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Krista Moyer

The New Addition

August 7, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I bought the vintage 1890’s violin. While its condition was more delicate than the others, and it was the most expensive option, the sound drove me to it. I simply couldn’t pass it up. What I’m finding, however, is that I have to develop my playing to a higher degree based on several factors. First, the new bow is heavier than what I was accustomed to. While this is a good thing, it means that I need to break the habit of leaning into the strings all of the time. The weight is in the bow, so I don’t need to add any with my arm except as needed for dynamic purposes.

Next, I need to ensure that I am bowing straight and a bit further from the bridge than I did with the loaner. This instrument is not as tolerant of my sloppy habits. I’m not sure why this is, but I speculate that there must be a subtle difference in string length since I’m also finding that my fingering is a bit challenged the higher up the fingerboard I go. At any rate, getting rid of sloppy habits is a good thing.

One nice change is that I don’t need to press the strings with my fingers as much to get a clean sound. I like that, because it makes it easier to play fast. My instructor says I already play too fast, so this development is both good and bad. I may be exchanging some bad habits for new ones.

Another nice thing is that, although it isn’t as loud under the ear, my family tells me it projects far better than my previous violin. It is nice having fewer decibels blasting into my head at practice time.

The most surprising development of all is the realization that now I need a second instrument. We travel and camp often, and this violin isn’t as indestructible as the last. Trust me, telling my spouse I needed yet another violin while he is still patiently waiting for an iPad was not a fun conversation. He took it with good humor though. Yup, he’s a keeper!

For now, I am working to improve my playing to the level where I can utilize the advantages of this new violin. With some effort on my part, I hope to be worthy of it one day.


From Albert Wrigglesworth
Posted on August 7, 2013 at 11:36 PM
I found the same thing with my 1894 Hopf concert. The one thing I do notice about the pre 1900 violins is the neck and fingerboard. Much nice to play than the newer ones, especially the ones produced this day and age.

Have fun "re-learning", it's a blast! :)

From Krista Moyer
Posted on August 8, 2013 at 1:47 AM
I have to agree with you on the neck and fingerboard on the circa 1890's instrument. It's marvelous how fine and smooth it is in comparison to the circa 1986 factory violin.

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