Are my strings too high or am I lacking technique?
Recently I purchased a new violin, way better than my first one. I realized that sometimes when I release a string (specially with the 3rd or 4th fingers, where the strings are more distant from the fingerboard) it makes a a sound, like a "plucking sound" if I can describe it that way. I also noticed that it is really more difficult to use the fourth finger in this violin than in my old one, in the way that I have to apply more pressure, but my old one wasn't a good instrument so it's difficult for me to do that comparison. I am a begginer, playing for less than a year, so I don't know if it these things are lack of technique and things I should be working on or if the strings are too high because the bridge is too high and I should get it adjusted. It's relatively complicated for me to go to a luthier so I wanted to know that I absolutely need to go to one before I do. I measured the distance between the fingerboard and the strings in the lower part of the fingerboard and it's roughly half centimeter (maybe a little bit more) both in the G and th E strings, a distance that, from what I could find in my research in the internet, isn't too large.
I posted this on reddit a few days ago, where you can see some pictures of my violin (https://www.reddit.com/r/violinist/comments/j0yzdr/are_my_strings_too_high_or_am_i_lacking_technique/)
5mm-5.5mm is about right for the G string, but for the e string you probably want about 3.5mm, some pros want 4mm, but that is harder to play
The measurements Lyndon is referring to are at the very end of the fingerboard.
I can't tell nearly as much from photos as I can with an instrument in my hands, but it appears to me that the strings are higher than they need to be. However, the neck projection also appears to be low, so lowering the bridge may cause problems with bow/C-bout clearance.
I agree that from the description of the violin it seems that it needs to be properly set up by a competent luthier.
hi Tails, yes just judging superficially I would also say that your strings seem too high. also the bridge looks really fat...
If this is way better than your first violin... yikes.
If it seems to be making a huge amount of tension when you are doing what Don is recommending, you can always just loosen that string a little. The idea is to use the straightness of the string as a guide for the eye to see the longitudinal profile of the fingerboard. The string doesn't need to be at full tension for that.
The nut looks too high, as well.
Tails, especially as a beginner, it's important to have an instrument setup that's comfortable to play. In addition to the difficulties you experience in playing an instrument that isn't properly set up, you can cause yourself physical harm through strain. So my advice is: Forget about what the preferences of some professionals might be in terms of higher tension and ability to withstand pressure, and ensure that your instrument is comfortable for yourself to play.