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Uncomfortable with new violin...normal??
Is there a "getting to know each other" period with a new violin?
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dogandponyshow
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February 26, 2013 - 4:00 pm
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A few weeks ago, I picked up a little german violin with a wonderful deep rich sound. I had 2 stuck pegs, so couldn't really tune it for real play. I played the G string alot & admired the patina! I decided to drive it 200 miles to the closest violin repair shop last Friday & have it checked out. Ended up with a new tailpiece w/tuners (easier for me),  2 stuck pegs that he took care of, new Dominant strings, & reshaping/slimming of the bridge.

So now it's all set.....I CAN"T PLAY IT!!!  First, it's darn uncomfortable to hold. I think I got that one figured out with a new chinrest & shoulder rest from FM that I will be ordering in a few days. I feel like I'm back at week 1 every time I try to play it....screeching, squeaking, scratching strings....finger placement problems with my fingers stumbling all over each other....it's awful! drooling I can cut down on the screeching noise if I put more pressure on the bow than I usually use. Yes, I have rosin on the bow. To see if it was something with me, I grabbed my little chinese violin & had no problems.

I told myself that I just have to keep playing it & get used to it....also the strings are brand new....but my little chinese friend is calling me & I miss really playing. So, what in the world is happening....is it normal that a different violin feels like a foreign object?  Are the awful noises due to the new strings? It's very discouraging as it sounds beautiful at times....sometimes....dunno

 

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DanielB
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February 26, 2013 - 4:16 pm
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It can take time to get used to a new or different instrument.  They are all a little different.  But play on the new one a while each day, and you will probably get more comfortable on it within a couple of weeks.  You may have to get used to a bit different bow pressure/speed/point-of-contact to be able to consistently get the "beautiful" to come from it.  Fingering the notes may feel a bit different at first.

In the meantime, no reason not to play on your "little Chinese friend" as well. 

Are both instruments strung with the same kind of strings?

"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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dogandponyshow
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February 26, 2013 - 5:01 pm
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Thank you Daniel....I will continue to fight the battle! It is very different in every way as you mentioned, which is why I'll have to devote my time to this one only until I get used to it. I think going back & forth between the two will only make it more confusing!

The other has Tonica strings. This one has brand spankin new 4 day old Dominants. The chinese is bright & happy....this one is dark & moody...if I can conquer it, I'll have a violin for every mood!

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Tyberius
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February 27, 2013 - 12:07 am
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Screetching for me usually ends up being 3 things. Not enough bow pressure, not enough rosin, or sliding the bow up/down the strings (unintentionally)

 

Its possible your bridge is not cut right or at all. Did that get replaced by chance? Also, I think it was either Danial composer, FM or Ferret (or others forgive if i forgot to mention you) once (or twice) said to me, it very well could be the tuners vibrating or the tail piece itself loose and also vibrating. Make sure the strings are in the slots at the nut and set in the bridge (using graphite for lubrication)

 

As a final note, I had to replace my original bow. I was just not right. I still have it and it still sounds horrible. Its almost like the hair grain is not all the same direction or something. It screeches like an old owl fighting an alley cat.

 

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

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cdennyb
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February 27, 2013 - 2:12 am
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Your big difference in playability of the two violins is most likely mostly due to your recent beginning to play. Your lack of "seat time" at the controls of the newly setup violin lend a "lost" aire to your dilema.

The chinese violin has a 'new design' nylon core string set and the Dominants are a more flexible synthetic core string (that copies the gut strings of old). Totally different feel and sound when you play them. I have a chinese as well with Preludes on it (steel core strings) and I can play it like there's no tomorrow! Perfect pitch on the notes and the bow seems to have a mind of its' own and each and every stroke is pure delight and note tone perfection... then I play either of my very old violins, one with Dominants and the other with Zyex strings (both are synthetic core strings) and my ability to hit the notes falls on its face and the ability to do vibrato falters as well. The synthetics are 'springy' as compared to the steel cores and they vibrate at a different rate.

In time you'll be able to play both equally well, but how long till that happens? who knows...but you will. Just keep in mind the synthetic core setup is a far cry more advanced than your ability to play it well so you'll grow into it if that makes any sense at all.

I find myself playing all the synthetic core violins first and then as a treat I finish my practice routine with the steel core violin... just to put a smile on my face and leave a pleasant sound still ringing in my ears as I close the cases and retire for the day...cheers

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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RosinedUp
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February 27, 2013 - 6:15 am
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You might learn something if you were to swap some or all of the strings between the two instruments.

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Fiddlestix
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February 27, 2013 - 3:30 pm
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@ dogandponyshow: If your luthier set up your new German violin properly, then everything should be right/correct. String height at the nut and bridge end of the fingerboard, proper bridge height, proper scoop in the fingerboard and spacing between string's. The distance between the nut and bridge should be the same on both violin's, if they're not the same, your finger placement will be different from one to the other. If the set-up on both violin's are the same, they should play identical, but like cdennyb said, every instrument is different from another. Just keep playing it and you WILL get used to it, it just take's time.

Good luck with it.

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NoirVelours
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March 3, 2013 - 9:09 pm
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Hang in there it was PAINFUL for me when I started but about a month after maybe 3 weeks the vilin felt as if it belong on my shoulder. Have fun adjusting your shoulder rest, try with and without, be careful of your position. You'll buils up those muscles you had no idea existed and will feel great soon.

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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dogandponyshow
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March 3, 2013 - 9:29 pm
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Thanks all for the kind words & advice. I think I've got this one taken care of. I changed my strings....the Dominants were unraveling  surprised (A & D) & now, the screeching & strange feedback noises are all gone! I ordered new chinrest & shoulder rest a few days ago, hoping that will solve the comfort problem. Having a blast working on some Beatles tunes....thanks again!! violin-student

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