What the heck is a Stumpf Fiddle?

Good question!

The stumpf (or stump, or stomp) fiddle is an instrument popular with polka, bluegrass and country bands of the Upper Midwest, USA.

What does it look like? How does it sound?

If you see a kind of walking stick with a rubber ball at the bottom and a bell, horn, woodblock, springs and a tin pan drum — like the image on the left — that's it!

So, how do you play this thing?

Pretty simple, really: with a drumstick, in just about any manner you choose.

Believe it or not, it took me about 12 years to figure that out. I had one long before the web, and when I finally found some online pictures of people playing, I had a giant "Doh!" moment. Up until then I'd been plucking the springs, and pretty much wearing the skin off my fingers!

Why am I here?

So if you ever run into a real stumpf fiddle player, you can be incredibly impressive as you approach and say:

"Hey! Nice axe! Is that an official stumpf fiddle from the Fiddle Factory, or did you make it yourself?!"

Now click around and learn a few things about this funky, funny musical instrument — you'll be glad you did!