Questions about electric violins
Hello! I'm a violin student and soon I'll move to a place I can't make a lot of noise, so I won't be able to practice with my acoustic violin.
Because of that I want to buy an electric violin to keep practicing (More specifically I'm checking for a Yamaha SV 130) and wanted to know what strings and rosin would be good for it. Any recommendations for bows would be welcome too. (I'm searching for a mid term between quality and low price.)
Right now I'm using a cheap (~60 dollars) violin which I wanted to upgrade for a while, with Pirastro Tonica strings and rosin.
I've also read somewhere that of possible you should not use the same rosin, bow and strings you used in your acoustic violin in an electric violin, is that correct?
Have you thought about getting a practice mute instead of an electric violin? My practice mute takes the sound down almost as much as playing an electric violin -- it still makes noise but not enough the bother neighbours through thin walls as long as it's not the wee hours of the morning.
I'll just jump in here before people comment and say that you are mainly on a forum with classical violinists. With all due respect to them, they don't generally have much experience with electrics but will still comment from what I have seen. Some will have tried a very cheap electric and judge all by that, with just a sprinkling of prejudice to be frank. Typically they'll say it will mess up your playing or something like that which is not really true. As somebody who goes between the two (even 5 string), I don't really see the big deal - you just adapt accordingly. If there are trade offs then it's the same with a mute or even playing in different rooms. I never heard anybody say 'don't practice in a resonant room as it will make you sound better than you are, give you a false sense of projection... 'etc. I know some of those instruments have onboard reverb but you can turn it off if you want to work with your naked tone. Tone production still applies for electrics.
If the electric violin has electro-magnetic pickups you need to use all-steel strings. The D'Addario NS electric strings are good and even cheaper than their Helicore siblings. I think they sacrificed some volume to get the most mellow sound possible out of steel strings. Codabow has the "Joule" bow designed for electric violins, I've haven't tried it yet. ~jq (ex-Don Ellis band)
As someone who travels a fair bit, I have to say I prefer an electric to a heavy practice mute, although apractice mute only costs ten bucks!However, I could not really get on with the Yamaha SV130. I found weight and balance to be bothersome, and the fixed shoulder rest annoying an uncomfortable. My goto travel electric is a Stagg. It was very inexpensive, feels balanced like an acoustic, and can be used with or without a shoulder rest. Whenever possible I use my acoustic, but the Stagg is great for quiet practice and travel where humidity and temperature are beyond my control.
I own a Yamaha YSV104. I posted a mini-review of it: https://www.violinist.com/discussion/thread.cfm?page=2284
Thanks everyone to all the answers! It did clarify a lot of the questions I had!
I have a Carlo Robelli electric violin. I bought it at Sam Ash a few years ago for about $250. In some ways I've never liked it, but there are days I'm very glad I bought it.
Entry level decent for an electric violin is about $800 give or take. Imagine your eBay or Amazon VSO compared to a fine instrument. Well, there are such things as EVSOs!
I was in a similar situation some years ago. I bought an electric violin (not very expensive but in well condition and more than good enough for any beginner), and I lasted just 3 months. I hate electric violins so much, hahahaha, but hey, I gave them a try.
Without having read the whole thread word by word, I suspect there are some cross-purposes resulting from a distinction that hasn't been made between: -
I'm more likely than not to recommend an acoustic for a complete beginner - if an adult beginner only wants to play electric then i would accommodate as a teacher.
I like @Christopher Payne answer. It reflects my position: no matter how much we worship them, the violin is just a tool. A professional has the right tool for the job and knows how to use it.
Yes, to the professional the violin is a tool. I think to some, particularly amateurs, they think of it more like a fine wine - nothing wrong with that aspect, just that some of us need to be adaptable.
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