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Electric Violins
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BobH
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March 29, 2013 - 5:37 pm
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Can someone tell me if electric violins are easier/harder to play than an acoustic?  I would think that properly setup, they should be close in playability.  I'm looking at one of the $149 Fiddlerman electrics.  I like the fact that you can play w/o disturbing others.  Would like to hear from some of those that have played both.  Any opinions would be appreciate.

 

Bob

in Virginia

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mischa91
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March 29, 2013 - 6:11 pm
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Hi,

 

I just ordered the electric from fiddlershop this afternoon so i can't really tell you of my experience just yet, i did watch his review of it though and it seems like a decent enough instrument to practice on.  

 

I hope others will chime in with their experiences.

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Tyberius
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March 29, 2013 - 6:47 pm
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Daniel is the one to post for you here. I am sure a few others also. In the realm of making an electric work for you under whatever conditions, he certainly will give it a run for its money. He'll post here when he see's this i am sure.

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

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Iaen
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March 29, 2013 - 7:20 pm
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Honestly about the only difference to me is the weight.  It's is not much (about 6 oz) but just barely noticeable.  The CEVN-1 is about 1# 8oz, my CVN-200 is about 1# 1oz.  Typically at least for me it needed new strings and some bridge work but otherwise was fine.  You can still hear the electric violin when you play but no where near as loud as a standard one even with a mute on it.  If you where in another room with the door closed I doubt anyone could tell you were playing.  

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Mad_Wed
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March 31, 2013 - 2:19 pm
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I can't say much about it. But according to my experience of playing electric - it's more forgiving than the acoustic one. Mostly in the intonational case. amuseYou can definitelly have fun with the electric violin, but if You going to go play some acoustic performance - put the electric down and practice with the acoustic. If not - then it'll go well with electric =)

I like to learn something on electric and work on short bow strokes with it, but when it's about dynamics and intonation - i take my acoustic.

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DanielB
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March 31, 2013 - 2:52 pm
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Having started on electric, I had to get used to using a bit more bow pressure to get a decent sound when I started playing acoustic.  Not a big thing, but definitely a difference I noticed.

And some techniques, songs or pieces just sound and feel better on one than the other, much like happens with acoustic and electric guitars.  But I like playing both and like the differences in sound.

"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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BobH
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March 31, 2013 - 7:07 pm
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So...would you say for a beginner like me I'd be better off starting on an acoustic violin?

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DanielB
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March 31, 2013 - 7:41 pm
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I think it boils down to which one you want to start with.  Look at the music you like and the stuff with violin/fiddle that makes you go "Hey!  I want to do that!" and which are they playing?

Unless you're maybe an electric guitar player and already have amps and effects, then electric is going to be more expensive when you eventually want to play with other people.

The "solid body" electrics (meaning ones that are just electric, not an acoustic violin with a pickup) have the advantage of being very quiet when you want to practice by yourself.  That can be a plus for a beginner.  I know that when I was starting on violin, I was def glad that not much of anyone could hear it unless I plugged into an amp, and it definitely encouraged me to practice more, since I could play late at night. 

Acoustic violins don't really need any extra gear to be able to play for people or jam with other players.  But they also only go so quiet.  Violin is a powerful little instrument.

Both are good in their ways, and no matter which one you start on, you're likely to need to do a little bit of adaptation and finding out what works if you later decide to also play the other.  Not a huge amount, nothing I'd call crippling.  Almost all of what you learn on one will work on the other, but may sound better on one or the other.

For me personally, I feel electric was a better first choice.  I already had amps and gear from playing guitar, and the instrument being very quiet when played unplugged or with headphones encouraged me to put in more time playing.  It also had the sounds I wanted.  Not everyone *wants* to mainly play pretty classical on a traditional acoustic violin. 

My advice would be to pick the choice that has the sounds and fits the styles that you like.  It's a simple fact that it is a heck of a lot easier to practice if you're having fun with it or at least enjoying it.  For that, you want the instrument that makes the sounds you like. 

I like playing them both.  It depends on mood and what the song/piece is.  But I do still play electric a lot more than acoustic, since I can pick it up and play unplugged or with headphones any time.  I don't know your living circumstances, so your mileage may vary on that.

But you learn a scale or run or piece on one, you can play it on the other.  They are not all that different.  I think one can learn their basics on either, and it is a matter of preference.

"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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BobH
Virginia
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March 31, 2013 - 10:49 pm
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DanielB,

Thanks for your opinion...it all makes sense to me.  I can tell you've been playing a while.

I thought my wife would be driven crazy with an acoustic but she would like me to rent first, which would be an acoustic, then decide on what I really want after some learning.  I probably like that approach as well since I'll know more about what I want in a violin once I've had some experience.

However, we'll see how well she adapts once I rent an acoustic, she may beg for me to get an electric sooner rather than later.

Thanks everyone for all the advice.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 1, 2013 - 7:16 am
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Most people who think they will enjoy an electric violin end up getting an acoustical violin afterwards for the benefit of having a great sound without all the equipment.

If you feel the need to use effects and have fun with technology plus would like to be able to practice without disturbing others in surrounding areas then the solid body electric violin is for you.

You can also get an acoustic violin and use it with a solid steel mute so as not to disturb others when necessary. Some people use softer mutes to practice just because it is more soothing to their own ears as well. :-)

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

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April 1, 2013 - 10:01 am
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Some people use softer mutes to practice just because it is more soothing to their own ears as well.

Hmm, didn't even know there was mutes, let alone different levels.   I was actually thinking of getting an electric just for practicing at those late hours.   So the mutes still give a nice full tone, just quieter?   This is perfect!  I've been holding back on my bowing so keep things a bit quieter.

 

 

 

 

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BobH
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April 1, 2013 - 1:50 pm
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Fiddlerman,

I think you're right, I really want an acoustic because of the sound.  Was just thinking of an electric because of the sound volume savings but I'll buy a mute & be happy with an acoustic.

After my rental agreement expires, I'll take a peek at your $399 violin.

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April 1, 2013 - 2:10 pm
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BobH said
After my rental agreement expires, I'll take a peek at your $399 violin.

If you mean the FM Concert, I highly recommend it!

I still have 2 months on my rental, but I couldn't wait ;)   I'm very happy with this purchase, and it's actually rather nice having 2 violins around.

 

I'm a horrible photographer, this looks much nicer in person.

TcJgYT6h.jpgImage Enlarger8UhpZm4h.jpgImage Enlarger9wJqE3Yh.jpgImage Enlarger

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RosinedUp
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April 1, 2013 - 10:34 pm
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The following comes not from experience, but from an approach that would minimize the differences when switching between acoustic and electric.

I would try to find an electric that can be set up to have balance about the same as an acoustic.

By balance I mean the way it feels to your chin---the downward force your jaw has to exert to hold it.

They could weigh the same but have different balance, or weigh different and have the same balance. 

But I expect that if they weigh the same, that is a good starting point.

Since electrics seem to run heavy, when in doubt I would choose a lighter one.

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Fiddlerman
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April 2, 2013 - 9:25 pm
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Thanks Xenabi :-) I appreciate the recommendation.

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

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ErViolista
Italy
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April 7, 2013 - 10:15 am
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Mad_Wed said
I can't say much about it. But according to my experience of playing electric - it's more forgiving than the acoustic one. Mostly in the intonational case. amuseYou can definitelly have fun with the electric violin, but if You going to go play some acoustic performance - put the electric down and practice with the acoustic. If not - then it'll go well with electric =)

I like to learn something on electric and work on short bow strokes with it, but when it's about dynamics and intonation - i take my acoustic.

+1

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