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Notes Cutting Out
Notes are cutting out as I bow.
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Adenium
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September 22, 2021 - 11:02 am
Member Since: November 6, 2018
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I am teaching myself to play the violin and have been the last few years and I think I have made fairly good progress yet I still find it difficult to get clean notes at all time. It occurs often on the the A string but is not exclusive to that string. When it happens I can feel it in my fingers as I press down on the strings. It has a certain vibration and the sound kind of prolongs and then cracks and go over in another note like when someone yodels or sing country music. I have done research about it and have been practicing bowing as accurate as possible between the bridge and fingerboard, I have tried with less and more rosin and varied the pressure and bow strokes, yet I am not sure how to improve it. I bought the Concert Violin from the Fiddler shop a few years ago. Could it be the quality of the bow or the violin?

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Mouse
September 22, 2021 - 11:07 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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@Adenium I would like to suggest you contact Fiddlershop with the issue. I think they may be able to figure it out for you, based on their experiences with their instruments, bows and questions. Make sure you let them know which bow, etc. They can, maybe, look it up in their sales records, but as much information as you can tell them would speed up the process. 

Also, is it the same with any brand of string? That is something they would need to know, also.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Adenium
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September 22, 2021 - 11:18 am
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Thank you 'Mouse'! I will do that.

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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September 22, 2021 - 12:28 pm
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How long have the strings been on your violin? From your description, it looks to me like your strings may have gone false. If so, they need to be replaced. For most people, strings need to be replaced every 6-12 months depending on how much you play.

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JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
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September 22, 2021 - 1:53 pm
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Could it be that the bow hairs need to be cleaned and re-rosined?

The old curmudgeon!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 22, 2021 - 2:45 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15672

Adenium said
I am teaching myself to play the violin and have been the last few years and I think I have made fairly good progress yet I still find it difficult to get clean notes at all time. It occurs often on the the A string but is not exclusive to that string. When it happens I can feel it in my fingers as I press down on the strings. It has a certain vibration and the sound kind of prolongs and then cracks and go over in another note like when someone yodels or sing country music. I have done research about it and have been practicing bowing as accurate as possible between the bridge and fingerboard, I have tried with less and more rosin and varied the pressure and bow strokes, yet I am not sure how to improve it. I bought the Concert Violin from the Fiddler shop a few years ago. Could it be the quality of the bow or the violin?

I wonder if you are referring to a wolf tone. Wolf tones come from sympathetic vibrations from the instruments natural tones clashing with particular notes that you play. Usually wolf tones don't come because of a bad quality instrument and in some cases more vibrant and open instruments have stronger wolf notes. Cellists especially have this issue. There are tricks for taming wolf tones but first we need to determine if this is in fact the issue.

When you say that it doesn't only happen on the A string, how many notes does it happen on and if you slide your finger up or down from the worse one, do you notice it reaching the peak on a particular tone and disappearing when you get off that note?

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

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Mouse
September 22, 2021 - 3:01 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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Interesting, wolf tones. I almost was wondering that, but his description was not exactly how I hear them on my cello or Nick Violin. They are more wobbled wah wah, like a howl. The "crack" changed my mind about wolf tone, but the yodel made me think of it.

I was thinking he might need some adjust or something, which is why I suggested Fiddlershop. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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stringy
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September 22, 2021 - 5:42 pm
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Does it happen at the same point on your bow every time.

 

I am assuming you clean your strings with a soft cloth after playing.

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

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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September 24, 2021 - 9:16 am
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My flute vendor recommended an annual service (I'll take that with a pinch of salt, as I don't think I ever got my oboe serviced, lol, and a friend's wife is a flute technician anyway, and I plan to learn how from her when I get around to it). Violins should probably be serviced every few years, especially if you are self-taught and don't have a teacher to spot problems with the instrument and you have set some things up yourself and done things like change strings without supervision, maybe shifting the bridge.

Like Andrew says, change strings every 6-12 months. I've made strings last 12 months, but it's silly. They start unwinding before the sound changes. That's bad, as you can injure a finger on an unwinding string, and, worse, if you injure your finger unexpectedly, you may flinch and throw the violin across the room, so I'm planning to change strings every 6 months, no matter what.

So, to summarise, if you live close to Fiddlershop and the shipping is cheap, and Fiddlershop will service instruments, that may be a good thing to do. It may be the only way to get an accurate diagnosis.

If you find C# is the worst note, you may find some of your afterlengths are tuned to C#. That happened to me. A quick fix was to put mutes on the offending afterlengths to change their frequency, but you learn to compensate for things like that after a while with your bowing, and so it may not have been necessary. (you get similar things on other instruments - C an octave above middle C is very weak on the oboe, and beginners assume that they have to buy a better oboe, but when your breath control is better it becomes a perfectly good note)

And that brings us to the question of how much you have been able to teach yourself in the time you have been learning. It may just be that you need more experience, more bow confidence.

Andrew

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