December 2013

2000 meters high - buckled strings !

December 18, 2013 10:33

Over the last weekend I came to the French Alps with my family for a pre Christmas ski trip. We are in the utterly gorgeous area of Courchevel, and staying in a chalet at about 2000meters. I bought my violin with me so that I could practice for our family christmas day performance - Silent Night and Amazing Grace just in case you are interested. I am now into my third month of acquaintance with a violin, and starting to get into the technical as opposed to merely "learning" by rote.

The reason for this blog entry however is to share with you the rather intriguing imapact on the violin which i am assuming is due to the combination of altitude and humidity along with temperature. The overall environment has been quite dry, and the room where I have kept the violin becomes relatively warm overnight (23 degrees centigrade), and cooler during the day (19 degrees). Each afternoon, when I come back from the slopes, I take the chance to practice, but on each day the A or D string has buckled to the point of leaving its groove on the bridge. Apart from the irritation of having to carefully re-tune (I have an old English violin). Interestingly (at least interesting to me !) even if I tune the violin in the morning, its lost itself by the time I pick up the instrument at about 6pm.

Its my first experience with such things and I wonder if there are any tips that I might take on board to help alleviate the problem, or whether, as I suspect, there is nothing I can do.


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