What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin? A complete Answer

What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin

Introduction:

Calling a fiddle a violin

Is like calling a Chevy a Rolls Royce. The both are cars and they both operate in the same manner, use the same fuel and so on. But there is a difference between the two cars.

It is the same with a fiddle and a violin. They both use strings, are designed in similar ways but they are far from being the same instrument. The differences between the two instruments may be minor but those differences define both instruments.

To find the answer to the question what’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin just continue to read our article. It provide you with the answer as well as much more pertinent information.

What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin

Some people may say that the differences between the two instruments are minor. Even if they are, those minor differences make for major changes between both instruments.

Our quick comparison chart will highlight some of those differences:

  Instrument part  Violin  Fiddle
  Music  Classical, jazz  Folk, blue grass, cajun, Irish jigs, etc
  Playing  One string at a time  Can play one or two strings at a time
  Bridge  Arched  Flat
  Strings  Cat gut or metal  Synthetic or steel
  Tuning  Perfect fifths  By ear

The overall structure of the violin and the fiddle are the same. They each have four strings, they use tuning pegs, fingerboards and a curved scroll. Then each instrument has a nicely designed body and chin rest.

The main differences are in the setup, the chin rest , tuners and the previously mentioned bridge. Fiddlers like a flat bridge as it allows them to play more notes at one time. The violin has an arched bridge which restricts them to playing only one note at a time.

In the strings, the violin E string is made of unwrapped metal and is tuned through using a fine tuner. The violinist also tunes according to the GDAE scale in perfect fifths. The fiddle does not do either of those actions and uses steel core strings for a better timber.

Then the type of music played on both are not the same. The violin plays more classical pieces with written notes while the fiddler plays more freestyle favoring folk and similar genres.

The fiddle and violin are basically the same instrument

That is about the size of it with the fiddle being called the traditional violin. With the same body and neck any differences previously mentioned are not that big. Those differences are in the style of play, how to play and not so much in the overall design of the two instruments

One difference that may be a major one is that there are such things as a 5 string fiddle but the 4 string is the most common. There is no 5 string violin. Plus, violins are held between the cheek and the shoulder keeping the violinist from opening their mouths.

The fiddle player likes to sing with his music so it is held more down on the arm freeing up the jaw so the player can sing as he plays.

What is the Fiddle

Probably the most famous fiddle player was the late Charlie Daniels. He and his band were able to make fiddle music sound like the classics and that is because the fiddle has the flatter bridge allowing fiddle players to explore different music genres and create the liveliest sound.

Also, fiddles are meant to play more up beat music that has people leaping to their feet and dancing the night away. Then fiddle players have lots of leeway in how they play their instrument. They do not need music books full of notes.

Instead they play whatever is in their heads and have the freedom to play whatever song suits their fancy.

What is the Violin

While it looks the same as a fiddle it is a more reserved instrument that plays one beautiful note after another one at a time, the player needs a musical book full of notes. There is no real freedom to play what you want when you play the violin, your sound is restricted to classical and similar formats.

What may make the violin superior to the fiddle is that while the latter instrument can make people dance, you do not truly understand emotion until you hear a violin whose heart has been broken play.

If you want to capture the emotion of a song, or other influences, it is the violin that can capture them and communicate them in a way that is masterful and inspiring. The fiddle helps people be lively but it is the violin that brings meaning.

The Violin pros and cons

Pros

  • There is more great music to be played on the violin than any other instrument.
  • Playing the violin teaches perseverance and helps you gain confidence.
  • You can carry it with you everywhere you go and play it at those locations.
  • Developing a skill.
  • You can communicate real, raw emotion.

Cons

  • The tones or sounds of the notes can be hard to listen to.
  • It needs special care.
  • It needs daily tuning.
  • There is a steep learning curve.
  • It takes years of practice and lots of money for lessons to master.

The pros and cons of the Fiddle

Pros

  • Creates a lively sound.
  • Helps make people feel good when playing the right music.
  • More freedom to play notes.
  • Easier to hold and master.
  • Wider range of music genres can be played on the fiddle.

Cons

  • Considered a cheap violin.
  • Need music playing skills to master.
  • May be harder to learn how to play than the violin.
  • Cannot express emotions beyond fun and enjoyment.
  • Only used for a good time.

Top Fiddle players and Violinists

In every music category there are always people who stand out above the crowd. In Comedy it was Jack Benny, Robin Williams and many others. For rock you have the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Eagles and so on.

When it comes to individual violinists and fiddlers there is a long list of each who have taken their instrument of choice to new levels. They have inspired people of many generations to pick up those instruments and learn top play. Here are just a few from each instrument:

Top Ten Famous Fiddlers:

  • Charlie Daniels
  • Kenny Sears
  • Stuart Duncan
  • Hyram Posey
  • Justin Branum
  • Buddy Spicher
  • Rob Hajocos
  • Byron Berline
  • Johnny Gimble
  • Mark O’Conner

Top Ten Famous Violinists

  • Antonio Vivaldi
  • Isaac Stern
  • Itzhak Perlman
  • Viktoria Mullova
  • Gidon Kremer
  • Hilary Hahn
  • Sarah Chang
  • Jascha Heifetz
  • Nigel Kennedy
  • Yehudi Menuhin

We were tempted to place Jack Benny on this list but he was not that good of a violinist even though he was certainly famous.

How are violins and fiddles made

Since there is relatively little difference between the fiddle and the violin it stands to reason that the two instruments may be made in the same fashion. Both instruments use the finest woods available to help them achieve their distinct independent sounds and tones.

They are hand carved for the most part from maple and spruce while ebony or another hardwood is used for the pegs. Then the tools to make both instruments are the same and the violin, stringed instrument maker is called a luthier.

His tool kit comprises saws, gouges, chisels, planes, and clamps. Then there are the bending iron, purfling cutter and hide glue. Once the tools and materials are assembled, precise measurements are needed to craft the violin or fiddle to the exact perfect size needed.

The key element in those precise measurements is the consistent density in all the separate pieces. This is one element that helped Stradivarius violins stand out above the competition.

The hardest part and probably the most work involved in creating a violin comes in shaving the wood to the right thinness and patiently cutting the grooves and notches to their exact dimensions.

To guide the construction, templates are made from plywood, Then the maple is cut into strips and bent with the bending iron to form the sides of the instruments. Then those pieces are glued to blocks.

