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More ways to mute the violin?
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Verdusk
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July 8, 2016 - 9:54 pm
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I really need to mute the violin as silent as possible. I've put 3 dollar bill mutes and 4 cllothespin mutes so far, so the bridge and part of the string behind the bridge is full.

But I still need to add more, is there a way to mute my violin further?

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BillyG
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July 9, 2016 - 1:58 am
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Try an on-the-bridge mute.   I have a rubber type, similar to the first one shown onn this page - http://fiddlershop.com/accesso.....order=DESC - but I rarely use it - you must have very irritable neighbors LOL.   I suspect the heavier metal versions would have the greatest effect.

OH - just went back to the above page - didn't realise before - there is actually a video from FiddlerMan demonstrating the effect of different mutes - https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=218&v=uTIZ0Vz_nK4 

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Verdusk
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July 9, 2016 - 10:18 am
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BillyG said
Try an on-the-bridge mute.   I have a rubber type, similar to the first one shown onn this page - http://fiddlershop.com/accesso.....order=DESC - but I rarely use it - you must have very irritable neighbors LOL.   I suspect the heavier metal versions would have the greatest effect.

OH - just went back to the above page - didn't realise before - there is actually a video from FiddlerMan demonstrating the effect of different mutes - https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=218&v=uTIZ0Vz_nK4   

I've watched the videos and I doubt it can beat 4 clothespins (you cant put more than 1 of those things right?)

Thing is I live in some sorta dormitory now and even share the bedroom. With my septuple mute if I play on the "living room" they can still hear in the bedroom though not very loud, but if I were to practice a lot ideally I'd need it muted even further.

Thanks for reply though.

EDIT: I'm considering septuple-muted electric violin though that would mean I have to buy an electric violin.

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Charles
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July 9, 2016 - 2:35 pm
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An electric violin will be much quieter than an acoustic, but I'm not sure a mute will help damp its sound.

Mutes work by decreasing the amount of energy that gets produced by the strings into the acoustic chamber (the body of the violin). Assuming you're talking straight electric (not a hybrid), it doesn't have an acoustic chamber. That's why it's so much quieter.

If your roommates have an issue with you practicing with an electric in another room, your problem is your roommates.

A couple of tips for playing more softly:

Decrease the pressure on the strings. There are two ways, and you probably want to use both:

1. Curl your hand up so that the wood of the bow moves away from you, and you're playing with the far edge of the hair, only.  Fewer hairs means less energy going in the string, which means less volume.

2. Using your arm, lessen the weight of the bow on the strings. Keep doing the stuff with your forefinger and pinky to adjust for where on the bow you are. (Watch you don't use too much forefinger, or you'll be fighting yourself.)

  The bow naturally has the least weight (exerts the least force on the strings) in the middle section. Tip is 2nd lightest, frog is heaviest. (And the frog is much heavier. Play there very softly as an exercise, but when you're worried about disturbing your roommates, you probably want to avoid that area. UPDATE: I re-read my source for that, and he was talking about maximum possible pressure. Go with either the middle or the tip, whichever works better for you.

Once you've got the weight/pressure low, slow down your bow speed, as much as you can without getting scratchy. Since scratches are more irritating to listen to than notes, you may want to practice getting it really slow when you're alone. The slower you play (provided the pressure is light enough) the softer the sound will be.

 

You might also look for alternative places to practice, since it sounds like your roommates don't want you playing at all. A park, if practical, would be good. If you go someplace where you have to walk for a couple or three minutes away from all the main activity to get to it, you shouldn't get any complaints. (You may get an audience.)

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Verdusk
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July 9, 2016 - 10:45 pm
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Charles said
An electric violin will be much quieter than an acoustic, but I'm not sure a mute will help damp its sound.

Mutes work by decreasing the amount of energy that gets produced by the strings into the acoustic chamber (the body of the violin). Assuming you're talking straight electric (not a hybrid), it doesn't have an acoustic chamber. That's why it's so much quieter.

If your roommates have an issue with you practicing with an electric in another room, your problem is your roommates.

A couple of tips for playing more softly:

Decrease the pressure on the strings. There are two ways, and you probably want to use both:

1. Curl your hand up so that the wood of the bow moves away from you, and you're playing with the far edge of the hair, only.  Fewer hairs means less energy going in the string, which means less volume.

2. Using your arm, lessen the weight of the bow on the strings. Keep doing the stuff with your forefinger and pinky to adjust for where on the bow you are. (Watch you don't use too much forefinger, or you'll be fighting yourself.)

