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The problem with steel core strings
Steel core strings change pitch depending upon bow attack
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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JohnBAngel
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January 4, 2021 - 3:31 pm
Member Since: May 19, 2020
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I am a newbie that has been playing for around 6 months now and have been struggling with tuning.

When I tune my instrument, I noticed that the tuning varies depending on my aggressiveness with the bow.

This has been an issue and I thought I was going crazy. Then I stumbled on the Fiddlerman YouTube explanation yesterday.

I have been using the D'Addario steel-core strings for beginners since I am low-down cheap. Looks like I got what I paid for.......

So, I just ordered a set of Fiddlerman synthetic core strings.

To all you other newbies out there, I would recommend steering away from steel-core strings as soon as your ears start playing games with you.

FIDDLERMAN- thanks so much for your advise- you are greatly appreciated.

JohnBAngel

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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January 4, 2021 - 4:42 pm
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Yep, steel strings are extremely sensitive to small changes in tension and don't stretch like gut or synthetic strings.

 

For the same reason, it's extremely hard to tune steel strings with pegs alone. This is why everyone (except baroque players who use gut strings) keeps an E string fine tuner even if not using fine tuners on other strings. As far as I know there are no synthetic E strings.

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Mouse
January 4, 2021 - 4:57 pm
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You know, @AndrewH, I don’t recall ever seeing a steel E string in any description of strings, either. Never gave it much thought. This ha been an interesting thread, so far. Thanks for starting this, @@JohnBAngel.

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GregW
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January 4, 2021 - 5:09 pm
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Fan Tao the string designer with daddario is interviewed in the link.  probably more than wanted info on strings but the discussion about the "non-whistling" Kaplan Amo E kinda neat.

https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-.....n27-ba4de7

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ELCBK
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January 4, 2021 - 6:01 pm
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@JohnBAngel -

I believe synthetic-core strings are definitely the way to go! 

Just a note - some E strings can be very shrill (and whistle).  I've tried different sets of strings as well as many individual ones, but I haven't tried a full 4/4 set of FM strings (do have a 1/2 size set for grandkids). 

If you have any issues with the E string, I recommend trying the Pirastro Gold Label E - really nice tone with no shrill sound or whistle.  Never heard anyone say anything bad about this string and you don't need people running out of the room when you're starting out (lol)! 

 

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- Emily

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Mouse
January 4, 2021 - 6:30 pm
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I think that experience and improvement on bowing helps and enables one to play these strings, steel and E strings. You don't hear it with the real experienced violinists. 

Pay attention to your bowing and try to make note of it when you hear these unwanted sounds and practice and see how to do it without that sound. Like practicing intonation on the fingerboard, do it over and over. The same thing with bowing. Practice bowing the E string open, first finger, etc. Practice going from the A string to the E string. Other notes and strings to the E string. Not bang bang bang. Listen and pay attention and spend time on one exercise until you get it. Then add to it. 

Sounds simplistic when I type it, but it isn't. Professional and experienced violinists spent many many years honing that skill. Some strings are better, but it depends on the student violinist. I bought the Kaplan non-whistling E over a year ago because people swore by it. I didn't hear a whistle at first, then I did. I think it was because I was actually paying attention to see if I could hear it when I first got it. 

I love my set of Evah gold label strings I just put on my violin, it may help someone's E string issue, but it has to do with bowing, the fingering when not playing open E. Maybe getting a string that is recommended by someone as not being a whistling E will work, if for no other reason than you are paying attention to the bowing (angle, pressure, etc) and fingering and going from string to string. If that is the case, it is worth it.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnBAngel
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January 4, 2021 - 9:12 pm
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Thank you all for your valuable input!

All of my issues are the result of improving my ears for tuning and playing around with pressure on the bow.

I am going to give the Fiddlerman synthetic core strings a try and report back on it- maybe in a month.

Love this forum site!

JohnBAngel

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Mouse
January 4, 2021 - 9:21 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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Love having you here.

I love the Fiddlerman strings on my Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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January 7, 2021 - 1:19 am
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AndrewH said
 As far as I know there are no synthetic E strings.

  

Mouse said
 I don’t recall ever seeing a steel E string in any description of strings, either.   

dazed

I suppose you mean anything other than steel?

The good thing about the fine tuner on the E string is that it's the only one I can reach with my left hand without the violin flying across the room.

Andrew

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