The same instrument – with different music, style, and attitude Violin and fiddle are two different names for the same instrument. There's no physical difference between a violin and a fiddle. It's the detail of the "set-up": bridge, strings, & bow hold, the style of music played, the amount of training needed to become proficient, where it's played, and more, that may help you decide whether you want to learn to play the violin, or the fiddle – or a little bit of both!
How can you tell a violin from a fiddle? These common quips may help you get the idea:
When you play the violin, people clap after you play. When you play the fiddle, people clap while you play.
A violin is stored in a case. A fiddle is stored in a potato sack.
Most people play the violin sitting down and the fiddle standing up.
Violins are played in concert halls. Fiddles are played in barns.
Violin players are more serious. Fiddlers enjoy, well, fiddling around.
More broadly speaking, fiddle music is often technically less complex than classical violin music – which makes it easier to jump in and have fun quickly. Yet there's plenty of room to grow, as you learn to master the complex rhythms and melodic threads of fiddle tunes, and to create your own imaginative improvisations. Classical violin instruction generally prescribes one way to do everything (hold the violin, hold the bow, play a piece of music) while fiddlers tend to inject their own individual style into much of what they do – to fit varying conditions. A fiddler, for instance, may habitually hold her instrument away from her chin so she can sing or call dance moves, while a classical violinist will always have his violin tucked under his chin.
Full Circle Studio offers instruction in both violin and fiddle - It's up to you Thanks to Cayt's years of classical violin training and her long-time love of fiddling (especially Celtic tunes), Full Circle Studio can help you move in either direction. Many of our students do a mix, toe-tapping it out during lessons with an Irish jig one minute, followed by a stately Bach minuet the next. Whatever the music that draws you, we want to help you express your true musical self.