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Electric Violin
Learning
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Stuey75
Nashvile TN
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November 12, 2012 - 11:31 am
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Would starting off with an electric voilin to learn on damage the learning on an acoustical violin later?

Looking into the electric one because of the headphones and being able to practice relatively quiet. But I wasn't for sure if learning on one of those would keep me from being able to play a acoustical properly.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 12, 2012 - 11:44 am
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I don't think that it could harm you in any way. You'll have to re-learn a bit later when you purchase an acoustical but that would be normal and natural.
The two are quite similar IMAO.

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

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DanielB
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November 12, 2012 - 12:36 pm
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I started on electric. 

When I started playing acoustic, there were a few things different that I had to get used to. 

The weight and balance are different.  Electrics tend to be heavier, and that can lead to supporting the violin's neck more with your thumb than you should.  Also, hand movements that wouldn't move the electric much may move an acoustic more, and that can throw off your fingering a bit.

Bowing is a little different, or maybe it would be more proper to say that the sort of sound you may get from the same pressure and speed of bowing you do on one can sound quite different than the other.

You also have to remember the overall sound is a bit different.  If you try to learn techniques from something like a recording or video of an acoustic but you are playing electric, you may have to listen a bit closer to tell if you are getting it right.

But really, those are things you get used to pretty quickly, and both are great fun.  I play both and switch back and forth between then quite a bit.  The advantages of electrics being very quiet with the headphones (or just not turned on or not plugged into an amp) allows practice at pretty much any time, and I'd say that outweighs any disadvantage "solid body" electrics have.

And like I usually tell folks, if you can manage to have both, that's the best option in my opinion.  I have both, and like playing both of them.  (Well, not at once, obviously..LOL)

Si I agree with Fiddlerman, hat it won't hurt you, but you'll have to get used to playing acoustic, if you decide to do so at a later point.  Most of what you learn on either will work on the other as well.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Stuey75
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November 12, 2012 - 2:17 pm
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THANKS!!!

 

that was my concern that I was trying to make it logistically easier to learn and practice on with the electric but didn't want to sabotage my efforts later with acoustical. Not trying to be a concert violinist, just wanting to play for my own enjoyment. I would have more time to plug in the electric one rather than waiting until everyone is in bed and be on the other end of the house so not to disturb them.

 

Again, thanks for the great input!!!

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Tyberius
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November 12, 2012 - 2:34 pm
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I have the same concerns Stuey. Being a night owl has its disadvantages when playing an acoustic instrument.

 

I looked into mutes and realize they just don't offer what I want. The rubber,platsic,tape,silicon onse do not dampen enough, while the metal blob covers seem detrimental to your wooden instrument. I also would like to know what established players thing and those particularly who do own and play and electric one.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Chris
Poland
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November 12, 2012 - 4:43 pm
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Maybe it's not the best topic for that question, but I don't want to start a new one.

Is it possible to play electric violin (or semiacoustic) with guitar amplifier? Because for example you shouldn't play bass guitar using electric guitar amp because you can damage the amp. How is it with violin?

And second one, if I can ;) Can I somehow mute a semiacoustic violin andplay only through amp? (I mean that I cross the strings with the bow and violin doesn't make any sound itself. The only sound you hear is that one from amp)

Thanks for help! ;) violin

Greetings from Poland ;)

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soma5
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November 12, 2012 - 6:06 pm
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Chris said
...

Is it possible to play electric violin (or semiacoustic) with guitar amplifier? Because for example you shouldn't play bass guitar using electric guitar amp because you can damage the amp. How is it with violin?

...

It shouldn't be an issue.  The low frequencies are what cause the problems (there can be more than one type of problem!) with a bass being played through a guitar amp.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 12, 2012 - 9:46 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Guitar amps are great for the violin because the frequency's are close. A keyboard amp is even better because of the wider range.

You can play an acoustic electric violin with a mute but I don't see how you'll benefit much from it. It won't be very loud under your ear and it could be turned up high or low on the amplifier. Not sure how much volume you can get when playing with a heavy mute though. If you want a low volume so as not to disturb neighbors you could just use the practice mute and not the amp at all.

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

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DanielB
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November 13, 2012 - 12:51 am
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Electric violin frequencies aren't a problem with a guitar amp.  As Fiddlerman mentioned, electric violin and electric guitar have a very similar range.  Guitar amps do have some tone shaping that is intended to optimize guitar sound, but that varies from maker to maker and it is just a matter of finding a brand of amp you like the sound of or getting the tone controls set in a way you like.

