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Strange resonance
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Mailprion
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February 20, 2017 - 12:11 pm
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Hello everyone,

I have a little problem: since I currrently don't have a teacher, I only have my own ears to verify whether I am playing right or not (which, given that I'm a beginner, isn't every much). Since last Saturday, I'm the proud owner of my first own violin (she's a real beauty but I don't have a name for her yet). I still keep renting Josie and am planning to buy her one day but she's too expensive for me at the moment and I wanted an instrument which I can modify. While I'm not really allowed to play Nameless until April since she's part birthday present from my parents and part self-reward for handing in my thesis, my parents made an exception this weekend.

I realised with shock then that whenever I play on the g or d string, it keeps making a strange buzzing noise in addition to the normal sound. It sounds as if something else besides the string is resonating. I tried playing the same on my rented violin and with a different bow and noticed the same, though not as strong. In the end, I got the same result with both violins and both bows on each violin with varying intensities. It's also noticable on a and e but not that strong. I don't know why I didn't notice that before when I was playing on Josie...

Since it occurs in all combinations and also happens when I play empty strings, I figured that it probably has something to do with me and the bow. Does anybody know if that could happen if I apply too much or too little pressure or if it has something to do with how much rosin I put on the bow?

My mum says that she can't hear anything so maybe it's only audible if you're quite close to the violin. Or maybe, I'm just imagining it...

I would be very glad if somebody could help me please πŸ™‚

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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February 20, 2017 - 3:33 pm
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I've had rosin build up on the strings to make an unpleasant fuzzy sound, but not something I'd call a buzz (and just a quick wipe down with a microfiber cloth fixes it). If it's as annoying as you are saying, it sounds more like something on the violin is buzzing, not that you're doing anything wrong.

Can you tell what area of the violin the buzz is coming from? (for example yesterday a button on my shirt kept touching the violin and making a buzz, but I could hear right where the buzz was coming from).

Things that I've had buzz on mine have been the fine tuner (if the little nut that touches the tail piece is a little loose, it buzzes like crazy, so only if they are not built in) and then when the end of a string in the peg box is touching the peg box, I've had that do a little buzzing.Β 

Here is an old post of suggestions thatΒ @fiddlerguy has posted in an older thread:

"Check that the tailpiece is not touching the chinrest.
Check that the tailpiece adjuster is not loose.
Check that there are no loose fine tuners.
Hit the instrument with your knuckles hard enough to get it to vibrate on all edges and corners to see if there is something loose inside."

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Mailprion
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February 21, 2017 - 6:10 pm
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Thank you very much for all the tips! πŸ™‚

I checked Josie according to the list (sadly, I don't have Nameless with me at the moment but I hope that my parents will let me play on her again this weekend). I tried everything (only the peg box was not checked that thorough because I didn't dare touching anything in there) but nothing seems to be loose or touching. I also noticed that it doesn't seem to buzz when I pluck the string instead of bowing. From what I can tell, the buzz seems to come from somewhere near the bridge but then again I am not that sure since I am not very experienced yet.

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Elwin
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February 21, 2017 - 6:31 pm
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This might not be the case for your violin, but chances are, it might be your fine tuners rattling. Try using your fine tuners to tune next time and that should correct it. When my non-violin instrument had that issue, it helped to turn the fine tuners in a little.

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Mailprion
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February 22, 2017 - 5:42 pm
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Thank you! πŸ™‚

I think, it might have something to do with the fine-tuners after all. When I first checked them, they seemed alright and not loose. But when I randomly wound them for testing purposes, the buzzing seemed to get a little less but it's still there. The tuners look totally fine to me though and I have no idea why they buzz in certain positions.

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Elwin
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February 22, 2017 - 5:58 pm
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Here's the possible reason. Tap your tailpiece and see what note is closest to the pitch it makes. That note is the general reasonating frequency, that will cause the tailpiece to vibrate a bit more, and if your fine tuners are loose, that will cause a rattle.

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Mailprion
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February 23, 2017 - 3:58 pm
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Ha, I think, I've found the culprit πŸ™‚

How do I battle a 'loose fine-tuner'-Problem? I never had that happen before.

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damfino
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February 23, 2017 - 4:11 pm
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Are your fine tuners built in, or this kind that screw on: https://fiddlershop.com/accessories/violin-accessories/string-adjusters/wittner-violin-long-lever-2-prong-string-adjuster.html

If it's the type that screw on, usually you just have to tighten the nut down to the tail piece.Β 

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Mailprion
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February 23, 2017 - 5:42 pm
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They look like the ones on this violin.

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damfino
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February 23, 2017 - 6:10 pm
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Ok, those are the built in kind. I have those on one of my violins.

Do any of the screws feel wobbly?Β 

Also, if you look under the tailpiece, do you see anything touching the body of the violin? When you tighten the fine tuners, there is an arm under each that lowers more, depending on how your violin is set up it's possible one could be touching the violin.Β 

If it's not any of those things, I'd have your luthier take a look at it, there could be one with something else coming loose on it.Β 

I'm sure there are other things that could maybe go wrong with them, but I'm blanking on what else to check at the moment.

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Elwin
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February 23, 2017 - 6:16 pm
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If the problem is pretty unsolvable at home, you might want to consider taking it to a shop to have them look at it.

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Mailprion
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February 27, 2017 - 9:23 am
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Thank you both very much! πŸ™‚

Since I couldn't find anything, we took Nameless to the violin maker on Saturday so he could have a look. Seems like she has to stay for a while till he has time so I am violinless in the meantime (feels strange not to practice when you usually do that every day) but I hope that she'll return to me soon, singing more beautiful than ever ^^

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Fran
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February 27, 2017 - 11:02 am
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So sad to be away from your baby but maybe you can think of a name for her while she's way πŸ™‚

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Fiddlerman
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February 27, 2017 - 1:17 pm
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Let me know if I can help out. You can always give us a call at Fiddlershop.
No one talked about the string being too close to the fingerboard. The string can be close for several reasons. The bridge might be too low, the nut can be too low and the fingerboard can be shaped the wrong way.
Is the problem worse when you play hard and open strings?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Mailprion
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February 28, 2017 - 2:00 pm
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Thank you very much for the offer πŸ™‚

It was worst when I tired using the fingers. Earlier, the violin maker responded and told me that they changed the D string since it was faulty for some reason. I hope that it doesn't happen again because I don't want to drive to the workshop whenever something is wrong and I am still too scared to change strings on my own even though there are plenty of tutorials.

But on the bright side, I can pick up Nameless on Saturday so I won't be violinless anymore ^^

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