Welcome to our forum. A Message To Our New and Prospective Members . Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

Check out the “Let it Snow” Xmas 2020 Group youtube project!”

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Damping
Damping string vibration
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (5 votes) 
Avatar
Peter
West Sussex, England UK
Members

Regulars
October 10, 2019 - 11:25 am
Member Since: September 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 350
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have caught myself and several occasions in the act of damping a string while playing; bringing a finger down onto a ringing string to stop the decaying note.

Is this a fault or a feature? Has the technique a name in violin playing?

I am also a guitarist, and damping strings in this way is de riguer in the fretted world.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

Avatar
Pete_Violin
Utah
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
October 10, 2019 - 1:46 pm
Member Since: March 25, 2018
Forum Posts: 456
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Peter 

I am not sure I understand.  What exactly are you referring to when a note "decays"?

Normally, a violin will resonate... this is a desired effect.  If you are talking about "quieting" the sound, often, a player will place mutes on the strings, the small rubber mutes are meant to reduce audible overtones of the violin in orchestra.  Music will often be notated as senza, indicating to mute.

If by decay you mean the note will "flatten" or fall in pitch, this is sometimes referring to a false string and may indicate that the string may need to be replaced.  Do you also find it difficult or requires much more effort to pull the sound?  These are also definite signs the string needs replacing.  A string in this condition is nearly impossible to tune correctly as well.

- Pete -

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
October 10, 2019 - 1:57 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1118
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I sometimes damp the string with a finger if I'm playing pizzicato and don't want the note to keep ringing. But it's not a common technique at all. When playing with the bow, there is no reason to use the left hand for that purpose -- simply keeping the bow on the string will stop the note just as well with much less effort and without the risk of making any extra noises.

Avatar
Peter
West Sussex, England UK
Members

Regulars
October 10, 2019 - 3:19 pm
Member Since: September 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 350
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi @Pete_Violin,

I mean the amplitude decay. The strings ring on a little, as you say, resonate, and I instinctively stop them with a touch. The strings are fresh (about four weeks).

Hi @AndrewH,

Keeping the bow on the string makes sense, but I wonder if it's because the string I've just crossed from is ringing that I do it (I'll have to watch out for that).

It's not a behaviour I've seen noted anywhere, and I wondered if I had introduced a guitarist's perversion into my fiddle playing. Thank you both for your replies.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

Avatar
wtw
Members

Regulars
October 11, 2019 - 12:53 am
Member Since: November 10, 2018
Forum Posts: 174
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I used to do that too, after string crossing from an open string because I thought the open string resonated too much (typically, in Bach's Prelude : the very first note and similar ones). I stopped doing it, working on getting better with my bow instead. I'm convinced that controlling the ringing at the end of the note is just another skill to practice...

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Pro advisor
Members

Regulars
October 11, 2019 - 2:23 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 1402
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

Maybe it's an advanced technique. It's not in Fischer's indexes.

I wish more guitarists used damping. It's particularly effective on Leo Brouwer, whose jazzy chords need to be kept mud-free, but Youtube shows that plenty of people don't have ears.

But, as Andrew says (and I'm trying to remember if you said you were a beginner), keep the bow on the strings to begin with (if playing staccato) and they won't need damping. As to strings ringing as a result of string-crossing, avoiding that is a skill that comes.

I haven't felt the need for damping yet. Maybe it's also a problem that you don't yet realise that a lot of what the player can hear is inaudible to the audience?

Something I discovered for myself is that if you are playing a low Ab or Eb or Bb, you must resist the temptation to take your first finger off the string and let the G, D or A strings ring openly after the end of the note - sounds awful.

Andrew

Avatar
Peter
West Sussex, England UK
Members

Regulars
October 11, 2019 - 3:09 am
Member Since: September 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 350
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank you all, for your replies and advice.

I shall try to hold the bow on the string to silence it for rests.

I am indeed a beginner, with just one month's experience. The question I asked of you is just what one would ask of a violin tutor, but with no way of funding a tutor I can only ask fellow fiddlers. I suppose I should soon bite the bullet and upload a critique video, so that some of my errors and bad habits can be highlighted. This will have to wait until I have my acoustic violin back together, because the home-brew electric fiddle I'm practicing on has visual and musical qualities which would distract from any appraisal of my performance.

Best wishes,

Peter

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Pro advisor
Members

Regulars
October 11, 2019 - 3:18 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 1402
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

Yes, an electric fiddle (especially if you are playing it amplified) will give little idea.

Teachers are tricky. If you've got a good one, you won't need to ask, you'll be told, whether you like it or not, lol! But finding one can be tricky. I'd always go for one with a performer's diploma, as I am totally in favour of good technique, but it helps if you can befriend one and get mates' rates.

Andrew

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
October 11, 2019 - 3:52 am
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1118
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I think the reason damping never comes up with string crossing is: the string also mostly stops ringing when you remove your finger from it, unless your finger was close to the nut. Whatever vibration is left at that point is not really audible, especially if you are reducing bow speed and bow pressure at the end of the note. At the very end, the bow is still touching the string but not really pulling it.

