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After a long hiatus, I pulled my childhood violin out of the closest a few weeks ago and began practicing. Things were going well for a bit, but I just can't get a good tone on my g or d strings.
The a and e strings are fine. Open g and d are okay, but playing with the third finger in first position is a little iffy, and it sounds just play awful with the fourth finger. Playing in third position? EEK!
I did some reading about sound post placement, and wondering if that could make a difference (although mine appears to be in the "typical" location). I have inexpensive red label super sensitive (steel) strings on right now. Maybe different strings could help?
I'm feeling a little stuck.
Have you always used steel strings? If not, maybe your violin doesn't like them I had to experiment with strings for awhile before I found the ones that my cheap Chinese fiddle likes best - it came with cheap steel strings and the A string sounded awful when noted and not so great open. Turns out my fiddle likes Helicore Mediums which are wound steel with a plain steel E. The sound quality difference is huge and the effect was immediate - as soon as I put them on and tightened them up to pitch I had a different fiddle in my hands.
I remember having dominant strings at one time, but I don't know what I typically used. I will definitely experiment with a different type next time I change them. I just don't remember ever having a good sound on the lower strings, and that worries me a bit.
When I was trying to solve my string problem I saw a post on another forum from a woman who was also experimenting with strings (she has 6 fiddles.) She had bought several types of strings, found that they didn't work after a trial of a couple of weeks and wanted to pass them on to someone else in the same boat.
I'd like to offer you the same deal - send me your address off-list (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send you some strings that I've tried (including a set of Dominants) that didn't work out for my fiddles. Obviously they are used, so they can't be returned, but they are in "like new" condition, only having been strung up for a couple of weeks at most. If they work for you, great. If not, pass them along to someone else to try.
If one of them works, please tell us about it. The difference might be as dramatic for you as it was for me, making playing a real pleasure
Of course the sound-post is short and needs to be changed but I feel certain that if I brought it to a luthier for a new post and played it hard for a few months it would be a fantastic fiddle.
Good point about needing to "play in" a fiddle. They do improve with time, but dang, waiting is so hard when you're a beginner and just want to make a sound that doesn't make the dog howl!
I didn't say I was frustrated with my violin, I just wondered about my A strings. After 11 days of practicing, i noticed inconsistency on how my A string sounds -- sometimes it sounds great (at least to me) and sometimes it sounds weak. I know the main reason probably is because I'm a beginner whose bowing skill is still yucky. Any way, will report back after I take it to a luthier for an assessment.
Dominant Strings do sound wonderful, however i only bothered to use them once because they started to rust even though i take very care of my violin. THe most important thing is to get rid of the steel strings, except for possibly the E string (depends on what sounds you prefer), and get strings with a synthetic core.
Someone came up to me a month or more ago and told me they had a couple of Stradivarius copy student fiddles, they had been in the family for years but nobody wanted to play them and he was thinking about selling them.
At the time I was not interested in getting another fiddle.
Has anyone had any experience with these fiddles? Are these the same quality as some of the new student fiddles or if they are at least 40 years old does the age of the wood give them a better sound?
OK, so I bought another full-size violin. There is a logical reason for this. I got it for a friend's daughter whom I'll be teaching beginning lessons to this fall. We're working out a trade where I'll teach her beginning violin, and her mom will teach my kid to sew. Even though it's been a few years since I played, I figured I could get it together enough to teach beginning lessons to a great kid.
I took a gamble and bought a used violin off of ebay. It arrived yesterday. I tuned it and tried it out, and you know what? Even with the crummy old strings that won't stay in tune it has a better tone on the lower strings than my other violin. I'm doing a happy dance over here. I will still be experimenting with different strings on both instruments after my gift from Cat McC arrives, but I'm starting to think my student will be getting my old violin.
After replacing the sound post, I think the high strings -- A and E sounds a lot stronger, especially A string.
I haven't bought my new string yet, I couldn't find them on musiciansfriend.com, but on nsa and sw. I think I will get them from nsa. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for your report:) on dominants on your cvn500
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