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  #1  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:25 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Default Want to buy fiddle..

Looking for some advice on where, how much to spend to get a violin/fiddle, to start lessons, have NO experience so looking for advice on starting out right. I would like to find one for 1k or less of quality good enough to keep for a long time. thanks in advance for any help offered..
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:20 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
Looking for some advice on where, how much to spend to get a violin/fiddle, to start lessons, have NO experience so looking for advice on starting out right. I would like to find one for 1k or less of quality good enough to keep for a long time. thanks in advance for any help offered..
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:20 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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HEY! nobody fiddling around out there??
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:23 AM
PiousDevil PiousDevil is offline
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Subscribed for answers. Iím considering something from the Cremona ďMaster SeriesĒ in roughly this price range, but I donít know what Iím doing.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:42 AM
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Plenty of violins in that range, and below. I would speak with your soon-to-be-new instructor as they frequently work with a supplier and they will be able to guide you on which one has the feel and sound you should be looking for.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:30 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Thanks all, weird trying to get info on fiddles, not like guitars.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:46 AM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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It's just like guitars, except for violinists. However, you don't buy fiddles. You buy violins and play fiddle.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:13 AM
bkepler bkepler is offline
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My violin advice for anyone new to the instrument is to do business with a violin shop. If you donít have a local violin shop, go to Shar Music online. You can call them and theyíll give you great guidance because itís what they do. As others have mentioned, thereís a lot of great stuff to be had in the sub $1k range. Search this section as I, and others, have written pretty extensively about beginning violins (Iím still enjoying my Glasser Carbon Composite fiddle). A couple of points Iíll reiterate here are, donít skimp on the bow. Really. Plan to spend at least $80 on a decent bow. Also, donít get sticker shock when it comes time for strings. Even fiddling, youíll want a decent string. A very popular fiddle string is the DíAddario Helicore, which typically runs somewhere around $30 a set. My wood violin plays well with the DíAddario Zyex strings at about $35 a set. A couple of decent beginner strings are Thomastik Alphayue strings and DíAddario Ascentť strings, usually right below $20 a set. Do yourself a favor and skip Red Labels, Preludes, or anything else like that.
Pro Tip: Shar Music occasionally sells off their rental fleet at steep discounts.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:20 PM
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bkepler above is right on. The beauty of learning orchestral strings is decent ones are available to rent! Go to a music store that has a good selection. Many people start violin and end up not staying with it - why sink a few hundred $ into it that you'll likely not get back. Also, before you learn, its not easy to try out a few to see what you like - they all sound terrible in a beginner's hands!

Work with a local violin teacher to find a suitable rental and to get started right.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:56 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Originally Posted by bkepler View Post
My violin advice for anyone new to the instrument is to do business with a violin shop. If you donít have a local violin shop, go to Shar Music online. You can call them and theyíll give you great guidance because itís what they do. As others have mentioned, thereís a lot of great stuff to be had in the sub $1k range. Search this section as I, and others, have written pretty extensively about beginning violins (Iím still enjoying my Glasser Carbon Composite fiddle). A couple of points Iíll reiterate here are, donít skimp on the bow. Really. Plan to spend at least $80 on a decent bow. Also, donít get sticker shock when it comes time for strings. Even fiddling, youíll want a decent string. A very popular fiddle string is the DíAddario Helicore, which typically runs somewhere around $30 a set. My wood violin plays well with the DíAddario Zyex strings at about $35 a set. A couple of decent beginner strings are Thomastik Alphayue strings and DíAddario Ascentť strings, usually right below $20 a set. Do yourself a favor and skip Red Labels, Preludes, or anything else like that.
Pro Tip: Shar Music occasionally sells off their rental fleet at steep discounts.
Thanks I appreciate the helpful information!
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:23 PM
cu4life7 cu4life7 is offline
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Fiddle is an entirely different universe than guitar, or literally any other instrument that I've learned. It's a very divided space between fiddlers and classical violinists and I feel like fiddlers make up less than 5% of the players and info is decidedly vacant.

