March 7, 2007 at 5:24 AMI was inspired to try gut strings (wound for starters) from a recent discussion. It was something that I had always wanted to try but never got around to it. Well, my first set of gut strings (Eudoxa) came in yesterday.
I debated all day today on which viola I should try them out on - the old 15" or my 16". Considering that I have a concert next week, I decided to try them on the 15". The first challenge was figuring out how to install loop ends vs. ball ends. Once I got past that hurdle, then came tuning. I expected instability but WOW - they were stretching WHILE I was tuning them! So after awhile I got them sort of in-tune and gave them a spin.
My first shock was not about the strings but how small the 15" really is in comparison to a 16" instrument. It has been about a year since I played this viola. Out comes Bach's 6th Suite... it takes soooo much more to get a sound out of these strings! OK, even MORE bow.... the tuning starts to slip, so back to a 15 minute re-tuning session. More bow, more re-tuning. After about 45 minutes, the 15" goes back into its case to stabilize for a day.
Now on to some serious practice - out comes the 16" - it is sooo much larger. More stretching/rocking is needed to play fingered octaves. But the sound.... more resonance - it echos through the room. I'm wondering if I should try moving the gut strings to my 16" after the concert.....
Long time no talk. Good to see you blogging! (Okay, maybe you have been and it's me who's been living under a rock. Which I have. But... HI!)
I used Eudoxa gut strings for the longest time (with a Wondertone E) because "my teacher told me to." I do really like that warm, "fuzzy" sort of sound, but I've since switched back to Dominants, since the maker of the violin reccomended them (with an Eva Pirazzi or whatev E). I really like those better, but I think it's totally personal preference and instrument.
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