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Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?

Marion 24 Dec 01 - 09:19 PM
little john cameron 24 Dec 01 - 09:26 PM
Sorcha 24 Dec 01 - 09:40 PM
little john cameron 24 Dec 01 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,guestin 25 Dec 01 - 01:44 AM
JohnInKansas 25 Dec 01 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Bud 25 Dec 01 - 09:58 AM
Bob Bolton 25 Dec 01 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Marion 02 Jan 02 - 03:31 PM
Arbuthnot 02 Jan 02 - 04:34 PM
Jeri 02 Jan 02 - 04:41 PM
smallpiper 02 Jan 02 - 04:42 PM
katlaughing 02 Jan 02 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,DrWord 03 Jan 02 - 03:48 AM
Aidan Crossey 03 Jan 02 - 04:07 AM
NicoleC 03 Jan 02 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,First time Fiddler 06 May 10 - 03:58 PM
Tangledwood 06 May 10 - 05:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 May 10 - 07:12 PM
JohnInKansas 07 May 10 - 04:49 AM
The Fooles Troupe 07 May 10 - 07:12 PM
HiHo_Silver 31 Mar 11 - 08:33 PM
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Subject: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: Marion
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 09:19 PM

Hello all. My mother has just started playing violin and wants to mark up her fingerboard to help find the notes in the beginning. What do you think is the best way to do that, so that it doesn't interfere with the strings and isn't a pain to clean off? The local violin store guy suggests liquid paper.

Thanks, Marion


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: little john cameron
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 09:26 PM

Atho' ah never managed tae get the bow action oan the fiddle ah wid suggest gettin a cheap mandolin an' practice oan that as the fingerin is the same. ljc


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 09:40 PM

Either thin strips of masking tape or tailors chalk. I wouldn't use liquid paper---it takes a solvent to get it off which could also take the stain off the fingerboard.


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: little john cameron
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 09:56 PM

Marion,here's somethin might be o' interest tae her.here


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: GUEST,guestin
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 01:44 AM

Last time I found red electricians tape on a student Violin I took it off.

Now I feel guilty as heck! Perhaps they needed it?.


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 07:56 AM

The guy at the fiddle store was probably giving good advice - but he didn't finish the job.

Liquid Paper, White-out, Sno-Pake, and such come in two kinds. One is a solvent based material, and the other is water based.

If you use the solvent base type, it may penetrate the finish enough to leave marks when you try to remove it. The water based kind shouldn't do any more damage than a sweaty finger, if you make sure to apply it sparingly so that it can dry quickly.

Penetration into the finish should be minimal. It makes a fairly durable marking, but is brittle enough to be "flaked" off with a fingernail when dry.

Either kind - solvent or water based - may get into the grain of the wood if it's an "open" grain. If it does, it can be difficult to remove completely. Best bet is to leave any penetration alone and let it wear off, or wait for it to get dirty enough so it doesn't show. It will just look like you got a little chalk on the board.

It is assumed we're not talking about an Amati, Guarneri, or Stradivarius here?

John


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: GUEST,Bud
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 09:58 AM

My opinion is not to do it at all, since it will probably take her much longer to learn where to put her fingers than if she trusts and develops her ear. The violin/fiddle sounds pretty awful in a beginner's hands anyway.


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 08:04 PM

G'day Marion,

Back when many children were expected to learn violin (my Dad struggled with it fir some time, as a lad) it was common to have accurately pre-printed paper sheets that could be lightly glued to the fingerboard ... then removed with little or no harm once the student gained confidence. I don't know if someome still has these hidden away in the back of the stockroom.

Another, more permanent approach was the Manby Patent Fingerboard, which had very shallow depressions at the 'fret' lines. This was just enough to let you feel the correct position ... better, in its way, than having to look at the fingerboard ... but it played merry hob with glissandos when you were a better player, so i guess it was strictly a separate "learner's" instrument. A friend, here in Australia owned one for years ... but played his better models, mostly.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 02 Jan 02 - 03:31 PM

Thanks all. Anyone else want to add anything before I send this off to my mom?

Marion


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: Arbuthnot
Date: 02 Jan 02 - 04:34 PM

You can use a marker pen on the strings - this wears off when in use, but will still show on the side of the string to give a clue. The disadvantage is that as the strings stretch a little with age the marks move to wrong locations - on old strings it can be useful, but on new ones it definitely isn't. In either case, it will become innacurate in time, but less so with old strings that have already ;-)


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Jan 02 - 04:41 PM

Hi Marion. I must have missed this thread before. I'd suggest cloth tape - the thin stuff used for bandages. You can get it in a size that's just the width of a fingertip, and it will wrap better than stiffer tapes.

You could probably buy some sort of small dot stickers, but I don't know how well they'd stay on. They also make a glue stick that's the same stuff used on sticky "post-it" notes, so it's removable. (It might also come off too easily.)


