Choosing the Right Fiddle

Mar 16, 2016

Hi! Welcome to my vlog about what type of fiddle to choose. There are a couple of different styles of Cajun fiddle and those styles have tones that match them.

One of the first fiddles that I owned and liked a lot was a warm sounding fiddle that was kinder to me because I was a beginner. I played right off the fingerboard so that it gave it a really warm sound, plus the fiddle was just warm sounding.

As I got better I wanted a little bit more of an edge. I wanted to sound a little bit louder and brighter so that is the next sound or color you can look for. If you’re trying to cut through the accordion or other instruments you can be heard better. When you do that you tend to play closer to the middle of the fingerboard and the bridge.

Then just recently I’ve started using a fiddle that’s a little more shrill sounding & a little edgy. What’s great about that is it has a great volume that can really cut through accordions and other fiddles. There I’m getting a little bit closer to the bridge, but I’ve been playing a long time and so I can still keep a good tone even as it cuts a little bit more.

I recommend in the very beginning, get a warm fiddle. It will be kinder to you and your tone and easier to learn on and for your second fiddle, you’re going to want to get something with more brightness or an edge to it. And then as you get better you’ll be able to handle a loud fiddle, has an edgy tone to it and cuts…Then you’ve got a lot of power, you know, like a cannon type fiddle, and that’s a lot of fun to play.

So number one, choose a fiddle that you like. If you think it sounds good and sweet, get a friend or someone else to play the fiddle. It’s good to go with a fiddle player and they can play the fiddle for you. I like to get on the opposite side of the room and listen to them play the fiddle I like and then gradually get a little closer and of course play it myself and enjoy the sound.

The thing about the fiddle is that when you’re playing it, it’s right under your chin and your ear so a lot of what you’re hearing is distorted. If it sounds good right in your face, it should sound even better from far away.

Good luck finding a fiddle and with future fiddles in your life. It’s fun to try different fiddles and collect them, buy, trade, and give, and get… all that stuff!

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