Yamaha silent violin - Would it be worth?
Last week, I saw a Yamaha "silent violin" (model 104) at my town's music shop. I couldn't try it at the moment, but I searched a bit of info about it on the internet. I'd like to ask you some questions, to see if any of you owns or has tried one and can shed some light on the issue for me:
(1) How does playing it with headphones on compare to playing with a heavy practice mute? Is using the silent violin with headphones on better than using the mute?
Added info: I usually play late at night, with a heavy lead mute for not disturbing my neighbours. I also tend to get headaches, and on these days I just can't stand the sound and loudness of the violin without muting it and plugging my left ear.
(2) I own a clavinova digital piano, and I use it with headphones at a low volume when I'm in the middle of a headache. Is that achievable with this kind of instrument?
(3) How does playing a silent violin differ from playing an acoustic violin? Does it spoil your technique?
Added info: If I got it, I would still be playing my acoustic violin at full volume at least for 1h per week, in my class time.
(4) Can you change the chinrest on these violins? I'm used to play with a centered one.
(5) I'm mostly interested on playing classical music. I don't need fancy effects, and don't plan to play strident rock violin sounds. My aim is to achieve a "solo Bach level". Provided my aforementioned circumpstances, do you think it can be worth for me, or is it better to stick with the mute and save that money for better purposes?
Thank you very much.
Silent violins aren't silent. You can hear them perfectly well without headphones. Practice mutes work perfectly on them.
Unless you want to play electric violin most of the time and explore myriads of sound effects and other exciting features, stay away. Sound production is 180 degrees from acoustic violin and will, over time, nefativelly affect your bowing technique.
What Rocky said! Not the best for developing proper technique.
What Rocky said.
I assume you're talking about the YSV-104, which is the most recent addition to the Yamaha silent violin line. (There is also the YEV-104, which is made for amplified performance.)
Thank you very much. Andrew, Rocky, Roger and Lydia confirmed what I was suspecting without even trying it. I'm not interested in using pedals, loops and effects (at least in this moment). If sound production is so different, as then it's definitely not worth.
How does an electric violin negatively affect bowing technique?
Because on many electrics, they produce a decent sound regardless of how crooked you bow.
And you can 'heavy hand' an electric without ruining the tone, so you'll inevitably do that.
I have a YEV-104 which I don't use much at present. I'm not sure I'd buy it again, but I'd choose it over the 'silent violins', etc., because it's a bit more modern and designed to be more comparable and compatible with acoustics.
All electric violins sound like crap with headphones. The G and D strings have probably 20% tonal body as an acoustic violin, so you get a cheap sound.
I remember seeing a youtube video where someone compare the electric violin (not plug to an amp) against an acoustic violin with mute. I think the video was produced by a lady named Alison from the online violin tutor (?).
Why would you buy an electric if you don't plan on using its full capabilities? The whole deal with electrics is the effects and loops and exotic sounds and whatnot.
The electrics are secondary: the "silence" is primary.
Why not just get a bridge pickup, put on the heavy practice mute, and plug in the pickup to an amp with a headphone jack? That's an instant set up comparable to the YSV and you can use your existing violin.
As somebody who spends a lot of time playing acoustic, electric and electro-acoustic I really don't agree that it will have a negative affect on your bowing technique or that electrics sound good no matter your angle etc. I find an amplified violin quite raw and unforgiving - you can't really hide imperfections in your bowing. I suspect some here are imagining an electric with tons of reverb which is a different matter. Without that you are pretty naked. Of course if you have a volume control you don't have to work so hard for projection, but projection isn't everything. Amplification can actually allow you more subtle nuances that would be lost otherwise. I guess I would advise a beginner to learn on an acoustic but it depends. If you have an acoustic and an electric and you end up practicing more because you have an electric/silent violin, it is probably more beneficial than not. I don't think it would ruin your playing - might make you more versatile though!
I own a YSV104 and wrote a review on it: https://www.violinist.com/discussion/thread.cfm?page=2284
I have a strange thought about this another day.
Well, I don't know anything about the mute on your link, looks good though according to the text.
Bach pieces are incredibly rich. I can enjoy them at the piano, and they’re at the same time the main reason why I play the violin (as I said) and why I don’t practice as often as I should (I find playing Bach so rewarding that I end up playing the piano and learning my way through a suite instead of practicing scales with the violin... which is necessary but way less enjoyable).
Here's a better solution. Forget trying to accommodate your neighbors with an electric violin. Just play what you have now. If it's an apartment, you're allowed to make reasonable amounts of sound. The management will ask you to stop at nights, perhaps 9pm.