Once all that is done, the carving begins and this will take a lot of time as there is little room for error. One must have a steady hand and know what they are doing in order to carve the violin or fiddle just right.

The art of making these instruments have changed little over the past 400 years and may not have changed much since ancient times. But then why fix what isn’t broken. The process of making violins and fiddles can’t really be improved upon nor changed if you want a top quality instrument to play.

Violin and Fiddle FAQs

#1. What is the difference in the structure of a violin and a fiddle?

The only real difference in structure between the fiddle and the violin is found in the bridge. The fiddle usually has a flat bridge while the violin has an arched one. This difference restricts the violinist playing one note at a time while the fiddler can play two at a time.

#2. Why are violins called fiddles?

The reason for this is because the two names refer to basically the same instrument. Even great violinists like Itzhak Perlman will call his violin a fiddle and great fiddlers will refer to their fiddles as the family violin. Someone once said that a violin is a fiddle but a fiddle is not a violin but that is a matter of opinion.

#3. Is an Irish fiddle a violin?

Technically, you can say that the Irish fiddle is a violin but within Irish folk music industry the two are not the same even though people outside of that music tradition call the Irish fiddle a violin. One difference between the two is that the Irish fiddle began about the 12th century AD while the violin began in the 18th century AD

#4. How do you play a violin like a fiddle?

In order to do that, you would have to replace the arched bridge on the violin with a flat one. This will enable you to play more varieties of music. Then you would have to be able to comfortably hold your violin down on your arm and not between your cheek and shoulder.

#5. Is it hard to learn the fiddle?

There is a steep initial learning curve you have to master and overcome before playing the fiddle becomes more enjoyable. That initial learning experience may separate the men from the boys and determine who has the talent to learn how to play the fiddle.

#6. Are fiddles and violins made from the same materials?

Yes, they are and they are made using as close to the original techniques as the ancient masters used to make them. Both instruments need the right materials and carved in the proper manner in order to produce their unique sounds.

#7. What makes a fiddle a fiddle and a violin a violin?

The only answer to this question is the type of music that is played on both. The fiddle plays a wide variety of music genres that can be composed easily. The fiddler has more freedom to play different notes while the violinist is restricted to playing notes on the score in front of them. The former can be more creative than the latter in their music playing

Some final words

Whether you pick up and master the violin or the fiddle, you have the opportunity to entertain and enthral people. Both instruments have their unique place in the world and a solid fan base that likes to hear what tunes each instrument will play.

The key to mastering either instrument is to be dedicated, patient and have a little musical talent.

Types of Ukuleles: Which One You Should Buy

Types of Ukuleles

Introduction:

You may have heard of them

But in normal day to day life you may not have given that musical instrument much thought. In fact, all you may remember about the instrument is that the famous Don Ho played on all the time in his act.

Or you may have heard Tiny Tim play his on the Johnny Carson show. If you say ‘who’ to all three names then you may not be old enough to know what a ukulele is and that there are different types of ukuleles you can play.

To about those different types of ukuleles just continue to read our article. It provides you with the information you need to know so you can decide if you want want to learn to play one yourself.

Different types of ukuleles

The origin of the ukulele began in Hawaii many years ago. The instrument comes with 4 strings and many people never took it seriously. But that attitude is changing. There are 4 types of ukuleles you can learn to play- the soprano, the tenor, the baritone and the concert models.

What follows is a brief description of all four kinds of ukuleles and some pros and cons that go with them:

#1. The Soprano

This version of the ukulele measures 21 inches long, has 12 to 15 frets and can be tuned to the GCEA or the ADF#B scales. It is a smaller ukulele and you will need small hands to play it effectively and without making mistakes.

When strumming you will hear the thin sound most people think a ukulele sounds like. It is a good model to learn on especially for children. Plus, it is small enough to travel without hassles.

One difference between this and the concert version is that the tension on the strings are not as tight as the latter instrument. Different manufacturers all make their own soprano ukulele. So you may need to shop around to get the best price, quality and tone.

Pros

  • Easy to take on the road with you.
  • Can be tuned to two scales.
  • Comes in different colors.
  • Easy to learn to play.

Cons

  • Tension is a little loose.
  • Only small hands can play it effectively.
  • Small size.

#2. The Concert

This is the next size up from the soprano and it measures roughly 23 inches long. It is tuned to the GCEA scale, both the linear and the re-entrant. There are 15 to 20 frets and the professional player usually selects this model because of its rich sound.

If you have bigger hands than other players, this option is easier to play as the frets are further apart than on the soprano. You may think that with the label concert it would be an expensive ukulele to play but the price is usually quite reasonable and affordable.

Another name for the concert is the alto and it should have a deeper sound than the soprano model. You also get a wider range of notes to play.

Pros

  • A little larger and easier to play.
  • You can play more notes.
  • Comes with a great sound.

Cons

  • May produce too loud of volume.
  • Quality of construction may be suspect.

#3. The Tenor

Its tuning is a bit more versatile as this ukulele can be tuned exactly like the concert version or it can be tuned to produce lower notes to compete with the baritone ukulele. Once you have it tuned to the scale you want, playing is as easy as the previous two models.

While this version is a little bit longer, about 26 inches, its frets can number as few as 15 and have as many or more than the concert ukulele. The size is not set in stone either as different brands may produce different lengths for this model and the others.

The sound that comes out of this little instrument is fuller than the other two and it is easier to play lower notes on its strings.

Pros

  • Longer, easier for some people to hold.
  • A nice full timbre to its sound.
  • Flexible tuning capability.

Cons

  • High string tension that may present some complications.
  • May come without a case.
  • May not be durable.

#4. The Baritone

This is the biggest of all the four types of ukuleles and it comes in at 30 inches long. Normally it is tuned to the DGBE scale and it has 19+ frets that allow you some versatility in note playing.

If you like playing and listening to the lower notes, this is the model you want to play. Plus, if you like to pick the strings with your fingers, the Baritone will accommodate you. The sound you get either from finger picking or strumming is a nice warm sound that is easy to listen to.

Like the other ukulele models this one is easy to learn how to play. It shouldn’t take you long to master.

Pros

  • Provides a nice, deep, low and rich sound.
  • Easier to play with bigger hands.
  • Easier to play low notes.

Cons

  • May be harder to travel with due to its size.
  • Can’t play the high notes.

