Can you get too good on fiddle?

Can you get too good on fiddle?

I was reading a repsonse about the younger you are the more you think you now etc. and someone wrote that you can ‘become too good and go over to the other side’. Is that possible? I mean you play trad, and whether you play as a true blood or a classical musician you are still playing trad. Isn’t a classical musician playing trad someone playing trad in his way, and as with all folk music it’s his interpretation of the music no matter what it sounds like? Or do we measure all players with same stick as we measure ‘the cream of trad’?

Too confusing?

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Yes.

Posted by .

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

No.

Your personality and therefore your attitude to the music and how it’s played may change as your ego takes a trip to the darker side, but there can’t be a limit to how good you can get on your instrument.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Shylock, for me it’s not about a player’s background or what other styles of music s/he plays. And there’s no single "stick" to measure against. What matters is whether the music sounds "right." But that can mean all sorts of things and span a wide range of musical, technical, and personal qualities.

I like a fiddle to sound like a fiddle, not a violin. I like to hear some grit and "dirt" in the tone, and a touch of wildness in the bowing and intonation. I like the tune to guide the player, not the other way around. And the farthest thing from my mind when I hear fiddling I like is, "wow, what technique!" So vibrato in the dance tunes (and in most airs, too) sounds out of place, as do the super smooth changes in bow direction that trained violinists do. And an aversion to open strings. Give me straightforward fiddling.

But that’s just me.

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Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

hello shylock….most top trad fiddle players around are classicaly trained or have an element of classical training. Adam Sutherland, Peter Tickell, aidan o rourke, chris stout, martyn bennet etc. To say these guys are too good at fiddle is ridiculous.

Nigel Kennedy said that technique should never get in the way of the music. If you are thinking about their technique while playing music maybe their technique isn’t actually that good.

to say that someone is too good , or that you can get to good is simply jealousy and small mindedness. after all the tradition is just a style amongst the many styles out there. you are either good at the style or not.

good musicianship comes from hard practice (amongst other things). When people don’t practice enough and know they don’t jealousy kicks in. They’ll probably start standing up for themselves with weird arguments like - they are too good.

Will harmon : your last paragraph there explains my point well. you describe how to play the Style best (in your opion , of course).

Gam : no.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Will, excellent thoughts, and szifty, I like the point about practice (and I think that needs to be both during sessions and on your own).

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Your technique is up to the job if, for the kind of music you’re playing, it feels, looks and sounds easy and effortless. If you play also play in a different genre then you”ll have another set of tools to learn and use, and another set of rules to follow. Conceptually, I don’t think that’s different from going on a journey by car or motorbike - you should be able to enjoy both kinds of travel.

btw, Mark, practice during sessions - if you do then it should never be obvious to anyone else, and it should never affect what’s going on around you.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

I like lazyhound’s comment about enjoying both travelling by car and by motorbike - I’ve played trad and also with my local symphony orchestra, but stylistically, never do the twain meet - I find I play in a completely different, and much freer way with my trad friends. It’s an entirely liberating and enjoyable experience. As long as intonation isn’t grossly abused, technique shouldn’t be an issue.
What I do find disappointing is the attitude (on both sides of the great divide) to musical mixed bathing - trad players who badmouth classically trained musicians, and also classical players who regard trad music as simplistic and somehow inferior.
It doesn’t do to impose the style of one musical tradition on the other. Actually, I have more of a problem with singers who perform folk music with trained and over-developed operatic style voices!

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

"…most top trad fiddle players around are classicaly trained or have an element of classical training. Adam Sutherland, Peter Tickell, aidan o rourke, chris stout, martyn bennet etc. To say these guys are too good at fiddle is ridiculous."

Interesting. My first thought was that it seems I have never heard of any of the top trad fiddle players.

So I googled them.

Adam Sutherland:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJD8U5wkAJo


That seems like a perfect example of technique getting in the way of the music!

