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I first posted this video in the Chatango Chat window the other day and some observers suggested I post the video in the Forum so here we are. I have been learning to fiddle for about a year now and believe I have found a “voice” that suits who I am. Early in my learning I discovered that the E string of the violin was irritating even when I managed proper intonation. I bought a set of 14” viola strings for my Celilio Silent Electric Violin and appreciated their low tones so much that I bought a 14” CVA-500 Viola through Fiddlershop and mounted those strings on it. Lovely Sound and the fingering and skills learned to date and later on the violin and viola would complement each other without the adjustments that would have been required for a 15” - 16” viola.
A recent comment by Fiddlerman in chat, brought to my attention the existence of Octave Violin Strings. http://fiddlershop.com/strings.....e-set.html . They are SUPER-SENSITIVE, SENSICORE OCTAVE Violin strings. They are E, A, D, and G strings but they tune a whole octave below regular violin strings. I also bought a blank bridge to use in this setup. I used my fine round file and slightly grooved the nut and bridge to accommodate these physically larger strings and lubricated the bridge grooves with pencil lead.
I went back to the basic violin books to get used to this new instrument and its sound, but always eager to learn a TUNE I soon found myself working out the playing of Amazing Grace in G using sheet music from http://www.8notes.com ..
The video shows how I have progressed and I believe my intonation is more accurate than on a regular violin... this may be because of more dedicated practice and may also be because at a lower frequency slight errors in frequency are less noticeable than at high frequency.
I feel very comfortable with the new sound which more closely matches the range of my own voice that has diminished so that it is hardly useful in a church choir. Again it may be the result of practice but I find I have a better sense of where to find a note on this instrument.
I have ordered a set of strings tuning A, D, G, and C to experiment how an Octave Viola would sound but a video for that is a number of weeks off.
I am now listening to Amazing Grace on cellos to get a better sense of expression on these slow responding strings
I think your intonation is much improved compared to your previous videos. And folks might not have noticed that you are doing without fingerboard tapes now.
I like the deep sound you're getting. How hard are the strings to play? I mean do you need more bow pressure, or are the strings slow to start, or harder on the fingers? Or maybe they are easier to play than ordinary strings.
Thanks Rosined Up. The Strings are slow to start and probably require some extra bow pressure. They don't seem harder on the fingers. I think I will need a lot more experience fiddling generally and these strings in particular before I can do any jiggs. Waltzes should be more majestic however. I will probably limit myself to slow tunes as I get used to this new instrument but I have a preference to more majesty rather than showy speed. I have readjusted the saddle on my repaired, "other" CVA-500 14" in anticipation of the arrival of an Octave set of A, D, G, and C strings to build an Octave Viola. I think the range of tones from this instrument is more compatible with my voice and what I hear so that I can find correct intonation by ear and not need the tapes. It may also be the result of practice.
I was so intrigued by this idea that I ordered a set of octave strings for the Six Foot Fiddle. LOVE them! The E has always been a bit shrill on the SFF, no matter what brand I tried, and the sound was just so much harsher than my older fiddle.
They take a bit longer to stretch up to tension and stay there, and dang! that G string is fat, but they aren't harder to play.
Hey, FM - will you be putting up a tuner thingy for octave tuning?
Mary in Springfield, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com
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