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May 17, 2018 - 4:07:39 AM
230 posts since 2/10/2016

I'm sure that somebody here plays the fiddle. I just traded for a good fiddle. I hope to play a tune or two soon.
My question is, I can get a good sound out of the three heavy strings but the little strings sounds like I'm choking a cat. I have tried three different bows,light rosin,heavy rosin.I have new strings but they ain't cheap so I am not able to change them too often.
I never had any advice other than Youtube,so I am will to listen. Fiddle may be harder to pick up and play than banjo.
God Bless
Bobby

May 17, 2018 - 4:44:44 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

21492 posts since 8/3/2003

You might check in at the Fiddlehangout. Lots of fiddlers there that might be able to help you with your problem.

May 17, 2018 - 5:31:07 AM
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phb

Germany

1234 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by HardLuck98

I'm sure that somebody here plays the fiddle. I just traded for a good fiddle. I hope to play a tune or two soon.
My question is, I can get a good sound out of the three heavy strings but the little strings sounds like I'm choking a cat. I have tried three different bows,light rosin,heavy rosin.I have new strings but they ain't cheap so I am not able to change them too often.


Three heavy strings and then more than one "little string"? Is your fiddle a mandolin by any chance?

 

SCNR

May 17, 2018 - 8:08:06 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

21492 posts since 8/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by phb
quote:
Originally posted by HardLuck98

I'm sure that somebody here plays the fiddle. I just traded for a good fiddle. I hope to play a tune or two soon.
My question is, I can get a good sound out of the three heavy strings but the little strings sounds like I'm choking a cat. I have tried three different bows,light rosin,heavy rosin.I have new strings but they ain't cheap so I am not able to change them too often.


Three heavy strings and then more than one "little string"? Is your fiddle a mandolin by any chance?

 

SCNR

 


Or perhaps a typo and he meant the little "string" singular?  That's what I thought when I read his post.

May 17, 2018 - 8:56:54 AM

bluenote23

Canada

952 posts since 12/4/2012

It took me 4 years to learn how to play the banjo in a mediocre fashion.

I have been at the violin for a little under 2 years. It may or may not be more difficult than 3 finger style banjo playing but in my personal experience, it is easier to play a 'tune' as a beginner.

However, after almost 2 years, the 'tune' doesn't sound musical yet. Tone is bad and intonation is shaky. Bow technique is something that you have to study and work on. It's is not as simple as picking. Tone will improve as the bow starts to feel more natural in the hand (for me, this started to happen around 18 months in).

Keep practicing.

May 17, 2018 - 9:50:09 AM

Viper

USA

1031 posts since 12/12/2007

That E string can be finicky. Just like anything, it takes practice to make it sound good. You could try swapping out just that string, but if you're new to fiddling, I imagine you just need to get more used to the bow. I've been at it five years, and I still occasionally pull a bum note out of that string.

May 17, 2018 - 11:14:19 AM

rcc56

USA

1669 posts since 2/20/2016

Let somebody who knows how to play check out the instrument, and make sure the set up is ok.

Chances are even that it's you, though.  Keep the bow moving and don't use too much bow pressure.

A couple of lessons might be in order.
 

May 17, 2018 - 11:47:43 AM
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phb

Germany

1234 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo
Or perhaps a typo and he meant the little "string" singular?  That's what I thought when I read his post.

I'm sorry, I sometimes forget that not everything that crosses my mind on a dull office day and puts a smile on my face will seem funny to anybody else.

May 17, 2018 - 12:01:54 PM

698 posts since 2/10/2013

Bobby - the statement "the fiddle may be harder to play than the banjo" is an understatement. There are NO shortcuts to playing the fiddle decently. Bowing is what "separates the men from the boys". Have someone make sure your fiddle is set up correctly. Then have a good fiddler play your banjo. That will let you know if your fiddle has the potential to sound good when played correctly. You will now realize problems are most likely being caused by the player, not the fiddle/bow.

