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"All that needs to be understood is the fact that on thinner strings the sounding point is closer to the bridge than on thicker strings and that in the higher positions the sounding point is also closer to the bridge than in the lower positions."
Galamian's Principles, page 58, Dover edition
free pdf and more at http://archive.org/details/pri.....viol00gala
I find that sounding points do vary by string, enough to tailor the sound of the piece.
However, I'm not always able to use that because bowing characteristics also vary with sounding point.
I also may vary sounding point to disguise a string that doesn't work well with the group. I seem to usually back off on "A"'s.
My remarks are not based on any one string brand.
All of this will come to you automatically with experience. A lot to think about!
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
There are other principles to keep too. For example, playing at greater speed with constant pressure requires you to stay closer to the fingerboard while playing loudly at slow speeds requires playing closer to the bridge.
I see that I took that Galamian quotation out of context. He devotes nine pages to tone production.
In the same paragraph was "That this [sounding] point changes location with the varying speeds and pressures of the bow has already been established.. It should now be added that some other factors in addition to speed and pressure have an influence on the location of the sounding point. These are the length, the thickness, and the tension of the string itself."
Exactly Rosinedup and Oliver. When you are playing a piece, depending upon the mood of the song, you have to choose the bowing lane. Here what FM says holds good too. By varying the bow speed, pressure and selected portion of the bow, one can change the sweet spot to a very small degree. This is my opinion. I have not experimented it.
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)
I would agree that the sounding point for the sweetest spot does very a bit from string to string. This is logical, considering the differences in thickness and construction/materials of the strings.
I think that it is possible, though, that some people obsess too much about staying/playing only on "the sweet spot".
That "sweet" sound is kind of like when you are singing, the vowel sound "oooooo".. (like in the English word "too") One can make some use of singing with just that sound sometimes. But sometimes, what you want to say/sing requires those other vowel sounds.
I think it best to practice and use the other "lanes" as well. So you have more choices when playing a piece as to which sound you use for different notes in their various contexts.
One of the elements of music that makes it interesting to listen to is the use of tension and release. The "sweetest" sound isn't always the best choice for everything.
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
Interesting Dan. I think that is a good point. I need to find those sweet spots.. I sure love it when I hear them. I think I should spend a little time accessing those sweet spots. Oh I sure feel good when I hear them. I was recording something recently for the forum.. and I was so excited that the violin seemed to nail those spots.. I made some silly face or mistake and ended up posting one without the quirks. Now I regret it.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato