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So I get home from work today, and get set to practice. I find my E string peg had slipped. That's fine, I set to work getting it tuned. Darn thing didn't want to get out of B but I got it where it needed to be.
Bowed the other strings to see if they needed any fixing after that, and the A had gone a little flat, so I go to tweak the peg, and it slipped before I even got to touch it. Urg. Fine... So I set about tuning that.
Everything is back to normal, and I go to play, and my A string sounds horrible. Everything has a weird buzz to it, but when I bow the A string I can hear that is what is messing with everything else. It keeps going flat after playing a couple notes ( I'm pushing the peg in as I turn) and while it rings on the correct notes, it has a dead sound to it. And the aforementioned buzz.
That horrible buzz. That "what is wrong with my Ming" buzz.
Until today, everything was fine, strings ringing, no buzz, barely ever needing tuning. What happened? What can I look for to fix this buzz? Do strings go bad that suddenly?
No, same small earrings, and no other jewelry. I tried to see if anything looked out of place on my fiddle, but everything seemed normal. No string parts touching anything they shouldn't, sound post is in the same spot, tailpiece isn't touching the chin rest. I even took off my shoulder rest to see if that was it. I tried to think of anything that could make a weird buzz, but I'm sure I missed something.
the weather is changing here, so maybe that is playing tricks with it?
Maybe it'll fix itself overnight and be back to normal tomorrow, lol.
Sitting here at work, running through things in my mind to check again when I get home...
I felt the little nut on the E string fine tuner when checking things over last night at it felt tight... but if it is just a little loose, I guess that could be doing this? I did loosen the fine tuner to tighten up the E string.
The fiddle didn't take any knocks or bumps, and I am pretty sure it is the furnace that messed with the pegs. I am almost positive it just something surrounding the strings, if not the A string itself, because prior to the peg slippage, when I was checking that it was in tune for practice, the A string was fine and didn't sound any different, and only the E was off.
Sorry for the long post. Just kind of running through things "out loud" because the buzz really bothers me, lol, and totally ruined my normally enjoyable practice session, lol.
It's good to know that a loose fine tuner can cause these issues. The string really sounded so bad at first I started going over the whole violin looking for cracks.
Ok, I checked out the fine tuner, loosened it all up and then tightened everything up. It did help, but something about the A string still doesn't sound right. It is probably my most played on string, so maybe it is just all a coincidence and it is getting wore out?
I tried seeing what it sounds like when I play it open, while putting my fingers down on other strings. When I place a finger on the D string is when I hear it sounding the worst, and I notice that while playing, if I need to keep my fingers placed on the D string for the notes while playing the A string.
I tried holding various bits of the violin while bowing, but nothing seemed to make it worse of better.
But, it's tolerable as is, so I can have my teacher give me a buzz fixing lesson on Monday, lol.
I think what I'll do is buy a replacement set of the same kind of strings, and go from there. I can feel my E string has a bad spot on it where the velcro strap in my case goes across the fingerboard, so it could be as simple as the strings wearing out, and that's what I'll count on, lol.
@Fiddlerman do you know kind of strings would have been put on my Ming? The part by the tail piece is orange and black, and at the pegbox is tan, except for the E string is green.
Edit to add: It is behaving better now that I brought it home. I think the apartment was just too darn dry for it. I let it sit for a couple hours to get used to being home, and went back to tune it. This time the E and G string pegs slipped, but it was 100% easier to tune back than it was at the apartment, where the pegs or something just didn't want to change notes for anything. It doesn't sound as off right now, either. I guess my Ming stays home when I dog sit in the winter, unless I want to crack it, lol.
damfino: I hope it was just the fine tuner, and it may be that it is tight now but not at the same setting it was previously so the string feels different. I am up in Calgary, Alberta and it is soooooo dry, I have humidifiers in my instrument cases but I feel bad for them in the winter months. My pegs do slip a little more right now, but if wound properly will stay in reasonable tune. That said, tonight a cello A string just bwanged in my ear as the peg slipped when I tried to play a loud note and gave some good pressure.
How old are your strings and how much have you used them. I am wondering how often we should be changing out a whole set if we do an hour or two a day on a violin. One year? 6 months? When we notice? (I doubt that I could really tell). Aha, a question for the forum. I will look and see if it has been discussed already.
elisadalviolin These strings don't have any of the tubes on them. I do have cloths that I use between my violin neck and the velcro strap, so I was kind of surprised to feel the dimple forming. But I guess even with the cloth, after enough time one would form?
admin Thanks, I thought that's what they were, but wanted to be sure. I'll put in an order later in the month when my new budget month starts... or sooner if i just can't take the sound anymore, lol 🙂
Good news is, my Ming sounds back to normal again after letting it sit at home in normal humidity levels for a few days.
Still going to buy a replacement set of strings at the end of the month, though, lol.
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