Back to bowing. I recommend that you purchase Gordon Stobbe's DVD "12 Things Your Right Hand Should Know". This instructional will show you how to bow correctly. DO NOT PRACTICE BAD HABITS. if you are short of cash, you might log in to Fiddler Handout and in the classified, ask if anyone has one to sell. Bowing well is hard to accomplish because there are so many subtleties to bowing well.

I am just a hobbyist fiddler/banjo/guitar player. I am not connected with Gordon Stobbe except as a buyer of his DVDs/Books/CDs. I have had a fair number of violin and fiddle instructors, and the DVD I mentioned (i.e. 12 Things .. ) helped me more than all my instructors.

May 17, 2018 - 12:05:12 PM
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698 posts since 2/10/2013

Bobby - One more thing. Learning to fiddle well can take decades or more. Have patience, practice, learn, and keep your mind "open" to constructive criticism.

May 17, 2018 - 6:12:52 PM

2479 posts since 10/17/2009

The E string is often what causes folks problems, it can be tough to control. Some E strings are a bit more prone; and could try a different E; good news is that they are fairly cheap. The E comes often as solid steel, can be tinned with various coatings; some E strings are wrapped. Come in different tension (which affect bowing response). As well can have a little sleeve or donut to put on to reduce the squeal. As far as rosin, besides amount, some are more sticky vs glide. That said...

But likely the main problem is just bowing control, and not getting enough good consistent contact/pressure. Once you know how to control the bow, most any string and rosin works okay.

It comes down to the relation of hair gripping and releasing the string. I think generally light string grip, creates too much slip across strings... and more prone to squeaks, squeals, whistling, thin scratch sounds. Too much string grip creates choking rough scratchy, nasal, honking sounds. 

The things to experiment with are: 

Bow down pressure on strings, (and how it is affected by what part of bow, tip to frog); the RH bow hold can play a role in this. There are different holds (thumb/finger/knuckle) that affect how much down pressure control. Some folks find choking up a bit easier. 

Bow speed and amount of bow used plays a role, in relation to pressure.

Bow angles play a role. One is whether straight, parallel to bridge (thru whole stroke). Another is other axis of bow tilt to string. 

Distance from the bridge can play a big role. Too close and it gets more difficult. 

Hair tension can play a role in grip and control. 

Look for the sweet spot of all these combination, where get best results... and go from there. As mentioned above, string qualities, like tension, change the above. Could also try tuning fiddle a little bit lower pitch, (like a step down) for less string tension, see if that works. 

edit: E strings can perceive fear and timiditysmiley

One thing to work on for bow controls is to use the more controllable A string and notice how above different aspects give different results, grip, volume and tone. As mentioned, once you learn a bit of comfort and confidence controlling the bow on A, then might be easier for E string. 

Edited by - banjoak on 05/17/2018 18:27:25

May 17, 2018 - 7:21:15 PM
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230 posts since 2/10/2016

Thanks for the replies and you are all right it is me with the problem. I took my fiddle to a jam tonight and the fiddle player had a go at it. He made it sound great. He set my bridge just right in place tuned it up and wore it out. Gave me a real case of slack jaw. I could not believe how good it sounded.
Now it is my job to learn to play it. Banjoak I read your advice and that E is going to have to get under control.I am sure it is the the bowing.
Thanks to all of you.
God Bless
Bobby

May 18, 2018 - 6:36:10 AM

Viper

USA

1031 posts since 12/12/2007

Do check out the Fiddle Hangout. Lots of good folks over there who can help you with the questions that will pop up along the way. Have fun!

May 18, 2018 - 3:25:09 PM
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3637 posts since 11/29/2005

One thing to check - I've been trying to play the fiddle for 18 years now and I still find myself with my index finger just touching that e string, which kills it completely except for an occasional high-whine.

You have to learn to keep every part of your finger except the tip -away- from the fingerboard!

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