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E String Sounds Off?
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KC9697
New South Wales, Australia
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May 11, 2013 - 9:12 am
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I've started playing violin again about 2/3 weeks ago cheerleader and have really been enjoying it because of how quickly I've picked it up again. My intonation is still a little out at times, but I've gotten so much control over my bow and am really enjoying learning techniques that I have never learnt before!

Buuuttt, sometimes my E string sounds a little off? It's not exactly screechy (although that happens sometimes if I don't bow quite right lol) but it's sort of whiny when hitting above an a flat or a and is really quite bad when hitting b flat, b or c and I am now avoiding using the E string if I can help it! What are some good quality strings that don't cost an arm and a leg? I have a feeling it is the strings and not the bow as they aren't that great of quality and it's only the E string that sounds off sometimes, and I can never get it to sound like it should (that beautiful, graceful sound a violin should have) :(

Thank you!! 

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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May 11, 2013 - 11:40 am
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I feel that too often people have a problem with the E string because they don't use enough bow pressure on the string. As you go higher and higher it takes more and more to vibrate the string due to the inceeased tension in the string.

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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May 11, 2013 - 1:36 pm
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@KC9697;... Kevin is absolutely right. Another problem with the squeeky E is if it's not depressed down all the way, if it's just barely touching the fingerboard, that also has a tendency to create squeeks.

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StoneDog
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May 11, 2013 - 2:13 pm
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The better the strings the better the sound for sure but one could have the most expensive strings and it still can sound like crap. I was struggling with the E string and still am to some degree but it is getting better > It got better because of what Kevin is saying > bow pressure on the string. > Mad_Wed pointed out to me that I wasn't putting much pressure on the frog area when I would be hitting the E string. I took her advice and started applying more bow pressure and it is now sounding a heck of a lot better and I am having more control with the bow and the E string. I am even getting a little vibrato out of it which points at what Fiddlestix said about pressure on the finger board.

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KC9697
New South Wales, Australia
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May 11, 2013 - 10:01 pm
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Thank you everyone for the replies and thank you for the advice! I will be sure to remember this next time I play and no doubt it will make a difference :)

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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 12, 2013 - 5:21 am
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YES bow pressure. tried that, and it helped. some of the notes I've been getting out of the e string are really whispery and dry. more pressure, better sound.
I'd been letting gravity do all the work before.

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cdennyb
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May 12, 2013 - 4:42 pm
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The amount of sticky rosin on your bow will have a big effect on the E string because it's under a lot more tension than the others and drawing the hair across the string is how it catches and releases a 'gillion' times a minute to make the vibrating sound motion. Pressure is no 2 in my book.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 13, 2013 - 6:24 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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You MAY want to test a lighter tension E string. Heavy tension strings require more pressure than light tension. Lighter tension strings react quicker than heavy but are not as powerful.

Medium tension, with all brands of strings, are designed to suit the greater majority of violins perfectly, but there are occasions where another choice will suit ones instrument better.

Your string may also be bad. A bad string (happens very frequently with the E) can make strange noises. Notes can actually flutter on and off the pitch. Steel tires under pressure and over time. I change my E string twice as often as any other string. It's inexpensive to change the E and it will give you the answer pretty quickly as well. I recommend you try Kaplan Golden Spiral Solo Gold label (light if you like), or the Pirastro Gold Label E (weich possibly) which is not a gold plated string by the way. Though I would almost suspect that your string is bad and try medium first. It you still have a problem, I would test light or weich....

Also, what everyone is referring to above. More pressure when you want to play loudly and don't play too close to the bridge.

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

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KC9697
New South Wales, Australia
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May 13, 2013 - 7:07 am
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I think I may have also been having an off day myself, it seemed a little better today but still definitely not how I think it should!

 

Thank you for the advice on the strings Fiddlerman! I didn't even know there were different tensions, so I'll be sure to have a look around at those strings you mentioned. I think soon enough I'll be changing all of my strings, so do you recommend the Kaplan or Pirastro brand for the others too? I'm sorry when I was younger I didn't really think about changing strings unless one broke, so I'm very unfamiliar with brands and what-not!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 14, 2013 - 8:01 am
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I recommend Zyex all around if you are changing all of them.
Best strings for the price any day. It's also what I use.

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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May 14, 2013 - 12:48 pm
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Fiddlerman said
I recommend Zyex all around if you are changing all of them.
Best strings for the price any day. It's also what I use.

 

My recommendation also. I also bought the "Kaplan" gold plated E string, cost a bit more, but is very responsive and give's a nice clean sound.

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KC9697
New South Wales, Australia
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May 17, 2013 - 5:33 am
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Thanks everyone, I desperately needed a new set so went to the music shop and of the 15 or so sets they had only one pack was a 4/4 set!! How lucky. They are just mid-range strings, nothing fancy but atleast this time I won't be desperate and can buy online now that I know the shop doesn't have a great selection! 

And oh my gosh the sound is so different, but is so much better! Louder and more resonant, but understandably the old strings were very worn and were beyond shocking haha. I can't wait for these new ones to settle in and for me to adjust to them :D

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 18, 2013 - 11:08 pm
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Glad to hear this KC9697

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

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