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Tinny sounding 'G' string...
Topic Rating: 2 Topic Rating: 2 Topic Rating: 2 Topic Rating: 2 Topic Rating: 2 Topic Rating: 2 (1 votes) 
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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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April 25, 2017 - 12:09 pm
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Hi folks, hope all are well! 🙂

Ok, I've been practicing every day, I feel like I'm making some decent progress & my violin (bought new here at Fiddlershop) is settling in nicely. The sound is soft & smooth when I want it to be & I can also get some nice power out of it so I'm VERY well pleased. However, some of the lower notes on the 'G' string (A-D) still sound tinny, like I'm strumming a wire on a wooden box (ok I know that's basically what I'm doing, but still lol) not like I'm playing an instrument. The other strings are fine & it's not there when I stroke open 'G' so obviously it's something I'm doing/not doing opposed to anything to do with my violin but I'm not sure how to correct/approach the issue. I'm wondering, since I only just started learning the violin a couple of months ago if it has something to do with a lack of finger callous yet & the wider string just isn't being as secured onto the finger board surface as it will be later, but I dunno... any suggestions or tips?

Thanks! 🙂

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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Charles
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April 26, 2017 - 7:52 pm
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A side comment - if you're building up calluses on your fingertips, your action is probably too high. (Unless you like a really high action and don't mind paying that price.)  My Stentor was building up calluses on my fingers until I had a luthier work on it (mostly for other things). He lowered the action a LOT, to the point where the calluses I had went away.

I've had problems with fingered notes on the G string, too. I wouldn't call the sound "tinny", but it definitely can be off.  The best thing I've found is to make sure I'm coming down more square to the fingerboard, which is challenging, because it's curving away from me at that point. Try bringing your elbow more under the violin (more to your right) so that your hand has a better angle on the fingerboard, and move your hand further over the fingerboard. The idea is to have the fingertip come down at a 90 degree angle to the fingerboard. That means it has to be at about 120 degree angle to the center of the fingerboard, because of how it's curving away.  ( I understand that it has to curve down like that to make bowing possible, but it's a bit of a nightmare for the left hand.)

You might even try fingering things from the opposite side, where your hand isn't twisted around backwards at all.  If the sound problem goes away when you get the string depressed squarely, then you know what the problem is, you just have to figure out how you're going to depress it squarely enough to do the job with inventing new joints in your wrist and fingers.

Using the corners of your fingertips will help. The center of the tip (or even worse, the pad opposite the nail) spreads out a lot and makes things "fuzzy". You don't get a good, clean, contact with nothing extra. The corners of your fingertips (usually the left one, sometimes the right if you're trying to avoid a more treble string) will usually work better.

Of course, I may be completely off as to the cause of the issue and none of this will help at all.   In which case, you get your money back. 🙂

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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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April 26, 2017 - 9:24 pm
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First, thank you very much for the reply, it's much appreciated. 🙂

I only thought of the 'callous' thing from instruments I've played in the past that caused them. I didn't stop to realize the lower/softer string action more than likely wouldn't produce the same callouses & I was struggling for an answer to my problem here. Your comments regarding a lack of callouses from the violin make sense as my violin action is much lighter than the guitar & other stringed instruments.

I see what you're referring to regarding the angle of contact on the surface of the fingerboard & I've experimented a bit. I believe you're on to something here. If nothing else you've helped me find a nuance to work on & you may have found my problem. I'll play with it some more & keep you posted.

& yeah, not sure my elbow was meant to bend so far that direction lol

Thank you again! 🙂

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 27, 2017 - 10:03 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12583

The only thing I can think of is that you don't have quite the power to press down on the notes when reaching over to the G string. Make sure your fingers are able to bring the string down all the way to the fingerboard. Perhaps bring your arm under the instrument more.
Next, what string is being used? It might be bad, or need a warmer string. We can ship you a new one if that is the case.