Specialty of Ukuleles

While almost all ukuleles fit into the 4 categories just mentioned, there are exceptions to the rules. These are called speciality ukes and they either are combined with different stringed instruments or are technologically altered to make unique sounds.

What follows is a list of these speciality instruments to show you the different kinds of ukuleles you can play as well as a brief description. Who knows, the regular ukulele may not be for you but one of these speciality models may:

  1. Banjolele- shaped like a banjo and has a similar sound but tuned like a small ukulele.
  2. Guitarlele- this is the 6 string model of ukeleles which work with regular guitarists to get a ukulele sound without changing the instrument or learning to play a new one.
  3. Bass ukulele- has a shorter scale to work with but it is tuned to the EADG scale and is the same as the four bottom guitar strings
  4. acoustic-electric uke- it is one of the technologically altered ukes. It comes with an input jack and a volume control panel
  5. electric ukulele- is made with a solid body and it needs an amp for you to be able to hear its tone and sound range
  6. resonator ukulele- this is the mini resonator guitar,just like the electric uke is a mini version of the electric guitar. The only difference between this model and regular ukuleles is the tone and look
  7. archtop ukulele- continuing in the mini guitar tradition wile the instrument is supposed to play mellow tones it rarely is the reality
  8. homemade ukes- the cigar box is both homemade as well as commercially produced and they produce a nice sound as well as being able to be custom decorated

Which one is best for me?

Types of Ukuleles

There are a lot of different factors that come into play before you can determine which one is best for you. Since all 4 categories of ukes do not come in a very large size, length is not a big determining factor.

If you are a beginner, you should stick to the soprano or the concert ukulele and the reason for that is that their small size helps your hands learn how to form the chords easier.

Then your hand size will influence your decision and smaller hands should stick to the smaller models while larger hands should move up to the larger sizes. On top of that, the personal preferences you have come into play.

The ukulele that is best for you is the one that produces the sound you want to play and the style of music you want to play. Your level of proficiency also determines which category you want should select your ukulele.

If you want to be unique, the different kinds of ukuleles in the specialty category may be more to your liking and a better fit for you. The best thing to do is try each one out and see which one fits your body and hand size and produce the sound you like.

The construction materials of a ukulele

Different Types of Ukuleles

There are different construction materials used in making a ukulele. For the neck and the body of the instrument, wood is usually used. Maple, mahogany, spruce are just some of the wood types that are used to create the nice ukulele sound.

Some companies decide to go cheap and use plywood and laminate board. A traditional wood used in this instrument is found in Hawaii and it is called Acacia wood or Koa.

Then for strings, the traditional construction material was cat gut but today many ukuleles use strings made from nylon polymers or other material options. The first ukulele made was called the standard in Hawaii and it was the soprano model.

The concert did not come along till the 1920s with the tenor right on its heels. The baritone model was not invented until the 1940s. When the first soprano or standard ukulele was made is not known as the instrument started about 3,000 years ago.

The instrument was made by hand until 1910 which saw upgrades to the manufacturing process upgraded. The biggest impact on the sound, tone & quality is the type of wood that is used to make the instrument.

Because the uke is made allover the world a longer list of wood includes koa, maple, walnut, rosewood, myrtle, brazilian canary, cocobolo, madrone, elm, lacewood, and black limba.

Other materials used in constructing one of these instruments are nylon, steel, plastic, coatings and glues. These all vary and are too numerous to mention here.

Types of Ukuleles: FAQs

#1. Which type of ukulele is best?

The answer to this question is up to you. The best one suits your personality, is made from top quality products and plays the sound you want to hear. Any of the 4 are all good and some of the specialty ukes are top notch as well. A lot will depend on the manufacturer an their construction standards

#2. What is the difference in ukulele types?

The main difference will be in their size. That difference ranges from a small 21 to a larger 30 inch length. All four categories have 4 string ukes,but those strings can be tuned to different scales. The sound each one makes will be another difference with the soprano producing the original Hawaiian sound and the baritone making a bass ike sound.

#3. What are the three types of ukulele?

There are actually 4 different types of ukuleles and people may be confused as they may not hear the baritone as often as the other 3. The soprano was the original with the tenor and the concert first made in the early 20th century. The baritone came into existence closer to the middle of the that century which is why some people may not include it in the types of ukuleles available

#4. Are the specialty ukuleles hard to play?

If you can play the instrument it is combined with or modeled after, you should be able to play one of the specialty ukuleles without having to take more lessons. The bass ukulele should be like playing the other 4 models.

#5. Are plastic ukuleles okay to play and own?

These models do resist the temperature and humidity changes better and it may be a good way to see if you want to master the instrument. But once you find the answer to that question you should move up to a better made ukulele

Some final words

You may not like the sound the original ukulele makes but that is okay. There are 3 other models, along with specialty instruments, that can produce a sound more to your liking.

The best thing to do is try them out and see which one produces a sound that does not offend your ears or the ears of your neighbors.

Expensive Ukuleles you can procure in the market

Expensive Ukulele

Introduction:

The ukulele is an enchanting musical device that many people like because it is easy to carry and play. The instrument has been around since the 19th Century and has been popular since then. Although the instrument has changed slightly over the years, the ukulele is still fun and enjoyable.

Virtually anyone can use the ukulele; children, adults, beginners, and professionals can play it with ease. The issue that arises is which type and brand of ukulele you should buy. It might be tricky to select the ideal ukulele, even if you had prior knowledge of playing other instruments.

A short story of the world’s most Expensive Ukulele

A ukulele may seem like a trivial cheap musical instrument, but it can be quite pricey. Although you can get a good cheap ukulele with roughly $50-$100, high-end ukuleles are also available. Would you believe that the most expensive ukulele in the world costs $26,000? The instrument was created in 1930 by the famous john D’Angelico and was bought on eBay back in 2007.

Nowadays, most pricey ukuleles are those that have a price tag of over $300. Costly ukuleles come with quality sound and material. Many people opt to buy a pricey ukulele because it is a worthy investment.

Expensive ukulele Brands that offer Quality products

If you are a music lover or want a high-end ukulele, then choosing an expensive ukulele brand might be your best option. Below are five ukulele brands that offer costly high-end products.