Aidan O’Rourke

http://www.viakeo.com/Edinburgh/video/ind/9EcXjffJ-JA/Scots_Fiddle_Duet_with_Aidan_ORourke_and_Patsy_Reid_part_2

Aha. A Scots Fiddle Duet. szifty’s top trad fiddle players are predominantly Scots fiddlers. And Scots fiddling undoubtedly has more of a "classical" background and feel than Irish. These two sound a bit like something you would hear on Radio 3. There’s some pizzicato, a bit of vibrato.

Chris Stout. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN2FgHN26e0


Another Scot. With quasi-jazz chording on the harp. Nice playing, but not my sort of thing at all.

Martyn Bennett. The title speaks volumes:

http://www.martynbennett.com/audio/01_Martyn_Bennett/Track_08_JacobiteBebop.mp3

I don’t think it’s really that ridiculous to say these guys are too good at fiddle. That’s not the way I would put it, but it does seem to me that they aren’t content just to play traditional tunes in the traditional way, so they go off looking for stuff to add, taking it from other genres. Detached bowing, pizzicato, screaming wah wah guitar and drum kits, string quartet production values, electronic beats.

It ends up having very little to do with the sort of music I like, which is intimate, minimalist in a way, making graceful use of extremely simple materials. I like "folk" music, something almost anybody can play.

This is my top (recorded, living) traditional fiddler at the moment, Breda Keville: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNN2iocqgP8


Here’s what a reviewer said about her album:

When I first heard this album, I was immediately captivated, and yet puzzled, for there was playing a woman, pretty young of age from all indications, yet with a sound and a style which will make anyone think: this must be an 80-year old from East Galway or East Clare. The intonation, the sparse ornamentation, even the slightly edgy tone, all point to a manner of playing once common with older generations of players from that area, one that is disappearing fast as those older players fade away and as new aesthetics are being superimposed on an older tradition.

……………………………………………………………..

She’s not likely to fill a stadium though.

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Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

And what a lovely relaxed way of holding the fiddle without chin rest and shoulder rest - something you don’t see very often these days (except among the Baroque specialists). I’m not going to make a big thing about it, but it is useful to be able to play easily like that if your chin rest packs up (as happened to me once), and you’re not using a shoulder rest.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

I’m with will harmon on this one.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

This is a really great question when it comes down to traditional fiddling because its something I think about quite a lot when I hear cartain fiddlers.Two in particular.When I listen to the fiddling of Sean Keane and the younger Liam O’Connor I often think that while acknowledging their genius(a word I rarely use) I often am left reeling at the wonderful ability of both but also feeling that there is only so much you can put into a tune and would it be nicer if they held back a bit and are they actually too good?I acknowledge their greatnesss and I would pay to see both but like Bernie it is the soulful "simple" fiddlers that move and inspire me.I hope this thread develops as in a way no opinion can be wrong on this one.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

My admittedly flippant "yes" was to the last question of the OP: Too confusing? I’m not sure that he knows what question he is asking.
It is obvious to me that it is impossible to be ‘too good’ at anything. If you are doing something beyond the extreme, it is ceases to be good.

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Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Style and skill are not the same thing, you can’t get so good that you ruin your style.

Having a good tone doesn’t mean that you necessarily sound "classical" or can’t have dirt and grit in your playing. Listen to some John Doherty if you don’t believe me.

You can’t get "too good" for fiddling, though you can get "too good at classical playing" for fiddling.

Plenty of great trad fiddlers can play with a great tone, actually have some classical training, and can use vibrato, shifting, etc. But they know when and how to use these things and when and how not too.

For instance, being able to produce a good tone doesn’t mean that you always have to play with a clear tone, it actually gives you *control* over your tone and can actually help you make the grit grittier.

Same with instruments, I’ve seen a lot of really good fiddlers playing on crappy Chinese beginner violins covered in rosin, with warped bows with half the hair missing. The only authentic thing about playing with a lousy instrument is the fact that those rural fiddlers in the old days couldn’t usually afford any better.

That’s true of a lot of trad players today of course, we ain’t generally a rich group of people, but I think a lot of fiddlers stick with lousy instruments because they think it gives them trad cred, and playing a good instrument is for classical players only. But just because you don’t *need* a good instrument for trad doesn’t mean that having a good instrument is a *bad* thing.

