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 (7)

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.


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