1. Cordoba

Cordoba was founded in 1997 by a renowned musician. The brand mainly produces nylon-stringed ukuleles but also makes classic guitars. They offer a wide range of ukuleles with varying price tags. Cordoba produces classic instruments, many of which are crafted from mahogany.

Nowadays, the brand has ventured into manufacturing modern ukuleles. Such instruments come with additional features, for instance, a pickup, which allows you to amplify the sound through an external speaker.

Cordoba is one of the most influential ukulele brands in the market. Their products are of excellent quality and high-end that last for a long time. Cordoba’s ukuleles are ideal for a live show or music recording studio. Expensive Cordoba ukuleles are priced from $500 to $700.

2. Fender

Fender is a brand that is widely known for manufacturing guitars; however, they also produce high-quality ukuleles. The brand’s ukulele range is quite impressive, and it comprises classic ukuleles and a ukulele version of several guitar variants.

If you love the fender brand, you will definitely enjoy its range of products. You can procure a popular guitar variant such as the Telecaster in the form of a ukulele.

Fender also produces quality original ukuleles on top of building the miniature electric guitars. Some of their ukuleles are crafted using the traditional Hawaiian technique and even utilize Koa or other traditional wood such as Uke. Fender sells its high-end ukuleles from $350 to $500

3. Mr. Mai

Mr. Mai is a Chinese brand that specializes in crafting various ukuleles. The firm started to produce ukuleles back in 2015 after three years of research and testing. The brand founders compared multiple types of existing ukuleles to come up with superior, reliable ukuleles. The brand produces ukuleles of good build quality that offer superior clear acoustics.

Mr. Mai offers a wide range of products, most of which are made through the traditional Hawaiian method. You can buy original Tenor Koa wood ukuleles with an optional colorful headstock and fingerboard pattern from the Mr. Mai brand. The brand’s ukulele price range is from $230 to $600.

4. Luna

Luna was initially a guitar producing firm, but now it is very popular for its Ukuleles. This brand offers a lot of variety when it comes to ukuleles, some of which come in fascinating and exceptional designs.

The Lana brand co-founder, known as Yvonne de Villiers, is a famous artist who brings her artistic touch to its products. Luna products are mostly made from tonewoods that ensure the ukes produce excellent sound.

A benefit of buying Luna products is that customers can join the Luna social community, a platform where brand consumers can learn ukulele playing skills and interact with peers. Quality Luna ukuleles are priced from $119 to $450.

5. Martin

The martin brand was founded back in 1833 and is the leading expensive ukulele brand in the world. The brand produces professional, high-quality sound instruments, including great ukuleles. Such ukuleles also come at a hefty price; some of the martin’s ukes are priced at roughly $5000.

The brand has a long history of developing and selling ukulele and has long since perfected the skill. Martin crafts its instruments using only the finest materials, including tonewood. Their ukuleles have beautiful craftsmanship and are perfect for recording and professional work, and the price tag ranges from $500 for a standard ukulele to $5,000 for a classy martin 5k ukulele.

Expensive Ukulele: Frequently asked Questions

Q: Does the ukulele brand name matter when buying a Ukulele?

A significant factor that people consider when buying ukuleles is the brand name. There are various ukulele brands available in the market, and some of them are very famous for producing quality products. However, if the ukulele is crafted perfectly, there no need to be apprehensive of unpopular brand names.

Q: Does the ukulele brand location matter?

Many people, particularly music lovers, also consider the brand location when buying a ukulele. The ukulele is traditionally associated with the Hawaiian heritage. The original ukulele was crafted traditional Hawaiian wood, for instance, the Koa tree. Some individuals like to buy ukuleles from brands that operate out of Hawaii and the USA’s west coast area.

Ukulele companies are located all over the globe. Some Chinese brands offer quality ukuleles at low and expensive prices. Such ukulele brands may offer reasonably priced ukuleles, but they may not be traditionally crafted.

Q: Are Older ukulele brands better than recent ones?

Old ukulele brands have plenty of experience crafting instruments. However, it doesn’t mean that old brands will always have the best ukulele. When buying a ukulele, don’t focus entirely on the brand age.

Final Thoughts:

A ukulele is a unique acoustic instrument that is easy to carry and play. People of all ages can use the musical tool. Playing it is entertaining and fun. Many people often struggle when choosing an ideal ukulele. Buying a costly ukulele may help ensure you get a quality, dependable product that lasts long.

The Ultimate Guide of Bamboo Ukuleles

Bamboo Ukuleles
Bamboo Ukuleles

Introduction:

Bamboo is the flavor of the month

It seems that just about everything is being made out of bamboo. Yet, there is a good reason for that material to be used. It is strong, good looking, and for ukuleles it helps produce a very bright sound.

This is good if you do not want to have that bass note as a part of the music you make as you play your ukulele. To learn more about bamboo ukuleles, just continue to read our article. This instrument is rare when made from this strong and good looking wood.

Why bamboo over mahogany

One reason you are seeing bamboo ukuleles is that the preferred wood for this instrument are not as sustainable as they should be. That means that ukulele makers need alternative wood or laminates to make this musical instrument.

There are lots of plastic materials that can be used or laminates but bamboo is a natural, sustainable and in the length of time it takes to grow one good hardwood tree, you can have a myriad of bamboo crops that lets ukulele construction continue unimpeded.

Then bamboo is easy to harvest, lightweight and this grass is already being used to replace different woods in different aspects of life including bedding, flooring and so on.

The bamboo ukulele sound

If you are wondering if a bamboo ukulele has a good sound or not, do not worry any longer. This material, when made into the instrument, holds its own and makes sure you get top quality sound when it is made correctly.

The only difference you may find is that it will be hard to tune the G note as bamboo produces a higher, tenor sound that is chirpy in essence. In other words, it has a unique sound that may help you or your band find that unique sound that sets you on the path to fame and fortune.

There is a concert version of the bamboo instrument and it is said to produce some nice fat lows to off set those great high notes you can get form this instrument.

Bamboo ukulele sizes

Some ukuleles come in only one size and one example of that is the chocolate burl. That version of the ukulele come sin the tenor size only. But the bamboo version comes in 3 sizes. You have the already mentioned tenor version, then there is a soprano model, and do not expect great low notes with that option.

Finally, there is the concert model which should give a full range of sound that is superior to other ukuleles made from different wood materials. Every component of the bamboo version is made from bamboo. There is no blending of materials.