If a good tone and a good instrument can ruin your fiddling, then there was something wrong with your style to begin with, or you ruined it by picking up too much classical style in the process.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

I can’t believe nobody has mentioned Alasdair Fraser. He’s my absolute favorite "trad virtuoso". It’s fun to listen to what he does with his tone as he moves from air to jig to reels. The thing is, it’s all under his complete control. He chooses when the grit comes in and when the fiddle just sings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffHz3wry5Nc


By the way, Natalie went to Julliard. It doesn’t seem to have hurt her rhythm.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

You can’t become too good but you risk losing touch with your roots. This happens frequently to musicians in any ‘folk’ genre.
It’s not necessarily bad but it aint what it started as. The same for blues, jazz, rock, country,punk, rap….

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Do you like the music? Do you get some emotional pull or shove from it? Yes?/No? I don’t get where technique comes in to this?

You either like the music or you don’t. Technique is a means to an end. Not an end in itself.

Whether your aim is to sound "fiddle" or "violin" is neither here nor there - use the best sound you can get for the effect you want to portray to the audience (even if the audience is you).

Some tunes sound rubbish if they’re played rough and ready and some sound rubbish if they’re played "properly" (as my classical violin teacher might have coined), but if they genuinely pull at your heart strings it isn’t relevant how it’s played.

I love seeing the product of years of work and can appreciate the work put into it, but the best music I’ve ever heard has been played by those who have put themselves and not their instrument into the performance.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Farmerboy, good point. I play the tunes, not the fiddle. The fiddle’s just a soundbox for the music.

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Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Bernie 29, the clip you put up of Adam Sutherland is not him at all. Also, I think it’s very unfair judging these players by youtube clips of performances. With the exception of the late Martyn Bennet, I’ve played with the other four in traditional settings and they are exceptional trad players. Yesterday Peter Tickell played a Bach sonata at a fiddle workshop at a folk festival and it went down a storm. But are you going to judge his trad playing on that? Would you not get a better idea by hearing him or any of the others in a trad session?

It’s the combination of (trad) technique and knowledge of the music that makes a great fiddler. If you gain the technique without the knowledge then the heads not right.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Marklar

Good Fiddler’s -

< But they know when and how to use these things and when and how not too.>

jim,,,

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

bogman’s got it there. Technique can come from anywhere. How you use it is what counts. And *that* comes down to having a traditional sound and sensibility in your head (assuming you want to sound like a traditional fiddler).

Beyond that, it’s just different styles and different tastes.

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Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Men’t also to say ” A very Good Answer ”

To the above - Marklar

jim,,,

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

"Bernie 29, the clip you put up of Adam Sutherland is not him at all."

Hi bogman,

Oh, I think you’re right there. He does look like Adam Sutherland though, which I think is how I ended up with that clip: it was in a list of Adam Sutherland clips and I assumed it was him.


"Also, I think it’s very unfair judging these players by youtube clips of performances. With the exception of the late Martyn Bennet, I’ve played with the other four in traditional settings and they are exceptional trad players. Yesterday Peter Tickell played a Bach sonata at a fiddle workshop at a folk festival and it went down a storm. But are you going to judge his trad playing on that? Would you not get a better idea by hearing him or any of the others in a trad session?"

Oh, ok: I haven’t been a judge before, I didn’t realise the rules were that strict. Is this how szifty discovered these people were the top traditional fiddlers, by going to sessions with them?

Well if you give me a list of the sessions they play at, with dates, I will try to follow them around for a few weeks and then come back with a truly valid judgement like yours.

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Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Arrogance is always arrogance whether you are nine or ninety. What do you mean by ‘too good on the fiddle?’ The player, if they are open to improvement will always be looking to better the way they play.

I will never, ever, in a million years, become a ‘too good fiddle player’.

The interpretation is always down to the individual ‘performer’.
As a listener you will always have a subjective viewpoint and as such your question is meaningless.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

typo. typo typo.

