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Five string violin
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Late bloomer
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May 6, 2012 - 7:53 pm
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Ok my interest has been sparked about the five string,

But before I start thinking seriously about buying one thought I might ask for some input.

Can anyone recommend a brand,

Does anyone have one ? Or tried one?

Curios to know the upside and and down  of this instrument.

Such as is it harder to maintain seperation between strings.

Does it effect bow angle alot?

Is it harder to keep tuned.  Or any thing else good or bad.dunno

No matter where you go, there you are!

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SaraO
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May 6, 2012 - 8:06 pm
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I hear you. I'm starting to think I need a c string.

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Oliver
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May 6, 2012 - 8:06 pm
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My teacher got a 5 string from her boyfriend and turned into a real you-know-what.

She was ambushed by the string crossings ... i.e. the curvature of the bridge .... much more tricky.

She eventually made peace ( about 6 wks ). 

(I gave up lessons (regular 4 string violin)

She let me see the bridge close up.   Mission impossible for me.

santa3

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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SaraO
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May 6, 2012 - 8:10 pm
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Besides Jim, I believe Chinny has a five-string.

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Late bloomer
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May 6, 2012 - 8:15 pm
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Im thinking it gives you the full range of a viola and violin? 

Although you probably dont get  the deep tone of the larger body of the viola

No matter where you go, there you are!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 7, 2012 - 11:47 am
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There is the issue of hitting the C string when trying to play the G.
Also less distance between the strings. There are various alternatives, some being a wider neck which can be considered disadvantageous and the alternative, which I sell on Fiddlershop:
http://fiddlershop.com/plug-n-.....ter_name=5 string violin
has the same width neck but the strings are closer together. Usually not a problem since we often only play one note at a time and often it doesn't matter even with double stops if we our fingers cover two or more strings.

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

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springer
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May 7, 2012 - 11:56 am
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Hey LB! Mabe you should be a Violist instead.... lolroflroflolcheerleader

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Chinny
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May 7, 2012 - 1:13 pm
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Hey LB, Sara's right, I do have a 5 stringer. Mine's from the Yamaha silent violin series. When I first started using it, there were a couple of things I had to get use to but I was pretty good after about a month I think. Anyways, major differences are:

- The wider finger board, so you have to stretch a lil more to get your fingers into place

- The strings are a lil closer together so at first it is likely that youll play two strings simultaneously

- The pegs are on different sides because it has to fit in a fifth one for tuning your strings

- C string is the most left string. This was the biggest difference. We think we play memorising the strings from right to left but we actually remember G as being the left most string. Trying to play songs using D and G strings were trippy at first because I kept hitting either double strings or the wrong string all together. The cool thing about the C string is not only the increased range but you can really feel the deep vibrations compared to the other strings. 

Late bloomer said 
Such as is it harder to maintain seperation between strings.

Does it effect bow angle alot?

Is it harder to keep tuned.  Or any thing else good or bad.dunno

Yes its harder to play individual strings at first but it doesnt take too long to get use to. 

Yes bow angle is affected but you get used to that too. 

Mine stays about in tune as my acoustic 4 stringer so no its not harder to keep tuned.

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Late bloomer
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May 7, 2012 - 6:11 pm
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Thank you all for the input , that is really what I was looking for in order to make a informed  choice.

Did I understand that you sell one FM ? got any specs on it?

Thanks again.

And springer , Why do that when I can be a violiniolist!  hats_off

No matter where you go, there you are!

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Fiddlerman
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May 7, 2012 - 6:28 pm
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Yes I do Erich,

This is the one here. Just scroll down on the page and read all about it. 🙂

http://fiddlershop.com/plug-n-.....e=5-string violin

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

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springer
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May 7, 2012 - 8:01 pm
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OK! LB I dare you.dancingclapcheerleaderrofl

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Late bloomer
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May 7, 2012 - 8:03 pm
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Very nice FM , do you have any acoutic five strings?

No matter where you go, there you are!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 9, 2012 - 10:30 pm
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Check this one out:
http://fiddlershop.com/instrum.....n_4_string
I'm going to try to get one over here to do a demo.

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

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Joe
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May 20, 2012 - 1:26 am
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its difficult enough to learn 4 strings.....confused

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Worldfiddler
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May 20, 2012 - 6:21 am
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Answering the original question, a 5-string is a great instrument so long as you know how it works. I write a lot of stuff, and the range of the fiddle is important for that. I can't think of any negatives (apart from 5 new strings cost more that 4), but there are a lot of things to be aware of, if you already play a 4-string. If you are serious about a 5-string, read through this and decide if any of this puts you off. If not, then go for it! Or at least, try one out, for a decent length of time..

Here are some observations I've made, after seeing others buy 5-strings. I'm not trying to put anyone off, really I'm not. Just raising awareness.

What follows is my post from a discussion on another forum :

I also think a 5-string is an instrument in it's own right. If you have a need to play across its full tonal range (which I do), you simply cannot do that on a standard 4-string. If you start trying to draw parallels / comparisons to the standard violin / standard viola, it's pointless. It has the note range of both, but that's where the similarity ends. To me it would be pointless getting one just because it has an extra string. I know several people who bought a 5-string based on this thinking :

"A low C string is nice to have ..."
"I can play in the tonal range of both a violin and viola! How cool ! ..."
"That means I can play all my tunes down a fifth if I want to! Brilliant ! ...That settles it. I'm getting one!"

Now here's what actually happens :

They still play pretty much the same stuff they always did, eg Irish trad, Amercan old-time or English folk. They hardly ever need to use the low C, except for maybe as the last (harmony) note to finish off a tune in D or C.

Playing in sessions has no advantage either - not many tunes are played in C (so you won't be using your standard G fingering, down a fifth). Few people are interested in playing sets down a fifth (eg set in A played in D, using the same fingerings). They like A because it's loud and bright, so why drop down to D, where all the other 750,000 tunes are?

So, we're pretty much back to using 4 strings again. And, ho-hum, the old story repeats itself - only ever playing 4 strings on a 5-string has its disadvantages. The body will usually be slightly bigger, and heavier. The neck will be wider. The strings will be closer together. You can't hit hard on your low G with the freedom you have on your 4-string - it's easy to hit the low C by mistake. If you've decided to play some of your tunes a fifth down, you don't have the same freedom of bowing a hard open A, without accidently hitting the open E. The bowing plane is quite different, and it's something you need to get used to. You'd be surprised just how few tunes suit being dropped down a fifth ...

So, they sell the 5-string and go back to their original instrument (if they haven't already sold it).

There are thousands of standard fiddles out there, but relatively few 5-ers, and there are a few dogs going around, too, which doesn't help it's reputation 🙂

Hope this helps!

Mr Jim

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May 20, 2012 - 8:58 am
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Thanks WF , that gives me a lot to think about.

I see what you mean  about not comparing a fiver to another instrument, and not looking at it just as an extension of my four string. 

And I had not thought about the limited possibilites of the music.

But I do a lot of improv.  although still a begginer, and the ability to reach those low notes is very appealing.

Just have to consider the cost implications of trying  to satisfy the  (Jean Luc and Pierre want to be syndrome). 

amuse Smiling out loud!

No matter where you go, there you are!

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