Keep in mind that while bamboo does replace wood in many construction and musical, etc., uses, bamboo is a fast growing grass that is very sustainable. It is not a wood even though it feels and acts like wood.

Then while the ukulele is almost white or a very light color when made from bamboo that color can be darkened by using the right stains.

Bamboo ukulele pros and cons

Every item located on this earth whether natural or man made have a set of positive and negatives. Bamboo is no exception to this rule and while it seems like a super natural material, it does have its weak points. Here are those strengths and weaknesses:

Pros

  • Very environmentally friendly.
  • Very sustainable and quick to grow back.
  • Produces a very beautiful unique sound.
  • Can change the color of the material.
  • It has a unique blond look.
  • Resists humidity.
  • Comes in different sizes.
  • The concert size is made with a 15 scale.
  • Has durable connections.

Cons

  • Stalk of the bamboo is not that large- this means many pieces have to be glued together.
  • Because of the nature of construction bamboo ukuleles have many weak spots.
  • This construction process makes the bamboo prone to cracking.
  • Extreme hot temperatures in a car can cause the glue joints to come apart.
  • Short sustain interferes with finger picking.
  • Not good for those who want nice low tones
  • Not as durable as hardwood ukuleles.

Bamboo Ukulele FAQs

#1. Are concert bamboo ukuleles made from all bamboo?

Generally, no they are not. There are a combination of woods used with bamboo reserved for the body of the instrument.

#2. Are the ukuleles made from bamboo expensive?

They are about the same price as ukuleles made from other woods. Although we have seen a concert bamboo version for as high as $4,000. Generally, you will see these ukuleles in an $80 to $200 price range.

#3. Do I have to use a strap when playing a bamboo model?

This is something that is left to your playing preference. The tradition is that you do not use a strap when playing a ukulele but you are free to use one if it helps your playing.

#4. What accessories come with this ukulele?

The most important accessory is the carrying case. These are usually well padded and how much padding you get depends on the different manufacturers. Some versions have nice backpacking like straps to make carrying the instrument easier.

#5. Are all ukuleles made from bamboo top quality?

That will depend on the manufacturer and you should do some research first and shop around to make sure you find one that is made from top quality bamboo.

Some final words

When you want to create a unique sound for your music, then you should consider the bamboo ukulele sound. In all versions of this instrument you get the quality of sound that only bamboo can produce. Some will like it and others will not.

What are Violin Strings Made Of?

Introduction:

Violinists spend a lot of time thinking about their strings, wondering how often to replace them and how to get the best sound from their strings. In this article we are going to take a look at the material violin strings are made from, how they are made, and which type of strings you should choose.

What are Violin Strings Made Of: History of Violin Strings

The history of the violin string started around 300 years ago, when the strings for the majority of bowed instruments such as the harp, cello, and violin, were all made from animal intestines. Although you may have heard of the term “catgut” strings, violin strings were never made from the intestines of the cat; they were actually made from sheep’s intestines. Gut strings are stretched, dried, and twisted expertly in order to create a tone that is resonant, expressive, and rich.

The quality of gut strings improved over the decades, the goal of the manufacturer being to manufacture strings that are resonant but also flexible enough so that they can vibrate. Without the correct amount of mass, the sound produced by strings is hollow and weak; when the strings are not flexible enough, the harmonics won’t be in tune. Gut strings are still used to this day, mostly by professional and advanced players. Gut strings aren’t the best option for the majority of violinists as they are temperamental and fragile and can break more easily than their synthetic core and steel counterparts.

Cored Strings

When answering the question “what are violin strings made of” it is important to note than modern strings can be made from a range of different materials. There are indeed three different cores for modern violin strings, these being gut, synthetic polymer, and steel. Depending on the manufacturer of the strings, there can be some variants with the cores of your violin strings. For example, steel core strings may be made up of several strands of steel twisted or braided together, or they may be made up of a solid steel core.

Once the core of the violin string is created, it is then wound with various types of metals. Once again, there are various ways the strings are wound, and the number of layers wound depends in the desired sound effect of the strings. Strings that are designed to have a high pitch are wound less than lower-pitched strings. The type of metal used in the winding and the number of layers also affects the brightness and warmth of the sound produced. Bass strings can have up to five or sometimes more layers of metal spun around their core.

Automation of Violin String Production

As well as answering the question “what are violin strings made of” it is important to address the question of how they are made. In the past, they were made by hand, but like almost everything, there are now machines that are used for the production of violin strings. The automation process allows one single machine to make up to 7000 strings each day. Of course, human intervention is necessary for maintaining these machines and for reloading and re-threading.

It takes just a couple of weeks for someone to be trained to use a machine for the making of violin strings; however to become a master string maker takes years. In a manufacturing plant for violin strings, you will find hundreds of different spools of metal in various sizes. Of these, some will be flattened before being made into strings; others will remain wound. Strings are flattened by a flattening machine, a finishing product being used to ensure that the finished strings don’t become brittle after being flattened.

Beads, Knots, Plain, or Colored Silk

The finishing process for violin strings involves the wires that are left at the ends being splayed out. At this point, the string may be wound at one end or at both ends. This process is known as silking. Colors are used here to identify the type of string it is as well as its manufacturer and brand. Alternatively, some string are looped or knotted at the end. This process being used for the smaller E string and for gut-core strings. Other ways of securing the end of the string are with beads or knots. At this point, a compound is sometimes applied to the string to dampen it and make it ready for play.

Choosing the Best Violin Strings

Some violinists will find one type of strings they like and stick with them, whereas others are constantly seeking improvements and on the lookout for new and better strings that play more easily and sound better. There are a multitude of choices to be made when choosing the strings for your instrument. Trying every string on the market to find the one you like most is obviously not a realistic approach. You can however make an educated guess of how a string will sound as long as you understand a little about string tension, tone, and the different materials for the core of your strings.

Core Material, Gauge, and Tension

Core Material:

Gut Core Strings

Gut core strings are the original strings used for violins, made from sheep intestines. They are lower tension than synthetic or steel strings and have a tone that is both rich and complex. As they are less tense, they are more pliable and have a slower response. For this reason, they are best used by professionals that have a lot of finesse and experience. Gut strings also need re-tuning when there is a change in temperature, and go out of tune far more easily than synthetic or steel strings.

