Playing on an oversized fiddle

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Roland White 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #18353

    pcviola44
    Participant

    Hello,
    I would like to know how many of you play on a violin that is larger than the standard 14″ body? In finding such an instrument have you strung up a small viola as a violin and used it as a fiddle? It’s something I need to consider for my taller and bigger students who (especially as adult beginners) are really uncomfortable on a 14″ violin? I’d like to also hear from all instructors if you use a standard size or larger. Thank you!

    Laura Gallucci

  • #18354

    Casey Willis
    Keymaster

    Hi, Laura.

    I’ve always played a standard 4/4 size violin and haven’t really run into other folks who strung up a viola as a fiddle due to concerns that a 4/4 size box is too small. There are quite a few taller folks out there playing standard sizes…The only item I’ve remarked is that players with longer necks generally end up with a taller shoulder rest to provide stability/keep from having neck problems. All the instructors in this site play 4/4 size instruments…hopefully that’s helpful.

    Cheers!

    C

  • #18363

    Andrea_S
    Participant

    Casey, are 5 string fiddles typically still 4/4 fiddle size, or are they larger? I’ve promised myself that if I practice hard and improve I can get myself a 5 string one day. I used to play viola so I miss that C string.

    Andrea

    • #18364

      Casey Willis
      Keymaster

      Hi, Andrea.

      A typical 5-string Fiddle is a regular 4/4 body with a slightly wider neck to accommodate the extra string. There are some 5-string violas, but the tone of these instruments is generally different/lower than a standard fiddle. Best of luck as you search…make sure to play before you purchase as it’s the rare box that includes both a strong C and non-tinny E string. Keep us posted!

      C

  • #18459

    Brians
    Participant

    There are French made violins that are bigger than what most would consider to be “standard” dimensioned violins. Many are built by the JTL Company and they might do the trick for your students. That said, those violins will have a whole list of other issues to consider before buying one: They will sound different, may have intonation challenges if you are used to a typical length neck/body/bridge equation, etc.. Some fiddlers love those big violins, but it is an acquired taste and important to buy from a good shop that can make sure the instrument is set up properly. A proper setup is essential. Good luck!

    • #18482

      Roland White
      Moderator

      Hi Brians, Hey that’s great information for players that actually need a larger instrument since they have larger body frames and sizes/tastes. Also great tips which is super for knowing the potential challenges of playing such an instrument. Thanks for posting on the thread! Roland Forum Moderator

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