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@katie m -
Good job, Katie!
Can't wait to hear you play without the mute, though. What kind of strings are you using?
You got close to the tip! You'll relax more as time goes by - just keep it up. A lot of fiddle music is short strokes, but you want the freedom to choose long ones as often as you can.
Thanx for sharing this!
Thank you! I went without the mute for a while then back on !
I am using d’darrio or something. I can’t tell much difference but I know that’s just me.
I’m doing the Love Theme as well but I’ve abandoned it but I’ll go back to it. When I video that I’ll do it from a distance hopefully I will have improved by then. Got lots to work on. Thanks for the comments.
@katie m -
Without your mute, draw your bow across each of your strings - long, even strokes.
Are you unhappy with the sound of all of them, or just 1 or 2?
I have found I get a harsher sound from some rosins - compare the sound of your bow with and without the rosin you are currently using.
If you are still unhappy with the sound regardless of rosin, or you only dislike the sound of some of your strings, it's probably time to try a warmer brand of synthetic-core strings.
Strings make a HUGE difference!
Strings need to compliment your instrument and your preference of sound. Some can be expensive, but WORTH IT!
You need to find the right strings... even on an expensive instrument.
You'd think E strings would be pretty much all the same (just a plain piece of steel wire, right?), but there are some E strings that make me cringe on my violin - no matter how I play on them. I ❤ Pirastro Gold Label E (not gold string).
Some strings can sound dead on 1 instrument - straight out of the package, but great on another.
I like a warm, darker sound. I personally use 4 different brands of strings on my 5-string "Mortimer". Some people are very happy with all of a set of 1 brand, except the E string.
Many threads here for opinions on strings - also reviews for different brands at the Fiddlershop and on YouTube.
Here's some general info.
@katie m -
I certainly don't think you sound bad for the amount of time you've been playing!
I still prefer no mute - until you are happy with how you sound. Otherwise you're just masking issues that could delay your progress.
Did you try to loosen your bow hair a half a turn? Might give you better contact.
Are you happy with the sound when you just bow all open strings?
If you feel it's just "Beginners Sound" (I see myself a beginner for life - lol) - many tips here.
I was about 6 months into playing, still very unhappy with the sound, when I started to wonder how much of it was me vs. violin/bow.
If you play several hours a day, every day, for 6 months - even just new strings can make a big difference.
Just an observation and it maybe an optical illusion, but you bridge appears to be leaning forward towards the scroll, if it is you will want to straighten it up.
Have you rosined your bow lately,?
The warble i hear maybe form tensing up you bow arm, and or to tight of a bow hold causing the bow to bounce.
I had to tighten my bow hair up quite a bit to get my bow to quit bouncing, this seems backwards, but when my teacher told me the bouncing bow was from the hair being to loose, I looked at her like she was a 3 headed alien, she took my bow and tightened it tighter than I had ever tightened my bow before , gave it back to me and the bow bounce was gone! I had to eat crow on that one.
I sounds like your intonation is off just a little bit maybe adding to the sound issue.
And the mic you use can make a big difference in what you hear in person verses what you hear in a recording.
Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.
Katie I think you are doing ok, you seem to have the idea, like I naively had that you can learn this instrument fast, unfortunately you cant, unless you are a prodigy who starts playing at two years old and then had the best teachers in the world for the next 10 years.
Us mortals have to struggle along, for me You have a good Bow hold but as mark says it has to be held extremely lightly which isnt easy to do, your bow is also straight which it is critical to keep that way as you learn, I cant tell if your bridge is leaning but if it is it will need to be straightened which isnt hard to do but will really change the sound, I checked mine the other night and had to straighten it sound immediately improved. Th e bridge often moves as you tune the fiddle, remember we are all learning and all go through the same problems.
By the way, its when you cant hear anything is wrong that you have problems
Thanks for the comments I really appreciate them! Emily I have had a look at some beginners sound vids and there are some good tips that I can definitely use.
I just had a look at my bridge I agree it’s ever so slightly forward so I put it straight but I have to say I only had a two minute go on my violin but my bow hold I have tried to completely relax ! I already feel better! I’m trying to instead of push down , let the weight of my arm rest on my bow and then on the strings! My elbow needs to come down too.
I think my intonation is definitely way off to that’s a constant thing I have to work on. I’m kind of at the stage where I can tell if a note for example the b at the beginning is too sharp! It’s just all alien to me at the moment. I know it’s going to take time. Also I think playing with the mute for so long my ears have got used to the sound being dampened down. It’s just sounds tinny and gritty and so much louder!