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What's a fiddle?


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I took up with this clan of hippies. Well, I haven't moved in yet. They are a blast. Ma, both daughters and son-in-law all play guitar. All the women play piano and bongos too. That's what I call them... bongos. Actually, they have African names but I can never remember the right names. Son-in-law plays fiddle. Or violin.

 

To me, anyone who plays country, folk, pop, rock, bluegrass... it's a fiddle. But he always says violin. Maybe it is a violin in actuality but nobody in popular music genres, that I know of, calls it a violin. Or do they?

 

I'm writing him into a song and I don't want to piss him off.

> > > [ Live! ] < < <

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What's a fiddle?

 

It's the instrument dear old Uncle Earnie plays :D

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all kidding aside, is there any difference? Classical Guitar and Folk Guitar have different type strings--I've always wondered if that was true of violins and fiddles?? Anybody??

 

This is actually a very good question!! :D

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In a literal sense a fiddle and a violin are one and the same. No physical differences as in classical vs. steel string guitars.

 

The distinction is all in how one plays the instrument.

 

And with all due respect, Bluestrat, the Nashville Symphony most certainly plays violins... not fiddles. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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there is no difference in THE BODY or strangs between VIOLIN and FIDDLE.

The Violin has a bridge

The Fiddle has a bridge.

The VIOLINS bridge is very round and almost OVAL so the strings are at very different heights so one may play a single strang very aggresively and not hit another strang by accident.

The FIDDLE BRIDGE is shaved flatter almost flat so all the strangs are very close to the Same height. this allows one to play two or more strangs in UNISON and thus gives it that hillbilly sound.

Take a violin and shave the bridge flat and you made a fiddle. Put a round bridge on a Fiddle and you now have a Violin.

thanks for lettin' me share.

Frank Ranklin and the Ranktones

 

WARP SPEED ONLY STREAM

FRANKIE RANKLIN (Stanky Franks) <<<

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Originally posted by arellspencer:

there is no difference in THE BODY or strangs between VIOLIN and FIDDLE.

The Violin has a bridge

The Fiddle has a bridge.

The VIOLINS bridge is very round and almost OVAL so the strings are at very different heights so one may play a single strang very aggresively and not hit another strang by accident.

The FIDDLE BRIDGE is shaved flatter almost flat so all the strangs are very close to the Same height. this allows one to play two or more strangs in UNISON and thus gives it that hillbilly sound.

Take a violin and shave the bridge flat and you made a fiddle. Put a round bridge on a Fiddle and you now have a Violin.

thanks for lettin' me share.

Hey, good answer! For physical differences, that is. I've actually asked the question before and learned there was a physical difference of some sort but I was actually asking as much about what people call them. I've never heard anything outside a symphony called a violin. And he's not good enough yet to call himself a violinist anyway. Doing pretty good though after one year.

> > > [ Live! ] < < <

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Originally posted by arellspencer:

there is no difference in THE BODY or strangs between VIOLIN and FIDDLE.

The Violin has a bridge

The Fiddle has a bridge.

The VIOLINS bridge is very round and almost OVAL so the strings are at very different heights so one may play a single strang very aggresively and not hit another strang by accident.

The FIDDLE BRIDGE is shaved flatter almost flat so all the strangs are very close to the Same height. this allows one to play two or more strangs in UNISON and thus gives it that hillbilly sound.

Take a violin and shave the bridge flat and you made a fiddle. Put a round bridge on a Fiddle and you now have a Violin.

thanks for lettin' me share.

Well, finally!! Thanks, Arell!!

I have been wondering about that for years. :)

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Actually, the difference is more the way it's played. style and sawing two strings at a time, than the physical differences, though Arell is correct in the sense that many fiddle players use a flatter radius on the bridge. They will also run fine tuners on all the strings and use steel instead of gut/nylon strings.

 

Our Joint

 

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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There's actually an interesting (or annoying) bit of reverse snobbery that happens in the classical music world at the tippy-top level. I've noticed that the most celebrated classical violinists tend to refer to their instruments as "fiddles" rather than violins.

 

Thus, at the low end (under 2k) it's a "fiddle." When you pay around 10k and above, it's a "violin." But when you pay 250k and above, it becomes a "fiddle" again.

 

Perlman, for example, refers to his "fiddle," not his "violin."