That means the string continues to ring with string crossing only in two situations: where you're going back and forth between strings (in which case it doesn't matter), or where you're playing an open string. Classical string players above a certain level tend to avoid playing on open strings except in fast passages, where there are enough other notes to cover any continued open string vibration, so unwanted ringing is hardly ever an issue.

I don't think damping with a left hand finger is taught as an advanced technique -- after 18+ years playing in orchestras, including the most recent several years in a semi-pro orchestra, I think I'd have noticed by now if people were doing it.

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 16, 2019 - 5:09 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15401
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

libraquarius said
I have caught myself and several occasions in the act of damping a string while playing; bringing a finger down onto a ringing string to stop the decaying note.

Is this a fault or a feature? Has the technique a name in violin playing?

I am also a guitarist, and damping strings in this way is de riguer in the fretted world.

It can be done on purpose to shorten the note as long as it's done on purpose. In other words, you are shortening the note to achieve silence. You can also bring it down slowly to end the amount of resonance.

It's not bad unless you do it too often and for no reason. Music and performance are also a matter of taste. As long as you are achieving the type of sound that you are desiring, you are fine. Experimenting with these types of solutions help you learn quicker. Musical people find solutions.

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

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
January 10, 2021 - 11:48 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 1637
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The Sad Eyes Smiley

NEVER thought I'd see the day I would have to post about this subject. (Should be "Dampening", shouldn't it?🤔)

Seems like all I wanted, right from the very beginning of this learning adventure with my Mortimer (Glasser 5-string AEX), was some nice ring/resonance and maybe a little sustain - from all 5 strings... 

"Be careful of what you wish for"- this very freaky proverb has cursed me! 

Seems my new C string I was so excited about has WAY too much (unwanted) sympathetic resonance, in reaction to all my other strings (and not just open ones).  So, now I find myself making an extra effort to dampen it with either my bow, a finger or my thumb!

I'm glad I found this thread to revive.  Just wish I would have seen it sooner - maybe I wouldn't have been so shocked. (lol)  Don't get me wrong, this effect is beautiful but overwhelming... a bit too overwhelming. 

Now I'm bummed out. 

I either have too much ring or not enough, nothing in between - and I'm not having much luck finding other "extra-short Viola strings". 

  1. If I have to settle for one or the other, which one? 
  2. If I stay with this D'Addario Ascenté brand, I'd have to find a stronger tension - not! 
  3. If I want to play Mortimer as an EV, there's no way I can use the string with the sympathetic resonance (just found this out)! 

This all brings me to another subject about this quest of mine and how it relates to the original purpose I bought Mortimer for, but thinking I better start a new thread for this... 

In the meantime, here's some "String Theory" to mess with your brain. (lol)  Our violin strings and Quantum Mechanics?  (Great thread there)

https://www.physicsforums.com/.....ory.556779

https://www.physicsforums.com/attachments/stationarystatesanimation-gif.198820/

 

Guess I'll have to break down & use Google to search for another string. 😖 (hate Google) 

- Emily 

 

Update: getting used to the C string - not as much of a problem as I thought & thinking the pros outweigh the cons.  Ring on a acoustic is a good thing!

Avatar
Unfretted
Members
January 11, 2021 - 11:33 am
Member Since: October 17, 2020
Forum Posts: 15
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

(Should be "Dampening", shouldn't it?🤔)

Emily,

As a musician, I have always heard it referred to as “damping”.

In fact, you can buy hammered dulcimers with optional “dampers” installed!

I think of “dampening” as leaving your fiddle out in the rain... 🙂

However, I did look it up, and it seems that one definition of “dampening” could fit this musical context.  But I’ve never heard a musician actually express it this way.

Some very young folks actually now use the word “chucking” in place of “damping”, which I feel is very controversial and unclear.  Quite a few folks use “chucking” to refer to a  rhythmic sort of damping, particularly on guitar.

I like to say “damping” unless I’ve hit rough weather at a festival. 😉

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
January 11, 2021 - 12:11 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 1637
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Unfretted -

Outstanding!  Thank you for setting me straight (forward? - lol). 

Smiley Broke Apart Smiley

 

Wow, "chucking" is a hard term to wrap my head around - can't quite shake the image of "chucking a violin out the window"!  

 

Rolling Along Emoticons- Emily

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online: Gordon Shumway
Guest(s) 73
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming Squiryl, BaldBeardedViolinist, mcassidy2004, AnnyJ, Reptile Smile, MyMing, CarolineNH, JamesRSmithJr, SethroTull86
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2680
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
damfino: 1992
Kevin M.: 1971
cdennyb: 1815
TerryT: 1728
ELCBK: 1637
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 27446
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 75
Topics: 8980
Posts: 111397
Newest Members:
charliecron, BrianRossman, ARTISTO, Lady McGuiver, steveripper, politicallyincorrectpuppy
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 15401, KindaScratchy: 1756, coolpinkone: 4180, BillyG: 3569, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, Mouse: 2815