The Fiddle is different from the other instruments on this site for several reasons. The first is the fact that instead of being picked, a Fiddle is played by being ‘bowed’.
The 2nd, and possibly more troublesome fact, is the lack of frets. This fact can make learning the neck of your fiddle very difficult. In this article, we will be mostly concerned with the 1st position, or high on the neck near the pegs.
Notes on the Neck of the Fiddle
The challenge with the neck of the Fiddle, Violin, or Viola is the fact all three are fretless. Playing the guitar I know that by holding down the 3rd fret on either of the E strings will produce a G note.
No such luck with the Fiddle. The fiddle requires time and dedication to develop the habits to place your fingers in the correct places.
You can find the complete fingerboard (with notes and playable sounds) at ViolinOnline.
Learning the Neck of the Fiddle
Once you know the notes of the neck, and their approximate locations, there some things that will help lessen the learning curve. By applying each of these you’ll learn faster and be able to progress.
Tips for Learning the Neck of the Fiddle
- Start with 1st Position before moving lower on the neck
- Have mp3 sound files (or something similar) of each note so you can check as you play
- Use thin strips on colored tape as temporary fret markers. Make sure these are placed in the perfect location to help develop your ear for the perfect sounding note
- Review and practice with your notes every time you pick up your Fiddle.
Just like any other instrument we cover here on StringVibe, the learning the fiddle can be difficult. To find out more about the notes, and especially the fingering, check out this great resource over at FretlessFingerGuides.