FORUM

Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

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

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Equipment advice?
Headaches/Warm strings/Electric violin for practising
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
miguelpitti
Member
Members
May 10, 2018 - 6:39 am
Member Since: March 28, 2018
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi! I registered here about a month ago. I'm an amateur player who tends to get migraines. I play on a Yamaha V5 strung with Dominants and a Wondertone solo E. and I want to ask you a few questions: 

1. I can stand my current setup, but I still find it a bit too bright and shrill at times. What string set would you reccommend me for achieving a quieter and warmer sound?

2. I usually practise at home with a heavy mute. Would an electric violin be worth for practising late, or would it be an "expensive mute"? I was thinking of the Yamaha YEV, which I find aesthetically pleasing.

3. Regarding the YEV, can you plug headphones on it while you practise? Would I need a headphone amp? If so, has anyone done it?

 

Thanks!

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2018 - 10:26 am
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 329
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hello miguelpitti (and others).  You offer some interesting problems.

Playing a violin with a migraine is a challenge.  Your string selection is good in my opinion.  You may want to have a luthier adjust the sound post more toward the bass bar and away from the bridge for a warmer sound.  A little goes a long way.

I have put violin strings on a 14 inch viola, which produces a very warm sound indeed (and does not alter finger spacing).

You may want to experiment with wearing musician sound protection plugs (about $20) which I found useful when playing in a community band with the brass section behind me.  MrYikes advocated the use of a rubber pad on the violin's chin rest, which may reduce sound caused by induction.  Try using dark rosin on the bow.

Regarding the Yamaha YEV.  From what I have read, it uses a passive pickup and you would need to use a pre-amp for headphone use (perhaps a Digitech RP360 that would provide you with effects).  

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

Avatar
miguelpitti
Member
Members
May 10, 2018 - 11:59 am
Member Since: March 28, 2018
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank you for your fast response, Irv. I always wear a musician protection plug on my left ear, and play with a centered and slightly elevated chinrest, which lets me increase a bit the distance between the ear and the f-hole. Otherwise, I wouldn't stand the violin. I'm not sure if this violin is worthy of being taken to a luthier, considering that it's an entry-level one and my teacher said that I will need to "upgrade" it in a relatively short period of time. But it's good to know a new solution. 

 

Are there any "pocket-sized" pre-amps for headphone use that I could plug to a YEV? Excuse the question, but I'm completely new to electronic instruments, and want to know a bit more before I decide on purchasing one... (or not).

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2018 - 6:28 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 329
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I believe that you would still get a lot of sound through the chin rest even if it were located away from the f hole through bone induction to the ear.  That is why I recommended that you try a rubber cushion on top of the chin rest.  

There are number of good Youtube videos on how to move the sound post, such as the one producted by Fidderman.  You may want to try this yourself.  Fiddlerman has a nice sound post setter (I believe that it is on sale for about $12).  I can tell you how to make an accurate sound post height gage out of an telescopic mirror handle (a few dollars) and a couple of 5 mm steel ball bearings (a few cents).  For about another $5 you can purchase something that magnetically attaches to the 5 mm steel balls to determine the angle that the sound post needs to be cut to match the curve of the top and bottom plates.  Moving the sound post a few mm can materially change the tone of the violin.  

I generally practice on an upgraded Cecilio electric violin (Fiddlerman strings, new bridge, Wittner Isny shoulder rest, Knilling Perfection Pegs and old flesch chin rest).  I would not recommend that you purchase one new but if you watch eBay you should be able to get one in a month or two for something like $30 to $50 US plus another $10 for shipping.  This violin has a 9 volt battery operated amp and has a head phone jack.  It does produce enough sound that you may not need the head phones.  The yamaha is certainly nicer but if you are not going on stage with it, the Cecilio may make more sense.  

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2018 - 6:45 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 329
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

No longer on sale but the item I think you need is called a violin sound post inserter/remover that goes for $14.95.  Send me a PM and I will be glad to send you a couple of roasted spruce sound posts for free.

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
May 10, 2018 - 6:51 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 329
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You may want to ask you teacher to assist in moving the sound post.  It is not glued in and many young people dislodge the sound post during transit to and from lessons.  

