post #41 of 41
Some of my violin students had a Master Class with a fantastic fiddle player a few years ago. He talked about some of the differences between playing as a classically trained violinist and playing as a fiddler. Here are a few of his fiddle tips:

- Playing fiddle, the bow stays on the string almost all of the time. Fiddlers keep the a low bowhair tension. They don't need the tension for off-the-string technique, and the low tension spreads the horsehair flat for more sound.

- Vibrato is used as an ornament in fiddle playing.

- Playing ballads, the bow stroke is absolutely even and smooth.

I agree that listening is the biggest step. Find a fiddler who has the sound you want, and listen like crazy! If you can find a live performance, even better. Take your binoculars and check out every aspect of their technique.

I do think it's hard to go from classically trained technique to fiddle. Even though I know the techniques, I haven't practiced them enough to get the sound. 'Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge times 10,000 is a skill.' One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Suzuki.