My wife and I recently started playing the violin after years of playing guitars. We have a very good ear for what strings should sound like. However , the strings that came with our violin sound absolutely horrible.
When I asked our luthier about changing strings , he said that these were "good enough". That comment got me thinking about young students. Is what we are giving them to learn on "just good enough"?
After pushing the issue , the luthier changed the strings to a set of D'Addario Preludes. The strings still sound horrible. The G string is horrendous, sounding like a malfunctioning steamboat whistle instead of a clear G sound. The D string is almost mute in all positions other than open. In all other positions, the D sounds very dead and metallic. There is absolutely no resonance or sustain. A & E are acceptable in the open positions , and marginal in all other positions. When asked about the next step up he(the luthier) showed us several options, but made it clear "you're not ready " for those yet , without listening to us play.
It seems the more satisfied the student is with the sounds they produced , they will be more encouraged. However , if we saddle them with inexpensive "good enough" noise makers , they are going to know it , and think that they are not capable of producing quality sound, and just give up.
I consider my wife and I students , albeit students with a musical background. So is this how we treat our students? I have ordered a set of "D'Addario Helicore's" to go on our new addition just to see the difference on my own. But it seems very frustrating to be treated with the attitude , that we just arent "good enough" to play on better strings , and I think a school student must feel the same way.
What do you guys require your students to play on? And perhaps it may be the instrument, but this sound just isn't getting it done right now.
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