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"Silent Fiddle"  

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Lew
 Lew
(@lew)
Eminent Member

Good morning, FFOF Folks.  Seeing as how we aim to move north again, and take an apartment in Reston, I thought I needed to figure out how to play fiddle in the early morning and late at night in close quarters.

 

I saw an add for a "Silent Fiddle," a home-made rig, on Fiddle Hangout and thought I'd give it a try.

 
I made a brief video to test drive it.  Attached.  

 

In the video, I'm pushing hard on the stick to make a sound, so it can be heard in this brief video, but I'll tell you: it plays soft, really quietly, and it brought a smile to my wife's face.

 

On a lark I posted it on Facebook (FB).  It won't attach here because of the size, but the video displays (I think  . . .) at:

 

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1557167980&__tn__=%2CdC-R-R&eid=ARDLrI2-oFKAG7dXCue7exfQsIAPtHz0TExTkok7Nb5NQIjQxxMNAQrcNZvG-bCuVCxFiSMNX2fYmZGn&hc_ref=ARRrnJ8qD4no2oCz53lJUfYsczE4cARTrxyZ2nMLENS7HMG9JhyYK2n9ejfiwGPtdxg&fref=nf

 

For about two years I've been chatting episodically on FB with John Burke, the fiddler and banjo player who knew Tommy Thompson at Union Grove in the early 1970s - I was, at the time, working on a book about Tommy.

 

John saw the recent post on FB and said: " with each large decrement in volume, my own playing improved remarkably."

That reminded me of something Jim Scancarelli said about one of his recordings with the Molehill Highlanders.

Of the two Molehill Highlander LPs that were produced by Old Oblivion, Scancarelli's own label, he remarked:

"When remastering [. . .] we discovered things on them that were previously inaudible years ago.

A thought struck that if we put the tapes back on the shelf another 20 years, with the inevitable future technological electronic advances, perhaps we would discover things that were never on them to begin with."

So, after all, silence really is the most important part of music . . .

 

Take care.  Play hard.

 

Lew

Quote
Posted : February 24, 2020 6:28 am
MoonShadows
(@moonshadows)
Admin Admin

Morning Lew,

I followed your link above, but it just delivered me to you Facebook page. I couldn't find the video.

“The music is not in the notes,
but in the silence between.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 6:41 am
Lew
 Lew
(@lew)
Eminent Member
MoonShadows
(@moonshadows)
Admin Admin

I got this:

Is there an option to make it public?

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 6:52 am
Lew
 Lew
(@lew)
Eminent Member

Not sure what to do.  I assure you, though, you're not missing anything . . .

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 6:57 am
MoonShadows
(@moonshadows)
Admin Admin

Let's see if this works....I was able to compress it from 13mb to 5.68mb. The maximum file upload is 10mb.

I asked you this in my email, but I'll post it here for others to read as well...Did you make that or buy it? What makes it so silent; is that it doesn’t have a body like an acoustic fiddle?

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 7:22 am
Lew
 Lew
(@lew)
Eminent Member

Thanks, Jim.

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 7:24 am
MoonShadows
(@moonshadows)
Admin Admin
5a1c265fb6932.image
ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 7:27 am
Lew
 Lew
(@lew)
Eminent Member

Hi Jim.  Thanks again for your exertions this morning.  I purchased it from a fiddler on Fiddle Hangout.  Clever one-off hand made thing composed of part of a fiddle neck, a fiddle fingerboard, and a tailpiece - the body is a stretch of maple. 

The original owner played the thing tucked under her neck so there is a chin rest fastened to the southern end of the fiddle, and a cross piece that worked to stabilize the fiddle in that position, the way a shoulder rest would.  The chin rest actually makes it easier to hold the fiddle against my chest, my preferred way of hoisting a fiddle. 

Fiddling it softly gives off a muted sound; John Burke suggested adding one of those chunky rubber mutes to the mix in the event the player is more concerned with the early morning impact of old time fiddle on a wife versus people in adjacent apartments.  That seems to work excellently.  There's enough wood on the north end of the fiddle to attach a banjo tuner without the problems usually associated with trying to get by with that kind of a digital tuning device.  

I've been doing some digging around, and see some earlier examples of such fiddles built to mute the sound.  The aged wood and finish on the internet photos suggest that they might date from the 1920s or so, though modern modifications made to them, or repairs, relied on contemporary philips head screws - not a good look.  

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 9:18 am
Peter
(@peter)
Active Member
Posted by: @lew

Fiddling it softly gives off a muted sound; John Burke suggested adding one of those chunky rubber mutes to the mix in the event the player is more concerned with the early morning impact of old time fiddle on a wife versus people in adjacent apartments.  That seems to work excellently. 

I use a rubber mute on my home-brew solid fiddle, too. It makes the sound not just quieter, but mellower too.

Mine has no extra piece to brace across the chest / neck, but it does have a piece at the neck root to give a palm-stop for third position and up. I keep mine at the salt-mine now, for early morning practice before all the interruptions arrive.

solid 200223

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 10:39 am
Lew
 Lew
(@lew)
Eminent Member

I like the look of that, Peter.  Thanks for sharing.

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 24, 2020 10:45 am
Peter liked
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