Practice Violin to take on the road

January 26, 2019, 2:34 AM · Has anyone ever used a hollow body practice violin they take on trips allowing practicing in hotels. I saw the Cecilio line on Amazon for 109.00.

Replies (14)

January 26, 2019, 6:55 AM · What's a "hollow body" violin? I have a $109 Cecilio. It's not any quieter, but the way it sounds, I just wish it was.
January 26, 2019, 7:48 AM · I don't, but would probably if I travelled a lot. Probably just buy an electric one and work on intonation(its where I fall down).
Edited: January 26, 2019, 10:48 AM · I’m on the road a lot and they aren’t as fragile either, I guess for 109.00 you cannot go wrong.
January 26, 2019, 10:54 AM · I guess the advantage of a "hollow body" violin is that if you want it to be quieter you can just fill it with rice or "Great Stuff" foam sealant.
January 26, 2019, 11:19 AM · I'd rather not get tinnitus on a road trip. I just bring my main violin with me, because it's sort of my only one at the moment.

Seems to be doing fine. No soundpost cracks yet.

January 26, 2019, 2:48 PM · Thanks guys, apparently the pic did not upload, I added that so you could see what I was talking about. Yes, it’s an electric violin. Thanks for everybody’s input.
January 26, 2019, 3:13 PM · I think Matthew means one of the silent/electric ones. You can practice the left hand and basic bowing things but for tone exercises and other advanced things that depend on the string feedback I'm guessing you'll find it lacking. There are many interesting travel violin designs out there, some quiet, some not. Silent/practice violins have been around for a long time. I wonder if anyone's actually solved it along the way but the solution got lost.
January 26, 2019, 4:03 PM · An alternative would be a cheap normal violin, with a heavy duty practice mute.
January 26, 2019, 4:26 PM · Matthew,

For about 12 years I only got to play my instrument on weekends because I had a high-travel job with Bell Labs. Back then travel was easier with fewer restrictions. Yet, bringing my own violin with me was just not possible when I was flying to a job location.

I did find an alternative that allowed me to get some practice while on business travel:

I simply asked my hosts if anyone at their facility was a violinist. Surprisingly there were quite a few and some of them even granted me some time in their homes to practice on their instrument. Occasionally it was a neighbor or friend of the person who worked at that location.

Yeah, it is a bit tricky and not easy to make contact but I did, over the course of those 12 years, manage to find fiddles to practice on while on travel and even when I was in Singapore, Japan, and Spain.

Along the way I also made friends I would never have had and occasionally actually got a free professional lesson as some of the family members, neighbors and friends were professional musicians - one was the concert master of the Columbus Symphony who just happened to be the brother-in-law of my local contact.

It did not work at all the locations or all of the business trips but it did make it possible to get some practice while on the road. The other benefit was that I didn't have that extra piece of luggage.

I'm not sure that you will have the same success as I did but it is worth just asking and you might get a pleasant surprise and some new friends at the same time.

January 27, 2019, 3:45 AM · I wonder if the main issue for you is the sound/loudness of the violin when practising in a hotel, or the size -- ie fitting it as a carry on in flight.

If your problem is loudness, I was told that an electric violin without amp produce about the same level of sound an acoustic violin with mute.

If you problem is size, NS design has a very slim body electric violin that you can consider

Edited: January 27, 2019, 3:14 PM · FWIW violins with heavy mutes on vary considerably in loudness. Heavy factory instruments can end up in the range of a solid electric but my very nice violin is much louder.
January 27, 2019, 4:21 PM · I have Yamaha YSV104 Silent Violin. It cost rather more than $109 but is a) very quiet (far quieter than my main violin, even with a heavy duty artino practice mute) and b) it's very pleasant to play

I posted a review of it a few weeks ago - to my surprise, the review attracted a lot of criticism as a lot of people made assumptions about the instrument, despite never having tried one.

January 28, 2019, 7:18 AM · I came across this article when it comes to silent violin. Someone measure the noise level (dB) of different violin (mainly electric). It can give you a rough guide on how much mileage you can get going from mute to electric.

From the figure, we are looking at maybe 10db improvement. Of course, as Andres suggest, nice violin can be louder even with mute. Also, you may not like the sound from the heavy mute.

FYI, 70dB is about noise level of a typical vacuum cleaner.

January 29, 2019, 2:40 PM · Thank you so much for the input and replies. Yes to all, Yes I meant something that wont be too noisy for my hotel guests around me, Yes I want to practice schradiek dexterity exercises with the down time on my layovers and Yes something easy to carry.....Tony, looking into the Yamaha on your suggestion. Definitley still researching whats out there, most violin shops in every city I have travelled to are really chill about people coming in and playing their instruments. One of the coolest was Peter Prier and sons in Salt Lake, Paul, Chris and John made me feel like family. Thanks everyone.

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