Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

Hi folks… first of all please excuse me for my very bad English… I’m Italian…

Now, I’m quite a strange guy and I like playing a little with my fiddle, trying not to damage it…

I’m studing a particular bowing style, the "chopped". I’ve seen many videos on you tube and around the net. Seems there are different schools for this bowing. Is there any one who is "used" to this style and wants to have a little discussion with me on "how to do it"?
I’m quite confused…

For those who have never heard of this bowing, to have an example just listen to any of the tunes of "Fire and Grace" by Fraser and Haas… those "chopped" notes are produced with the chopping style. Or listen to Casey Driessen, or some other bluegrass fiddler.


Second part of the question: does anybody know how a fiola is made? I have had, some time ago, the idea of converting an old violin I have to restore into a fiola, but I can’t find out any hint. For example I have no idea of how are the "additional strings" (dunno how to call them) placed on the instrument.

Like before, for those ones had never heard of fiolas, they are nordic style instruments, very similar to a fiddle or a violin, but they have two or more resonant string added: these produce sound thanks to the vibration of the main four strings. So you have quite a particular sound I guess… yes, actually I never heard a fiola before…

If there’s anybody who can help, just drop a line!

And don’t try to imagine what I wanted to say… just ask… don’t made yourselves mad for nothing… :P I should’ve study English better, I guess!

Bye!

Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

Chopping doesn’t really work for Irish trad. It doesn’t sound right.

Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

I’ve never heard of a fiola, but what you describe sounds like a hardanger fiddle. If you google hardangers you can find out a lot about them, including how to turn a normal violin into one.

Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

Thanks Wyogal,

I’ve always wondered how to do that. It’s easier than I thought it would be.


Mary

Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

Chopping (or what I have always called "chopping" anyway) is easy, just chords hammered on or off the beat, using the very bottom of your bow. I use the technique backing up our band’s buttonbox player. Listen to any good bluegrass band and pay attention to the mandolin player - it’s a common feature here.

Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

PS: Downbows always.

Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

Speaking up for general excitement and spirited musicality, if I think a "chop" works well in a passage, I’ll put it in. There are RULES on this ???

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Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

You can do whatever you want. But Irish trad generally has a fluid sound. Using chops in a trad tune would sound strange, to me at least.

Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

With respect, I think the chop is fundamentally inappropriate in Irish traditional music. It is conceivable in other fiddle styles, mostly American, but it seems to be spreading like an invasive alien plant. In my opinion, it makes everything sound the same. Why not just . . not?

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Re: Fiddlin’ experimentally (fiola and chop)

Well, chopping is not very used in trad irish music, I know… but sometimes I need to put in my music something that goes beyond trad.
You know, I come from a very "italian-like school", so I started with a lot (really, I’m speaking of tons) of classical music. Only then I started playing trad music (not only Irish, but also Scottish, Italian, Scandinavian folk music as well); I don’t like to be "sectorialized" (probably this word does not exsist…); I don’t like saying "ok, I play this music and I can play only this." I wanna have a look around and play different kinds of music as well! Of course, every piece of music has got its own way of being played, as well as every music genre. Sometimes I just want to mix up… and see if something of good came out.
And actually, using chopping to play chords and follow the main theme is just amazing for some tunes… If you have got a couple of fiddlerist (or bowed instruments players as well) please, try it! :)

Of course, you have to know how to chop…


hauke, yes, there are some "basical" rules on how to play every kind of instrument. If it happens I can add a chop or two in the middle of a tune, but adding one or two is not playing chopped all the tune long… That’s why I’m looking for some hints…

wyogal, I’ve alredy checked out Anger, he is a good player, and I’m trying to follow his school, as well as Haas’ school…

Last, Ebor, I play always upbows… think I’m gonna try it downbows -.-

Thank you. All of you! I’m going to check out for the hardanger fiddle… hope it’s what I’m looking for!

54321, sorry, I was forgetting about you! :P Yes, I agree with you, is not a trad style as we all say… but call it an invasive plant! Is just a different way. Of course every trad-player is going to tell me that a chopped tune is not a trad tune… but I make music (as I think all of us), not piece of papers and styles… with respect, both for you and for traditional music. :)
ps: I won’t call it trad music, of course… chop is "my" style of playing what was trad music :)

(sorry for my very very very bad English… sometime I can’t even find a word that suits what I want to say!)