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Fiddle chin rests!!!!

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harpgirl 12 Feb 03 - 10:34 AM
NicoleC 12 Feb 03 - 10:48 AM
harpgirl 12 Feb 03 - 10:51 AM
Sorcha 12 Feb 03 - 10:53 AM
Sorcha 12 Feb 03 - 10:57 AM
smallpiper 12 Feb 03 - 11:00 AM
Mark Clark 12 Feb 03 - 11:09 AM
Frankham 12 Feb 03 - 12:00 PM
harpgirl 12 Feb 03 - 12:13 PM
dermod in salisbury 12 Feb 03 - 12:15 PM
mack/misophist 12 Feb 03 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Cluin 12 Feb 03 - 01:12 PM
NicoleC 12 Feb 03 - 01:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Feb 03 - 01:22 PM
Kim C 12 Feb 03 - 01:40 PM
Jeri 12 Feb 03 - 01:56 PM
NicoleC 12 Feb 03 - 02:21 PM
mouldy 12 Feb 03 - 02:23 PM
harpgirl 12 Feb 03 - 03:19 PM
wysiwyg 12 Feb 03 - 03:24 PM
Sorcha 12 Feb 03 - 04:27 PM
Sorcha 12 Feb 03 - 04:30 PM
NicoleC 12 Feb 03 - 04:44 PM
Stewart 12 Feb 03 - 04:51 PM
open mike 13 Feb 03 - 12:48 AM
GUEST,sharyn 13 Feb 03 - 12:55 AM
JohnInKansas 13 Feb 03 - 10:01 AM
Mr Happy 13 Feb 03 - 10:22 AM
JohnInKansas 13 Feb 03 - 06:44 PM
harpgirl 13 Feb 03 - 06:59 PM
NicoleC 13 Feb 03 - 07:16 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Feb 03 - 07:37 PM
CraigS 13 Feb 03 - 08:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Feb 03 - 08:24 PM
Allan C. 13 Feb 04 - 12:22 PM
open mike 13 Feb 04 - 12:44 PM
Grab 13 Feb 04 - 12:55 PM
Sorcha 13 Feb 04 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Fiddle 'n' tax 13 Feb 04 - 01:10 PM
Sorcha 13 Feb 04 - 01:50 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 04 - 01:56 PM
Sorcha 13 Feb 04 - 07:33 PM
Catherine Jayne 13 Feb 04 - 07:56 PM
Cap't Bob 13 Feb 04 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Fiddle 'n' Tax & No Name (sorry) 14 Feb 04 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Fiddle 'n' Tax & Guest with No Name (sorry) 14 Feb 04 - 07:23 AM
cobber 14 Feb 04 - 08:27 AM
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Subject: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: harpgirl
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:34 AM

...having failed miserably at mastering the melodeon...I decided to buy another fiddle and try again. WOW! It is coming fast and I can't believe it!!! I am playing Midnight on The Water!

But I have all kinds of questions. Like, why is the chin rest so uncomfortable? It looks like it is adjusted with an Allen wrench. True? Do they come in different shapes? How do you make them comfortable? How do you keep the pegs from slipping out of tune?

Also, any good advice on bowing technique? I play by ear of course, and I find that I can master a phrase at a time and string them together. I am in the B part of MOTW and it seems a little tricky. I have been playing since Saturday, BTW.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: NicoleC
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:48 AM

Depends on the chin rest; most I've seen have a little metal "tube" over the metal bracket on the side that you can tighten it loosen by, and the bracket is threaded. Sorry, I don't know the technical term.
I haven't met an uncomfortable one yet, but they do come in different shapes and sizes and you can always replace yours. HOW is is uncomfortable? They also sell little pillows for chin rests, too.

Pegs: by a little tube of compound called Peg Dope, about $5. Remove string and apply to peg as directed. It takes a few days or weeks to really settle in, but the stuff is awesome for slippery or worn out pegs.