Dooby Dooby Doo
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Originally posted by LiveMusic:

Originally posted by daklander:

They will also run fine tuners on all the strings

What's that mean, Dak? Why would a fiddler do that and not a violinist?
From what I understand, it goes to the sobbery of many classical players and that's based on the need of less skilled players needing a fine tuner to get the intrument tuned correctly.

That aside, many violins have a fine tuner on one of the srings, I don't remember which one, so the snobbery is ironic.

 

Our Joint

 

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Perlman, came from a background, I suspect, of Jewish folk music. You have heard of the Fiddler On The Roof, haven't you? ;)

Good point, although I bet Perlman called his violin a violin until he made his first million, and then it became a fiddle again.

 

(Incidentally, the guy who played the violin solo on the recording of "Fiddler On The Roof" called his violin a "fiddle" too, although he grew up in San Fransisco).

Dooby Dooby Doo
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Originally posted by TrancedelicBlues:

The VIOLINS bridge is very round and almost OVAL so the strings are at very different heights so one may play a single strang very aggresively and not hit another strang by accident.

The FIDDLE BRIDGE is shaved flatter almost flat so all the strangs are very close to the Same height. this allows one to play two or more strangs in UNISON and thus gives it that hillbilly sound.

Take a violin and shave the bridge flat and you made a fiddle. Put a round bridge on a Fiddle and you now have a Violin. .

Completely false. Playing 2 strings is called playing double stops, and is very common in ALL styles of violin, be it classical, bluegrass or what have you. In either case, the bridge is shaped in a manner so the strings are of equal height from the fretboard, same as a guitar.

 

Fiddle=Violin=Fiddle. They are exactly the same instrument. In bluegrass a contrabass will be refered to as a Bass Fiddle, but again it is still a contrabass.

 

The difference comes from the players interpretation of the instrument only.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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Originally posted by where02190:

Originally posted by TrancedelicBlues:

The VIOLINS bridge is very round and almost OVAL so the strings are at very different heights so one may play a single strang very aggresively and not hit another strang by accident.

The FIDDLE BRIDGE is shaved flatter almost flat so all the strangs are very close to the Same height. this allows one to play two or more strangs in UNISON and thus gives it that hillbilly sound.

Take a violin and shave the bridge flat and you made a fiddle. Put a round bridge on a Fiddle and you now have a Violin. .

Completely false. Playing 2 strings is called playing double stops, and is very common in ALL styles of violin, be it classical, bluegrass or what have you. typically the notes are not unison either. the curvature of the strings in conjunction with the bridge and fretboard are necessary as otherwise you WOULD be playing all 4 strings at once. the curvature and bow movement allows the player to progress across the 4 strings without hitting unwanted notes.

 

In either case, the bridge is shaped in a manner so the strings are of equal height from the fretboard, same as a guitar.

 

Fiddle=Violin=Fiddle. They are exactly the same instrument. In bluegrass a contrabass will be refered to as a Bass Fiddle, but again it is still a contrabass.

 

The difference comes from the players interpretation of the instrument only.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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OK, folks,

 

Arell and Dak pretty much hit the major differences, but where 81290x3.1415 brought up a good point too; double-stops exist all over in classical and jazz. A "fiddle" has a flatter bridge NOT to allow you to play three or four strings simultaneously (I've never heard a fiddle play three strings simultaneously, and I've only heard Sammy Kershaw play four simultaneously by disassembling the frog from the bow, threading the frog thru the first-and-second strings, and then back out thru the third and fourth, and then canting the bow so that all four strings are stroked; strictly a gimmick and not too practical in common fiddlin') but rather to allow the "fiddler" to bounce from one double stop to another rapidly (ie from the D-A pair to the A-E pair really fast, as occurs in "Orange Blossom Special"). Jumping from one double-stop to another requires a large arm movement if you're changing at the bottom of a stroke.

Most fiddles use all-steel strings; most violins use three catgut or nylon strings with a steel "E" (high) string as a gut/nylon E string breaks too often. I've seen both with fine tuners and without.

What I can't figure out is... why do all electric violins/fiddles use friction tuning pegs in the pegbox, with or without fine tuners on the bridge?!?! If you're going to "modernize" the instrument, why not take advantage of geared tuners??? :confused: While it is easier for a beginner to use fine tuners, many times friction pegs just won't work correctly, particularly if there's been a change in temperature/humidity.

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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A flatter bridge would make it easier, not harder to play multiple strings due to the decreased angle between bowhari and adjacent strings. the strings would be closer to level with eacherother, requiring less movement to touch bowhair to strings.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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