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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:34 pm
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I play fiddle and have just started learning the Uilleann pipes


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:11 pm 
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Location: Flower Mound, TX
As I mentioned on the dulcimer thread, I went out to the garage today and dug out the box that held a bunch of odd instruments--autoharp, koto, Yamatogoto, yueqin (moon guitar), erhu, dulcimer, homemade banjolin, and... fiddle.

After a summer of temperatures well over 100F, it's not only intact, but it sounds better than it did before we moved.

It's a Suzuki that I bought in Japan in 1971 or '72 for 7000 yen--about US$22.22 at the time. The bow that came with it is surprisingly good--slim and still straight after all these years. I think the fingerboard is mahogany. The tailpiece and chin rest were plastic, but I replaced the tailpiece with ebony and the chin rest with what I think is rosewood. The pegs are plastic, too, but they work very well, so I've never bothered to change them.

I can bow pretty well, and can play most tunes that I do on the mandolin. I just wish I could hit the notes accurately. I think I may be too old and too under-dedicated to get any better on it.

I once tried tying viola di gamba-style frets on it, but it didn't work out too well. I'm still tempted to have someone put metal frets on it. :o

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:53 pm 
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fel bautista wrote:
Joseph E. Smith wrote:
fel bautista wrote:
there's moi-but I tend to inhabit the Uilleann pipe side a lot more


What he said. /\


I didn't know that!-Joseph-out of the closet! Now, young man! :party:


... yessir.... right away sir.... rosin yer bow sir...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:45 pm
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Location: Northern California
I have to agree with those who aren't the biggest fans of the Cooper book. ---I do think the idea of learning using the Suzuki books along with the cds that accompany them. You can probably teach yourself to read music from the tunes in book 1 and then book 2 and 3 have some not overly difficult pieces that are pretty nice. (Shar music has these for 35% off I believe)
For fiddle tunes I think a pretty good book is L.E. McCullough's 121 Favorite Irish Session Tunes. Most of these are in the keys of G and D so you can play a tune on the whistle and then give it a go on the fiddle. (or mandolin, same fingering as the fiddle of course)
I found a couple of decent sellers of fiddles on ebay if anyone is interested in getting one for cheap that's not a complete piece of junk I'll go and find the sellers name and post it on here. (By the way, I'm not an ebay seller or have any connection with such) I think one of the sellers has them for 35 dollars and that includes shipping... I've checked both of the sellers violins out and they are both decent, in my opinion.
I'll go check it out and post the names in a few minutes.

mike


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:04 pm 
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I know well the reputation of ebay instruments... and I'd only make myself look like a jerk by recommending junk but you can read the buyer feedback etc. on these sellers... it might be of interest to those who want to have a go at the fiddle but don't want to spend alot.

One seller is alrongroup. They have fiddles for about 40 bucks including shipping. They include a bow and a case. (and rosin) They also have smaller sizes for children. The other seller is mz840. $60. including shipping for these, also with bow and case. ---What's interesting about these is they have some really beautiful painted fiddles, the blue ones are especially nice.

You may want to put some better strings on them. The Corelli Crystals are pretty nice and not as expensive as Dominants.

Check out the customer feedback. I'm not a salesman. (I just sound like one!)

ps--sorry i don't know how to cut and paste links so I'll mention the first seller uses the words 'teacher approved' in the item description. I saw one of their listings on page 7 after doing a search for 'violins' The other one says 'beautiful two tone color (blue) violin/fiddle. I saw their listing on page 14 of the violin listings. (this was on tuesday evening, oct 11)

mike


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:23 pm
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Location: SE PA near Philly
Darwin wrote:
As I mentioned on the dulcimer thread, I went out to the garage today and dug out the box that held a bunch of odd instruments--autoharp, koto, Yamatogoto, yueqin (moon guitar), erhu, dulcimer, homemade banjolin, and... fiddle.

After a summer of temperatures well over 100F, it's not only intact, but it sounds better than it did before we moved.


Well, I'm glad to hear about the good news with your fiddle-I was a little worried about it when you posted before about your concerns. Sometimes more modern fiddles will hold up better in extreme conditions since the glues used today are stronger than the old hide glues used in the past. But on higher end fiddles, the hide glue is still used by many. It sounds like you have some collection of diverse instruments! Recently I found a new one that I liked, and it's the Guqin, an early Chinese instrument played on the lap (as seen and heard in "Hero"). Here's the website, and there are sound clips too:

http://www.chineseculture.net/wangfei/lxt/index.html

Miwokhill: Mike, you are right, you can spend less on an violin and still get something serviceable to start on, but it's very hard to tell how good they are from the pictures. All solid woods is definitely an indication. I used to set up some inexpensive imports, and they were amazingly good sounding and not bad looking for the money. I believe the model was the Palatino VN-450, and I just did a search and came up with $89,+ship, which came out to +17, or $106 to my zip. Hard to beat that, for a quality beginner package. Here's the link:

http://shopping.comcast.net/search_getp ... d=11246277

You can upgrade by putting better strings on, and getting a new bow, but for starters, they are very good-much better than my first fiddle! Which, by the way, I quickly got rid of, at a little loss, so I could get something that sounded better. So the cheapest isn't always best. Most of the time you get what you pay for, up to a certain point.

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