Bowing technique: Spend a few dollars with a teacher to verify you are holding the bow correctly and your arm/elbow/wrist motion is correct. It'll save aches and pains and troubles down the road, and it'll really help loosen you up so that you can play better and easier.

Welcome back!


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: harpgirl
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:51 AM

thanks Nick....I never left sweety, just complaining....


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:53 AM

There are LOTS of different shapes of chin rests. Go to Southwest Strings and look around. You probably should find people with violins and try diff. chin rests before you buy one.

The allen wrench thing is not actually to adjust the chin rest, but to take it off the violin, or tighten it up so it stays on better.

You might want to try a shoulder rest; there are several diff. kinds, I like Kun.

To stop slipping pegs, either buy Peg Dope or powder up some rosin and dust it on the pegs while the strings are loose, then re tune.

Even if you play by ear, go find MOTW at JC's Tune finder and try to figure out the bowings on the sheet music gif. A v means up bow, an inverted |_| means down. A ( over two notes means tie/slur and notes are in the same bow. When I do the B part of MOTW, I use 4th finger instead of an open string. On the A part, I use a first finger G string (a) for a double stop or tune the G string down to a low d for a drone.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:57 AM

Never mind JC's--just discovered that there are no bowing instructions. Send me your e mail and I will send you a scan of the version in the Fiddlers Fake Book. It has bowing notes.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: smallpiper
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 11:00 AM

Chin rest scome in all shapes and sizes visit you rlocal fiddle shop and check them out. You could also invest in a shoulder rest they rais ethe fiddle and make it a damm sight more comfortable Bridge make a great one at £30 (don't know what that is in $) checkout there web site
Click here for their website The idea of invsting in a teacher is really good becuse tyhe bowing (as I ahve found out) is the most important part of playing the fiddle.

Best o luck.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Mark Clark
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 11:09 AM

When choosing a chin rest there is one important feature it should have. Don't buy one the little cheap ones that sit over in one corner of the lower bout. Instead, buy one that has an arch going over the tailpiece so the brackets holding it in place clamp down on the end block and don't squeeze the sides of your fiddle. I think you'll also find that the hump created by the arch over the tailpiece becomes a comfort aid while playing.

I would really advise against Peg Dope or rosin dust to improve tuning peg function. Hie thee to a good repair shop and have a trained repairman re-seat your pegs. Properly fitted pegs never bind or slip, they work almost a smoothly as machine pegs.

Most really good fiddlers I know hold the bow by placing their thumb squarely inder the frog with all four fingers placed squarely on top of the bow. Done properly, this allows one to balance the force of the bow by alternately pressing down harder with the index finger or pinky. I've known some classically trained violinists who stuck with their classical training when holding the bow but even the best of the classically trained fiddle players adopt a more fiddle-like grip for fiddle playing.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Frankham
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:00 PM

Harp Girl,

You can get a lot of info about this by subscribing to Fiddle-L, a list devoted to it. Use your search engine and find it. They have archived a lot of info.

My 2 cents.....find the right chin rest and the right height. There are basically two kinds. The Guanieri (sp.?) and the Flesch. The first is on the left side of the fiddle. The second is in the center of the fiddle over the tailpiece. I've always found the Flesch more comfortable since you don't have to cock your head as much. If the chin rest is too low, you tend to compensate by raising your left shoulder (a no-no). If it's too high...it's a strain on the neck.

Then you open up the can of worms about shoulder pads. Some use 'em, some don't. The Wolf is good for long necks (people not violins). Bon Musica offers a certain support. Kuns and others are OK but it all depends on your body type. Check Julie Lyonn(s) Lieberman on her site.

