Can easiness encourage bad technique
Hi all, first post here but a long-time reader. This is another string topic, be forwarned, but I'll try to keep it from becoming a "is this string better" kind of thing. First thing, I'm a bluegrass and old-time fiddler that's been playing about 3 years. Started when I was a 15 or so. Despite being a non-classical player, I do strive for good technique in everything I play. I have a fairly proper bow and violin hold, a decent vibrato, and decent tone. I've been complemented on my tone by several other fiddlers but I'm still not happy with it. I don't feel as if I'm as comfortable with bowing and producing good tone as I would like. Right now I use steel-core Helicores like so many fiddlers. I like their stability for cross-tuning, responsiveness, their richness on certain double stops and their clarity (when I feel like I'm playing them right). Although a lot of times I feel like I get too many whispy tones and I'm working too hard to control them from being either harsh or whispy, especially on the G string. Working too hard eventually makes me more tense and all-around just makes it less natural and fun. Now I put Dominants on, or most any synethetic for that matter, and a lot of it seems to flow easier. I can bare down more agressively without worrying about scratches. The G is easier to play without whisps. It just seems smoother. I do lose that crystal clarity, the stability for alternate tunings and the purity on some double stops, however. Now my question is this, I feel like if I use the Doms I'll be running away from the problem of bow control and tone and just burying it. I would like to go back to the Helicores eventually, but I'm worried if I use the Dominants, my bowing won't improve a noticeable amount by the time I switch back. Do you think sticking with the Helicores will make me work harder at improving the problems, or are Helis just not likely to sound good on it? It is a bright and loud fiddle and helicores are on the bright and loud side too. So maybe it's just amplifying my problems?
Anyway, sorry for the long-winded post. I'd appreciate any thoughts.
Might not be you or your strings. Could be your violin.
I tend to believe that, if the instrument is easier to play, it enables you to fine-tune your technique more easily. Improvement is almost always gradual. If you have to play just right to get a good sound, then slight improvements in technique are harder to hear, and it's harder to tell if you're on the right track.
There are other brands of strings both steel core and synethetic core. So you could try out different brands.
Check out at listing of string tensions on Google.com, perhaps you would co better with lower tension strings.
"if the instrument is easier to play, it enables you to fine-tune your technique more easily"