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

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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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April 29, 2017 - 9:28 am
Member Since: January 25, 2017
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At the moment I have the D’Addario Kaplan Amo's equipped across the board. I'm actually very happy with the sound I get from these. Even with my limited 'violin ear' & experience they seem to be pretty versatile as I'm able to get power & volume when I want it & also, with some practice & effort, can get a very consistent soft tone as well.

I'm still at a very basic development stage with my skills so I'm more inclined to believe it's something to do with a lack of skill development at this point as opposed to something to do with the instrument or an adjustment. Once I play/practice a bit longer & I'm confident I've done all I can do physically to improve/address the problem I'll be more comfortable with looking into instrumental adjustments. As I mentioned, it's only on the 'G' string and then only on the lowest notes but not on open 'G'.

I actually have very strong finger muscles (sometimes too strong, it's from playing a certain sport most of my life when younger). So while I don't think it's a strength issue perhaps a control issue. I'm having limited success experimenting with different finger contact angles on the notes in question. So again, I'm inclined to believe therein lies the answer (thank you Charles), perhaps in my posture or something else that affects that particular maneuver/arm contortion. Stretching my elbow further under the violin helps considerable but it's at it's limits. I just want to be careful not to get into trying to train my arm/fingers to do something there that's so uncomfortable for them to accomplish it's impossible to play for any length of time, particularly if there's a simpler answer I'm missing.

Thanks so much for your input on this. It helps me make sure I'm considering every angle & possibility... this is why I love this place! 🙂

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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Charles
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April 29, 2017 - 11:51 am
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@Gjinja, re positions of various parts of the body that hurt:

1st rule - don't push through the pain. There are a number of ways you can permanently injure yourself, so that something that would have been possible if worked into gently is now impossible.

2nd rule - if you do work into it gently and patiently, the body can adapt to a remarkable degree. Don't assume that because something is uncomfortable, or becomes uncomfortable fairly quickly (a few minutes) that that means it can't or shouldn't be done.  You just may have to give your body more time to make the adaptation. The older you are when you start, the slower you body tends to adapt. Barring injuries (and not even always then), it will adapt, you just have to be patient.

So if moving your elbow more under the instrument works well, but gives you problems in the shoulder, say, that's not a show-stopper, it just means you'll have to practice that in small doses over time. Eventually, you'll be able to have it 3-4 inches to the right of where it's comfortable now, and keep it there for a couple of hours.  Young children get to that point in a week or two (or maybe even days). Folks in their 60s and 70s can figure on it taking months. But it's possible for everybody.

I'd recommend posting a critique video (if you can) if you're concerned about whether your technique is right. (I'm assuming you don't have a teacher you can ask.)  You don't want to practice in bad techniques, and there are limits to how much advice we can give from text descriptions.  Don't worry about getting beaten up in a critique video. Most of the people are much nicer than me. 🙂

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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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May 1, 2017 - 4:11 pm
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I can't thank you guys enough for your input here, I think I've found the problem. While I've developed a good bow grip & found a comfortable positioning for my instrument on my shoulder I realized I was holding both my bow and violin so tightly I think I was absorbing or transferring the bulk of the vibrations from my G string (my tight grip got even more tight when reaching for the G) causing/leaving the tinny sound coming from my violin. Once I relaxed my shoulders & arms & focused my grip in my fingertips instead of my wrist & whole hand, the sound from my instrument/G string became full bodied w/no tinny sound. The difference was immediate & light night & day.

There may have been some other factors involved I havn't narrowed down yet that came into play as for now I'm still having to make an effort to relax so results are intermittent. but I've confident I'm on the right track. This solution requires less effort, not more, making it easier to stretch my arm underneath. So I'm thinking it's my getting used to relaxing into playing that holds the key. I'll keep on it & let you know.

Thanks again! 🙂

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 2, 2017 - 8:34 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12583

Gjinja, I'm curious about the sport you played that helped strengthen your fingers when you were young. What sport was that? Maybe you already mentioned it somewhere but I think I missed it.

