Stumpf Fiddle or Devil's Fiddle or Amish Stomp Fiddle or . . . .




I saw a Stumpf Fiddle on one of the auction tv shows and thought that would be a great addition to the other percussion instruments I play in our bluegrass band, Frum The Hills. They go for over $200 so after doing a little googling for ideas, I set out to make my own. I had a nice sized stick that I was saving for a Gandalf staff that would work perfectly. Other common items found on a Stumpf fiddle are bells, springs, pie tins filled with corn, horns, washboards and anything else that'll rattle, shake or thump. With a keen eye at the flea market, I had rounded up most of the goods.


For these, I suggest looking for fun, unique items. Make it yours.

  • 1- Broom handle, stick, old crutch or something to hang all your accouterments off of. My precious stick is nearly 6 feet tall. But, I have seen fiddles as small as 3 feet or cane height.
  • 2- Pie Tins. 2 Nuts & Bolts. Bolted together with popcorn inside for a shaker.
  • 2- Screendoor springs. These are the "strings" of the fiddle.
  • 2- Eye bolts. To attach springs.
  • 1- Tomato Paste can. For the bottom.
  • 1- Ceramic coated camp cup. With hose clamp mount, for bangin n clangin on.
  • 1- Goat Bell. Like a cowbell, but for goats.
  • 1- String of Jingle Bells.
  • 1- Gorgeous feather that I found at the Zoo. Pretty it up.
  • 1- Beer bottle opener. No explanation needed.


Your basic hand tools will work, unless you want to carve the fiddle or scrimshaw it.

  • Saw. To cut your fiddle to length.
  • Drill. I drilled holes for the eye bolts. Yours may screw in.
  • Screwgun and screws. I added the jingle bells, tomato paste can and pie tin with screws.
  • You may need other tools to add other crazy items you may have found. Go with the flow.

Step 1: The Build

It's a really easy build. Google Image Search Stumpf Fiddle to see how others made them. Then just slap everything on in a way that you'd like to play it. Watch the time lapse video to see how I built mine. Nothing is set in stone. I used a hose clamp to attach the cup, you may use bailing wire. I put the tomato paste can on the bottom, some people put tennis balls or dog squeaky toys. This is hillbilly harmonics at it's best.

Step 2: Chicks Dig It!

Sorry these pics aren't the best. I ended up auctioning off the Amish Stomp Fiddle at a show and had only grabbed these couple pics. At the couple shows I played it at, everybody wanted to touch it.



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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    In Canada there's a similar instrument; the, "Newfoundland Ugly Stick".


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Sadly, this one was sold before I could make a "playing" video. Here are some youtube vids of others