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violins/set up for fiddling or folk?
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Author:  dutchfluteplayer [ Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  violins/set up for fiddling or folk?

I was wondering what is most important for a more 'fiddlestyle' music.
Are there certain types/brands violins more suitable for this style or
is it the setup ( bridge hight etc.) ?. Is it a combination?..
Please let me know if you know more about this.

Author:  MTGuru [ Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: violins/set up for fiddling or folk?

I'm not an expert (though I play a bit of fiddle), and I'm sure others who are more expert will add their thoughts. But it depends on the music.

For Irish trad and other British and Western European trad musics, there's no difference between a fiddle and a violin, other than the name. The setup is the same. I know several friends who also play classical, symphonic, jazz, French trad etc. And they use the exact same instrument (and setup) for both.

Old Time and Appalachian fiddle is a different case. Most players prefer a bridge that is cut flatter, and maybe lower, to facilitate double and triple stops and droning. They may also prefer to loosen the bow for the same reason.

It doesn't make much sense to talk about fiddle "brands" in this context. There's many an old no-name (or lost-name) French or German fiddle that are excellent instruments. New instruments from Mittenwald or better Asian makers may be fine.

Your choice of strings and bow will make a big difference in the tone, response and feel of the fiddle. Old Time players may prefer steel core strings for the higher tension and brighter sound, while other trad/classical players prefer gut or synthetic gut (e.g. Thomastik Dominant "perlon".) Carbon fibre bows are a good alternative nowadays to much more expensive brazilwood or pernambuco bows.

Here's a site with some good information about buying, identifying and customizing your instrument:

Author:  bcullen [ Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: violins/set up for fiddling or folk?


The story is, the only difference between a fiddle and violin is you can spill beer on a fiddle..
I cut my fiddle bridge down to a slight arch G slightly higher than the E I can then do a really nice sawing action or
double stops. The art of playing is as stated in last post, the bow hair just avoids touching the stick and you adjust the hair to the atmospherics as there is nothing like a hot steamy pub to make the bow need regular adjustments. Buy a couple of bridges and experiment once you have the bridge right there,s no huge elbow movements with just a nice dainty wrist action. I reckon economy of movement is the key to fiddling. Oh yeah it is always good to look at the setup of other fiddles.

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