Serious problem with violin sizing: Strings, bridge, and f-hole

Edited: August 14, 2017, 6:31 PM · Hi all,
I'm a self teaching beginner playing the violin. I recently bought a Fretless finger guide so that I'll know where to put my fingers. When I first started playing all the notes sounded off to me, and while playing with a tuner I saw that every note I was playing was 1 above what I wanted (If I had 2 fingers on the G string I'd get a C instead of a B). I measured my strings (from Nut to Bridge) and they turned out to be about 12.75 inches instead of 13 inches. The body of my violin is 14 inches so I know that I have a 4/4 violin. My bridge is right by that little V on the f-hole so I know that its in the right spot. I assume that my f-holes are in the wrong spot (they should be .25 inches back) but there's nothing I can do about it and it is throwing off all my notes. Should I move my bridge .25 inches back and not have it by the V? Is there another way to fix this?
Im inserting photos below:
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 photo 5D948A2D-4695-423C-B92B-1D56153A5277_zpshbmhuot4.jpg
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Thanks to all those who help

Replies (11)

August 14, 2017, 6:49 PM · The photos are not showing up, at least to me

I don't know if such a difference in string length could be caused by lower bridge height, but for the record what is it? (for the G and E strings, measure from the top plate to the groove in the bridge where the string rests )

August 14, 2017, 7:01 PM · Are you sure the fretless guide is the right version for your instrument (4/4 violin, not viola, etc) and in the right place? How did you place it? The problem with these guides is that they are not really accurate and can be hard to place properly.

Where are you placing your finger in relation to the guide? On the line? Under, above?

Your photos are not showing up for me either, so I can't really comment beyond asking more questions. I'm sure someone will come by who builds or works on violins (there are quite a few resident here) and can comment on the measurements you've provided.

August 14, 2017, 7:04 PM · I dont really understand how to measure this but my bridge height goes from 1.25 Inches at the G string to 1 inch at the E string.
August 14, 2017, 7:10 PM · I think I'll just mark everything myself using a tuner and forget about this Fretless guide. Should I worry about the fact that my strings are still .25 inches too short? will it be a problem?
August 15, 2017, 1:29 AM · A small displacement of the bridge will invalidate the guide completely.
And precise vibrating string lengths will vary from one model to another, even amongst "full size" violins.
Marking lines your self is the only reliable solution.
Edited: August 15, 2017, 2:21 AM · How is the tilt of your bridge? It should be bisecting the angle of the strings as they pass over it. Another way to put it is that the side towards the tailpiece should be approximately perpendicular to the line of the joint between the top and the sides as you view the instrument from the side. If what I'm saying isn't clear, look up "violin bridge tilt," or something like that. (I'm not seeing your photos either. It's saying "Please update your account to enable third party hosting.")
August 15, 2017, 2:20 AM · +1.

Few things you might want to consider:

-Even for a self learner, try to take a lesson or two to get your instrument marked/ learn where the notes are

- mark the notes based on the instrument resonance rather than trusting on the tuner. This is how i'd do it:

1 - make sure the instrument is in tune
2- play A on the G string and look for the reasonanve with the A string. This is the first finger position. (You might want to look at the A string to see if it ressonating)
3 - play G in the E string and look for the ressonance with the G string. This os your 2nd finger position
4- play the 3rd finger in the A, E or D string and compare with the open string adjacent to it. This is your 3rd finger position
5 - Do the eame for the fourth finger

Edited: August 15, 2017, 2:26 AM · Important: straight, fret-like lines will not be quite in tune across four strings, especially on the E-string, where we have to advance the finger more. This is because real strings don't behave quite as they do in books on physics! (Inharmonicity due to thickness and stiffness.)
August 15, 2017, 3:49 AM · Here are some co-ordinates:
Use metric (mm) instead of Imperial system.
Report on the measurement, especially on Body stop and Neck stop.

August 15, 2017, 5:41 AM · I use 3/4 A and E string on my violin and it works fine. So far.
August 15, 2017, 5:52 AM · String length on a standard 4/4 violin should be 328mm to 330mm from the inside face of the nut to the inside face of the bridge [330mm is the standard].
ff holes and or notches are the general guide but may be "misplaced".

Once you have the scale length proper make sure to check the placement of your soundpost, as it may have been misplaced based on the improper placement of the bridge.

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