Steel Core Strings

Steel core strings were first used at the start of the 20th century, the E string being the first string manufactured with a steel core. This was followed by more steel-core strings with various windings that became popular very quickly amongst violinists. Steel strings have a clear and focused tone and have a quick response. On the other hand, they don’t provide a great deal of depth, something that the more experienced musician often looks for. Fiddlers are known to prefer steel core strings, these strings being the most economical type you can find on the market.

The E string is available in plain, plated, or wrapped steel, the original E string being made from plain steel. In recent years however, steel strings have been introduced that are plated in materials such as platinum, gold, and tin. Gold plated strings produce a sound that is clear, pure, and simply brilliant; the downside to gold-plated strings however is that the plating wears off quite quickly.

Synthetic Core Strings

Synthetic violin strings were introduced in Austria around 40 years ago. These strings, made by Thomastik-Infeld were made with a nylon core (Perlon). This type of string was an immediate success, and would change the world of violin playing forever. Synthetic strings are a lot more stable than gut strings, and have fewer complex overtones. In the past decade, more materials have been used for the manufacture of synthetic core strings, their popularity forever increasing.

Choosing Violin Strings: String Gauge

The string gauge is often used interchangeably with string tension. However, the width, or gauge of a string is actually completely different. A good example of this is the unwound gut string. A gut string needs to be thicker than other string types and with lower tension, even though it is tuned at the same pitch. It may be necessary to make adjustments to the bridge of your guitar in order to accommodate wider strings.

When shopping for strings, you will find 3 different gauges to choose from. You will find medium gauge strings, and thinner stringers that are referred to as “dolce” that are lower tension. These dolce strings are more responsive and produce a brighter tone; they are however lower in volume; thicker strings, known as “forte” or “stark are the exact opposite, giving a slow response and a darker tone.

String Tension

String tension is often confused with string gauge. Although the two are related, they are not the same. Almost all strings, even the cheapest ones, are available in light, medium, and heavy tension. Light tension strings are more pliable and are easier to press down. If you choose synthetic strings, they will have a higher tension than gut-core strings. Steel-core strings tune up to higher tensions better than gut-core or synthetic strings. As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start off with medium tension and gauge strings. The type of strings you choose will also depend on personal preference. If you find that your hands sweat a lot when playing, aluminum-wound strings won’t be suitable as they will corrode easily.

Matching Strings to your Needs

To fine-tune your individual instrument, you may like to experiment with different strings. You may like to ask yourself question such as what sound you want to here, the strings you are currently using, and the characteristic sound of your instrument. Once you can answer these questions, you can start matching the strings to your needs.

If you are looking for a darker sound for your violin, you might like to choose synthetic strings such as the Red or Vision Solo strings available from the Thomastik Infeld range. If you are on a budget, D’Addario Pro-Arté strings could be perfect for you. Although these lack the complexity of tone of more expensive strings, they are perfect for students and beginners. If on the other hand you want a string that will produce a less bright sound, you may like to tone down your instrument with low-tension gut-core strings. For instruments that are unfocused or unclear, you may like to choose a light-gauge strung that will help focus your violin.

What are Violin Strings Made Of: FAQs

Q: Can I Mix and Match Strings?

The ideal instrument should have four balanced strings. No one string should jump out in comparison to the others, although many people mix and match strings in a bid to get the best sound from their instrument. It is common to find a violinist who will use the same kind of string for the 3 lower strings and a different top string. If your instrument is unbiased, before trying to mix and match strings, ask a qualified luthier for an adjustment.

Q: How much do the Strings of My Instrument Affect the Sound?

There are dozens of factors that contribute to the sound made by your instrument. Strings are one of the most important of these, and can have a large effect on the sound produced. However, changing your strings will not fundamentally change the sound characteristics that are related to the way your instrument is constructed. A high-quality set of sounds will improve the sound quality of a cheap violin, but only marginally. When poor quality strings are used on a high-end instrument, they will have a detrimental effect on the sound quality. As a guide, use the best quality strings that you can afford.

Q: What Makes One String Sound Different From the Next?

The different sounds of strings can be due to many different factors. The material used for the string is probably the most important of these. Gut strings are lower-tension and will make a completely different sound than metal bound synthetic strings. The material used affects not just the sound made, but the quality of the sound. The most expensive strings produce the best sound quality, but as we mentioned before, for the very best sound, you will need a high quality instrument as well as expensive strings if you want to produce the very best sound.

Gut strings produce the warmest sound, but also have the most complex overtones. For this reason, there are not ideally suited to beginners. Steel core and synthetic strings produce a more focused and bright sound, and are great for beginners due to their quick response. The sound produced by your strings is also affected by the type of metal they are wound in, and even the production process used can have an effect on the sound produced.

Q: How often do I Need to Change My Strings?

There is no one answer to this question, as the amount of time you play your instrument each day or week will affect how often you need to change your strings. Wear and tear on strings is common due to their tension, and also due to sweat and friction from your hands. A professional may change his string once a month or more frequently, whereas a student who practices for 1 hour each day will only really need to change his strings every 6 months. If your strings are starting to look worn, it is a good indication that it is time to change them. If the sound of your instrument changes and begins to sound tinny, this could be another indication that it’s time to invest in some new strings.

Q: What Should I Do With My Old Strings?

If your old strings aren’t snapped or broken, keep them for backups. Accidents can happen, and it’s handy to have a spare of each string. If you are building up a big collection of old strings, you may like to check for any recycling programs nearby. The parts used for the manufacture of your strings can be recycled, so you should never just throw them in the garbage.

Q: What String Set is the Best?

Once again, there is no one clear answer to this question. What works well for one person may not for the next. A beginner has a completely different set of needs than a professional violinist. As a student, you can experiment with different strings until you find a set that you are comfortable with and that fits with your budget.

Q: Do Violin Strings Break Easily?

If you have been playing the violin for some time, no doubt you have experienced a snapped string at some point. Constant changes in temperature and over-tightening can both course your strings to snap as can incorrectly re-stringing your instrument.

Final Note

Violin strings can be found made from sheep intestine, steel, or synthetic materials. However, it is not just the core of your violin strings that can differ from one instrument to the next. Violin strings are wound with different types of metal and can even be gold-plated. The enormous amount of different string types and manufacturing methods just go to show how popular the violin is, and how each individual violinist likes to personalize his instrument to meet his needs.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin? Follow the Ultimate Truth

How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin

Introduction:

Asking How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin Is The Wrong Question!

