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Sustain and position on the fingerboard
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March 24, 2016 - 11:45 am
Member Since: February 15, 2015
Forum Posts: 93
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So, I just noticed something and I'm not sure if it means I need an adjustment or if this is just the nature of things-

I have been enjoying the nice sustain of my violin since it's been played a lot since I got it and it's been kept safe from dryness in the winter, it sounds really nice.  It did come out of my hands a week ago, but it was a gentle fall onto carpet, and the only thing I could find was that I needed to retune A.  It seems to be fine.  But just now, I noticed something odd- a certain etude I play starts with these two notes on the E string: B flat to A.  I noticed that there is absolutely No sustain on B flat, but there is on A.  The sustain increases as you go down the string which makes sense, but the difference between A and B flat is quite abrupt, since it goes from some small amount of sustain on A, to nothing when you lift the bow up off from playing a B flat.  Sounds rather dead.  Is this an indication that a sound post adjustment is in order?  Or an expected effect of traveling up the fingerboard and having less than perfect bowing skills / worn out bow?  What do you think?

Far North-west Scotland

March 24, 2016 - 1:21 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1573
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Hmmmm...   that's difficult ( for me ) - let me share something - and maybe not totally related - but similar ( different string ) - 

I have observed on my FM Concert ( the only "real violin/fiddle" I have - the others are unworthy of mention... ) - I can detect a quite obvious change in sound intensity ( i.e. "ringing" - or lack of it - as you mention ) on the A string when playing around B-flat-C-C#.   This is not "wolfing" - it is "just an unexpected difference in sound volume and sustain" when the note is held

I have researched this, and it appears THAT is not an un-common resonance point in the sound-box.   It is "normal" and, it is (in my situation) understood, and, is now unimportant, and can be catered for in playing ( if / when I need to )

Now - I have - on "Hermano del Diablo" ( my 4/4 violin restrung as a viola ) played with the soundpost ( never felt the need to touch the FM Concert as yet ) - and - my findings on THAT experiment said to me "yes, this can be significant" - so - perhaps - in the fall-to-the-floor - maybe the SP has moved ?    Don't know of course - but it might just be related....   just a guess...  so many things can unexpectedly affect your sound production.   I take it all other strings are fine ?

I would suspect the SP rather than the bow right now... but just a thought????

EDIT: Or, if it was dropped - even a jolt on the bridge ?    Other mechanical aspects ?  Is the E still seated in the nut and bridge grooves and so on... ?  ( I had, un-noticed ) an E ( well, I mean the top string - the A on the viola-strung fiddle ) that was sitting proud of the bridge slot I had cut for it....   took 4 minutes of wondering what was going on until I put my reading-glasses on and discovered it wasn't sitting in the slot - .... take a real close inspection of all mechanical/setup aspects of your fiddle...  question everything... LOL

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

Fort Lauderdale
March 28, 2016 - 12:47 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11611

I don't think the fall changed anything if you can't tell the difference on the other notes.
A sostenuto on a violin comes from a continued vibration. Check that the fingerboard is smooth at that spot. There could be a dip or wave on the fingerboard that keeps your finger from coming down solid enough to keep it sustained.
It's possible of course that you are right about the sound-post, it's just not what I believe is the culprit in this particular situation.

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

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