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General questions about cheaper violin outfits
Bow quality, black fingertips, Cremona SV175
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Schaick
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April 30, 2015 - 9:12 am
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Fiddlerman said
Daniel, The #0000 grade fine steel wool is mainly used to remove the black from the oxidized strings. It's not something that you should do too often or every day. It's done when the strings are old enough that they need freshening up.
Your strings don't need that much protection but if you scrub them too often and too hard they will eventually unwrap. If you are concerned about ugly strings you can use the steel wool but it doesn't hurt the strings to leave the oxidation there. Strings will deteriorate no matter what. I've never experienced a deterioration from using the steel wool but you would be surprised how little is needed to achieve the goal.

I thought the steel wool was for callused fingertips!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Fiddlerman
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April 30, 2015 - 10:46 am
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Works well for that too Schaick. :)

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

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DanielB
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April 30, 2015 - 10:55 am
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I think it was Ken who was asking/commenting about the steel wool, Fiddlerman. 

But I'm the guy who uses a cork, so I'm a confirmed crazy anyway.  LOL

For callouses, I usually sand them off about once a week or so with 200 grit sandpaper.  That may seem counter-intuitive to beginners with sore fingers right now, but if you play enough they can build up thick enough that you actually can't feel the string. Different folks may be different on this, but I prefer to be able to feel the strings when I play.

"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

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Fiddlerman
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April 30, 2015 - 11:13 am
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Sorry Daniel, that is what you get for posting right after him. LOL

I stand corrected.... What I said above but for Ken.... That is what I get for specifying my reply to one person......

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

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Schaick
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April 30, 2015 - 3:56 pm
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I was joking!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Fiddlerman
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April 30, 2015 - 4:25 pm
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Schaick said
I was joking!!

I know, so was I. LOL

I think Daniel is serious though. :)

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

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Schaick
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April 30, 2015 - 5:10 pm
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LOL!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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DanielB
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April 30, 2015 - 6:04 pm
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Yup, not kidding.

But I think different folks develop callouses at different rates, so maybe it isn't a bother for most folks.

If it is, though, sandpaper or pumice stone takes care of it easy enough.

"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

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Fiddlestix
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April 30, 2015 - 10:34 pm
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"Holy Sore Callous Fiddlerman"... lol

When my callouses get too thick I just bite them off or wear gloves when I play. No, not fingerless gloves. But on the other hand, I have to keep the callouses down do to the fact that I have to test my sugar with a glucose meter and I take the blood from my left hand and it's good bowing practice holding the lancet in the right hand.

roflroflviolin-1267

Ken.

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pky
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DanielB said
Yup, not kidding.

But I think different folks develop callouses at different rates, so maybe it isn't a bother for most folks.

If it is, though, sandpaper or pumice stone takes care of it easy enough.

My daughter never gets callouses (she has used steel, either red label or prelude, zyex, and dominant strings, mostly dominant strings), I got a little callouses when I used dominant and zyex strings. I think I have corelli strings right now and I just feel a little hardness.  I think also because I am using light weight strings right now. I am going to try warchal amber strings next. I don't mind callouses, they peel off when they are ready to leave you anyway:)

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Fiddlerman
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May 6, 2015 - 7:11 am
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Strangely some people get them and others don't. No idea why. I don't get them and have had colleagues who got big annoying callouses which bother them.

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

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ElisaDalViolin
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I don't get them either. Not even in my first year when I played with those horrible metal strings that came with the violindunno

 
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Fiddlestix
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I think it may depend on whether or not you're using the very tip of your finger or playing flat fingered. Also how much you play, play enough, long enough you'll get them.

 

violin-studentdazed

Ken.

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ElisaDalViolin
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Maybe it depends on the reactiveness and/or regeneration of the skin too.The closest thing I have is on my right thumb but even so it's a red-ish spot that fades away after I put the bow down.

I played more in my first years than I do now due to college, but I do a lot of handwork (crochet, writing, painting,...) and not even the artist's callus appeared XD 

 
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EricBluegrassFiddle
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Not much to add....all great advice as always from great folks here...

