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Idea trading post for bowed instruments. Share photos and tips of fiddles and whatnot that you've built, acquired or seen.
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What I meant about the fingering is that most people struggle with the half step on a single string, being so close as the feeling like full size fingers almost need to overlap a little to hit the right notes. Especially as you move away from the first position.
I cant offer much on the tuning question, I usually trend the other way if I use alternative tunings tuning a concert uke to fifths like a mando etc....
I cant imagine trying to play a fiddle with re-entrant tuning, but hey..... People have done stranger things.
Thanks, planning on a 2 string anyway, so not worried about standard "fingering." Wondering how gCEA tuning would work, have it on my mando, tenor banjo, and of course my ukes.
I'd suggest a full sized neck/scale length.For one thing, half step fingerings will be near impossible for adult hands on any shorter scale length. Its alrady difficult enough!.......
What you will find is that with most "box style" builds, a shorter tail piece may be desired.
I strongly recommend a scale drawing/layout/plan for figuring out what is needed here. Guessing isnt gonna have a great result without a heap of luck.
If I use a regular unfinished violin neck, what size works best, full size? 3/4?
Looking at your mock up, and judging from some experience:
First, getting the angles and dimensions deemed "ideal" by some builders will require an extremely high bridge, which presents some of its own issues, beyond availability.
I would suggest focusing on playability, and the previously mentioned side clearance, its a big issue that many overlook on first builds.
While comparing action and setup to a common fiddle is useful, trying to match those angles and dimensions is very difficult with a flat topped box. And taking that further, the angle and downward pressure that is ideal for an arched, carved top fiddle may not relate directly to a flat box top.
All that said, options:
If that neck is not yet fully attached, you could shift it back toward the back of the box, reducing the distance between fingerboard and box top. Another alternative would be to lay the neck back a few degrees instead of what looks like a flat angle parallel to the box top.
Either would give you a little more of a relative angle and break over the bridge, which in turn would create a little more pressure on the top.
Whether this is a benefit or not is open for experimentation. What is fairly critical for a fiddle or cello may not be relevant for a cigar box bodied instrument. I have set up a few of both and am skeptical of the information translation between the two worlds.
Build it, play it and do another with what you have learned.
PS, an opinion for what its worth- The good "Dr." who presents himself as an authority on cigar box fiddles presents a nice set of instructions for building a "period correct" appearing civil war era instrument. But if you are looking for general tips on building a decent playing instrument, his information misses the target by a wide margin IMO.
If you don't know who I am alluding to, ignore it. If you have seen his stuff, you will know who I mean.
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