Tips to Improve Your Sound with Various Fiddle Techniques

By Michael John Sanchez

Playing fiddle involves all kinds of cool techniques, such as slides, grace notes, turns, and drones. Understanding how to do these techniques is one thing, but making them sound good is another. Check out these tips to help you improve your sound.

Slides

To improve your slides, it’s important to have a relaxed left hand. It’s also important to keep your hand still while sliding into notes. If you aren’t able to do the slide without moving your lower hand, you have too much tension in your hand or you don’t have good hand position.

Grace notes

To improve your grace notes, try placing your fingers on the tips of the strings. This will help you because the tip of each finger is where you can use the least amount of pressure and still get a clean sound. By pressing just hard enough with each grace note, you’ll be able to play them faster with less effort.

Turns

Try making sure your finger angles are back when doing turns. If you reach for notes at all with your left hand, you’ll find it difficult to find notes quickly for turns. Having a still hand and using the tips of your fingers are keys to getting fast and clean-sounding turns.

Drones

Make sure you have your thumb curved in the bow hold while doing drones. It’s easy to press against the bow with your bow hand, which causes a stiff and screechy-sounding drone.