I had trouble with the accoustic violin because it was so close to my ear that it started ringing. I went with an electric violin which didn't have the high pitched frequencies so close to my left ear and the Mark Wood electric fiddle is designed so that you don't even need a chin rest. It ain't "folk" but it's one way of keeping your hearing as well as avoiding muscle cramps.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: harpgirl
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:13 PM

...this is all very helpful, folks! I bought a chinese fiddle with a case, bow, rosin at the flea market. Of course, the first thing I had to figure out was how to scratch the slick rosin to get it started to make a sound! I founs some basic fiddle lessons on the web which helped me with the very first steps. It seems helpful at this point that I know most of these tunes and can I recall them and now I just have to memorize the finger patterns. Bowing is tricky!


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:15 PM

I took off the chin rest on my violin. It didn't seem to do much to improve comfort, but the metal piece that clamps it to the violin had started to scuff the varnish on the back. I have not missed it at all. Hidersine, the rosin makers, also make inexpensive little phials containing something for coating pegs. It looks liked greased soot but does the business. On bowing, I keep the bow hair fairly tight and springy, and dig it firmly into the strings about an inch from the bridge. Playing softly is a technique best learned second, that is, after playing loudly. It is better to try to come to softness from a position of strength than the other way about.

Best wishes

Dermod


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: mack/misophist
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:38 PM

I don't play, but have you noticed how many classical violinists tuck a folded handkerchief between the rest and their chin?


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: GUEST,Cluin
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 01:12 PM

That's to catch the slobber.      ;)


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: NicoleC
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 01:21 PM

No, they're just afraid to sweat on their $30,000 violin :)


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 01:22 PM

The cushioning is also useful for players who shave their faces; pressure from an uncushioned rest can sometimes result in the sharp ends of beard stubble growing back under the skin and infecting the hair follicle. Happened to me a few times before I let the beard grow.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Kim C
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 01:40 PM

I play without chin and shoulder rest for historic-period gigs. I got used to it so quickly I play without my shoulder rest a lot nowadays. I have a very tall chin rest on my modern violin, which makes the shoulder rest unnecessary, unless my clothes are too slick - in which case, I have a piece of deerskin I put between my shoulder and the fiddle.

There's right and wrong ways to bow and to hold the bow. This is something hard to describe without being there in person. Get a professional to show you how so you don't develop bad habits.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 01:56 PM

As Nicole said, there are different styles of chin rest. I have one on my 'good' fiddle that's pretty uncomfortable. I have one on a cheapie fiddle - part of the wood bit goes over the tailpiece. That's the most comfortable chin rest I've ever used. I bet you could make a little padded cloth thingie with elastic to hold it on and slip it over the chin rest.

If you don't have a shoulder rest, you might consider one. It helps you hang onto the fiddle with your chin and helps de-scrunch your neck. They have rubber and metal ones, cloth bags with padding that attach with rubber bands or elastic, and you can always roll up a towel to see if it helps.

There's some VERY basic information here: http://home.clara.net/gmatkin/fdlwkshp.htm


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: NicoleC
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 02:21 PM

Cute link, Jeri. But I MUST take exception with her comment that you should hold the fiddle up with your forefinger and thumb... noooooo!

Harpgirl, have you changed your strings yet from the cheapie squeekers they put on at the factory? ConcordMusic.com has great prices, and a new set will probably make you sound a lot better. Pirastro Tonicas did wonders for warming up my thin little chinese sound. While you are at it, get some decent rosin; it's cheap. The rosin that came with my original chinese model was almost worthless.

BTW -- Can anyone comment on the idea that you should get new rosin every year or so?

I wish you told us you were looking; I have a beginner outfit collecting dust that already has all the pro-setup and soundpost tweaking you could desire, and good quality strings.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: mouldy
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 02:23 PM

My daughter's latest fiddle came without a chin rest, and she has adapted well to playing without one, although she still uses a shoulder rest (one of those £30 ones).
I have started to learn on her redundant cheap Chinese-type fiddle (Stentor Student) and I do find the chin rest somewhat uncomfortable. I daresay that at this early stage in my playing it's just a matter of getting used to it. I had to buy a shoulder rest, and only bought a cheap one, but it does the trick (when I get it on the right way up!) If the fiddle was better quality I would have bought a shoulder rest like the first one. But there wasn't much justification in paying £30 (as opposed to £4.50) when I didn't even know if I'd manage to play the thing, and the fiddle would end up being worth less than its fittings!

