Lowering string tension - Violin vibrating more than usual
Hello! I hope everyone is well. I was wondering if anyone else had a similar issue and how they went about it - I just changed my strings from Eva Pirazzi high tension to medium tension. Whilst I have found them much easier to shift, vibrate and get a bit more colour, one of the downsides I noticed is that the violin feels like it's vibrating a lot more, which has been very distracting (and hence have not managed to get much practising done, recently). Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I would like to try and get used to them as I feel they also have benefits, but it feels like the vibrating of the box against my neck is all I can think about. Is this normal? Do I just deal with it or should I go back to high tension if that's what my violin seems to prefer? Many thanks!
I've heard over here that it's normal after lowering the tension, soon it will get less resonant, but most importantly you will get used to it.
Personally, I enjoy the vibration of my violin when I'm playing it - for me that's what it is supposed to do. If it didn't vibrate it would sound dead. My violin is an 18th century instrument currently fitted with relatively low tension Eudoxas, but sometimes plain gut. Not far off a baroque setup but nevertheless eminently playable for all eras.
I find I can get much more colour out of a violin with lower tension strings. I think the fad for putting high tension strings to get a bigger projection is such a shame when people put these strings (no names but one of the most popular brands) on high quality instruments.
Thank you all, really helpful insights. Not just me going crazy then.
Nothing wrong with regular EP, but playing them on stark must have been rough. Weich would be my choice for that brand line (EP are not bad, just the usual cons, and that I do not prefer synthetics overall ).
You are definitely not imagining things, Claire. I've switched my medium EPs for weichs a couple of months ago and the violin has been vibrating quite a bit more since, though that's a definite plus in my books. I don't think that there's much you can do about it if it really annoys you other then go back to high tension strings. While the resonance and overall sound of the instrument adjust after the change, my violin still vibrates more than it used to after several months, so I think this aspect of the change is here to stay.
If you put/wrap a small cloth over the top of the chinrest and under the violin so as to cover your collar bone you will not feel much of the vibration.
Benjamin - Thank you that's an idea, I am currently using the goldbrokat 26 but 27 could be an option.
Is the Strad Pad still being made? Not identical to the Vaagun, but might offer some of the same benefits.
Claire, WoodBrass sells it in the UK
Evah Pirazzi mediums are already "stark" when compared to other medium strings. The actual EP starks must be insane.
Of all the excuses not to practise, "my violin vibrates too much" has to be the most creative I've heard so far.
Sorry mum.. i'll go to my room now and practise
Yes, some violins will respond better with lower tension strings. An analogy: A snare drum (!) head needs to be "tuned" to optimum tension. Too loose sounds flabby, doesn't give the stick enough rebound. Too tight crushes the sound. The stick feels like you are drumming on stone. [Yes, I am also a drummer] The gauge is only part of the story. The angle that the strings meet with the bridge has a big effect on the total force on the top plate. I have one violin with too shallow projection angle of the fingerboard. High tension strings help compensate.