fast it gets real ugly real fast and jams tend to speed up things. What gets me is when it’s a song I really know well and have played a thousand times in one key but the guitar player wants it in B flat F or something really weird. I’ve been working a lot on playing stuff in closed position so I can at least play the scales notes.
I have a couple of the D’addario clip on the fiddle body tuners and I like them. They are a good starting point. I noticed many times while using electronic tuners, both phone apps and clip ons that even though they said I was in tune the fiddle just did not sound exactly right. Not long ago I found a long article on a violin site about how the electronics in the tuners work and how they “average” the notes. John, can probably explain it, but bottom line is that even though they get very close you still need to do the final tweaking by ear to get the perfect 5th. Also, by doing that you will develop your ear and have to rely on the tuner less.
Thanks so much for this one. Been on my list to learn for long time.
In fact, I when heard a young girl playing it at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View Arkansas it was my motivation to learn to play a fiddle!!