Still, after 4 lessons my teacher says she's heard worse...

Andrea


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: harpgirl
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 03:19 PM

..so the chin rest comes off by loosening the metal tubes? I'm still not sure how to get it off????

NIck, I haven't changed the strings yet. I have no frame of reference for which strings sound good and which ones don't. I wasn't really looking. It was an impulse buy since I knew if I failed again to get the hang of it I would be wasting my money, I bought the Chinese fiddle instead of something else. How much do you want for yours?


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 03:24 PM

Here's Hardiman's usual advice: Slippery pegs sometimes mean a peg job, not so expensive, like a new fiddle.... fine tuners on all four strings are a MUST.... Thomastik strings but with the Pirastro E.... have seen leather pads on chin rest, dunno the source...

My advice: keep hearing your autoharp rhythms as you play so the tunes really dance.....

Hardiman is also self-taught. It's great-- keep having fun with tunes you know, and visit Ed Hetzler's site to hear tunes you don't know. You can download them in MIDI and slow them down to practice with.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 04:27 PM

Harpgirl, find something like a nutpick that will fit in the little holes. Insert, move 1/4 turn, remove, re insert, etc. You will quickly discover which direction is tighter/looser.

I don't reccomend playing without anything between chin and violin. Sweat, make up, etc will damage the varnish. At least put a washcloth around the lower bout.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 04:30 PM

Chinrests at Southwest Strings. Click on the model and you can see a pic. LOTS to choose from.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: NicoleC
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 04:44 PM

Harpgirl, my spare is also a Chinese student instrument, a Palantino VN-450, so I'm not sure it would be worth the cost to buy a this one vs. making adjustments to the one you have. I'd let it go to a good home for about $125. If you know a decent player, have them check it out and see if it's worth putting any money into, and check the intonation and such. Violins are white elephants, though, they can suck up the money in a hurry!

Some of the Chinese violins are pretty good... others are not... they're like the proverbial box of chocolates.

A peg job here is about $80; I have to get one myself for my newer violin. I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a student model if you can get away without it, but that's just me. When mine came fresh from the factory the pegs slipped too -- the pegs were fitted okay, they just needed a bit of help with the peg dope.

I second the Dominant/Tonica E combination.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Stewart
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 04:51 PM

You might want to try the SAS chin rest CLICK HERE. It is multi-adjustable and comes in different heights - I find it somewhat better than the conventional ones, but that might be a matter of personal preference. I found the best price at Quinn Violins. For shoulder rests, the BonMusica CLICK HERE looks a little strange, but works for me and some other people I know, but again a matter of personal preference (I have tried many different ones!).

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: open mike
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 12:48 AM

When the Suzuki kids take lessons, the bowing hold is described to them like this: touch your thumb to the two middle fingers and form a circle as if you were doing the sign for o.k. which you use your
thumb and index/pointer finger for--only use the next two fingers over..
oh bother, this is a thousand words intstead of a picture,,,
any way your index finger and "pinkie" finger can stick up,
and the hand looks like a fox with 2 ears sticking up or a
large rodent with two teethgeting ready to bite down on the thum..
make sense? Now you opent eh thumb and two fingers which are making teh "O" a bit and slip the bow in there. the index and little fingers
then rest onthe bow and stay at a distance from teh middle two fingers.
one exercise to see if you have a good balance is to move the bow back and forth in teh air like a wind shiled wiper, alternately pushing with the "pointer" and "pinkie" fingers to guide thw bow up and down...(left and right)
well it is hard to describe without being in person...but that is the
idea i wanted to put across about beginning bow holding technique...


