Are my strings way too high relative to fingerboard?
I purchased a violin for $80 two years ago. To this day, my violin is the only violin I have seen in my life so far. I haven’t had a chance to compare it with other violins.
Ever since I purchased it, I have been experiencing difficulties while producing tone in a high position (position above third). My strings don’t ring at all i.e they don’t produce sonorous sound. The sound could be compared to the one that you get when the strings are not being pressed hard enough, or when something is obstructing the vibration of the string. But regardless of how hard I press, they simply don’t produce a ring.
Here are few reference pictures, all of which were taken from the lower side (from the side of the G string, parallax effect could make it a little confusing) .
2) https://ibb.co/jzpjMK (In this one, I’ve placed a hexagonal shaped pencil against the string on the edge of the finger board, next to G string, the string almost goes under the G string, infact, they happen to be of the same height. Had the G been 1-2mm higher, I would’ve been able to slip the pencil underneath the G)
My G is 0.8cm above the G string on the fingerboard
My D string is 0.8cm above the D string on the fingerboard
My E is 0.6cm above the E string on the fingerboard.
There are no luthiers in county in which I live and a cello player teaches me how to play violin. (He doesn’t play violin, but learnt it for 3-4 years because nobody here knows what a cello is, and a handful were ready to learn violin, needless to mention he cannot produce vibrato)
I see 2 reasons, Either the bridge on my violin is too high, or the finger is attached abnormally high.
What could be the reason? And is there a way I can fix it?
(No, I can’t afford a new violin, this is the one on which i’ll be practising for atleast 5 more years, until I land a job)
Way, way too high. If you halved the height of the strings above the end of the fingerboard you might be at a good place to start considering what else to do - like reshaping the bridge.
You're not measuring properly, you measure from the fingerboard directly below the string to the bottom of the string, not to the edge of the fingerboard which will be more, probably your strings are a bit high but not double.
Usual range is G string 5-6mm, e string 3-4mm
Well, your measurements are extremely high. But if you got it for $80 and it don't sound no good (so to speak), it's probably firewood.
Some violins just don’t sound good in high positions and it’s hard to coax a good sound out of that. Especially some that aren’t amazing to begin with. I had this problem with my last (cheap-ish) rental too, and it was very well set up. Needless to say, when my teacher played it it sounded fine (not amazing but fine). Taking from your described situation I suspect you’re still at a relative beginner/early intermediate state of playing, so while a better violin or a better setup could certainly help you probably still haven’t explored the full potential that comes with a very very good tone production...
I measured the height again, this time sticking the ruler directly against the strings, and not against the captain edge of the fingerboard. Here’s are my readings:
you don't need to replace the bridge, you just need to have the grooves and the top of the bridge lowered by 2-2.5mm
Place a ruler's edge on top of the fingerboard, then slide the ruler until it touches the bridge. The distance from the top plate of the violin to where the ruler touches the bridge is called the fingerboard projection.