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Electric easier than acoustic?
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ShaunFiddle
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July 5, 2016 - 11:15 am
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Hi, I've been playing for about 7 months. I have a good musical ear from years of piano, guitar, pedal steel and other instruments.

I recently got an electric violin to practice with at night and I seem to have a much easier time hearing myself with it. I believe this is because there are way less overtones and I can hear the fundamental much easier. 

Has anyone else experienced this?

 

Thanks

 

Shaun

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BillyG
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July 5, 2016 - 1:35 pm
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@ShaunFiddle - a LOT of folks won't agree on this - but - we are indeed all different.   I too have come into playing fiddle after 40, or it is now close on 45 years of playing various instruments ( guitar, piano, low whistle, a few others - all self-taught )

To be 100% out-there and honest about this - from MY PERSPECTIVE only - I'm certain you will get different advise/feedback from others - but what I most certainly found was that it was SO MUCH EASIER ( but like yourself, yes, I have an "ear for music" - in the sense of - well - let's not go there - too difficult as an amateur musician to describe )

At the time I had an EV ( and an acoustic ) - although I "well understood" the hugely different tonality between the "relatively sterile" ( plain, un-amped and without FX )  EV - and the HUGELY IMPRESSIVE sound from resonating-strings and sound-box on an acoustic - personally - I found the EV a place of sanctuary - and it let me TOTALLY focus on my intonation alone.  Perfect.   Even with my "ear" - I found the acoustic "distracting" - and - yes - that is real difficult for me to put into words and explain.  Clealry, now, 2 years and a bit on from starting - I LOVE the acoustic and the richness and depth of tone you get - not only from the normal body-resonance and resonating overtones - but even MORE so when you go "wild" with double-stops - clearly depends on what genre of course... LOLOL

A lot of folks won't necessarily agree, and I understand that perfectly - we all come into this from different roads - but - for me - my approach was absolutely ideal ( I have NO access to a local tutor or anything like that - I had to do it the hard way)   

  Perhaps for total newcomers, unaware of the structure and sounds of open 5ths, fingered 3rds and fourths - or - folks without any musical background - well - yes that's different - but *we* as players of other instruments kind of understand music "structure already" and we just "want to hear in our ear, while practising intonation, nothing more than the major/minor gap etc etc etc -- I guess you know what I mean - won't go on about it..   enough already... lol ) 

Wishing you success in your journey !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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ShaunFiddle
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July 5, 2016 - 5:21 pm
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Cool. So I'm not crazy. I like the tone of acoustic much better, it is just harder to hear the pitch.

 

Have you tried a mute on an acoustic? Does that tame the overtones at all?

 

Thanks

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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July 6, 2016 - 1:38 am
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ShaunFiddle said
Cool. So I'm not crazy. I like the tone of acoustic much better, it is just harder to hear the pitch.

Have you tried a mute on an acoustic? Does that tame the overtones at all?

Thanks  

 

LOL - nah- you're not crazy - although as I say - the "generally received wisdom" is that it is better to start with the acoustic - ( but you'll get better advice on this, and the reasons for it, from more experienced players ).     What I did find - and expected to be the case - was that the EV was "much more forgiving" than the acoustic - if that makes any sense - but - I always moved between both instruments anyway because I was well aware of the differences in playing (bowing) between these different instruments and how they respond (sustain, harmonics etc).  

I certainly found (putting intonation and resonances to one side) that playing the acoustic taught me much more about what to do with the bowing arm and bowing technique than could be achieved on the EV - but then again - that's just me exploring, researching, learning by experimentation etc....   right-or-wrong approach, it got me to where I am now - which I guess is a "beginner-to-intermediate fiddler" with reasonable ability for my time of playing.  I will certainly never be a "violinist" in the classical sense - nor is it my ambition!

I rarely use a mute - but- I guess that to me it somewhat dampens inter-string resonances and very markedly dampens body resonances - so it certainly does "tame everything down" but the effects are still definitely present to my ear on the instrument, strings and mute I use.   I don't know a lot about different mutes - mine is a solid (hard) rubber one, there are soft rubber, plastic and metal mutes out there as well, and they will probably all have a different degree of dampening etc.....

Perhaps you will have noticed that this instrument can easily become an obsession.  You have been warned !roflol

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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bluesviolin
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July 6, 2016 - 2:08 am
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if an acoustic violin is properly focused, you shouldn't have any problems hearing pitch. if it's not focused (fuzzy, boomy) that's when you have problems hearing a clear distinct note.

I refuse to mute an acoustic. what's the point in having an acoustic if you have to mute it? if you have to use a mute to 'tame' the overtones, then I suggest that it may be a set-up problem, or a problem that is intrinsic to the instrument it self.

What make of electric did you get?

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