‘a’

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

I have heard Chris Stout close up. He has a wonderful tone,
but there’s something a little quirky and asymmetrical about the
playing that rescues him from sounding overly commercial.
I don’t recall him using any vibrato. He does a Tommy Peoples
style crunchy triplet. No, you couldn’t accuse him of being too
smooth.

That clip of Gerry O’Connor that FIDDLE4 cited above - I haven’t
heard him much live. It sounded like he poured on the sauce
a little too much in that one! I have to say, he’s probably my
favourite Irish Trad fiddle - although you could argue he’s
also a great Scots fiddler too! When I made that comment
in the previous thread I was thinking more of the recent
Kevin Burke albums.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

I have heard Chris Stout sometimes bury the tune under way too much ornamentation and variation. I haven’t him much close up - it probably works better live. Through electronic media, I wish he’d hold back a bit.

In the clip linked to here, I didn’t have much problem with his playing, but Catriona McKay’s harp was a flustered mess all the way through, with far too many notes and a much too indefinite rhythm. Around 5:00 they both got into some of crazed race - sounded pretty amateurish.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

john knoss

Way to Go ! - There’s always something about,
or in your playing you cant stand - And you would
like to Improve On !

jim,,,

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

No.

I don’t believe any of the nonsense about classical training getting in the way of one’s ability to play traditional folk music. Ok, I admit there is an additional challenge to do both. However they can coexist.

Each style of playing is different, and if a person wants to be good at both they have to practice each style of music differently. Just as each tune, song, or orchestration needs its to be practiced in order to stay sharp. One has to practice to make sure the styling of one does not interfere with the styling of another.

The fact remains in any and all music. There is no such thing as perfection, and there is always something new to strive for. This is one of the things that makes creating music worthwhile.

I’m finding my classical training to be an amazing boon to my ability as a fiddle player. However I’m not foolish enough to let it make me think I know anything and everything. There’s plenty to learn, and plenty to forget. However the most important lesson I’ve learned as a musician is to ask the questions, "how do I sound, is this what I want and like, and how can I make it better?"

As someone said, sometimes playing simply is better than playing with lots of flash and technique. Guess what? It is easy to take a fast hopping tune sound great and fun. It is much harder to make a slow simple tune sound just as good. It takes a lot of time and practice to get to that point.

Anyhow, none of that rambling matters. Except I know one thing for a fact, that no matter what there is no such thing as too good. No matter how experienced or skilled a musician can get, there is always more to learn.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

and your flourishes, and your variations, and your complexity increase to a point that is out of whack with the aesthetic parameters of the genre you’re in. in visual art, there is an aesthetic idea ai think that quote about, you can get "too good" might have to do with getting to a point where you’re great, and you have achieved mastery, but thereafter your chops and your technical twiddle-de-dos bout "scale," or whatever. and there are people who perhaps not out of narcissism but out of wanting to be "original" or out of burgeoning boredom with those parameters of the form they started out in, push it to a point where it’s mannered. overdone. of course, there’s a whole other side that would say, there’s no "aesthetic parameters" or shouldn’t be. but i can think of a number of well-known master-level fiddlers or players—this discussion seems to concern fiddle but would go for any instrument—that from where i sit, are examples of being "too good" in this sense. if we’re taking fiddlers, i can think of several where you just sit there and go, jesus, i loved it in the early years, and it’s now Just. Too. Much. in a way that is unintentionally kinda….awful. just kitsch. and unfortunately they are egged on and encouraged by people who mistake the kitsch for genius or innovation.

this would be the opposite of somebody like…paddy canny, or to choose a living example, james kelly, who keeps evolving and getting deeper, but with great taste and awareness of the scale of the form they’re working in. in that sense, you just can’t be…..too good!

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Nollaig Casey.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

i see the first part of my post cut off…..i’m saying, the quote might be referring to "too good" in the sense of somebody who is really great and gets to the point of mastery, but then out of a desire to "innovate" or be "original" or out of boredom with the fenceposts of the folk form they’re working in—-takes it to a point where your technique, and your fillips, and your flourishes…….

