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Body resonance
Odd resonance on the A string
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December 2, 2021 - 3:34 pm
Member Since: October 4, 2021
Forum Posts: 16
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In working on intonation, I am trying to improve my recognition of the instrument’s internal resonances. In addition to the sympathetic resonance from open strings, I note resonances in the body of the fiddle. My student violin has a particularly strong body resonance with the B note on the A string -- the whole fiddle vibrates quite strongly. Oddly enough, I do not find a similarly strong resonance when I play the B on the G string. Any ideas what might explain this?

This might relate to the tuning of the two plates. I’m aware that sometimes the plates are graduated using “tap-tuning” or other methods, but TBH I cannot imagine that anybody spent much time doing that with my bottom-of-the-line factory instrument.

I am considering upgrading my violin sometime, so I’ll be looking around at other instruments, trying to improve my ability to evaluate other violins and their characteristics. It will be interesting to see if other violins have that B resonance on the A string. 


December 2, 2021 - 3:41 pm
Member Since: August 23, 2020
Forum Posts: 982
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Mine doesnt at all its very difficult to hear a ringing tone from the note b or to feel any resonance. B should ring to a lesser extent than the other notes of g,d,a, and e, which all ring extremely loudly and obviously on my violin in all positions. After a fewyears of ear training I can now recognise the note anyway, mainly in its relationship to other notes, through constant repetition of scales.

With your instrument its probably something to do with the set up I would have thought.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

Gordon Shumway
London, England
Pro advisor

December 3, 2021 - 4:11 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
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I'm pretty sure all my violins' cavities resonate on C#. When I hated the quality of my C#'s a couple of years ago, I had forgotten that.

Anyway, one the overtones of the G string is B, so maybe a harmonic of your B is causing the G string to resonate strongly in sympathy. This would explain why B on the G string doesn't have the same effect. Normally these sympathetic resonances are a good thing, so I'm surprised you find it a problem. Perhaps you are only just noticing it for the first time? Learn to enoy it! Failing that, whenever I detect this kind of thing, I find that I can eliminate it with practice (I think my C#'s are all fine now, but I haven't checked methodically), so I guess these things tend to be technique-related - Nicola benedetti's Strad has two wolf notes, and she has learnt to play around them and compensate.

Bow more gently - I found that my A string was the last to "come in" - it can produce some harsh notes.

All instruments have foibles - open C on an oboe requires years of breath-control for it not to sound like a duck with asthma.


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