HELP please!

April 11, 2005 at 01:22 AM · Hi!

I am 19 years old and just purchased my first violin. I am getting lessons this summer, but in the meantime I wanted to practice. Whenever I use the bow, my violin doesn't make a noise. Can anyone tell me if its me or if something is wrong with my violin. Thank you so much for your help!


Replies (29)

April 11, 2005 at 01:42 AM · This is most likely because your bow has no rosin on it. You can buy this from most music retailers.

I strongly discourage you from 'having a go' before you begin lessons; you will almost certainly develop bad habits which will need to be unlearnt when you start your lessons, and this will be discouraging for you and a pain in the neck for your teacher. Playing the violin is complex and it's really important to learn the very basics in the right way in order to make any progress. This is something you are extremely unlikely to achieve on your own. Last time a DIY student started lessons with me, he found unlearning the bad habits so difficult he continued to do his own thing at home, convinced he was improving the situation. Six months on he was still unable to draw a straight bow. I eventually gave him an ultimatum, and we parted company.

April 11, 2005 at 02:55 AM · Keep it in the case till you start lessons. Listen to lots of BeauSoleil

April 11, 2005 at 05:40 AM · I remember when I bought my first violin I had the same experience. Even though I had been renting for a while, apparently my school orchestra director never told me about rosin. I attempted to play but no sound would come out! I was eventually told that I had no rosin on my bow.

April 11, 2005 at 06:15 AM · Don't jump to conclusions. It's not necessarily rosin. Does the violin have strings on it?

April 11, 2005 at 06:17 AM · Indeed. Is the violin surrounded by air?


April 11, 2005 at 06:30 AM · Did it cost less than $15,000?

April 11, 2005 at 06:32 AM · Is this violin?

April 11, 2005 at 06:36 AM · Hi,

A less obvious but important thing... Is the soudpost up or knocked-down? If the post ip down, that could factor in.


April 11, 2005 at 08:19 AM · It's because it doesn't have Dominant Strings with a silver D and Jargar Forte E.

April 11, 2005 at 01:26 PM · Emily,

Excuse me?


April 11, 2005 at 02:06 PM · I think there's a lot of teasing going on here (which isn't very nice, guys). ;-) After all, Emily's suggestion is preceded by the suggestion to check whether the violin is surrounded by air. I just checked and it seems that I am surrounded by air which probably explains why I am able to produce sounds. Come on guys - be helpful!

April 11, 2005 at 03:48 PM · Boy, nothing gets past you, does it Inge? You mean resonating bodies transfer vibrations to the surrounding air? Gee, I never would have thought of that. Are you a vocalist, by any chance?

April 11, 2005 at 05:57 PM · Tighten the bow string to where the middle of the string is about a half-inch (one cm) from the bow stick. Remember to loosen the string when you are done.

Next, make sure you have rosin on the hair.

If that fails, take your violin in to someone who knows/sells/fixes violins.

April 11, 2005 at 06:05 PM · Inge,

It depends where the air is how the sound comes out!


Oh noooo! I've been possessed by Buri's muse!



April 11, 2005 at 06:22 PM · Inge,

Let me be less sarcastic and say that the point you brought up was the whole point of my post. If you read Jim's post before mine, it makes more sense. I hate explaining jokes because once you explain it, it's not funny anymore.


April 11, 2005 at 07:06 PM · Does it have the right batteries (6 AA)?

April 11, 2005 at 07:10 PM · Mine uses solar cells. I'm all about sustainability. Instead of using a practice mute, I just turn out the lights.


April 11, 2005 at 07:39 PM · What you want is the sonic, not the solar cell. Only some of the vibrations of your playing turn into sound. The rest get absorbed into the sonic cell as stored energy which you can later use to .. er ... do whatever the energy cell is supposed to do.

April 11, 2005 at 08:21 PM · You could use the stored energy to run household appliances. Awesome! Now my practicing could have some sort of measurable positive result!


April 11, 2005 at 09:57 PM · Lol this thread is hillarious, Jim your first post is very funny. Batteries lol! Mine is an energy-saving violin. It takes longer to warm up though. I was selftaught for a few months, and I thought that you only had to rosin a bow once. I thought that id broke it, hehe.

April 11, 2005 at 10:40 PM · My apologies for being a part in the derailing of this thread. Christian, the comment came out spontaneously, after masticating large helpings of your useful writings on experimentations with various brands of strings. I've actually yet to try the combination you have promoted. I'll get back with you once I have.

By the way, Rebecca, if you've actually waded through all this and are still reading, I agree that the most common source of the problem with new instruments and bows is lack of rosin on the bow, and they do take quite a bit before the hairs will grip the string enough to produce the friction needed to create the sound.

...unless you are living in a vacuum, I think that's the problem.

April 12, 2005 at 01:57 AM · Emily, fear not: *I* thought your post was funny.

April 12, 2005 at 02:00 AM · You people are WEAK. I use nuclear energy.

April 12, 2005 at 07:21 PM · Hey - we don't even know if any of this has already helped?! Which one would it be I wonder? Rebecca, wanna clue us in?

April 12, 2005 at 07:41 PM · Nuclear energy? Cool. My sister once threatened my violin with nuclear weapons... does that count?

Good luck, Rebecca!

April 12, 2005 at 07:50 PM · we have to save this poor rabbit

April 13, 2005 at 01:41 AM · That rabbit looked delicious, but what did it have to do with making sounds on a violin?

April 13, 2005 at 02:05 AM · yes, i agree with Sue

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