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

VlaMike’s post reminds me of something that is not always understood by musicians who are not into classical playing. It is this: there are many playing styles within the classical genre every bit as differentiated as, say, Clare, Donegal or Sligo styles in Irish music. The different classical playing styles arise out of the different types of classical music; for instance, as a violinist you would not play a Mozart or Haydn symphony in the same way as you’d play something by Bach or Handel; and Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and a whole raft of 20th century composers would each require a different approach again.
I currently play violin in a chamber orchestra and ad hoc ensembles, and fiddle in Irish and English sessions, and sometimes for set dancers. I agree with everything said by VlaMike about playing in two different genres, and VM’s experience has largely been mine too.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Bernie, I think you’re being quite unfair. I didn’t say there were any rules and maybe swiftzy did find they were good players by going to sessions with them. I’m only defending who I know to be great players. You don’t have to agree.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Sorry, that should be szifty

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

The Original Post seems to assume that "too good" equals sounding "classical".

I don’t undertand or agree with that point.

If a trad fiddler gets better and better at being a trad fiddler, he just becomes a better trad fiddle player, does he not? Or is it claimed that at some point his "getting good" causes a shift in his musical style, and he becomes a classical violinist?

Does a guitartist who spends his life playing jazz, as gets better and better, at some point shift and turn into a classical guitarist?

I feel that there is a wide variety of playing ability in any musical genre, and getting better at playing one genre doesn’t shift people to other genres. Of course the individual players can decide to play other sorts of music when they want to, but I dont think that getting more skilled in one genre FORCES the player out of that genre and into a different one.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

I don’t know why this discussion about getting too good should be limited to the fiddle. There are loads of players on just about any trad. instrument whose virtuosity apparently compels them to spoil the music.

Exponents of the bodhran providing perhaps the most glaring examples :-D

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

A few days ago I came across a couple of bodhran players who are actually going to take exams in the instrument, so that they’ll end up as certificated players (or should it be certified?). It’ll only encourage them. What a depressing thought.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Lazy Hound
where were these exams due to take place ?
Do you have to pay money ?
(thinks should I set up my own exam board? could be on to a finantial winner)

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

@bazouki dave, I was told this briefly by someone a few minutes after I’d seen those two guys in action (i.e. showing off outrageous). My recollection is that Comhaltas was mentioned. I don’t know any more except that you wouldn’t want playing like that in a session - on stage in a performance band, probably yes, I expect it would impress the punters.

Now your own exam board - there’s a thought. There are a few dodgy degree-awarding "universities" around - no exams, courses, or attendance - you pay your $2000 or whatever up front and your "PhD" arrives in the mail a while later. You’re in clover until a suspicious prospective employer queries your CV and then the shıt hits the fan ;-)

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Once again ceemonster nails it,

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

If you think that sounding good means you are not playing trad fiddle any more, you don’t think much of The Music. Sounds rather insecure to me.
Some good observations up above, from folks like ceemonster and Richard Cook.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

It’s worth making the point that the better the quality of the tone the better the fiddle/violin projects - an important consideration in sessions I would think. Quality of tone comes down to bow control.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

By "quality of tone" I mean a good signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Most high frequency "noise" dissipates within a couple of metres of the violin, which means that there is less total volume (the "good" part of the overall sound) available to project beyond the 2 metres. Taking purely arbitrary figures as an example, if you have a 50/50 SNR, then only 50% of the tone will project; and, if you have a 95/5 SNR then 95% of the tone will project, which means you can play much quieter than the 50/50 SNR and still be heard clearly at a distance, whereas the 50/50 SNR may be next to inaudible at the same distance.

The player-produced noise comes mostly from too much or too little bow pressure on the string, and from the motion of the bow not being parallel to the bridge. These elements are, and should be, under the direct control of the player. There is also a natural bow hiss, and really all you can do about that is to get the best bow you can lay your hands on (first trying out for "hiss" amongst other things, obviously), use a good rosin (don’t over-rosin) and make sure your fiddle and strings are set up for the best resonance the particular instrument is capable of - if it’s a "factory" set up then it will almost certainly need attention from a luthier.

