FORUM

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.

Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy 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
Fingering Problem
Unwanted string sounds
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
grandpafiddle
New member
Members
March 3, 2020 - 11:32 am
Member Since: March 3, 2020
Forum Posts: 2
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm having a problem I haven't seen addressed before. When I play notes on my violin G and D strings, I end up playing the open string when I lift my finger. Very annoying. I have a very good arch to my fingers and knuckles, and I have concentrated on making sure I'm lifting my fingers straight up off the string. It's like my fingers are too soft and they're lifting the string and playing the open note. My fingers aren't calloused anymore like they were when I played guitar. Any suggestions?

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
March 3, 2020 - 12:10 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1399
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@grandpafiddle and others.  If the open string refers to the adjacent string to the one fingered, I would look at a bridge with an arch less than optimum.  If the open string is the same one as fingered after the finger is released, you have a coordination issue between the right and left hand (this likely exists on all strings, but is more noticeable on the bass strings because they have more mass, and therefore more inertia).  

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Avatar
Peter
West Sussex, England UK
Members

Regulars
March 3, 2020 - 2:44 pm
Member Since: September 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 258
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It sounds like you're pressing too hard on the strings, causing the fingertips to grab them. The extra reach needed to hit the G and D strings is probably exacerbating this (you mentioned your diligence over lifting straight). It's a bit like you're playing an inadvertent pull-off.

Try applying only enough pressure to make the note ring true. You don't need much pressure. You will find you can actually stop the strings by just putting your finger on them, without pressing down to the fingerboard. This isn't how you play stopped strings, but it's a good illustration of the gentle touch needed. Violin strings have little innate sustain (unlike a good solid guitar), but they are very sensitive. Experiment with the pressure; the fingertips need to be there, but no strain is involved. The action to aim for is a very light hammer-on.

I'm an ex-guitarist too, and I've completely lost my callouses. I practice around an hour each day on the fiddle, and my fingertips are soft.

Disclosure: I only have five-and-half months experience on violin, so pay attention when the grown-ups weigh in!

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
GregW
Members

Regulars
March 3, 2020 - 8:03 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 692
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'll agree that it sounds like youre pressing to hard or as you come off the string you're pulling it side ways just a bit and slightly plucking it.  if you think it's sticking to your fingertips place your phone or something to record with a few feet away and play something.  listen if you can hear it.  Maybe with the violin being under your ear its just more pronounced to you and not really audible to someone else.  Thats not much help for an annoyance..just a thought.

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Pro advisor
Members

Regulars
March 4, 2020 - 1:35 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 1024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Grandpa hasn't mentioned how he is bowing. When this happens to me, it's usually because the bow is crossing to the next string too slowly.

Andrew

Avatar
bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
Members

Regulars
March 5, 2020 - 9:13 am
Member Since: July 8, 2018
Forum Posts: 677
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi @grandpafiddle , 

Something like what you're describing happens to me too when I lift my finger BEFORE my bow begins to play the following note on an adjacent string. For example, when I have to play low C (g-string) followed by E (d-string) the string crossing sounds much cleaner when I keep my 3rd finger engaged on the c-string until I've begun to get a sound out of the E on the neighboring string. 

This might ... or not... be what you're experiencing?

Avatar
grandpafiddle
New member
Members
March 5, 2020 - 11:53 am
Member Since: March 3, 2020
Forum Posts: 2
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank you everyone for the great suggestions. The best thing that is helping me so far is a softer finger pressure on the string. I still get the open string note when my finger leaves the string, but it's not as pronounced with less pressure. It's not a bowing issue because I can actually play the notes without using the bow (just fingering the notes of the song without bowing) and I still have the same problem. I clean the strings after each use with a soft fiber cloth and make sure my fingers are clean and dry. I'll keep working on it. Any more advice is appreciated. Thanks everyone!

Avatar
Peter
West Sussex, England UK
Members

Regulars
March 5, 2020 - 12:47 pm
Member Since: September 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 258
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Glad you're getting a handle on your problem, @grandpafiddle - don't forget you are just inches from the strings, and you're hearing every little nuance. Things sound quite different a few feet away: record yourself and listen to the playback.

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
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 6, 2020 - 4:34 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14986

It's always good to press softly but your tone will suffer if you press too softly.

Press just enough to have the string touch the fingerboard. When a very juicy sound is required, press a bit more.

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

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
March 6, 2020 - 5:34 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 719
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

One way to calibrate your sense of finger pressure: play a continuous note with your finger on the string, and gradually reduce finger pressure until the moment you hear the string isn't stopped any more. You'll probably be surprised at how much you can reduce it.

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 85
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming JPferrman, Designer 88, LyleA, BaldBeardedViolinist, Stephen, AnnyJ, Reptile Smile, Trisha, wonderputz, Russionleo
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2679
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Kevin M.: 1971
damfino: 1945
cdennyb: 1815
TerryT: 1728
Ferret: 1575
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 27169
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 56
Topics: 8366
Posts: 104056
Newest Members:
KrisK, 1 Whiz Kid, music_master, PandoraV2, Abelardo, CrookedBill
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 14986, KindaScratchy: 1754, coolpinkone: 4176, BillyG: 3272, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, cid: 1803