Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I have picked up a cheapie violin and was curious how the fiddle players here generally tune the violin. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of info I am finding.

For the time being I am following Howes Violin without a Master and trying to get familiar with the strings and bow. The tuning used in this book sounds like a g modal banjo to me

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Most fiddlers typically tune standard gdae (low to high).  Violins in standard tuning (which is the vast majority) can play in any key/mode...they are not tuned to a key like the banjo is.

.... Al, Wes, and Mark ?

I mostly use standard, but sometimes tune to cross G (GDGD) for certain tunes in G that I think sound better that way.

Okay so it's more like a guitar in that it generally stays tuned the same unless I'm doing weird stuff.

Which then leads me to ask why is the tuning in Howes so weird EADG?

I use standard tuning GDAE. A lot a fiddle tunes are set in D, G, and A so the open strings are often on the strong notes. I know Howe does like the flat keys, but it's probably easiest to start with a "D" tune.

Which edition of Howe are you using? I'm looking at the finger board image in my copy and it appears to be mirror image of the actual tuning.

I'm guessing Howes is simply listing the standard tuning in reverse order.  He listed it in the order of high-to-low strings, that's all.  Such tuning order descriptions have not always been standardized, same for various other instruments over time.  Howes EADG (high to low) means GDAE (low to high).

Chris Prieto said:

Okay so it's more like a guitar in that it generally stays tuned the same unless I'm doing weird stuff.

Which then leads me to ask why is the tuning in Howes so weird EADG?

@Lisa LOL amazing. Thanks

@Wes I am using one you linked me too a while back here's the image. I was confused because it's on a fret board.

Yes that's the one I have, I had not really looked at that diagram before, but it is a mirror image, you can see the string thickness with E being the highest and thinest. The notes are correct on the strings, but basically shown as some of my lefthanded string it. Weird.

Chris Prieto said:

@Lisa LOL amazing. Thanks

@Wes I am using one you linked me too a while back here's the image. I was confused because it's on a fret board.

Notice the penciled in hand note under the diagram, saying "Very important to study the above"

As in: "Very important to study the above"...so you can figure out that the diagram is laid out backwards.  Hahahah

Ha!  I've got it!  The fingerboard diagram, as shown, is as it would look from the bottom with a neck made of glass!

That diagram.  So stoopit.

Oh man me and the wife are dying right now. The effort it took to tune it and the way it sounds lolol. I even managed to play cluck old hen on it some how. I was like man that sounds just awful

Took me over a year to make the fiddle sound like anything else but a dying cat, and there's still so much work to be done. The end goal however, is beyond imagination! Keep at it!

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