Written by Mendy Smith
Published: November 2, 2013 at 4:12 AM [UTC]
We both agreed that it was time for a viola doctor.
A few days later, I took Hilda (my viola) to the local luthier. He pulled and prodded on all the seams. No open seams. We ruled out the strings as the source of the fuzziness with a new set, and ruled out the bow with his top-of-the-line Hills & Sons. It wasn't the bow or strings.
He then starting moving the sound-post around and noticed that it was a bit tight. The discussion turned into one where a new sound post may or may not make a significant difference in my instrument's tonal quality. In the end, I decided to give it a try.
I went home without Hilda and had to practice that evening on my old 15" student viola. The sound from the Cing was muffled, but the upper register was clear. I missed Hilda, scratchy throat and all.
The next day I went back to the luthier to pick up Hilda from the viola doctor. After the first bowoke I was floored. Most if not all of her scratchy voice disappeared, and she resonated like she used to on a very humid day. Hilda and I went home and spent a lovely reunion that evening.
But I'm pessimistic sort of person and waited for the verdict from my teacher.
The following week at lessons confirmed the results. There was "light years" of improvement. Whether it was technique or instrument is still to be determined. However, I can't believe that my playing improved that much over 7 days to get the response that I got from my teacher.
I think was that little itty bitty piece of wood that you never see that made the difference. Time will tell.
My luthier noticed deep grooves under all four strings. He jokingly said that he could probably roll a marble down all four tracks. After planing, all the fuzziness that I thought indicated I needed to practice a lot more(which I do, btw), was gone and it was like I had a new fiddle!
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