While I am still very much learning, I ended up trusting my instrument choice entirely to a stranger when I decided to buy. The problem being that as a beginner you can't even pretend to evaluate an instrument in store because the noises you are making won't approximate what the fiddle sounds like when a real player gets a hold of it and it's intimidating because the shops I visited were violin shops.

So a few things that helped me. Be prepared to spend. You won't find much worth playing under $700. These are violin shaped objects or (VSO's in fiddle circles). People generally suggest spending as much on a bow as you do on your fiddle as a rule of thumb. I haven't done this yet, but many people will point you in that direction and it's probably well founded.

Second, renting is a good option to see if you want to stick with it. Fiddle is notoriously hard and it's one of the hardest endeavors I have undertaken if not the hardest. Make sure it is something you intend to continue before you drop big bucks.

And finally, I ended up deciding to order a fiddle through Royce Burt after deciding I wanted to own a 5 string (after listening to a lot of 10 String Symphony), and not knowing where to start. I had my rental period, and then got a hold of Royce. He is a great guy, really helpful, and I simply described the tone I was after and he suggested the instrument that I ended up buying. He has a return policy. His YouTube channel has great samples so you can get an idea of each fiddle he has, and he is all about the tone.
https://www.youtube.com/user/burtvillefarms

My final advice would be to attend a bluegrass festival. Here in Washington we have Wintergrass which has numerous vendors that bring beautiful new and well worn fiddles in all price ranges.

It's certainly a noble endeavor so I wish you luck. There is just something about a well played fiddle in bluegrass/old time/irish music that is utterly haunting to me. Listed to Deacon Waltz by 10 String Symphony and I'll think you'll understand. Happy hunting.
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  #12  
Old 04-03-2019, 06:40 PM
catt catt is offline
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Good luck!

Last edited by catt; 04-04-2019 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:13 PM
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Gabby84 Gabby84 is offline
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former viola player. Like others have said, rent first. The rental will include the appropriate bow as part of the deal. When you go to a stringed instrument store, let them know that your interest is in fiddling not classical. A "fiddle" (which can be a viola, not just a violin, just sayin') has a more flat bridge so the fiddler can hit two strings at the same time without applying as much pressure. Also, makes for a quicker transition from one set of strings to the next set of strings (ex: playing both A/D then to a D/G-viola open strings).

If going from viola to guitar is any indicator, you will find it kind of awkward to hold and press the strings and apply the correct pressure to the bow. However, it is worth the effort! I love both instruments and I anticipate that, if you want to play fiddle, you will enjoy learning violin/fiddle.

FYI-most fiddlers play violin.

I played viola (classical) and futzed around with fiddling on the viola.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:37 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabby84 View Post
former viola player. Like others have said, rent first. The rental will include the appropriate bow as part of the deal. When you go to a stringed instrument store, let them know that your interest is in fiddling not classical. A "fiddle" (which can be a viola, not just a violin, just sayin').....

If going from viola to guitar is any indicator, you will find it kind of awkward to hold and press the strings and apply the correct pressure to the bow. However, it is worth the effort! I love both instruments and I anticipate that, if you want to play fiddle, you will enjoy learning violin/fiddle.

FYI-most fiddlers play violin.

I played viola (classical) and futzed around with fiddling on the viola.
I started on violin as a kid and kept at it. I play classical and bluegrass. About 5 years ago I got into viola, then 5 string viola. Then 5 string octave viola and now 10 string Hardanger viola fiddle.
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:14 AM
lgherb lgherb is offline
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Slightly off topic...a good friend and former co-worker of mine has this website dedicated to his grandfather: http://henryreed.org/.

They do an annual 'Henry Reed Memorial Fiddlers Convention' in Newport, Virginia (very near Blacksburg). My friend retired from IT, moved back home to take care of his folks in their twilight years, and bought a local Bluegrass radio station (WNRV).

I'll ask my friend if he has info on any lesser known builders in the area if you're interested or you can email him directly either at the station or on the website for Henry Reed. He's a great guy and a lover of good music, so I am sure he'd be happy to answer any inquiries.
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