Believe it or not, but asking how long does it take to learn the violin is the wrong question. It is the wrong question because it cannot be answered without knowing what your exact goals are. How long does it take to be able to join a community band, to stop squeaking, to solo, and other such questions are much better. The truth is that your progress will be determined by many factors.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin? Considerable Factors

The main factors will be your understanding of what you are doing, the quality of your practice sessions, and your natural ability. One awesome thing about learning the violin is that you will see plenty of progress week after week during your first year, and this will keep you motivated.

There Is An Ideal Age For Future Professional Violinist To Begin (It Has NOTHING To Do With You)

One thing that so many people worry about is their age. People want to know if it is too late to start once they are in their teens, when they are young adults, middle age, or even when they are seniors. Do you want to know the truth? It is never too late to start enjoying the journey of learning how to play violin.

Now, if you want to become the next soloist of a popular orchestra, then the best time to start was when you were very young. The average professional violinist started before the age of 5. I’m doubtful that is your goal. Most people just want to make music, then play with others, and it is never too late to have that as a goal.

There are so many benefits to learning a musical instrument beyond reaching for the heights of rocket finger solos and a silky smooth tone. Am I too old to learn violin? The answer is likely, no! If you can hold a violin and bow, if you can press the strings down, then you can begin learning.

The Top Question That You Must Ask Yourself

What do you want to achieve? This is the question that you must ask yourself. Knowing why you are learning violin will set you up for success because it will give you a goal to work towards. Many adult learners have found that simply starting out because they wanted to play a specific song they loved was enough to push them through.

Others just want a hobby, something to do, and that is enough for them. Other people want to join a community string group, and that is perfectly fine. The most important thing to know is what you are in it for. One good thing is that there really aren’t any bad answers to that question.

Should You Take A DIY Approach To Learning Violin?

With the Internet, there is no shortage of websites and material that will help you learn on your own. Many late learners choose this route because it is the least intimidating. Many people are also self-starters and just want to give it a-go.

The DIY approach is perfectly fine, and it is possible to gain a lot of skill this way, but there are some roadblocks that you need to know. With violin, technique is everything. The technique will determine your tonal quality, it will determine if you use the right ergonomics to avoid injury. Injury is something that you must be aware of because poor technique can lead to strain, pain and it will slow your progress.

Even if you are going about things and learning on your own, it is still wise to consult with an instructor on your posture, how you hold the violin, and maybe one every few months have them take a look at your technique. This hybrid approach is the best way to learn the violin on your own.

The Value of Using A Violin Instructor

Practice is NOT enough, proper practice is what you seek in music. As my instructor used to say, “practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” The quality of how you practice will determine your progress or lack thereof. This is why starting out with an instructor has advantages that the DIY approach does not. With an instructor, from day one you will have a proven curriculum to follow that is time tested. Your instructor will be able to watch and listen to you play, and make the corrections that are specific to you. Your instructor will be mindful of your bow and finger technique to ensure a healthy approach that produces a good tone. A good instructor will teach you how to practice to get the results that you seek.

Best Practices For Learning Violin

I am of the mindset that there are best practices for everything, and learning violin is no different. Here’s a list of best practices that will help you.

Step 1 :

Listen to as much violin music as possible because it will train your ear, and inspire you.

Step 2 :

Listen to music samples that are at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level as well as professionals because this will give you examples of what you can achieve.

Step 3 :

When you buy a violin make sure that it is set up by a professional. An expensive violin with an improper setup will not sound as good as a properly set up less expensive violin. Proper bridge location, proper bridge height, intonating each string are very important to having a violin that will not only sound great, but that will be easy to play.

Step 4 :

Masters are created in the beginning. Not to get too philosophical, but cherish the beginning stages of learning because building a strong foundation will serve you as you progress to the later stages of intermediate and advanced violin. Enjoy the process.

Step 5 :

Spend time learning how to read music and download a music reading app that will help you master this skill.

Step 6 :

Study ear training and improve your relative pitch via learning intervals and modes.

Step 7 :

Make practicing violin a part of your lifestyle, similar to how people make exercise a part of their lifestyle. This makes it something that naturally happens several times a week, if not everyday.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin: FAQs

Q: What Type of Violin Should I Buy?

It is well known that it is better to start on a decent violin than the cheapest one that you can find. This does not mean that you must spend a ton of money, but that you must learn the better choices for a new player and have it set up properly.

Q: How Often Should I Practice?

Everyday for at least 20 minutes is enough for most casual players to see progress. It is better to play a little bit everyday vs playing a few long sessions a week with a lot of time between practices. You might find that if you enjoy playing that you will want to do it more and more.

Q: How Important Is Technique?

We have touched on this, but we will do so again. Technique is one of the most important things when learning the violin. Improper technique can destroy your sound, your dexterity and it can harm you physically. Learning proper technique is one of the most important things. As a new player, make proper technique a priority.

Q: Can I Learn From The Internet?

Yes. You can learn from the Internet and there are many sources to do so. It is best to find a single program that is well structured. If you can, every so often see an instructor in person, or even over video chat, and have them take a look at your technique to ensure that you are on the right track.

When Can I Join A Playing Group? This will depend on your local area. Some local playing groups accept players at all levels, and others are looking for intermediate and higher. As an adult learner, it might be a bit more difficult to find groups that accept new players, but once you get to the intermediate level your opportunities will increase. Use this as motivation to keep practicing and making progress.

An Ultimate Guide of Makala Ukulele Review

Makala Ukulele Review

Introduction:

Finding the right ukelele isn’t easy. After all, there are lots of different brands to choose from. Nevertheless, stumble with the right brand of ukulele and you’ll stick with it for life. But how do you find the right brand anyway? To answer, there are no fixed rules about what makes a good or bad brand. What you need to think about is that if the brand makes ukeleles that look good, sound goods, and feel good, don’t hesitate to check it right away.

If you’re looking for ukeleles that work well for practicing and gigs, Makala ukuleles are worth the try. Come with me and familiarize yourself with Makala.

I wrote this article in two parts. The first section will be a general Makala ukelele review. Meanwhile, the second section will provide you a more specific and detailed review of specific Makala ukeleles such as the Makala shark and Makala dolphin.

