Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

am pleased with the sound (it was an old not very good second fiddle.

My query is how an octave lower fiddle would be viewed in a session. OK I realise every session is different etc. Just wondering and eager to hear any opinions strong or otherwise.

Secondly it means one could play a la Donegal w/o relearning the fingering.

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

Stop fretting about what people might or might not think. Just take it along and play it.

You’d be welcome at our sesh.

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

I was trying to sound all rough and tough and devilmaycare like Mr Gill - but I fell down by putting the nice bit at the end.

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

I occasionally take my octave fiddle to sessions but as well as my usual fiddle. The problem is space in most pub sessions - fiddles being a bit on the delicate side!! Slow pieces sound gorgeous on the octave and it can be useful for accompanying.

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

Jim

I suppose an octave fiddle is a fiddle that has "octave" strings on it. These are strings which are an octave lower than the normal fiddle strings. I got my strings from judicael strings in yorkshire. The owner Bob Jiggins even rang me up to ask how they were and to advise that I might need to file out the grooves at the nut and bridge (and also to ensure that, if the strings wee wound on the peg doble, there was enough room in the peg box. Otherwise you might get a crack there.

He said tho that octave strings work best on a small viola (due to the strings being quite near the natural resonance of the fiddle _ you get quite a bit of "hardangr" type sound when playing fast tunes. The viola has different resonance and thus the vibrations are less common.

He also said the same as Tarantella that it was good for accompaniment.

Tarantella, I also agree about the slow tunes, just played some and it is very effective. Finally, it seems to work well with "straight" Scots tunes especially strathspeys, but Ireserve the right to change all these opinons later. "smile"

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

An octave fiddle, as I understand it, is an ordinary fiddle fitted with special strings that sound an octave below the normal strings. The octave violin has a range a full 5 notes below that of the viola, so it could be used for providing a bass line or doubling the upper line a la Donegal (as well as being a lot more convenient in a session than a cello or double-bass).
As to the tone and playability, you’ll hear and read various conflicting tales (I’ve never played or heard one so I can’t speak from experience), so the jury may be out on this. It’s probably a case of finding the right fiddle to take the strings. Try to find a dealer who has one strung up for you to try; or a musician who uses one regularly.
Trevor

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

I’m a fully qualified graduate from the Jim Troy school of Ignorance.

Tell us then - where does this "octave lower" fiddle come in comparison with the pitch of the Cello?

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

5th higher I think!!! I’ve never stopped to think about it before!
My octave isn’t a fiddle that’s had octave strings put on but an octave fiddle specifically created by Tim Phillips. I can imagine there maybe quality of sound problems with just putting thicker strings onto a normal fiddle, although my octave is only slightly wider than a normal fiddle. It looks gorgeous and has the sound of a cello - with out the problems of stretching my short fingers!!

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

oh, I can see it now, a fretless extended neck bass banjo with 6 strings tuned a 5th apart…. brilliant

Posted by .

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

I saw a bloke in Melbourne, Joe Creighton, formerly of Belfast, play a fiddle tune on his Fender electric bass. A slow tune that is. You’d swear it was made for it.

Posted by .

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

yes. it is a fifth higher than a cello as Tarantella said.

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

People it is nearly the same thing as a Bouzouki is compared to a Mandolin the difference being a Mando and a Zouk are different size instruments. I can play the begining of Hrvest Home on Bass it sounds interesting.

Posted by .

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

…and (seriously) I used to play a bass and it was an ‘encore’ (10th generation Fender copy made in I don’t know where) 🙂

Jim

Re: Just put octave strings on the fiddle and,,,,,

I put octave strings onto a 14" viola so its the same length as a fiddle as they only make the strings for fiddle size…i think!
it sounds alright and is helped by beinga viola i think but i played on by Tim Philips who is the guy who made the first ever accoustic one and nothing compares really! but for a stopgap its not bad!