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Squeaky E note - Help!
My D-string refuses to let me play a clean E
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Almandin
Stockholm, Sweden
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September 28, 2012 - 2:31 pm
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Ever since I tilted the bridge a hair forward (to make it stand up straight), I've been unable to make a proper E on the D-string. It gets all uneven and squeaky. I've tried pressing harder, with different parts of my finger, moving around on the string... nothing works! The scary thing is that if I go a bit off tune (according to my tuner app), either sharp or flat, it evens out nicely. So it's like I have a choice between bad intonation and getting squeals. Not so good. Please, does anyone have an idea how I can fix this? Is it the string's fault maybe? I'm using the cheapo steel strings that came with my Stentor. Or should I try moving the bridge again?

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 28, 2012 - 4:28 pm
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Sounds like a wolf to me. If it is a wolf you can try a different tension string but the most dependable solution would be a wolf eliminator.
http://fiddlershop.com/wolf-eliminators

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

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Almandin
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September 28, 2012 - 4:35 pm
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Thank you, and that's kinda cool! I'd heard of those but didn't expect to run into one. There's a wolf in my violin! Good job I don't live in northern Sweden or my neighbours would try to shoot it. rofl

I'll ask my local violin store if they sell those eliminators, but depending on shipping it might be cheaper to just get one from you. The dollar is weak at the moment.

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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September 30, 2012 - 7:33 am
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If this is a wolf tone - it could have been related to the bridge adjustment. I have wolf tone on my oldy. Tried bridge adjusments to fix it. Didn't work - wolf traveled slightly around the note but didn't disappear. So i can just say that bridge movements affect the wolf =) If You did'nt have this tone earlier - check the bridge position again! Could be the strings also.

I ended with the wolf eliminator from Fiddlershop.com though =) LOL! Works nice!

Good luck!crossedfingers

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Almandin
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September 30, 2012 - 8:06 am
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Thank you for your input, Naska! It made me take the mute off to move the bridge a tiny bit, and when I tried the E without the mute, it sounded fine. I was all "yay, I fixed it!" and then I put the mute back on and bang! wolf back! So it's the mute's fault. Gah, I need that thing, my neighbours might actually try to shoot my violin despite living in a civilised area if I start playing without it! surprised

Maybe I'll try some more drastic bridge moving and see what happens.

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Almandin
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September 30, 2012 - 8:20 am
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Okay, so that didn't help. The mute still messes everything up. Do you think a wolf eliminator would still work?

Also, Pierre, so you know what they're called in Swedish? I can't find it on Wikipedia...

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Mad_Wed
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September 30, 2012 - 8:53 am
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Almandin said
Okay, so that didn't help. The mute still messes everything up. Do you think a wolf eliminator would still work?

Hmmmm... Don't know... Not sure if it's a real wolf tone now, if it is a mute-related thing... Maybe You could borrow somewhere another mute to check it out?confusedduncecapdunno

Actually i produce some strange sounds with the mute too.. But it mostly noticeable when i play 4th position on low strings - it's hard to play there with mute for me ...but not the first pos...dunno

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Fiddlestix
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September 30, 2012 - 8:54 am
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Ok, Alma..... I couldn't find a demonstration of a wolf tone on violin, but I found it for cello, it will be the same for violin. This is what a wolf tone sound's like.

 

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Almandin
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September 30, 2012 - 9:17 am
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Aha, no, that's not what it sounds like. It's not wobbly in that way, only in smoothness. It's more squeaky or raspy. Like this:

Haha, gotta love my frightened look in that video preview shot! :D

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Picklefish
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September 30, 2012 - 10:56 am
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you need to bend your wrist more on the down bow to keep the bow from sliding on the strings.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlestix
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September 30, 2012 - 11:58 am
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Alma, I've listened to it 6 or 7 time's. I think what you are hearing is related to the location of the sound post. I think, i'm not sure.

What's happening is that particular note in (hz), the way the string is vibrating.  That's a E that you are playing when you get that sound. See if that sound disipate's when you play the open D,  F, F# or G. It's just the way that particular tone resonate's through the hollow's of your violin.

I had the same problem, I was getting ready to take the neck off mine and make a cigar box fiddle out of it. Then started moving the sound post to different location's and corrected the problem. It can be really annoying, I know and for me the sound got worse when I layed my cheek on the chin rest, it put my ear closer to the F hole's. Not as bad if I just rest my chin on the rest.

Good luck with it.   crossedfingers

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Almandin
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September 30, 2012 - 3:23 pm
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Thank you for your suggestions! I really don't think I'm up to moving the sound post on my own, so then I'd have to take it to a luthier. I'm going to try a different mute and the eliminator first, because I have a feeling luthiers don't work for small change... confused

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Fiddlestix
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September 30, 2012 - 5:08 pm
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I would think that just to move the sound post (not a new one) would only cost,,mmmm,,, maybe 195-230 sek, tops.

Then again I don't know what labor cost is like in Sweden.

What I hear isn't a wolf sound though, but you can try a wolf eliminator or partial mute.

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Kevin M.
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September 30, 2012 - 6:33 pm
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Alma,

From the way I read this is that you didn't have the problem until you straitened the bridge.  Chances are you moved the top of the bridge and left the feet where they were.  I would like you to try and move the top of the bridge back to where it was and move the feet of the bridge to make it straight. My thought is that when you moved the bridge you changed the string length in turn changing the harmonics of the string.

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Almandin
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October 1, 2012 - 12:23 pm
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@kevin: Yeah, I thought something like that too. Now I've tried tilting and moving the bridge in all kinds of ways, and it still makes that sound. But only with the mute on. When I first got my violin, the bridge was in a completely wrong position and the strings were incredibly loose, so it hadn't been set up before delivery. I just set it up the way I'd read to do, and it looks to me like it's back to that same way now.

And this keeps getting weirder! Just now I noticed that when I play really close to the fingerboard, the problem goes away. dazed

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Fiddlerman
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October 1, 2012 - 1:20 pm
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Not to confuse you even more but you may be able to solve the problem with a new string with a different tension. Light or Heavy....
Without the mute, is the open string even to the others, stronger or softer?

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

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Almandin
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October 2, 2012 - 2:48 am
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More confusion can be good if it leads to understanding eventually. exactly

I'll look into this when I get home from uni today. Thanks, mate!

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Almandin
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October 4, 2012 - 10:50 am
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After two days of a fever-induced headache that wouldn't let me anywhere near my violin, I finally went back to fixing this problem. Had a brain-wave: what if I turned the mute backwards? And it worked; I can play E much closer to the bridge now without distortion. Very strange, but not as strange as it makes the whole setup look. Oh, well, as long as I can play I don't really care about appearances!

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Fiddlestix
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October 4, 2012 - 4:20 pm
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Great discoverie's have come out of brain wave's (fart's)  rofl

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Fiddlerman
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October 4, 2012 - 11:09 pm
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Explain how your turned the mute backwards?

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

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