Since the fiddle is one of the core instruments that makes up Bluegrass Music, starting out with a decent beginner fiddle is vital. You don’t need to buy the most expensive model on the market, of course, but you need to make sure that you’re at least using a unit that has the essential makeup to produce good-quality music. When you play an A note, your instrument must produce an A note and not a B. That’s an exaggeration, but you get the drift, right? You won’t learn properly, and as quickly, if you’re not using the right instrument to begin with.
Age and Size
If your child wants to learn how to play the fiddle, you’re no doubt concerned about having to buy yet another fiddle when he outgrows his first one – which he’s sure to do if he decides to continue with his lessons. So does that mean you should buy a big one that he can continue to use for a long period of time?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. If you and your child are serious about having him learn to play music to the best of his ability then you need to buy what he needs NOW and not what he could need in the future. And right now, he needs an instrument that will be ideal for his height, age, and even the size of his hands.
Unless you’re a professional or experienced fiddler yourself, it’s best to leave the setup to the pros. Expect to pay at least a hundred dollars just to have the instrument set up and given the right type of strings as well as any other additional items it may require. But don’t worry – this isn’t something you have to spend money on every week, or even every month.
The number of times you’ll have to replace the instrument’s strings will depend on how often it’s used. But even with daily heavy use, you’ll probably need to have the strings replaced only after two or three months. It also depends on care and maintenance so learn to take good care of your fiddle and you’ll enjoy greater savings that way.
A branded instrument is always nice to use not just because it’s kind of a status symbol for musicians, but also because it assures high definition and quality for the music that you’ll produce. When choosing a brand to buy, familiarize yourself with the type of music the company is commonly associated with. Certain brands, for instance, specialize in producing lighter notes while others are better known for producing deeper notes than usual.
You also need to consider your own preferences. What kind of music do you want to create with your fiddle? Even if you’re just starting out, it’s often a good idea to try learning more about your own music and figure out what kind of playing style you favor.
It’s hard to explain “fit” but basically it’s all about how comfortable you are at holding the instrument and with the type and range of sounds you’re able to create with it. With this, all you have to rely on is your instinct. Think of this as something akin to finding your soul mate – is this the fiddle you want to grow old with?