Start fiddling around learning to play folk music.You love classical music. Not only for its beauty but for the challenge of learning to play it well. However, every so often, you feel like you’re in a rut.
Why not explore learning to play a new musical genre? Learning new techniques and repertoire can expand your creativity and skills.
Folk music, by its very definition, is popular with a broad audience. It also often has an inherent emotional resonance. That’s one reason why many Romantic composers have incorporated folk music into classical works.
You are watching: Start Fiddling Around Learning to Play Folk Music
Here’s a primer on how the classical violinist can get started fiddling around with folk music.
Start Fiddling Around Learning to Play Folk Music
What is the difference between fiddle and violin?
Many people ask this question, so I want to share a few thoughts with you.
To start off, fiddles are most commonly used in folk music while violins are often used in classical pieces.
Violin players will sometimes refer to their instrument as “fiddle” in an affectionate way.
The fiddle is more popular in fiddling music than the violin, but while they are similar instruments (just different sorts of music), there are some differences.
For example, fiddles have a wider fingerboard and an arched top which gives them “more volume” or louder sound.
Violins come with four strings while fiddles usually only have three strings. Fiddles also often include other items on their body like tuners and chin rests, neither of which violins typically do not feature…
Learn about the difference between fiddle vs violin!
Violin players will sometimes refer to their instrument as “fiddle” in an affectionate way because it’s what you would use for folk and country-style music.
Learn the Difference Between Violin and fiddle!
So, what is the difference between fiddles and violins? Fiddles are typically more popular in fiddling music than violins, but they’re both similar instruments (just different sorts of music).
For example, fiddles have a wider fingerboard and an arched top that gives them “more volume” or louder sound while violins come with four strings instead of three like fiddles usually do.
Fiddles also often include other items on their body like tuners and chin rests which most violins don’t have either…
Learn about this crucial distinction here: – fiddle vs violin difference- …What’s your favorite instrument to play? Mine is piano because I love tinkling on the ivories.
Fiddle players and fiddling music is often associated with folk, country, and bluegrass styles of playing while violin parts are most commonly found in classical pieces.
Violinists will sometimes refer to their instrument as “fiddle” an affectionate term when they’re playing fiddle-style tunes from those genres that require a fiddlestick rather than a bow.
Violins come equipped with four strings while fiddles have only three such instruments attached–a difference which creates different tones and volumes for each style of piece or tune being played.
Fiddles also include other items like tuners (to make sure your tuning stays solid) and chin rests.
So you can play without getting tired.
Start by listening
Chances are you already enjoy folk music, or you’d not be considering how to play it. Listening for enjoyment and listening to learn a piece are two different exercises. Listen to a broad range of folk music with an ear to deconstructing the work and performing it. You’ll soon understand why this intensive listening to play folk music by ear is valuable.
Read on about: How To Soundproof A Room For Drums in 3 Easy Steps
Next, “folk music” is a broad genre. What type of folk music do you want to learn? Celtic? Bluegrass? Klezmer? Cajun? These are only a small selection of the different kinds of folk music. Start listening and pick a sub-genre as your focus.
Understand the differences between a violin and fiddle
In many ways, the words are synonyms. A violin and fiddle have the same body and neck. The differences manifest in the changeable parts of the violin and the technique.
For example, folk music doesn’t often seek the long, smooth tones familiar in classical music. No glissandos here. Instead, folk music is replete with pickings and staccatos. Thus, “fiddles” often have a flattened bridge, which allows the musician to play multiple notes at once.
The more aggressive bowing technique of folk music demands a sturdier string. Rather than the synthetic strings on a violin, fiddles are strung with steel core strings. These strings also produce a bright timbre that’s a hallmark of folk music.
Impact of the cultural history of folk music
A significant difference between classical and folk music is how each is created and written. All classical music is scored, including ornamentation. In contrast, folk music’s history is as an oral tradition. One generation taught the next folk music through playing, stories, and repetition. Folk music has only recently been scored.
Yet, scoring folk music fails to capture one of its critical elements: improvisation. Interpretation is a vital creative element of a classical music performance. The conductor or soloist drives the interpretation that’s followed by the rest of the orchestra. Rehearsals iterate to perfect execution of that interpretation. In contrast, folk music delights in improvising and personalizing around the underlying material.
Let’s return to why listening with a learner’s ear is critical to learning to play folk music. The best way to learn how to play this genre is by using its original teaching technique. – pick a tune, listen to learn to play it by ear, and then give it a go!
In addition, much of folk music’s origins is as dance music. As such, rhythm plays a large role. Composer Ailie Robertson decries the common perception of folk music as rhythmically simple. She explains:
“Superficially, traditional tunes are divided into time signatures with regular beats reflecting their function as dance music. However, one need only look at the rhythmic pushes and pulls of both ornamentation in dance tunes and the highly nonmetrical style of the singing tradition to realise that the underlying rhythms are very complex.
A fiddler’s technique
You can see how bowing technique plays a huge role in playing folk music. You don’t need to hold your bow differently, but you will use it differently. Watch renowned “fiddlers” to see how they manipulate the bow to create a specific sound or dynamic. Copy what you see them do as a baseline to developing your style and sound.
Old school folk music fiddlers tend to use their voices while playing. It’s why you’ll see them holding the fiddle a bit lower than classical violinists. Check out this clip of Cajun fiddler David Greely and how he’s able to move his head and sing without disturbing his fiddle hold.
Is there a fiddler who piqued your interest in learning to play folk music? Who was it? Let others know what folk songs and performances they should check out for inspiration.
Learning to play folk music is a great way to spend your time.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available on the internet that can help get you started.
Folk music has been around for centuries and it’s still popular today because people enjoy playing and listening to this type of music.
With just an acoustic guitar…
……………some chords charts, and a little patience – you’ll be able to create .beautiful melodies in no time!
You may even find yourself wanting more after learning how easy it is.
There’s nothing better than being able to pick up your instrument when life gets tough or feeling like everything else has failed you.
Making something out of nothing with just two hands and four strings. We hope these