fiddle technique quesiton

fiddle technique quesiton

I’m trying to figure the best way to approach moving quickly from the G on the e-string to the C# on the a-string. Learning the Toormore Polkas and the two notes are slurred together on up-bows several times, but it could apply to any tune where this occurs really. Would be the same for slurring from Cnat on a-string to F# on d-string.

Should I :

A) try to lay my 2nd finger across both strings and risk playing the C# a bit flat?

B) try to move the 2nd finger as quick as can be over a string and up a bit while slurring to it and trying to stay clean?

or C) flaunt my amateur fiddlership and just play the C# with my 3rd finger like a really flat D, making professional violinists cringe ( I assume) the world over?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I’m leaning toward option C, but would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks!

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

B is right - pick some tunes that have that feature and play them over and over - eventually you’ll forget it was ever an issue.

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

I use B and C options for these sorts of things (like the jump between C nat and F sharp in Heathery Breeze). Both options work. Don’t give a whit what violinists think about it.

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Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Thanks! I’ll have to work up both B and C as a personal challenge 🙂 just to give myself as many options as possible down the road…this odd instrument that requires no wind is entirely too much fun to play. I wish I’d know years ago, but a late start is better than none at all 🙂

If I can make the ex-orchestral types I know cringe all the better…

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

B & C.

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Re: fiddle technique quesiton

One reason to learn both B and C options is that one may work better than the other, depending on what notes you’re coming from and then landing on afterward. Especially pay attention to making the transition smooth *after* you do the g-toc# bit and continue to the next note(s).

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Re: fiddle technique quesiton

you guys are fancy with your B & C - I’m still on B

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Use whatever fingering you find is most efficient for what you want to do. This will require some experiment, but don’t hurry it. If you haven’t done so already, I’d also recommend a check-up from a teacher to look at your left-hand position in order to correct any problems you may not be aware of (and we all get them!).

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

I’d go for “A”…..the plant the second finger in the space between the two strings you need to hit method, its only a bit wider than say the first two first finger notes of Em Drowsy Maggie….E & B.
With practice it’ll come
When you have to hop strings using 3rd finges, as in A on E toD on A, the rocking finger seems best for me
I dont think method B is good at all, you won’t get the smoothness you need , in MHO
Method C seems much more hard work than method A & don;t see the need for it, & wouldn’t even try it.
Practice the A method till you can do it is my 2 cents
but whatever works for you
good luck
Roger Burridge

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

But make sure your fingers are curled/ arched over the string/s…with the pad coming down from above , not from the side..not flat fingered.
This way your finger tip will be coming down in a nice vertical plane to block both strings, and both should be in tune if you know what i mean
rogerb

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Yup, if it was G to C natural I’d just cover both strings with the 2nd finger, but getting that C# is a bit tricky that way..

Thanks again folks!

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Don’t forget the positions are a guide only. “Violinists” frequently alter established fingerings to suit themselves or to produce an effect they want to hear.

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

I use B or C. However in the interest of versatility I will give A a go!

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Sorry….I guess I didn’t read the question right…missed the C# bit on 2nd note.
Not sure…can’t think of any tune with that in it right now.
The flat 3rd finger might give a smoother sound than hopping strings
roger

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

There are a few tunes with g-c#. Not surprisingly, they’ tend to be in D maj. A good example is the jig The Donegal Lancers (tune 871) where you have two bars of gc#c# gc#c# in the B-part. I wouldn’t hesitate in this tune to use the C option - 2nd finger on the g and 3rd finger on the c# on the string below.

A couple of other tunes I’ve noticed where you get g-c# are Atlantic (tune 1809) and the waltz Castle Dangerous (tune 8159). A waltz is usually slow enough for you to use the 2nd finger on the g and then shift it slightly to the c# (option B).

I’d never use option A because you’d either get a straight fifth (g-cnat), which you don’t want, or a very out-of-tune c#, which is worse.

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

In order to play at a fast tempo and in tune, using the alternate fingering 2nd-G/3rd-C# would work best. depending on the notes before and after. It could also be done by slipping inot 2nd position and playing G-1st/C#-2nd if tath makes it easier to get the notes before or after.

BTW alternate fingerings are standard violin technique, and nobody would cringe

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Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Option D: In some cases 2nd finger C# and 1st finger G is best.
For example: Fisher’s Hornpipe in the key of D, part B, first measure: 2nd finger C# is followed by 1st finger G. Then after the open E, 1st finger plays F# for the first note in the next ms.

No right or wrong. If it doesn’t work, do what does. If it works, do it.

vlnplyr

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Here’s the tune I looked up, and I’m referring to bar 7 of the second part :

https://thesession.org/tunes/1515 (1st setting)

I’d go for option C - for me it’s by far the easiest, for the simple reason that after playing the G note of the E string with the 2nd finger, the 3rd finger is free (to finger any nearby note on any string). It’s the most efficient in terms of economy of movement.

If one finds it awkward I can only assume it’s because in most tunes the 3rd finger very rarely plays a C# (it’s normally played by the 2nd finger)), therefore it may not feel right if you’re not used to it.

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Uh, Will E. said options B & C, as did Michael and Will H. You yourself said C. The issue is……………………

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

Wow, 4 years later, still getting knocked around!

The tune is Toormore #2 or Maids or Ardagh, second measure is the phrase. And I’ve been playing option B since originally posting this.

Four years later and it is still tricky but much easier than it used to be. Wow, practicing actually pays off!

Re: fiddle technique quesiton

I found this thread just by accident, only recently.

[*Four years later and it is still tricky but much easier than it used to be*]

It’s not a tricky fingering, or at least it needn’t feel that way. If you used option C, that would be by far the easiest method. At the measure you mentioned, as you play the G with finger 2, you have a free finger (3) right above the next note you are about to play (C#).

There is simply no other option that is more economical and physically easy.

I’m assuming you find option C awkward … well, it’s a toss-up between taking the time to practice that, until it feels natural, or you continue with option B, and make more work for yourself. It’s your call 🙂