Saddle notches

September 2, 2018, 12:07 PM · My violin has a completely smooth saddle, allowing the tailgut to slide into whatever position is most natural. Due to the nature of the shape of the bridge, the tailpiece is not level; it sags towards the treble side. In a completely ideal situation, would notches be cut so that the tailpiece was level with the top?

And another thing...
How do I get my dog to stop whining and appreciate the beautiful intricacies of practising the violin?

Replies (5)

September 2, 2018, 12:30 PM · that should be fine, the tailpiece isn't supposed to be level if the e string is lower than the G string
September 2, 2018, 2:51 PM · And as for the dog, get him some custom fit musical earplugs.
September 3, 2018, 1:35 AM · Could be hurting the dog's ears. Could he be put in another part of the house?
September 3, 2018, 10:13 AM · I wouldn't worry about the tail piece being level. I would be concerned, however, if the entire system--neck, bridge, tailpiece--are misaligned. Often they are not aligned, and aren't on my violin.

Here's the issue though, and I've had this problem on a few cheap student violins brought in by students:

Some of them are not aligned (left to right), and of course this puts a side load on the system. Some of those really cheap violins have a very slippery "varnish" of urethane or something, and that allows the bridge to actually respond to this side load and start gradually slipping to one side or the other. In fact, I've seen some where the bridge would fly off as if from a slingshot (which the strings and tailpiece are acting as).

For those looking at cheap violins, especially with that cheap slippery finish, make sure the tailpiece is aligned. There is no way to fix it cost-effectively.

September 3, 2018, 10:21 AM · The dog is trying to join in with you!

Dogs (and wolves) howl as a social activity. One starts howling and they will all join in, all at a different pitch. Your hound thinks you are leading a howling session (making a far more howling-like sound than humans usually do) and thus, howls at the pitch that suits them.

Maybe send the dog to a different part of the house while you're practicing, and then bring them back when you are doing performance practice, because if you can perform a piece with a dog howling at you then you're doing well.


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