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5 String Fiddles

29 Nov 02 - 04:38 PM (#837388)
Subject: 5 String Fiddles
From: GUEST,Fidla

I recently acqured a Martin Brunkalla ( 5 string fiddle. My question is does anyone have any sheet music or can point me towards some music for this instrument - low string is a C, so I imagine everything is geared towards the C or alto clef, right? Thanks!

29 Nov 02 - 04:49 PM (#837397)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: Catherine Jayne

I am so jeleous!!! I had a go on a 5 string fiddle at Towersye Folk Festival this summer and I want one!!!!.....still saving up!!!


29 Nov 02 - 06:14 PM (#837426)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: CraigS

I have only seen 5 string fiddles used for Indian classical music - there is a famous Indian violinist called simply Shankar. My friend Martin has a six-string electric fiddle which he had made recently - I will ask him about it. Treating the low fifth string as analogous to the intervals on other instruments, it would be sensible to use a tuning of B F# D A E, but I suspect that CGDAE would feel more familiar. I used to play five-string guitar for tunes, and I tuned that D G C G D, but that was so that I could read off fiddle music fairly easily and play sympathetic bass as well.

29 Nov 02 - 08:57 PM (#837504)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: Jeri

CatsPHiddle, if you played a Tim Phillips 5-string, I can understand. My dream instrument. (If there are any rich people out there who have $3000 they don't know what to do with, please buy me one of those things. I guarantee I'll send a thank-you card.)

I don't know of any sheet music specifically for a 5-string fiddle. If it were me, I might transpose tunes into a lower key that wouldn't be possible on a 4-string fiddle. Of course that doesn't work when playing with others.

I might try playing the B parts of tunes down low instead of up high or try playing low harmonies. I might try playing all sorts of stuff down an octave.

The key of F might be easier since F is where C would be on the 4th string. It's just like playing in G but a string down. I enjoy accompanying songs (when it's called for) and a lot of singers like F. I'm not particularly good at playing in that key on my standard fiddle but I think I'd have a lot of fun with that 5th string.

Now... A cello is tuned to CGDA. A fiddle in standard tuning is GDAE.
Your 5 string has the range of a cello and fiddle combined. Maybe you could try sheet music for cello? I don't think you'll find fiddle tunes, but maybe that doesn't matter to you.

29 Nov 02 - 10:21 PM (#837539)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: Sorcha

I want one, but only if it is a wood,acoustic one. Have played several of those bloody 5 string electric/solid bodies and I HATE all of them.

30 Nov 02 - 12:07 AM (#837580)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: Louie Roy

THere are several Fiddler in the Oregon Old Time Fiddlers who play a 5 string fiddle (not Electric)and of course they do it by ear and they play all types of songs Louie Roy

01 Dec 02 - 12:15 AM (#838119)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: Ebbie

Bobby Hicks, from Ricky Skaggs' band, plays a 5-string. Several fiddlers I know lusted after it.

01 Dec 02 - 10:33 AM (#838246)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: GUEST,jellybeams

How about transposing some music down an octave or using viola music?

02 Dec 02 - 04:05 AM (#838698)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: GUEST,Astorsen

Five string fiddles have a classical ancestor named "quinton" in french. I think it was made in the 19th century. It has been used in classical (romantic) music but it remains one of these 19th century curiosities...



02 Dec 02 - 07:25 AM (#838770)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: Bob Bolton

G'day Fidla,

I have a friend who plays a 5-string fiddle for Australian "Bush" music. The extra string adds the viola's 'C' below the standard fiddle GDAE. It just means he can play "fiddle style" (using the open strings for that different tonality on the key note) in 'C' - quite often encountered when playing with fiddles and diatonic accordians.

Although cellos go down to the 'C' - they are an octave lower. However, viola music, added to standard violin music, would cover your (presumably standard "CGDAE") 5-stringer quite well.


Bob Bolton

02 Dec 02 - 08:54 AM (#838805)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: fiddler

Well taking out the often predjudice against Electric I have just bought a 5 String hollow bodied Electric (Bridge - UK designed and made) fiddle.

Essentially you have two instruments a viola and a violin on the same bit of wood! Clever.

I am looking at transposing down some melodies and moving up some bass lines. Thats what you can do with it. I've not come accross andy dots specifically for a 5 string. I'm sure I'll get correcteed on that one!

Taking the structure of many tunes the B music is often in a higher register, do it on the lower registers against a musician playing in the higher.

I've classical background and don't do improvisation very well but this forces me to. I've been told it will take at least three months to master it! Teh biggest problem is having been down to bottom C you then find the D string plum in the middle on top of the bridge! NOT where I expect it! *GRIN*

Have fun!!! Yup Tim Phillips Acoustic may be my next step they are very nice but I've got to sell an istrument first!

02 Dec 02 - 09:00 AM (#838808)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: greg stephens

Bayou Seco (New Mexico and seemingly everywhere else in the world) do great things with 5-string fiddles. The range of sound you can get with two fiddles is wonderful if one(or both) can go down to low C. I would strongly recommend listening to stuff like that for inspiration, which may have a quicker effect than seeking sheet music.

02 Dec 02 - 09:00 AM (#838809)
Subject: RE: 5 String Fiddles
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Those Tim Phillips instruments make me drool and all I do is accompany fiddlers.