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christian howes

Getting Your Sound as a Jazz Violinist Through Amplification

May 24, 2010 at 9:05 PM

If you’re a classically trained string player like I was, then you know how to make a beautiful acoustic sound come out of your violin or cello. It’s about your left hand, right hand, posture, etc…  You probably don’t have a clue about getting a sound when you’re playing on stage with a drummer….

It’s a different ball of wax when you’re amplified. It’s all about using the amps, pickups and processing gear as extensions of your instrument. This is such a game- changing thing that most of us never get around to getting a good amplified sound. I’m still frustrated from time to time about my sound, but I know I’ve made lot’s of improvements over the years just from  trying things.

My choices of gear include the Yamaha electric violin, viola, and cello/bass. I also LOVE the Yamaha VNP1 acoustic violin pickup.

RADIAL makes an awesome acoustic instrument preamp, and D’Addario makes great strings for electric violins.
My favorie amplifiers are Acoustic Image and AER , but it really depends on what you’re going for. And my layman’s effects pedal of choice is the BOSS ME-50, accompanied by the Digitech JAMMAN loop pedal.

But whatever, don’t listen to me. Probably the best resource you can go to to deal with sound and gear questions in this industry today is the Electric Violin Shop. When they emerged a few years ago I was skeptical. But I will say, they have impressed me. They know their stuff.

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