Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Fiddlelele

The cigar box Fiddlelele –a cross between a cigar box fiddle and ukulele.
A crazy idea I know and only an idea but the thinking goes something like this: Guitarists can easily play the ukulele as it is tuned to the four highest guitar strings –as if they were capoed 5 frets up.(Ignore the re-entrant tuned detail) Well then they can play the fiddlelele! As it’s tuned the same and has (curved) frets so you know were to place your fingers you just have to get to grips with a bow! No it won’t have the range of a violin and purists will hate it but come on it’s got to be worth trying! Both instruments have similar scale lengths after all and Jazz violinist Mike Piggott bursts into a little George Formby during a gig on a standard violin! He can also bow all four strings at once too but you’ll have to go to a gig to see how he does that! Anyhow it seems like a good summer project and should cost next to nothing. A little Googeling reveals there was in the past such a thing as a Ukelin and a Violin-uke but both of these look like bowed zithers. Well there’s an idea but as you know my plans keep changing all the time!First I have to rebuild my treble boost/ distortion pedal box and also I have a little job to do on my 2nd electric mando guitar as I think the first two frets a fractionally out of place and explains why it always sounds out of tune! This has been driving me mad since I built it and since modified it to play as an extended 12 string ukulele (you play full guitar chords on doubled up strings- the top 6 strings being re-entrant (an octave up) so some notes are quadruped up!) tonally it sounds amazing so I want to get it sorted it’s just a nightmare to work on with 12 strings!


  1. Good idea. Just go for it, I say. There's no way of knowing how it'll turn out otherwise.

  2. Exactly and it'll cost next to nothing to build. For instance a ready made violin bridge costs £1.98! This could be fun!