  The bow naturally has the least weight (exerts the least force on the strings) in the middle section. Tip is 2nd lightest, frog is heaviest. (And the frog is much heavier. Play there very softly as an exercise, but when you're worried about disturbing your roommates, you probably want to avoid that area. UPDATE: I re-read my source for that, and he was talking about maximum possible pressure. Go with either the middle or the tip, whichever works better for you.

Once you've got the weight/pressure low, slow down your bow speed, as much as you can without getting scratchy. Since scratches are more irritating to listen to than notes, you may want to practice getting it really slow when you're alone. The slower you play (provided the pressure is light enough) the softer the sound will be.

 

You might also look for alternative places to practice, since it sounds like your roommates don't want you playing at all. A park, if practical, would be good. If you go someplace where you have to walk for a couple or three minutes away from all the main activity to get to it, you shouldn't get any complaints. (You may get an audience.)  

I've actually asked my roommates and they were fine with it, I was playing rather silently however. If I for example practice double stops it gets considerably noisier.

It might also be a problem if the people next door/number can hear it.

The wall here is really thin, they say you can hear what the person in the other number are talking about if you stick your ears to the wall.

No one's complained so far but I may not be able to play freely either, meaning I probably have to hold back the volume.

I'll definitely see if there are any parks around though. Also useful tips, thanks!

Now we also have the question whether you can mute an electric violin. (I don't have one so I don't know it if can and I also don't know whether a normal electric violin is quieter than my septuple-muted acoustic violin but I'm thinking it probably is)

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Demoiselle
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July 11, 2016 - 8:06 pm
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It is also possible to cover the f-holes and in case you have clothes pins on, shutting the f-holes will mute the violin more. I tinkered something to cover them—little slats with felt under.

I don't mute my violin anymore. I did it in summer, when I was an absolute beginner, because I sounded so awful. Now I find myself bearable, the neighbors never complained anyhow and the muted sound is not inspiring me.2

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bluesviolin
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July 11, 2016 - 11:50 pm
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any solid body or Yamaha silent violin type violin is no louder than a small radio set at low to medium volume, prolly less loud than a radio. Some Yamaha sv's have a jack for head phones. or put it thru a small amp (or any amp for that matter) that has a phones jack. this way you don't have to worry about 'bowing on egg shells. Although practicing with an electric is different than practicing an acoustic, as has been discussed.

It makes me cringe to think of an acoustic violin with dollar mutes and clothes pins and possibly stuffed f-holes. unless it's a VSO, in which case it wouldn't matter much.

How important is playing (or learning to play) the violin to you? If it's very important, you will have to find a way to make it work, which may include moving.

best of luck. 

"Striving to attain Mediocrity"

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Demoiselle
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July 12, 2016 - 3:53 am
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@bluesviolin But there's no way to silence any violin more than using the heavy metal mute for violin. It is kinda cruelty, and the sound is really not making me happy, but if walls are very thin and sleepy neighbors very sensitive, it is possible to play the violin after midnight with that metal mute.

Personally, I wouldn't spend the money for an expensive e-violin, to just practice at late hours now and then. To me unplugged is all I do, I want electricity to be kept out of my music as much as possible.

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Verdusk
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July 12, 2016 - 5:37 am
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Demoiselle said
It is also possible to cover the f-holes and in case you have clothes pins on, shutting the f-holes will mute the violin more. I tinkered something to cover them—little slats with felt under.

I don't mute my violin anymore. I did it in summer, when I was an absolute beginner, because I sounded so awful. Now I find myself bearable, the neighbors never complained anyhow and the muted sound is not inspiring me.2  

I didn't know this, I don't know if I understand the method well but I'll try to do it and see if I succeed, thanks!

bluesviolin said
any solid body or Yamaha silent violin type violin is no louder than a small radio set at low to medium volume, prolly less loud than a radio. Some Yamaha sv's have a jack for head phones. or put it thru a small amp (or any amp for that matter) that has a phones jack. this way you don't have to worry about 'bowing on egg shells. Although practicing with an electric is different than practicing an acoustic, as has been discussed.

It makes me cringe to think of an acoustic violin with dollar mutes and clothes pins and possibly stuffed f-holes. unless it's a VSO, in which case it wouldn't matter much.

How important is playing (or learning to play) the violin to you? If it's very important, you will have to find a way to make it work, which may include moving.

best of luck.   

It's a decent violin, including the strings which is why I asked in the other thread whether the muting damages them in any way.

Before moving to where I am now I played the violin pretty much every day. I like it very much and it's important to me to at the very least play it once a while. (I'm also busier nowadays. But when I have the time I'll try the hole mute and also check out a park, though unfortunately it isn't close by it may be worth it)

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Demoiselle
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July 13, 2016 - 3:26 pm
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