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 11, 2018 - 8:48 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13383

Some instruments are bright and painful to play for some people. I am one of those people who find it painful to play on bright instruments. The problem is that a bright instrument can be darkened slightly, but not all that much. We do what we can to darken the bright instruments when a player desires but everything is relative.
At this point, the least expensive alternative would be a good practice mute. We have two that I would recommend and the Ultra Practice mute will actually darken the sound of your instrument. You won't get much projection from it though. The brass mute is better for night time practice.
https://fiddlershop.com/products/ultra-practice-mute-violin
https://fiddlershop.com/products/brass-practice-mute
The best option for you is to save up for a dark and great sounding instrument. If you need guidance, I'll be happy to help.

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

Avatar
miguelpitti
Member
Members
May 11, 2018 - 10:41 am
Member Since: March 28, 2018
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Irv: Thank you very much for your interest on helping. Don't need to send anything, thanks. I live in Europe, which would increase the cost for you, and I don't really know if I dare to mess myself with the soundpost on my only violin. But I may ask my teacher on next class, as he tinkers pretty well with violins. And I'll definitely try the rubber cushion on the chinrest, as the reasoning makes sense. Maybe I'll wait for getting an electric. I think it makes more sense to spend money on a better bow and a better and warmer instrument. Maybe sooner than I expected.

 

Fiddlerman: I've got a brass mute which I use for night time practising, and for those days when I just can't stand the violin. The rest of days I practise with some kind of little rubber mute that pins on the bridge. It doesn't dampen the sound very much, really. But it eliminates a bit of shrillness. I don't need lots of projection by the moment, so it's fine. As I said to Irv, I think the wisest is to save some money, and getting a new bow and a better and warmer instrument. I'll contact you if I need further advice. Thank you.

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 16, 2018 - 9:43 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13383

Warmer sounding violin and bow would probably be a huge relief. Let me know if you need help.

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

Avatar
Kody
Member
Members
May 16, 2018 - 1:19 pm
Member Since: May 10, 2018
Forum Posts: 14
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I would definitely recommend the rubber Ultra Practice Mute. One came with the Master outfit I got a while back. I have roommates so it's really helpful during the day. It darkens the tone quite a bit.

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
May 22, 2018 - 9:53 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 329
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I was wandering around the internet tonight and came up with a potential partial solution to your problem.  Consider tuning the violin to A=415 HZ.  Detuning a semi tone would reduce the tension on the system and should provide you with a softer and more mello tone.  This could be a problem if you play with other people, but should be fine for practice.  I don't think that it would cause any fingering problems.

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

Avatar
localguitarist
New member
Members
May 24, 2018 - 7:13 pm
Member Since: May 24, 2018
Forum Posts: 2
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I've recently been taking violin lessons in San Jose and been really enjoying it. I can't wait to be a part of the community!

Avatar
Mark
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
May 24, 2018 - 7:27 pm
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 487
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Localguitarist,

Welcome to the forum.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

Avatar
miguelpitti
Member
Members
May 27, 2018 - 5:10 am
Member Since: March 28, 2018
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Irv said
I was wandering around the internet tonight and came up with a potential partial solution to your problem.  Consider tuning the violin to A=415 HZ.  Detuning a semi tone would reduce the tension on the system and should provide you with a softer and more mello tone.  This could be a problem if you play with other people, but should be fine for practice.  I don't think that it would cause any fingering problems.  

Thank you for your help, Irv. I will try this. I usually tune to A=442 Hz, following my teachers advice. On practice sessions, I've tunes sometimes to A=440, and it has helped a bit. Tuning down a semitone is much more extreme (and baroque), so I'll try it on the next time I'm suffering a headache. 

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
May 27, 2018 - 7:00 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2493
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

... Aha, detuning, and why not!   Not a problem - who am I to argue with Ivan Galamian...

ig.jpgImage Enlarger

exactly

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
May 28, 2018 - 3:52 am
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 209
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

BillyG said
... Aha, detuning, and why not!   Not a problem - who am I to argue with Ivan Galamian...

ig.jpgImage Enlarger

exactly  

 

It's surprising how much this becomes second nature. Like many classical players, I rarely use open strings at all. As a result, there have been times when I've played in tune for an hour or more on a string that's out of tune, automatically adjusting the whole time, without consciously noticing the string out of tune until I suddenly play one note on the open string.

