Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

I’ve bought a fiddle at a local garage sale for $25. At the time, I didn’t realize it was a 3/4 fiddle. I’ve been playing the mandolin for about a year and have a pretty good feel for it. I understand the fiddle and mandolin use the same fingering, but would it screw me up playing the smaller fiddle with a smaller fretboard? If I’m really serious about learning to play, should I find a 4/4 size?

Tony in Sacramento California

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

Tony, unless you have really small hands, get a full-sized fiddle. Assuming the 3/4 fiddle is in good shape, you should be able to sell it for a decent profit through your local Suzuki violin teachers—lots of demand there for student violins. A playable 3/4 size here in Montana goes for a minimum of $200 and the shops can’t keep up with demand. I would think the Sacramento market would be even better. Before you sell it, take it in to a reputable shop to get an estimate of what it’s worth (if it’s in really fine shape and sounds good, or was made by a name maker, it could be worth substantially more than $200). Then you can put the proceeds toward a decent full size fiddle.

The reason to go full size right off the bat is mostly tone and playability. If you’re 13 yearsold on up through adult, there’s no advantage to going smaller. The smaller fiddles tend not to sound so good. Plus, you’ll want to be accustomed to full size to play other people’s fiddles (one of the perks of learning to play).

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Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

Will makes a good point. Get the 4/4. The only challenge you might have would be learning the bowing pattern. As a former picker turned fiddler that’s what I ran into. As well as the lack of frets. Your finger placement is a bit closer.

What to do with the small fiddle? Can you say,,,,, E-Bay?

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

May I make a plea? Donate your little fiddle to a local school that has an orchestra, and take the tax deduction. Help some child discover the joy of making music. who knows what might happen? I know more than one promising young musician who has had to give up playing because the family could not afford to rent or buy an instrument. If you really want to do a kindness, have the violin re-strung and any minor repairs made before you give it away.

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

I didn’t want to seem callous by telling you that you need a full sized violin. It doesn’t look so mean when someone else posted it. Next time, I won’t be nearly as concerned about flopping down my opinion. I say aye to all of the above mostly. If I were in the financial position to do so, I would also donate the violin.

Flyinfiddler - You are so right - EBAY can sell a violin for 5 times it’s value.

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

I’ve never bought an instrument off of Ebay, but I’ve sold a couple. It’s amazing what people will spend.

Donating it to someone in need is a good idea, if you can. There is no harm in selling to upgrade.

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

I think it would be a really good idea to donate it to a worth person or school. I’ll sure look into that. Thank you for all your advise. I just don’t have any experience with fiddles. I play guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass — and all have come pretty easy to me right from the beginning stages of learning the instrument. Now the fiddle—that is a humbling instrument. Sort of like the oboe of the wind family; which takes years to get from awful to bad!

Tony

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

"Years to get from awful to bad"—heh, heh. Yup, after playing guitar, banjo, and mandolin, it was a real come-uppance to try fiddle. Only it took me years to go from unable to awful. *grin*

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Donation

Or… sell it on eBay, buy 3 fiddles with the proceeds, keep 1 and donate the others! πŸ™‚

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

Good idea there glauber! Have you seen the new ones with case, strings, rosin, etc for $45 to $75? Probably not much in quality, but cheap.

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

Oh gosh, I got one of those for a friend of mine who wanted to hang a pretty one up on the wall — they’re AWFUL quality fiddles (I got mine for $35, I think), and worth exactly what I paid for it. But it had a pretty burst design on it. The pegs are all different sizes, the bridge is laughable, the bow is basically a stick that’s been sanded down a bit, and the finish job made me giggle. But she really likes having it hanging on her wall. πŸ™‚

Zina

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

So, would you want to have maybe a 3/4 fiddle for waltzes and a 4/4 fiddle for reels?
(sorry…)

Re: Mandolin to 3/4 Fiddle

Don’t be sorry, thats the kind of humour that makes my working day bearable!!!!! hee hee……
Jamie