Difference Between Violin and Fiddle

Violin vs Fiddle

Violin and fiddle is practically the same thing. Most people say that fiddle is the nickname that violin carries. Well, violin and fiddle are both bowed string instruments that look the same with four strings. The only difference that could be extracted from them is the approach or how these instruments are being played.


As one would have noticed, violins are mostly used in orchestral concerts and played with classical music and jazz. It is the smallest instrument of the violin family of stringed instruments together with viola and cello. It produces a very high-pitched sound. Since the Baroque period, violin has been one of the most important instruments in classical music because its tone stands out from all the others. A very good violin player can play different kinds of melodies that have extremely difficult notes in a rapid sequence.


Fiddle has more generalized definition that’s attached to it than violin. Fiddle generally refers to any bowed string musical instrument which could be a violin, the Byzantine lira, the Hardanger fiddle and many more. For generations, fiddle has been used to bring upbeat, fast melodies and rhythms meant to bring people to their feet and dance to the tune. It is played by fiddlers while they themselves were dancing to its music. People play fiddle to have fun and have a good time.

Difference between Violin and Fiddle

Most people say that the difference between violin and fiddle lies mostly on the bridge. Violin has an arched bridge so that each string can be played individually thus giving the instrument a clearer sound, while a fiddle has a flatter one because most fiddlers shave their bridge and flatten it so that two strings can be played at once. You can play violin by reading and playing with sheets of notes, trying to master vibrato with more serious effect; fiddle music can be produced with whatever’s in your heart and channel it to your fingers, no music book. Violin is geared towards classical music and jazz, while a fiddle is concentrated towards folk, country and bluegrass music. Beauty, power and mystery mainly characterize violin while rhythmic energy is what a fiddle aims at achieving.

By learning about the difference between a violin and a fiddle, you can start to appreciate more the music each makes. One is distinguishable from the other just by listening to the music each one creates.

In brief:

• Violin and fiddle are bowed string instruments that look the same but create different types of music.

• Violin is more difficult to learn than fiddle because a violinist must try and master vibrato while one can play a fiddle just by listening to the tune, making it easier to learn.

• Violin has more serious effect in tune compared to fiddle’s danceable, rhythmic tune.

• The difference between violin and fiddle lies mostly on the bridge structure. Violin has an arched bridge while a fiddle has a flatter one.