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: GUEST,sharyn
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 12:55 AM

I agree with Sorcha about Kun shoulder rests -- I like mine very much and was uncomfortable playing before I got it. My chin rest seems fairly useless to me, but I've never gotten adventurous enough to remove it. My former fiddle teacher, Laura Risk, recommended running a lead pencil over troublesome pegs -- I've never tried it, but she did it a couple of times.

Good Luck and Enjoy Playing!


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 10:01 AM

Most of the "fiddlers" I've known use the peg dope on their pegs. The "pro" sources I've seen recommend against the "pencil lead" or "rosin" treatment.

Pencil lead contains more clay than graphite. While the little bit of graphite you get from rubbing it on the peg will temporarily make it feel a little smoother, the clay will imbed in the peg and make it act like a reamer in the peg hole. It can greatly accelerate the wear in the hole, leading to the need for more frequent professional (did I see $80 above) attention.

Rosin has a tendency to be at least slightly acidic, and when left in place for too long it eats the varnish - and the wood. The recommended "remover" for the outside of the fiddle is "a little spit," but of course you can't get it out of a peg hole once it's there. Over a long period, rosin in the peg hole will make the wood "punky" so that when you do get the holes reamed it will require removing more wood - and the possible need for "bushing" the holes - to get to "fresh" solid wood.

Note that many people do both of the above things and don't perceive a problem with them - but the pros say ....

John


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 10:22 AM

'fiddle chin'- is it a medical condition?

like housemaids elbow,tennis foot, or athletes knee?


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:44 PM

As a high-schooler I won a few minor bets with the "she plays the violin" bit, and nobody could figure out how I knew. Especially effective on trips to another school where you didn't actually know the people.

It's the small semi-permanent bruise on the throat, about 2 inches below the jawbone.

Of course, it also helps to know if she's in the orchestra.

(At that age, serious flutists may have a distinctive "pout" to the lips that one can also pick out of a crowd of music students. At my age it's getting hard to remember all of the other "clues.")

John


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: harpgirl
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:59 PM

...charming observations, John. I never imagined chin rests could be such a complicated issue! But it sure is uncomfortable. The metal bars that hold it on look like they twist off and they have a little hole in them where I thought an Allen wrench like I use on my autoharp fine tuners.

It does have fine tuners which I am quite familiar with having them installed on my autoharps but those slippery pegs are a b***h. I appreciate all the advice, folks. I find it quite embarrassing to go into a music store to ask about stuff I don't know much about...

so I guess the bow should be at a ninety degree angle to the fiddle, correct? I discovered that playing more loudly helped to reproduce the sound that so many fiddlers make but I get more double string
squeaks!

The high sound close to my ear makes me shiver with pleasure!!! The frequencies of the fiddle strings to me are wonderful! Is that weird?


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:16 PM

Yes and no. The bow should be tilted back away from you a bit (the shaft away and the hair closer.) But you should draw the bow at a 90 degree angle to the strings -- it takes a bit of getting practice to be able to maintain that angle the entire length of the bow.

And the hair itself should be about halfway between the bridge and the end of the fret board. (At least for now.)


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:37 PM

harpgirl -

The barrel nuts that clamp the rest on have little holes in them to give you something to "grab" so you can turn them, but you don't need an allen wrench - or anything else that actually "fits" them. They are just holes.

Pros who need to work them a lot usually have some "special pointy thingy" (the technical name for it) that they use, but a heavy weight paper clip can be straightened out to do the job. Just be sure you don't poke the clip through so far that the end of the clip scratches the fiddle. If you want to be fancy, a #00 or #000 (jewelers) Phillips screwdriver (Radio Shack for about $5 for a 6 piece set) will usually fit about right, and you'd have them when you need to fix your eyeglasses.