If you paid less than $150 for your Violin, it's VERY possible that it is a dyed hardwood fingerboard. Just look underneath the fingerboard over the upper bout, is it white underneath? Anyways, if it is, you're fingers will continually get black a little, but you won't notice it on the fingerboard for some time. If so, it's ok, most likely as you improve, you'll upgrade to something better before you could ever wear out the fingerboard on that Violin if it is dyed hardwood and not Ebony anyways.

Another issue is, if your getting black fingertips and using steel strings ( if it's NOT a dyed fingerboard ) than this probably means your pressing down WAY to hard on the strings, which isn't a good thing playing the Violin. This is another potential cause of you getting black fingertips. Your fingers are pushing soo hard into the strings that either their turning black because it's dyed, OR, your tarnishing the fingertips because of too much pressure.

You only need a very slight amount of pressure to push the strings to the floor on your fingerboard and it's easy to do ( overpush. Otfentimes it comes from gripping the neck too tightly as opposed to supporting it between the "V" of the thumb and first finger. Only you can nswer this though if this is actually an issue. Have you considered a shoulder-rest? I found I was pressing the strings down too hard but as soon as I got a shoulder rest, I was able to loosen my grip on the neck alot and suddenly I felt I was able to play much more easily, better intonation, and, I don't have nearly as hard callouses or like dirty streaks in my fingers.

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Fiddlerman
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May 12, 2015 - 7:48 am
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Real Ebony is frequently dyed as well since it's color and quality differ greatly. Ebonized would is something else and can usually be identified by its grains, looking under the fingerboard and it's weight which is hard to do when it's glued down :) The Ebonized fingerboard can still be painted underneath though.

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

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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Fiddlerman said
Real Ebony is frequently dyed as well since it's color and quality differ greatly. Ebonized would is something else and can usually be identified by its grains, looking under the fingerboard and it's weight which is hard to do when it's glued down :) The Ebonized fingerboard can still be painted underneath though.

Actually that's right....thanks for pointing that out. My Gliga in the beginning, I got a little dark colored dust on my fingers from the Ebony fingerboard until it was broke in and got really shiny, now it doesn't dirty my fingertips anymore. Lower grade Ebony is sometimes called "Snorkeling Ebony" I've read ( I dunno why ) but it can have some heavy grain fluctuations and be a bit discolored with grey streaks and even brown streaks. So I've heard they'll dye it to make it more uniformly black no?

I've seen some REALLY nice intermediate level Chinese Violins like this. I REALLY like it actually and wish they'd leave it as I'm a big fan of wood and intresting grains but alas, the market demands the standard!

Fiddlerman have you ever seen any Violin fingerboards of East Indian Rosewood? I have seen a few benchmade Fiddles ( folk stuff, not classical ) with curly maple fingerboards that looked nice. They say they're pretty hard after they've been treated and that they make good Fiddle fingerboards too. Although, I've also read that the fingerboard can affect the sound and timbre as well, more so than I realized...so there's a reason good Ebony is the standard.

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Fiddlerman
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May 12, 2015 - 7:38 pm
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I haven't seen the Indian Rosewood fingerboards but perhaps they are dyed as well.
Wonder how a carbon fiber or composite type fingerboard would make the violin sound......

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

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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Fiddlerman said
I haven't seen the Indian Rosewood fingerboards but perhaps they are dyed as well.
Wonder how a carbon fiber or composite type fingerboard would make the violin sound......

Good question....

Considering that they've had very positive results with complete CF Violins, I think it has potential.

Their are alternative woods, hardwoods, even stateside that make VERY good fingerboards. Like "Persimmon" it's SUPER dense ( used to make Golf club heads out of it ) but it's ugly if not dyed ( kinda yellowish beige color ) and also Ironwood or Locust up in the eastern US. Plentiful and can be easily quarter sawn for Violin fingerboards.

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Fiddlerman
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May 13, 2015 - 5:21 pm
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I like it when people experiment this way. Without that there would be no chance of new and improved developments.

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

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