MYOG Backpacking Fiddle
Feb 6, 2021 at 11:52 am #3697767Jason McSpaddenBPL Member
@jbmcsr1Locale: Rocky Mountains
“playing a banjo on the Appalachian Trail might not be a great idea….”
Jon, What causes you think that way? Could it be that the movie Deliverance is still used by the tourism boards for many of the states along the trail? ;-)Feb 6, 2021 at 3:43 pm #3697799
But how can you have a proper jam without a banjo and a fiddle?Feb 6, 2021 at 6:36 pm #3697821David GardnerBPL Member
@gearmakerLocale: Northern California
Don’t we have enough violins in our country already? Violins during the protest marches, violins at the insurrection. Now you want to encourage violins in the back country?
Squeal little piggy! 🐷
Beautiful work. Dr. Les Waddel makes carbon fiber mandolins under a pound, but they are not nearly as beautiful. Hope to see an article!Feb 7, 2021 at 11:26 am #3697886Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Lake District, Cumbria
Any reason why you chose to go without the f-holes and (presumably) a sound-post?
Most backpacking fiddles I’ve seen have been more traditional about this. Also most dancing-master kit fiddles (pochettes).
And what are you planning for the bow? A little 3/4 carbon fibre baroque, maybe? Portable and relatively bombproof…Feb 8, 2021 at 1:22 pm #3698124
Actually it has a bass bar and a sound post. I looked for info on how f-holes work on a flat top and found a builder that stated they are no better than what i did, or a round sound hole. I was also concerned that the f=holes would make it less robust, because the width of the top is quite narrow–so the f-holes would be very close to the bridge feet.
I tried a pochette but thought it lacked volume, and length. I definitely wanted a fiddle with the standard 4/4 scale length and body length, so I could stick it under my chin and play it like a real one.
For the bow, I got a 1/4 carbon fiber bow. I wanted a bow that would be the same length as the fiddle so it would fit into the (soon to be made) cuben fiber stuff sack.
It’s all prototype. When it warms up, I’ll take it out on some short trips to test it out. There may be some tweaks or a v.2Feb 8, 2021 at 2:11 pm #3698131Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Lake District, Cumbria
Thanks for the details!
You inspired me to take a look around at what’s available.
Impressed by this one – sounds good and pretty affordable. Something to aim for?Feb 8, 2021 at 2:47 pm #3698136
The cricket is the best thing I’ve seen commercially produced. I wrote them to ask about the weight–15 oz is what they told me. That’s really good. i did everything i could to shave weight and am still at 14.5 oz.Feb 9, 2021 at 5:51 pm #3698414
I gotta see the cuben fiber stuff sack. How will the bow and the bridge be protected in the stuff sack?Feb 9, 2021 at 9:07 pm #3698459Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
That is marvelous playing by the OP, and his knowledge of stringed instruments must have had a lot to do with the excellent tone.
For those like me without the skills to play a fiddle, there are kits for dulcimers. Joni Mitchell played her dulcimer on her early albums. They can be open tuned to a particular chord to make playing easy with a pick, and can be very light. Google dulcimer kits to see what is available.
They go well with fiddles, so you can play with a mountain band.
Knew someone would make a crack about banjos and appalachian hiking.Feb 11, 2021 at 1:20 pm #3698797
Sam, dulcimers are cool. There are some mountain musicians that can really play them well. Great sound. Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WvaeilpcRc&t=4s
Piper, the bow will just be in a sleeve to protect against rain. My plan is to cut closed cell foam to sit on each side of the bridge, which is what is often done when shipping violins. And there are bridges and then there are bridges. A nice, sensitive bridge is important on a good violin, and very vulnerable. I used a cheap, thick bridge for robustness. But everything is subject to change. I am making it up as I go.Feb 11, 2021 at 1:58 pm #3698805
McNally Strumstick makes a stick dulcimer. I bring one backpacking sometimes.Feb 12, 2021 at 9:19 pm #3699140Brian HBPL Member
That is really cool! I live really close to the PCT (Reno) and on many occasions I’ve seen through hikers with small stringed instruments, but never a homemade one. Carrying a harmonica that I can’t really play that well is my limit. Thanks for sharing.
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