Avatar
miguelpitti
Member
Members
May 28, 2018 - 4:12 am
Member Since: March 28, 2018
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

AndrewH said

BillyG said
... Aha, detuning, and why not!   Not a problem - who am I to argue with Ivan Galamian...

ig.jpgImage Enlarger

exactly  

 

It's surprising how much this becomes second nature. Like many classical players, I rarely use open strings at all. As a result, there have been times when I've played in tune for an hour or more on a string that's out of tune, automatically adjusting the whole time, without consciously noticing the string out of tune until I suddenly play one note on the open string.  

Well, in my case, as a beginner, I think I'm playing in tune until I play an open string. Then I see it was "tuned" but I was playing too high or too low. And with the violin perfectly tuned 🙂

I hope one day I can reach the ability to play in tune no matter the bad tuning of the violin as Galamian said. I'm quite a few practise hours away from that though...

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
May 28, 2018 - 11:36 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2493
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

AndrewH said

BillyG said
... Aha, detuning, and why not!   Not a problem - who am I to argue with Ivan Galamian...

ig.jpgImage Enlarger

exactly  

 

It's surprising how much this becomes second nature. Like many classical players, I rarely use open strings at all. As a result, there have been times when I've played in tune for an hour or more on a string that's out of tune, automatically adjusting the whole time, without consciously noticing the string out of tune until I suddenly play one note on the open string.  

  Indeed @AndrewH - I like the "I rarely use open strings at all"  - awesomehats_off

  For myself, as a mere fiddle-player ( with occasional forays into well known classical and popular "themes" ) - I "generally" rely on the fiddle being in-tune ( in 5ths, but not necessarily on A440 - for soloing - the precise "A" pitch doesn't matter on solos ), and I WILL sort of rely on dropping to an open string for many tunes.

 But having said that - equally - for SURE - I just LOVE working on a detuned fiddle ( not just detuned and still in 5ths apart, I mean detuned in the sense that adjacent strings, intended to be in 5ths, are NOT 5ths apart, so to say ) - it really DOES test the ear...  it is VERY telling...  and shows exactly why - as Andrew says - suddenly going to an open string just doesn't work... 🙂  Yeah - I'm still in my relatively early days of playing, and no, I have no real desire to play "serious" music - I just play for fun and the entertainment of myself and others - BUT - even as a fiddler - sure - understanding what is going on with this incredible instrument is such a joy...   🙂

  Thanks for your interesting comment Andrew, as players ( fiddle or classical ) we should all take that on-board...   

  As an aside - The fingering positions appear, to starter players to be "fixed in concrete" - but that is not necessarily so.   I have a 4/4 fiddle that is about 2cm longer ( nut to bridge ) than normal ( yeah, but the body size is a 4/4 - it's just WEIRD!) .  I have 3 other "normal" 4/4 fiddles.  I also have a smaller 3/4 fiddle...  I can play all of them in tune... for me, it is the ear, the ear, that tells me if I've hit the note or not.  If NOT, well, depends what you're playing, but you can quickly bring-it-in, and make it sound like it was an almost intended slide or very short vibrato, it'll still sound fine to the listener..

  Thanks again for your professional feedback Andrew, it's appreciated !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
May 28, 2018 - 11:52 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2493
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

miguelpitti said

Well, in my case, as a beginner, I think I'm playing in tune until I play an open string. Then I see it was "tuned" but I was playing too high or too low. And with the violin perfectly tuned 🙂

I hope one day I can reach the ability to play in tune no matter the bad tuning of the violin as Galamian said. I'm quite a few practise hours away from that though...  

Heyy @miguelpitti - first of all - WELCOME to the forum !