Semi-acoustic violins (an acoustic with a pickup) will not play any quieter than a regular acoustic.  The point of putting a pickup on them is so they can be amplified to play louder.  Or maybe if one wants to try using effects or recording directly from the instrument instead of setting up a microphone.  Amplified acoustic violins are only "the best of both worlds" in that they allow the use of effects, direct recording or amplifying the violin where natural volume just won't be enough power.  "Solid-body" electric violins are sometimes sold as "silent violins" because they are much quieter if used unamplified or with headphones. 

My electric, when played without plugging it into an amplifier, can be maybe as loud as a person speaking in a quiet voice.  Nobody would be likely to notice any difference if I wear the headphones or not, but they are nice when you want to be able to hear yourself over background noise, like someone watching TV or whatever.  Plug it into an amplifier and it can go as loud as the amp can go, which can obviously be very loud if that's what you wanted.

I don't use mutes.  But they work by damping/absorbing sound from the bridge.  On an acoustic violin, that keeps sound from getting to the body or "sound box" of the violin, so it makes it quieter.  However, with an amplified acoustic, it would also keep sound from getting to the pickup.  I can't think of any situation offhand where that would be an advantage, unless maybe there was something about the tone of the instrument played with a mute that you wanted maybe for recording or something.  It definitely wouldn't make a semi-acoustic violin so it makes no sound except what comes out of the amp, though.  For that matter, solid body electric violins also make some sound when you play them even with no amp, it is just much quieter.  A bit louder than an electric guitar played with no amp, but not a lot.

Now, to address a comment Stuey75 made.. Maybe your house is set up differently than mine, but if people are asleep and I play the acoustic violin, it often will wake them up.  Acoustic violins are powerful little instruments, and the sound carries quite a ways.  If people are asleep, I play my electric.  If I don't have it plugged into my (guitar) amplifier, it is quiet enough that it doesn't disturb anybody. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Stuey75
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November 13, 2012 - 10:55 am
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That was my concern. As of right now I do not have a large house and with 3 kids and a wife and the sound I would be producing in the beginning, I wouldn't want them to chase me off with pitchforks.

I figured to learn on I could get the electric and plug the headphones in and be on the other side of the house and not disturb anyone. They will work with just headphones right?

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DanielB
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November 13, 2012 - 11:54 am
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Most of the e-violins I've seen for sale lately have a headphone jack.  You might want to check the product description to be sure, though.  In the unlikely event that you find one you really like that doesn't have a specific headphone jack, there are inexpensive headphone amps as well as amplified headphones on the market.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Chris
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November 13, 2012 - 1:31 pm
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Fiddlerman said

If you want a low volume so as not to disturb neighbors you could just use the practice mute and not the amp at all.

I thought about headphones connected to amp :) but now I think that common acoustic violin is better.

And what is "the practice mute"?

Greetings from Poland ;)

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Stuey75
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November 13, 2012 - 2:32 pm
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I am getting that electric violin by Cecilio (sp?) that Fiddlerman reviewed on a video. He says it is pretty good so I was sold. crossedfingers

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Mad_Wed
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November 13, 2012 - 3:42 pm
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Chris said 

And what is "the practice mute"?

http://fiddlershop.com/accessories/mutes

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Chris
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November 15, 2012 - 3:54 pm
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Mad_Wed said

Chris said 

And what is "the practice mute"?

http://fiddlershop.com/accessories/mutes

Thanks. I just knew it under polish name - "tłumik" :D

Greetings from Poland ;)

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Tyberius
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November 15, 2012 - 4:17 pm
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I'm just not sold on the add on mutes. I have not heard one in person, but the Db drop just doesn't seem realistic to play while in a quiet house full of sleeping people. Obviously they do reduce the volume intensity but hardly enough to keep your personal safety gauranteed after you become surrounded by (now awake) people brandishing pitchforks and torches.

 

After hearing a recording of an electric (or really almost not hearing it), I think that really is the way to go. This afternoon I am going to go see a Celilio CEVN4 being played and to also play it for myself. I will get a feel for its weight, feel and sound. I really don't know what to expect, but I am looking forward to it. I was told they are off in tone compared to an acoustic and the cheaper end Celilio is tingy and most do require some work to get them up to be a reasonable instrument. New headphones, strings, bow, and dealing with a bad finish on the instrument fingerboard.

 

I have not looked into, or heard anything negative about the ones offered here by fiddlerman, but really, for under $150 for a playable practice instrument, hard to beat that. You could spend that much buying your daily latte/espresso every month. If it does turn out to be less then adequate, maybe donate it to a middle school music program or something.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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