The subject is a sort of a trick question. When you go to a jam session with a "C" accordion, do you ever wonder which tuning the fiddle players use? Do they like Standard Tuning (GDAE/EADG) of do they prefer Down Tuning (FCGD/DGCF)? Consider them not knowing what songs you will play and what key you will play them in. Consider that you might not even know what songs you will play and what key they are being played in. How do the fiddlers handle it? You may be very surprised to hear the answer!
I'm not playing fiddle, but as far as I know is the fiddle in Cajun music tuned down if they play with a C-accordion. If a fiddler used standard tuning it's hard(maybe impossible) to get the beautifull drone sound with the open strings of a fiddle that's tuned down. If the fiddler want to play over two strings he/she has to use double stops(I think) and than the sound of the fiddle is higher.
Standard tuning fits perfect with a D-accordion and that's the reason why many Cajun fiddlers use two fiddles.
What's the best tuning isn't the problem for me, but I love the lower the best with the C-accordion :blush:
I hope I'm not writing fake-information :wink:
I have another question about the fiddle in combination with a B-flat accordion.
What's then the best tuning for the fiddle ?
If you're going to tune a fiddle to a B-flat accordion then the tuning needs to be Eb Bb F C from thickest to thin I happen to be learning fiddle or teaching myself and I learned from fiddle player that's how they tune it to play for a B flat unless you're trying to compensate on a standard tune fiddle or on a c accordion tune fiddle
Cool Brandon. I will put that tuning into my list of tunings. I did not know that one.. I thought when you played with a Bb accordion that the FCGD down tuning worked pretty good. From the looks of things, the Eb Bb F C is totally do-able without popping strings or having them hang limply all over the fiddle. Thanks for sharing hombre! And I like the way you call the strings from thickest to thin. I have so much trouble with that and other fiddle players. We cannot seem to agree which way to read the string order. Aggrevating and confusing.
Mel, your information looks right to me. And I agree that the down tuned fiddle FCGD works great with a "C" accordion. To make a long story long.....optimum at a Jam is to have some of the fiddlers tuned standard, some of them down tuned. Crazy isn't it?!!
The fiddler that is down tuned will take the lead when the "C" accordion player plays in the keys of "C"(primary) or "F"(backside)because it's easier on the down tuned fiddle to highlight "C" or "F" songs. The other fiddlers that chose to be tuned standard GDAE will assume the position of 2nd fiddle(secondaire). The secondaire plays the basic chords of the song. The effect is twin fiddles! Formidable! Both tunings harmonize throughout the jam session! **Note**The standard tuned GDAE fiddler does not do that well with songs done in the key of "F" on the backside of that "C" accordion, but do-able.
When the "C" accordion player plays songs in the key of "G"(on the pull), the standard tuned fiddle GDAE takes the lead because it's easier for him to highlight these "G" songs. The down tuned FCGD fiddle will follow along by picking and playing single string notes for the most part. Not as fun as droning two strings at once, but do-able.
So what's going on here is that the fiddlers are harmonizing and also alternating on who takes lead, plays chords, or picks out single notes during the fiddlers ride. They're getting practice and staying versatile right?. When the accordion player plays nothing but "G" songs (on the pull), well, the down tuned fiddle sort of gets screwed. And the other way around if the accordion player only plays "C" songs on the push, the standard tuned guy gets screwed. Ever have a fiddle player pack up his fiddle and leave when it came your turn to play on accordion? I've watched it happen and couldn't believe the audacity. But now I know why.....they're not happy with the novice and uneducated accordion player who has no sense of the other musicians, order of the songs, or the correct tempos and plays only to show himself before he is ready, worthy, and skilled. Young Peacock Syndrome. Young Bull, Old Bull confrontation.
Conclusion...the accordion player that is preferred by the fiddlers at a Jam is the guy who plays a near equal amount of songs in "C" or "G" with an occasional "F" song thrown in there. A good accordion player should fire up the fiddlers, guitar players, percussion, spectators, etc. by his choice of songs, the key of the songs, and whether they are a waltz or two step. A good accordion player will alternate tempo for both waltzes and two steps. Sometimes he'll play "wit some pepp(hammer down)" and other times, "normal", and sometimes "slower". The old go to order at the dances was (2)waltzes to (1)two step with slightly different tempos for each of the two. Yes, a waltz can be played in more than one tempo on an accordion and so can a two step.
If I have given incorrect information above, I'll come back and make the required corrections in due time for posterity's sake. Don't want to mislead the peeps of future generations.
Wait'll y'all hear about the ole Cajun method of learning and playing the Cajun fiddle as compared to today's music theory style of learning and playing the fiddle played by both outsiders and insiders and those that would make money for teaching Cajun fiddle. Life changing!
The accordion players followed suit and changed the old method to the new over time! There was and still is both an old and new method of learning and playing the accordion and most accordion players are only aware of the latter which leads to some of them not performing as well as those who are "in the know" of the old method. Oh, it is a great and very intriguing story...the likes of which you've never heard before!!
If the strings of a fiddle are too loose, you can use your fiddle as a bow to shoot arrows
When I play with a bflat I just use my tuned down fiddle (c accordion tuning) Our band usually doesn't play a lot using a bflat.
When I first started playing Cajun music years ago I didn't know about tuning down so I learned on a standard tuned fiddle. Plus It's a hassle to tune down for a couple of songs during a gig to play in bflat.
I suppose it depends on your skill level. As a beginner, I would simply tune down one note. Noting wrong with simple.