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2 to 5 cents flat
Recording
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
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stringy
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September 4, 2020 - 10:01 am
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When I play it sounds ok to me but played back to me it always sounds a couple of cents flat on certain notes, my intonation is still terrible but hopefully improving. I am used to playing fretted instruments so don’t know if this is just a violin thing, any thoughts or advice would be welcome

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please feel free to criticise and point out what I can do better, (besides everything😂

 

especially how to get a more even tone on bow strokes, 

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JohnBAngel
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September 4, 2020 - 11:23 am
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Stringy,

I think I share the same issue that you are experiencing. I come from a fretted instrument background and my ears always went a little flat. This may be from previous experiences with the blues genre. I have had to tune my violin and viola 2 cents sharp to get to the right place in my ears. I am working on my ear training and have found improvement over the last 3 months.

Good luck to you with your journey and keep us all in the loop.

JohnBAngel 

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stringy
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September 4, 2020 - 1:50 pm
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Thanks for the feed back, very difficult to get it right. For some reason I have particular trouble with the note B, strange.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 4, 2020 - 2:08 pm
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@stringy and others - your "awareness of playing flat" - or simply feeling the intonation is "out to one side or another" - may *possibly* come from your earlier learned experience on fretted or keyed instruments which are (pretty much, apart from the REALLY low piano notes) tuned to a 12 tone equal temperament (12TET arrangement ).  That itself, is but an approximation that we have come to live with and recognise and hear to sound "good".   But, it is NOT a true "justly intoned" system.  That's sort of impossible (as I understand it) for anything other than one single key at a time.  But, on a fretless - well - not so much that it "matters not" of course it "matters" - but it matters less - because - you HEAR (as a previous player/musician on other instruments) and your ear is simply telling you "this is not quite right!" and you want to "pull the note in".

"Just" ( lol, no pun intended ) a thought....  I experience something similar on fretless instruments, and I'm pretty sure it's not just down to poor finger placement....  I suspect there is much more to it !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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stringy
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September 4, 2020 - 2:48 pm
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That’s a great reply, I have asked on other forums about this and got no comprehensive answers. It makes sense, I think you are correct. I will have to sing everything as I play, only way I can think, and if it sounds right it probably will be

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Gordon Shumway
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September 4, 2020 - 5:22 pm
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stringy said
Thanks for the feed back, very difficult to get it right. For some reason I have particular trouble with the note B, strange.

When I started playing, anything a semitone or a tone above the nut was always flat. It's worse if your first violin has a high nut - then you will always be fretting close to the nut, and it's a habit that's difficult to lose when you get a better violin with a low nut.

Scales train your fingers and your ears.

For better tone quality, apply more pressure with your right index finger (adjusting bow speed to suit).

Andrew

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stringy
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September 4, 2020 - 6:15 pm
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My first violin, which was the one I had before this did indeed have a higher nut, violin was a stentor. Only had it six months it wasn’t easy to play at all, when I got my new one which for me at 1250 quid was like paying a kings ransom, the difference was instantaneous, it was so light to play, whereas the stentor you had to have the grip of An orangutan to press the strings down. I will have to up my scale practice and hope it pays off in the long run. To be honest it was a bit of a shock to me to find that after playing guitar in groups for thirty odd years I couldn’t tell if a note was sharp or flat, now after just a year and a half, if I hear a note that’s just five cents out it sounds terrible, makes me wonder if my ears have improved or I am more critical, and also for someone who hasn’t been training their ears would they tell if they heard a violin that was slightly out?

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ELCB
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September 4, 2020 - 7:03 pm
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stringy -  Nice performance!

The Musical Notes SmileyI believe you probably must listen more with a fretless instrument. 

You know awareness is just the beginning, then you start correcting as you hear you are off... then correct faster. 

Hopefully, your brain will soon be doing the whole process & so fast you won't probably notice it! 

Hmm Thinking Here SmileyUnfortunately, the better my ear gets - the more I hear I'm off a little!  So, maybe this is (and should be) a life long endeavor?  Plus, I find some strange music where intonation is sometimes a little subjective...  

btw, sometimes I'm concentrating/focusing so much on what notes I'm playing, my bowing arm thinks it's a "free for all" and my sound will suffer if not tracking straight.  

Thank you so much for sharing!

 

The Smiley Puppet Smiley- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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September 5, 2020 - 4:14 am
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stringy said
My first violin, which was the one I had before this did indeed have a higher nut, violin was a stentor. Only had it six months it wasn’t easy to play at all 

It may depend on where you bought it. My first violin was a £45 Chinese one from Amazon - I liked it, except that its nut was high and the top was a uniform 2mm thick (guess), being made with a CNC machine, and it sounded like a cathedral. My second was a Stentor bought from a luthier, but I don't know to what extent they set it up. Its nut action was perfect.

Andrew

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stringy
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September 5, 2020 - 6:33 am
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Gordon Shumway said

stringy said

My first violin, which was the one I had before this did indeed have a higher nut, violin was a stentor. Only had it six months it wasn’t easy to play at all 

It may depend on where you bought it. My first violin was a £45 Chinese one from Amazon - I liked it, except that its nut was high and the top was a uniform 2mm thick (guess), being made with a CNC machine, and it sounded like a cathedral. My second was a Stentor bought from a luthier, but I don't know to what extent they set it up. Its nut action was perfect.

  

Mine wasn’t set up at all, it came through the post in a box, there was just enough tension in the strings to hold the bridge in place and stop the sound post falling over. The bridge was iin the completely wrong place and I had to move it three quarters of an inch. The sound was ok,  But the action was way too high and I didn’t have the knowledge with a violin on how to Lower it, or the money to get a luthier to do it so I struggled on until my missus gave me some money towards my new one as a birthday present. The new one is Hungarian , and even though you can’t see it on my vids the Wood is beautifully finished, the strings are very low to the fingerboard, my luthier Michael Phoenix from Liverpool let me try out quite a few and gave me his invaluable advice on what to look for, such as the bas register, I was just listening to the high pitched stringsa and e, hopefully as I improve I can do it justice👀

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stringy
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September 5, 2020 - 6:50 am
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ELCB
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September 5, 2020 - 9:54 am
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stringy - I want to apologize. 

I forgot to tell you that while I am not familiar with the tune you played, I certainly didn't hear anything off in your intonation.

I think you're doing great! 

yaaaa_gif- Emily

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stringy
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September 5, 2020 - 12:31 pm
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Thanks Emily, the tune is called slan la maigh it’s a very old Irish tune, I believe but am not sure that it dates from the 18 century. It’s played quite a lot in Ireland, and has been in t least one pop song as an intro, sideways to the sun the tune was called by horslips an Irish band.

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