John


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: CraigS
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:01 PM

I am an incompetent violin player, but I'd like to sound a warning. I knew a man who was one of the best fiddlers I've ever met, who insisted on playing without chin or shoulder rests. He has a very long neck, and the doctor told him that his style was doing him harm and he should play with a chinrest at least. He ignored the warning and ended up in hospital. Make it comfortable, and don't do without the rests except on special occasions, or you may end up with only a mandolin for comfort. You may find you can play without the rests, but don't make a habit of it.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:24 PM

I tried a shoulder-rest for a while, but abandoned it. It forced me into an unnatural posture. They are recent innovations, designed mainly for concert-style players who need to change positions a lot. A traditional-style player shouldn't need one unless they have an unusually long neck or are unable to develop a relaxed grip on the instrument. There's no point in wearing a corset unless you really have to.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Allan C.
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:22 PM

New questions from a novice:

I have seen films of players who can release their fingering hand completely and still have the fiddle trapped between chin and neck. Is this normal, i.e., the way it ought to be?

My beard seems to act as a lubricant between my chin and the fiddle, preventing my having much control at all. Is there a better chin rest to be had, some sort of traction element that could be added, or should I consider getting one of those shoulder rests mentioned above? I currently have one of those bitty little things off to one side of the tailpiece.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: open mike
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:44 PM

one of the first lessons for beginners is to hold the fiddle with chin and shoulder and walk around....hands to your side...the fingering hand (left) does not HOLD the fiddle up, it plays the notes, and most of the holding happens at the other end , by your neck, which is why it is important to concentrate on the comfort there.
this suzuki mom has heard many twinkles ! though my 4 & 5 year old fiddlers are now 20 and 25 and have gone on to other things...


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Grab
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:55 PM

Allan, do you have a shoulder rest? If not, get one. Even if it's just a pad with a couple of bits of elastic, that's better than nothing. Best type is a plastic moulded one that clips on. If you don't have a shoulder rest, you will never be able to hold the fiddle properly between your chin and shoulder.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 01:07 PM

Horses for courses. Yes, a classiclly trained violinist holds the instrument with chin and shoulder to allow the left hand to move into the upper positions but many self trained 'fiddlers' hold it with the left hand with the index knuckle glued to the neck. How I hold it depends on what I am doing....

Regarding the beard problem, there are chin rest covers available in soft leather, terry cloth, etc that give more traction than just the slick wood or plastic chin rest. If you can't find one, try covering the chinrest with moleskin or something else that will provide more traction. Sometimes, just wrapping a small towel or piece of fabric over the chinrest will work. I don't have a beard, but I do have this problem playing in very hot weather when I feel like a 'glow worm'....


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: GUEST,Fiddle 'n' tax
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 01:10 PM

having failed miserably at mastering the melodeon

How????   it's just a mouthorgan with bellows - you don't even need to suck and blow!!!

Try to play without any encumbrances e.g. chin rests, shoulder rest, music etc.... the instrument wasn't designed for such things and should be a free spirit - get along to some sessions and learn from ground roots


Good Luck....


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 01:50 PM

No, you need a chin rest if only to keep body oils off the wood.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 01:56 PM

No, you need a chin rest if only to keep body oils off the wood

If you must sweat!

That's not what they were designed for (ebony!) - they are stabilisers for people who don't hold the instrument proper - likewise the shoulder rest..... certainly not in the design of the master violin builders!


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 07:33 PM

It is true, Guest with no name, that in the Medieval period, the violins, etc. had no chin rest....but, this was way before the 'really good sounding' instruments came to be.

Most, if not all, of the early Medieval viols had very little voice...and true gut strings. True gut does not produce the volume of modern strings. I know, I have played several. You really do need to protect the modern (from 1700's to now) good instruments' wood from any kind of contamination...including persperation.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 07:56 PM

I play with both a chin rest an da shoulder rest. I can play without the shoulder rest and still hold the fiddle under my chin without holding it with my hand but my shoulder gets really tense. I use a Kun shoulder rest and its really comfortable.....good quality shoulder rests are height adjustable. I have a Kun and a Wolf shoulder rest both are good. My chin rest is large and made of wood extending over the tail piece. It very comfortable. I recommend trying other players fiddles and see what their chin rest are like....alternatively go to an instrument shop and try a few then buy on that suits you.