Yeah...  depends a lot on your musical "ear" and indeed your musical background - if you have played other instruments - you'll have a pretty good idea of how a scale (major or minor - not to mention other modal scales "should sound" )

This is why practicing scales ( in any or all keys ) is really beneficial.   It seems like hard work with little progress - but - pick some "easy" keys - G, D, A, C - to start with, and just get these fingers finding the note ( you know, well, depends how you "think it" - I always think "doh, re, mi, fah, sol, lah ti, doh" for a major - regardless of the key I'm in and mentally move the "doh" to the tonic.   Similarly for aeloian mode ( minor ) - my scale is "lah ti doh re mi fah sol lah"

  We all approach this differently, and it depends SO much (especially as adult beginners) what, if any, is our musical background.  

  Anyway - that's how I approach playing in tune....  🙂  

  Yeah...  at least it works for me...

  Best wishes with your journey into violin / fiddle playing - enjoy ! thumbs-up

  Oh - also - if you have a tuner affixed to your instrument - no need to try to get it 100% correct.  No one, absolutely no-one is 100 % pitch perfect on every single note every single time.  A discrepancy of a few cents, even 10 or 15 cents ( if that's what your tuner shows ) does NOT mean you are "out of tune"...  and VERY FEW listeners would be aware of the issue....  Seriously...  tuners are useful for bringing the instrument "into tune by open strings" - after that - use your ear...   

  All the best !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
May 28, 2018 - 12:28 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 209
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

BillyG said

  Indeed @AndrewH - I like the "I rarely use open strings at all"  - awesomehats_off

  For myself, as a mere fiddle-player ( with occasional forays into well known classical and popular "themes" ) - I "generally" rely on the fiddle being in-tune ( in 5ths, but not necessarily on A440 - for soloing - the precise "A" pitch doesn't matter on solos ), and I WILL sort of rely on dropping to an open string for many tunes.

 But having said that - equally - for SURE - I just LOVE working on a detuned fiddle ( not just detuned and still in 5ths apart, I mean detuned in the sense that adjacent strings, intended to be in 5ths, are NOT 5ths apart, so to say ) - it really DOES test the ear...  it is VERY telling...  and shows exactly why - as Andrew says - suddenly going to an open string just doesn't work... 🙂  Yeah - I'm still in my relatively early days of playing, and no, I have no real desire to play "serious" music - I just play for fun and the entertainment of myself and others - BUT - even as a fiddler - sure - understanding what is going on with this incredible instrument is such a joy...   🙂

  Thanks for your interesting comment Andrew, as players ( fiddle or classical ) we should all take that on-board...   

  As an aside - The fingering positions appear, to starter players to be "fixed in concrete" - but that is not necessarily so.   I have a 4/4 fiddle that is about 2cm longer ( nut to bridge ) than normal ( yeah, but the body size is a 4/4 - it's just WEIRD!) .  I have 3 other "normal" 4/4 fiddles.  I also have a smaller 3/4 fiddle...  I can play all of them in tune... for me, it is the ear, the ear, that tells me if I've hit the note or not.  If NOT, well, depends what you're playing, but you can quickly bring-it-in, and make it sound like it was an almost intended slide or very short vibrato, it'll still sound fine to the listener..

  Thanks again for your professional feedback Andrew, it's appreciated !  

Ah, yes. The other wrinkle for me is that I mostly play viola rather than violin, and there is no standard size at all for violas. If I play any other viola, I will have to rely on my ear, especially because my own viola is an unusual size. (The common sizes are in half-inch increments in body length , and my viola is 15.75 inches.)

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online:
54 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming coolpinkone, Fiddlestix, cdennyb, ErViolista, zander7, RosinRepublic, Helene, Panda-P, OP Alaraasakka

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 4123

Mad_Wed: 2849

.: 2671

Fiddlestix: 2647

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Kevin M.: 1969

cdennyb: 1813

damfino: 1771

TerryT: 1726

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2

Members: 13577

Moderators: 0

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 57

Topics: 7258

Posts: 90312

Newest Members:

marquitaew1, gwalmer, Aradorspita, elizabethwy18, avisrj69, tamaraxc2

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 13383, KindaScratchy: 1726, BillyG: 2493, MrsFiddlerman: 0, Jimmie Bjorling: 0