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: smallpiper
Date: 02 Jan 02 - 04:42 PM

Hi I'm busy learning and have decided the best thing to do is not to mark the violin at all it sounds horrible sometimes but I'm getting there and so will your mom. Sh ewill develop muscle memory faster than if she's looking all the time also her ear will sort it. best of luck and have patience. John


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Jan 02 - 10:35 PM

My teachers and my dad, who is a fiddler, all forbid any kind of markings, so as not to hinder our ear training. My kids learned likewise. Took lots of practice and patience, as John says.


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 03:48 AM

My son's fiddle teacher was also a body-shop operator. Pin-striping frets adorned Joshua's 1/8 1/4 2/4 and 3/4 fiddles.


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 04:07 AM

ljc

As someone who's played mandolin for some years and recently decided to try and add the fiddle to my repertoire, I'd query your comments re practising fiddle left hand positions on a mandolin.

Firstly the scale lengths of most mandos and fiddles are different and so the fingering positions are not exactly the same (though the theory is).

Secondly the angles at which the necks are held are different and this will affect significantly the ways in which notes are "accessed".

Thirdly, when was the last time you compared relative prices of entry-level fiddles and mandolins. I got my hands on a very playable fiddle (complete with case, bow and resin) for £60 at Hobgoblin the other day. A mandolin of comparable quality would have set me back at least £150-£200.

And then, of course, the whole thing about the fiddle is that the left-hand note positions are actually pretty easy to learn. Much more difficult are the other left hand techniques (slides, rolls, vibrato etc.) for which practising on a mandolin will not help.

Not to mention the right hand!


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: NicoleC
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 03:12 PM

As a fairly new student myself, I srtongly agree with the comments NOT to mark the fingerboard and learn that way. The slightest deviation changes the note, and if you don't train your ear memorizing finger positions won't help much.

However, occasionally when I have a problem with hitting a particular note (like those 4th finger stretches), I check the correct position with a tuner and then make a small mark with a white grease pencil. It mostly wears off by itself after a couple of weeks, or you can rub it off with your finger.

No harm done, no permanent marks, and best of all it helps me practice where to put my finger without forsaking ear training.


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: GUEST,First time Fiddler
Date: 06 May 10 - 03:58 PM

I'm 58 years old and decided to learn the fiddle. My instructor is 18, okay 40 years difference - figure the math! She is awesome starting at 5 years old, in both violin and fiddle and has won many awards, etc. She has started me learning just as she did. We have used three thin pieces of electrical tape to mark the major notes. At first I had to look to see where to put my fingers, but now after 9 months of lessons, I watch the music and only occasionally look at the fiddle neck; and this is usually if something doesn't sound right. So you still learn an "ear" for the notes with just a little help from electrical tape. Go for it!!


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: Tangledwood
Date: 06 May 10 - 05:10 PM

I recently got hold of a 1920s vintage mandolin banjo, maybe the worst sounding instrument ever made. Somewhere in its history an owner has pencilled every note onto the finger board with enough pressure to impress them there for the life of the instrument.


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 May 10 - 07:12 PM

"She will develop muscle memory faster than if she's looking all the time"

My dad learned in the 1920s - any such 'aids' then were not acceptable. You were expected to just 'learn'... :-)

I'm reminded of the advice given to pipe organists regarding the pedal keyboard.

"When playing, you only look at it twice briefly. Once when you sit down to check that you are seated correctly. The second time, as you get up and leave the instrument, so you don't trip over the damn pedals."


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 May 10 - 04:49 AM

I didn't learn until late in life that my dad played violin in his High School Orchestra.

The only musical advice he gave me when I was a kid was:

1. "If you ever bring a violin in the house I'll beat the crap out of you." At the time I didn't know why he said that.

2. "I found this in a pawn shop. Here. You're a saxophone player." So I played it (a tenor) for the next 7 or 8 years - along with an alto and a clarinet I bought for myself in high school.

Some years after Dad died, my teeth fell out and it wasn't practical to try to play saxophone on a saxophone, I switched to playing saxophone on a mandolin; and after a few years with the mando I got curious and got myself a fiddle (cheap). While I messed with it enough to be of the opinion that marking the finger positions probably wouldn't be much help, I did learn to appreciate my Dad's opinion that it might be something mostly best left alone (by me at least). Apparently it's something that is incompatible with my family genetics, or something like that. (Or maybe I'm just getting lazy in my mature years.)

John


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 May 10 - 07:12 PM

Well said JiK...

"My dad learned in the 1920s - any such 'aids' then were not acceptable. You were expected to just 'learn'... :-)"

Another thing dredged up ... as a part of the one to one 'training', my dad's teacher would also play (occasionally, not the whole time!) and hold the perfect pitch and the student was expected to listen to the 'beats' and refine their position as their pitch got closer.


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Subject: RE: Best way to mark notes on a fiddle?
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 08:33 PM

There was and still are available charts that paste unto the fingerboard and can be purchased at some music stores. some violin methods also have one included with the method. That being said however, it is far better to learn proper innotation by ear as the innotation varies on violins depending upon the setup of the instrument and therefore it is not possible to print a completley accurate chart. The chart can serve only as a guide.


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