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

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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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May 3, 2017 - 10:33 pm
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I played Foosball (aka table soccer) professionally off & on for over 30yrs. Most people don't think of Foosball as a sport but at the professional level it's very much a precision sport, demanding both physically and mentally. In fact, ESPN2 used to cover many of the higher level events (World Class, Masters, etc). I won the 1985 World Class singles event against people from all over the globe along with more State Championships, local tourneys than I can count. And you can bet after 30+years of it I developed an unbelievable grip, lol.

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 4, 2017 - 3:11 pm
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Very cool. I LOVE Foosball. I used to play as much as I could find the time for at the Eastern Summer Festival the summer I was there. I got pretty good, so much so that no one wanted to play with me. LOL
I tried to find room to get one so many times in our homes. Finally got one for a summer place in Bjärnum, Sweden but it was still hard to find people who wanted to play. I wouldn't be able to score one point on you but I appreciate the game very much.
Nice to hear. And BRAVO on your 1985 State Championship win. 🙂

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

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Gjinja
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May 4, 2017 - 3:48 pm
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Sweet! Anyone that loves Foosball is akin to my heart lol. It doesn't surprise me you were good at it. You have that quick & creative mentality it takes to think on the fly one has to be able to tune into to really accel at that game. I don't play much anymore, at least not competitively. I have COPD & the fast movement makes it breathing difficult but I still love the game & always will. People just have no clue the level of precision & skill that game requires. We'll have to go play some & have a beer when I visit Florida & come see you guys, I'm sure we'll have a blast.

Thanks for the grats... & btw, while I did win several State Championships, it was the 1985 World Class I mentioned & that's my crowning achievement. I don't normally brag but to be the best in the world at anything, if even for one moment in time, is worth being proud of in my humble opinion. 😀

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 4, 2017 - 6:40 pm
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Incredible. Do you have any videos as memory of the event?

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

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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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May 5, 2017 - 2:13 pm
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Sadly no. In truth, I wasn't even planning on going to the World that year, had family responsibilities to worry about. Money was tight & it's normally held in Dallas & a bit of a drive (I'm in Tulsa, OK). But the day before the event my son's mother left me, with no warning & taking my son with her. So my best friend at the time said, "Screw this, let's go to the tournament & party for the weekend, you need it."... off we went. I won 2 major events that weekend, Amature Singles & Expert Singles the same day. It was such a spur of the moment thing I wasn't even ready for it let alone think to take a camera lol. I wish I would have though.

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
May 5, 2017 - 2:58 pm
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Awesome, @Gjinja - well cool !  thumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-up

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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May 6, 2017 - 10:13 am
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Thanks BillyG! 1st-place

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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May 10, 2017 - 1:59 pm
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Hey that is cool about the foosball.  I enjoyed hearing about that. 🙂

Hope your G-String notes are coming along nicely.  Eventually you will get the right sound if the string is not worn.  

 

1st-place1st-place1st-place

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 11, 2017 - 1:52 pm
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@ Gjinja

How is it going with the lower notes now? Any difference?

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

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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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May 17, 2017 - 9:31 pm
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Thanks Toni, Foosball is/was a huge passion of mine in the past. Now I'm trying to transfer that passion into my violin. 🙂

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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Gjinja
Tulsa, OK
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May 17, 2017 - 9:50 pm
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Thanks for asking! 🙂

My lower notes are sounding consistently clearer as I'm slowly getting used to staying less tense. Who would've thought it would be this difficult to just relax. lol

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin."

~Albert Einstein~

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 18, 2017 - 9:28 am
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Gjinja said
Thanks for asking! 🙂

My lower notes are sounding consistently clearer as I'm slowly getting used to staying less tense. Who would've thought it would be this difficult to just relax. lol  

Normally it would be easy to relax. The problem is that we focus so much on other things that we are not aware of how much additional or extra tension we apply to our playing. Once you get in the habit of using that tension it's extremely difficult to correct. 

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

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