Im classically trained so perhaps my views are incorrect or inappropriate for the folkie fiddler. I would recommend having a few lessons with a teacher so start you technique so you don't cause yourself any injury.

Khatt


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 09:16 PM

Mr. Happy ~ I do not know about "fiddler's chin" but "fiddler's neck" is definitely a medical condition. When I first started playing the fiddle I was clamping down using too much pressure with my chin. Of course when something is new there is a tendency put in quite a few hours.

Anyway, one night I got this terrible pain in my neck to the point where I could hardly move my head. I thought there was a possibility of meningitis so I had my wife drive me to the hospital. The doctors ruled out the meningitis, which was a relief, and eventually decided I had fiddlers neck. This is not a joke. I ended up spending three days in the hospital on muscle relaxers and pain medication.

Whatever you do I would advise against using too much pressure with the chin and probably avoid long practice sessions when learning to play.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: GUEST,Fiddle 'n' Tax & No Name (sorry)
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 07:01 AM

Although there have been modifications to the instrument over the centuries, the violin of the 1600s is to all intents and purposes the same used today, including the f-shaped sound holes, the polished body with separate front and back, and the wooden tuning pegs. A straight and adjustable bow, the use of metal strings and the addition of a chin-rest were all in place by the nineteenth century.

For Mozart and early works of Beethoven, no chin rest is employed. (Louis Spohr claims in his Violinschule [Vienna, 1832] that he devised a chin rest around 1822.) While of uncertain pedigree, Chase's 'Classical' violin is responsive and produces a lovely tone (Mozart's own violin was also an anonymous Tyrolean instument).

The Indian Classical violinists' playing posture is different from that of his western counterpart. The western violinist stands with his feet at a right angle and holds the violin between the left collarbone and chin, the instrument at perpendicular slant to the body. The left hand provides the other support to the instrument.

The South Indian violinist sits cross-legged on the floor and balances the instrument between his chest and the anklebone of his right foot, on which rests the scroll of the violin. This posture facillitates the free movement of the left hand along the fingerboard, particularly in producing the gamakas (graces) so integral to the carnatic mode. It also necessitated appropriate changes in bowing technique, the changes being duly made.


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: GUEST,Fiddle 'n' Tax & Guest with No Name (sorry)
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 07:23 AM

Medieval Period (1200 - 1450)

Sorcha said:-
It is true, Guest with no name, that in the Medieval period, the violins, etc. had no chin rest....but, this was way before the 'really good sounding' instruments came to be.

History Says:-
Louis Spohr claims in his Violinschule [Vienna, 1832] that he devised a chin rest around 1822.

Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644, and established his shop in Cremona, Italy, where he remained active until his death in 1737. His interpretation of geometry and design for the violin has served as a conceptual model for violin makers for more than 250 years.

Hardly Medieval Sorcha! - and Stradivari will be sad he didn't make "really Good Sounding Instruments"!!!   :-)


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Subject: RE: Fiddle chin rests!!!!
From: cobber
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 08:27 AM

I was lucky enough to break my neck in 1976 which changed my fiddle playing completely. I say lucky because I stopped gripping the thing with my chin and let it sit down on my collar bone. At the time I thought this was unique but I've since seen photos of Neil Gow playing like that. The first improvement was that I could sing while I was playing without sounding like I was being strangled. The second was that everything became a little looser which would have been hopeless in classical playing but suited the fiddle style well. Later on, I found I could even call the dance steps at the same time as playing. So in retrospect, if you're going to play violin style and tuck it under your chin, your long-term health will benefit from a shoulder and chin rest, but trying other ways can be fun.


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