Game over?

Edited: September 6, 2018, 8:15 PM · I just put on a fresh set of varnished Tricolores—my last resort. I was hoping that I'd get a decent lifespan out of varnished gut.

After three hours, I've already melted the varnish off of the middle strings in first position and exposed the bare gut. This, practising in a room at a fairly chilly 19° C and having washed my hands every thirty minutes.

Help. :/

Replies (21)

September 6, 2018, 8:28 PM · Piano.
September 6, 2018, 8:39 PM · If you are going to heed Paul’s advice, get a digital piano so you won’t be tempted to DIY.
September 6, 2018, 8:41 PM · I'll see how long it takes to fuse all the keys on my piano.
September 6, 2018, 8:43 PM · Depending on the material and the heat of the blow torch...
September 6, 2018, 9:03 PM · You might want to try a more durable string, a synthetic gut perhaps or steel.
September 6, 2018, 10:12 PM · Have you tried powdering your hands with baking soda every 15 minutes or so? Make sure to wipe them off thoroughly so your violin doesn't get powdery, but avoid all forms of moisture.
September 7, 2018, 11:56 AM · I would be tempted to try an experiment. Induce yourself to sweat more often while pushing water regularly. No sodas or acidic foods. No salt. See what happens.Might take awhile to get completely cleansed.
Sweat is one way the body rids itself of impurities.In your case acidic impurities.
What are they feeding you over there? :P
September 7, 2018, 12:15 PM · In addition, cutting down on caffeine and sugar will reduce sweating. Caffeine is a stimulant like cocaine. It will rev up your central nervous system and induce sweating. I would also recommend getting in as good physical shape as you can. Try adding some cardio exercise to your daily routine.
September 7, 2018, 12:46 PM · I do not understand a bit. The Tricolore you are using are varnished pure gut-so the gut is already "revealed", and the varnish is so subtle, you don't "see it" in the first place.

You gotta admit they more than compete with the Chorda you were using, though (I assume-maybe you like the Chorda better.)

If they break within a few days ("impossible", IMHO), then you should perhaps try another string solution, until the "acidic" problems subsides. Those do last for a long time in most situations.

Edited: September 7, 2018, 2:38 PM · I agree Mr. Rivera. Even if a few white threads poke out of the string, that doesn’t mean it is about to break. I actually like when the strings get played in and scuffed up. The shifting gets a little stiffer and there’s more traction. You can go from position to position on these strings and feel like you’re locking into a groove. I’ve had a set of Gamut Academie pure gut strings on my Guadagnini for over 2 months now and a set of Tricolores from December on the Grancino I also play on. I find these strings last longer than synthetic or wound gut strings.
Edited: September 7, 2018, 3:25 PM · Just in case you are interested Nate, I recently found out from Dan Larson that Academie and Tricolore strings are exactly the same and they just market them under different brands. They cost the same amount, but Academie is slightly cheaper if just reuse your old leather washers and don't request for them.
September 7, 2018, 3:50 PM · I prefer the feel of the varnished surface. Dragging my fingers over rope is not a pleasant sensation.

I've tried everything. I eat meat only once a day, and I haven't touched sodas or sweets in something like 5 years. I'l just use baking soda to try and preserve my $120 strings as long as possible.

Edited: September 7, 2018, 6:51 PM · I have NO idea if this is helpful. I could not find much in a google search.

And here is an experiment on making these links clickable:

Sweat Smells Like Vinegar

September 7, 2018, 4:02 PM · If you want to know how to make your links clickable, go here:

Clickable links

September 7, 2018, 10:41 PM · I think you should consult a doctor. Not for violin sake, but yours.
There are many organs related to the elimination of toxins in the body. Liver, pancreas, kidneys... An abnormal pH perspiration could be symptom of issues in any of them.
I say that from a close relative experience. It was pancreas.
Hopefully is nothing of the sort and it ends as an anecdote and bother, but it really is worth to check.
September 7, 2018, 11:28 PM · Hi James, yes that’s what I heard from another person who uses their strings as well. Dan told me when I met him in NYC that the pure gut strings are essentially the same substance you’d find on a tennis racquet or a harp. They offer more variety with the gauges for their Academie strings so that’s why I use it on my primary instrument. I don’t really feel the need to use the washers. Some of my friends like them.
September 8, 2018, 6:51 AM · Last November my luthier replaced the bridge on my primary violin, shortened the fingerboard (imho, fingerboards today are often unnecessarily long), and followed my instructions to replace the old Chorda set with new while he was about it. The loops on the new E and A were very neatly done, and an equally neat knot for the D.

Six months later that new gut E was still in regular use in rehearsals and concerts until during one rehearsal (our first run-through of Beethoven 9 as it happened) when the E started to fray along its entire length while I was playing. This was not fun so I replaced it immediately.

Normally, a Chorda gut E lasts me for 2-3 months, so I've no idea what was special about the one that gave such good service for 6 months before dying. It certainly hadn't been varnished.

September 8, 2018, 8:16 AM · I'm probably late, and I don't understand what's going on. Can someone explain to me what's this thread about?
September 8, 2018, 10:16 AM · If you look back at my history, I've made several posts about the unusual acidity and salt content of my perspiration, and how I've yet to find any brand of string that can withstand it.
September 8, 2018, 10:32 AM · Mr. Jennings,

It's easy to "run out of fingerboard" in some pieces, though I admit one plays mostly over the string in that high region. That said, perfectly fine to like the much older setups.

Surprised your Chorda E lasted that long, though I don't mean to berate your string choice-I used it once eons ago, and it didn't make it through a week (there could have been other factors in play.)

Enjoy your music.

September 8, 2018, 2:54 PM · Adalberto, I had the fingerboard shortened to 2 octaves (a Baroque length), which is quite practicable. The violin is consequently lighter in weight. I have an unsubstantiated hypothesis that the shorter fingerboard allows more sound to leave the violin - unsubstantiated, but there is certainly no diminution in sound, and playing sul tasto (when there isn't one!) is easier.

This particular violin is an 18th c 14.25" long back with deeper ribs than standard, so reaching the 3rd octave is slightly more difficult than on a 14"; but I can just about reach the 3rd octave G and A on the very rare occasions they're called for.

In the unlikely event of a repetition of that extra long-life E then either Pirastro are working some magic, or it's me (!). But I'm now wondering if a sudden change in weather from months of winter cold to summer may have been an explanation for that E's unexpected long life followed by its very sudden collapse.

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