My Top Three Choice: Makala Ukulele Review

Makala Ukulele Review

Makala Tenor Mahogany Ukulele

What Makes Makala Good?

Talk with professional players and most will tell you to try Makala ukeleles. Makala ukuleles are high-quality instruments that sound good yet affordable at the same time. This is why seasoned ukelele players recommend Makala to beginners. They last for long and will be of service even after you’ve mastered the basic and advanced techniques for playing the ukelele like a pro.

the factors that make Makala ukuleles good:

Very Affordable

Makala ukuleles are very cheap. Commonly, dealers sell them for only $300 or lower. But why are Makala ukeleles so cheap anyway? To answer, most of its ukeleles cater to the needs of beginners. After all, not all can afford a $1000 or $2000 ukelele just for practice. Even though cheap, I love that Makala ukuleles aren’t knockoffs. So aside from being affordable, they look beautiful and won’t betray your eardrums.

Intelligent Design

The design of Makala ukeleles doesn’t only cater to producing quality sound. They also help users develop good habits while learning to play ukelele. For example, the frets of Makala ukeleles allow for efficient fingering so that users will find it easier to master chords and practice scales. In connection, their base or body allows for the comfortable positioning of the shoulders and arms. Finally, all Makala ukeleles use components that are self intuitive and allow the user to install strings or adjust tones without help.

Very Diverse

Not all Makala ukeleles are the same. There are lots for you to choose from. The three types of Makala ukeleles at present are soprano, baritone, and classic concert. Makala soprano ukeleles are perfect for singing on a high pitch. Makala baritone ukeleles are ideal for singing in low pitch. And Makala concert ukeleles are perfect for recitals.

Made Out Of Premium Grade Materials

Makala ukuleles are made from premium grade materials. Aside from design, the materials that make up a ukelele affect its sound. Quality materials allow a ukelele to give out a rich reverberating quality. On the other hand, poor materials result in a ukelele that’s hollow or dead. Makala ukuleles are impressive when it comes to materials. An example is the Makala concert soprano ukulele that’s made out of mahogany. It’s a lightweight and comfortable ukelele that produces a very satisfying sound.

Best Makala Ukuleles

The first part of our discussion is only a general review of Makala ukeleles. That’s why you shouldn’t leave yet. Read the Makala shark ukulele review and Makala dolphin ukelele review in this section to get an idea about the best Makala ukeleles in the market.

Makala Green Surf Shark Ukulele

Makala Surf Green Shark Soprano Ukulele

Makala Green Surf Shark Ukelele looks very tropical. Its summery look is due to its glossy blue-green finish that resists scratching quite well. It uses a bridge that manufacturers shaped like a shark, hence the name. In connection, this shark-shaped bridge comes with large holes that allow for the easier installation of the strings.

This product uses a mahogany neck that’s paired with a walnut fingerboard. The walnut fingerboard feels very smooth. Furthermore, the mahogany neck is resistant against bending and ensures that Makala Green Surf Shark Ukelele doesn’t sound out of tune due to continuous usage.

Maka Green Surf Shark Ukelele is perfect for singing in the scales of G, C, E, and A. This product is a soprano ukelele so expect that it delivers high pitched tones. Nevertheless, don’t be worried because this ukelele doesn’t sound scratchy. For the best performance, I suggest that you install Italian nylgut strings.

Aside from green, you can also obtain a blue, yellow, gray, violet, black, white, and red Makala shark ukulele.

Photo Title Rating Price Buy
Makala Surf Green...image Makala Surf Green Shark Soprano Ukulele $55.00

Makala Dolphin Ukulele

Light Blue Burst Dolphin Bridge

Makala Dolphin Ukelele is another great option if Makala Green Surf Shark Ukelele doesn’t suit your preferences. This product comes in more vibrant colors than the previous product. Makala Dolphin Ukelele is available in pearl white, burst pink, metallic blue, candy apple red, charcoal black, light blue burst, pink burst, red burst, green apple burst, and purple burst colors.

This product uses a mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard. The rosewood fingerboard is smooth and resistant to scratching from the nails. In connection, the mahogany neck allows for the comfortable positioning of the right or left shoulder and arm. Manufacturers also installed this product with a dolphin-shaped graphite bridge with plastic nut and saddle.

In addition, Makala Dolphin Ukelele comes with a traveling bag that allows for easy transportation.

Photo Title Rating Price Buy
Makala MK-SD/PKBURST Dolphin...image Makala MK-SD/PKBURST Dolphin Bridge Pink Burst Soprano Ukulele $55.00

Makala Ukulele Review: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Kala and Makala The Same?

Kala and Makala aren’t the same but are related. Makala is a cheaper version of Kala ukeleles. That said, Makala is a beginner version of the more advanced Kala ukeleles. Nevertheless, Makala performs as well as Kala does. However, an advantage that you’ll get when choosing Makala over Kala is that you’ll get to save money because it’s cheaper.

Q: Are There Other Makala Ukeleles Aside From Makala Dolphin and Makala Shark?

Makala Dolphin and Makala Shark are only two of the wide array of ukeleles that Makala has in store. If you don’t like them, great alternatives are the Makala classic mahogany concert ukulele, Makala MK-B ukelele . and Makala MK-S bundle.

Q: How Popular Are Makala Ukeleles?

Makala ukuleles are very popular. Adults and teens are dying to their hands on a unit. Supply can’t keep up with demand as a result, and it’s common for dealers to run out of Makalala ukeleles in store.

Q: So How Do I Ensure That I Get A Makalala Ukelele First?

The best thing to do is to visit online stores that sell Makala ukeleles every day. You can also opt to read blogs like this from time to time. Usually, authors like me provide updates when Makala ukeleles become available in the market once again. You cal also opt to join Makala communities online and buy cheap secondhand Makala ukeleles from other users.

Final Thoughts

If you’re tight on budget but want to get your hands on quality ukeleles, Makala is worth the try. Makala ukuleles are made out of quality materials, have intelligent design, and very diverse. Nevertheless, they’re affordable and won’t strain your finances.

Try the Makala Shark or Makala Dolphin if you’re looking for the best model of Makala ukeleles. I hope that my Makala shark ukelele review and Makala dolphin ukelele review gave you all the necessary information for making a smart purchase.

To end, your first ukelele doesn’t have to be expensive. It only needs to perform well and last for long. Try Makala ukeleles now!