Best E string for artificial harmonics

August 31, 2018, 11:45 AM · Bad news: I am struggling with artificial harmonics on the E string.

Good news: Maybe it's not me; it's my E String.

I tried my son's violin and it works a lot better. My violin has a Pirastro gold label E, thin (mince) for lower tension. I'm thinking it is the lower tension that is causing the problem, or maybe I should change to a different E string. Any suggestions?

Replies (9)

August 31, 2018, 12:17 PM · I've been using the mittel Goldbrokat E for a while now, and it's a good string. The Evah steel E was giving me too much whistling.
August 31, 2018, 12:39 PM · How old is your E string relative to your son's? Artificial harmonics work much better on new strings.
August 31, 2018, 1:59 PM · Warchal's Amber E on my 18th c violin gives excellent artificial harmonics - I've just been experimenting with them on the E-string all the way up the 6th position D (which gives a just audible harmonic D higher than the top note on the piano).

Important factors:
make sure the instrument is well set up by a luthier;
some bows may give better results than others (my snakewood baroque bow seems to be the best for me);
make sure you're using a good sound point sufficiently close to the bridge, with the right sort of pressure.

August 31, 2018, 3:52 PM · Well, I'm surprised no one asked....

What E string is on your son's violin?

Have you tried the same string on your violin?

Have you tried putting a thin Gold Label E on his violin and see if you have the same problem?

These things might help you determine if it is you, your violin, or the string!

August 31, 2018, 8:12 PM · Any E string that isn't rusty.
As soon as the string becomes inconsistent in stiffness, density per unit length, etc along its length, things will get wild.
August 31, 2018, 9:53 PM · As others have noted, make sure your E string is relatively new. Ditto for your strings in general. Artificial harmonics are much more difficult on old strings.
September 1, 2018, 1:09 PM · My son has Evah A,D,G, but not sure about the E string; the wrap at the bottom is solid purple. I think it is a relatively high tension string though. His strings are probably older than mine.

My strings are not that old; maybe 1-2 months. I am going to change to a medium tension E string to see if it helps.

September 20, 2018, 12:47 AM · The shorter the vibrating length, the stiffer it feels. To get a quicker response on the ultra high notes, or the harmonics, try a light gauge E. You might lose some volume, or the opposite might happen, less total force on the top plate might allow the instrument to vibrate more freely. Play harmonics almost ponticello.
September 20, 2018, 11:53 PM · I don't know if "best", but I have always problems to make artificial harmonics and with the Warchal Brilliant Vintage I find them easy to make.

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