Any stiffness in the bowing arm, by which I mean anywhere from the finger tips to the shoulder, will transmit itself to the bow and reduce the SNR, thereby generating more noise. This implies getting as much relaxation in the bowing arm as you can achieve, and this is intimately related to the bow hold itself. I’m not going to go into the real detail - that is a matter for an individual teacher and pupil - but basically the bow is held by the first finger and the bent thumb, the fourth finger (pinky) being used to balance the weight when playing in the lower third of the bow. The other two fingers are just for show and rarely do more than just lightly touch the bow stick, if that.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Lazyhound, don’t you mean that bow is held by the bent thumb and _second_ finger? That’s the commonly taught hold, I think…

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

No. It’s the first finger that provides the optimum control of the bow. The second and third fingers do hardly anything at all.

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

The 2nd and 3rd fingers *can* do a couple of things (tho they don’t have to). First off, they transfer the weight of the hand and arm onto the stick, which helps in producing a full tone. Second, dangling against the stick and frog, they help stabilize the bow, especially to keep it from unwanted rotation along it’s horizontal axis.

But that’s just my sense of how it works.

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Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

A bit more detail about the bow hold as I’ve been taught - you aim to "wrap" the first finger round the stick, which means you contact the stick with the finger at about the first knuckle joint from the hand (don’t use the tip of the finger to hold the bow as many do). The contact of the thumb with the stick is spaced from the first finger by about 1-2 inches (depending on your physical makeup), so that the thumb contact is more or less opposite the relaxed 2nd and 3rd fingers. The effect of this arrangement is that you can apply powerful and finely controlled pressure as required on the string just by using the first finger and thumb because of the leverage between the finger and thumb, without consciously using pressure from the arm. For this to happen it is essential to have that 1-2 inches spacing between the finger and thumb along the stick
.
This technique with just one finger and the thumb controlling the bow enables the hand to be relaxed, thus bringing about a better tone. A relaxed hand enables the bow to "track" automatically parallel to the bridge, although there are specific arm movements necessary to help this when playing near either end of the bow. Fast short bow movements are executed with just the relaxed finger and thumb.

When playing towards the frog the bent 4th finger is applied gently to the stick to control the balance. Note that the finger is bent - a straight finger will cause stiffness in the hand.

The above are just a few of the things involved in bow control. For the rest you really need a personal teacher face-to-face; there are limits to what words can do, and even photos and videos. But I can assure you that for me it does the job.

And then there’s left hand technique …



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Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

The discussion about fiddle tone is interesting. It makes me wonder if there’s such a thing as a universally-agreed-upon tonal ideal which is shared by Irish trad fiddlers, Appalachian fiddlers, classical violinists, and so forth.

I wouldn’t think so, because the best Irish trad fiddlers and the best Appalachian fiddlers, musicians of high quality who seem to be getting the tone they want out of their fiddles, don’t sound anything like a classical violinist.

I know that in the flute world the tonal ideal of Irish trad fluteplayers and classical flutists seem to be miles apart.
(We have to keep in mind that the tonal ideal of current classical flutists is a modern thing. In the 19th century one of the top English flutists wrote that the ideal flute tone was a sound between that of the clarinet and the oboe, implying that a much reedier tone, a tone more like Irish trad fluteplayers, was then in vogue. Likewise the tone of Baroque violins was quite different from modern violins because of the different neck and bow.)

Re: Can you get too good on fiddle?

Richard, that’s what I was getting at in my first post on this thread—wanting a fiddle to sound like a fiddle. I like a "good" baseline tone, but for me, that has nothing to do with vibrato or other added sweeteners (at least for this music).

To play fiddle well, it helps to have a range of tones available from your bow hand. But this is dance music—rhythm, timing, lift, and momentum are all far more important. And you can get those whether your tone is sweet or scrapey.

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