Mutes and high positions on the G string.
I've been playing Ravel's Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré, and there are a few bars in 6th position on the G string, and getting a nice B is a pig. Not as bad if I play loud, but it's meant to be piano (and when I play loud, I'm a bit surprised at how far the sounding point needs to be from the bridge, but that's just a theoretical thing).
But I find after brief experimentation that which mute I use might have quite a large effect on the ease of getting the sound out.
Does that surprise anyone, or have you found that yourselves?
(I'm being careful not to say which mutes I've been using in case someone simply trots out that they don't like that one anyway)
My Spector mutes are light and medium dark brown tones. I have them on the fiddles most closely matching those colors. I can put them on the string afterlengths "in situ," not when the strings are loose. It's a bit of a stretch, but it works.
"Which mutes are good for this and which are bad?
Getting a decent tone in the high positions on the G has bedevilled many violinists and their particular violin over the years, and can affect any violin.
As an aside I love my Alpine (Menuhin) shield mute. It quiets my violin without giving it a bad sinus cold.
The violin has two big, and vital, resonances: the contained air, around D, and the main wood resonance, around B, which seems to be concentrated in the lower left zone of the belly. Zukerman describes a bad day (humidity?) when he jammed a wine cork under the left edge of the tailpiece to calm the B wolf. A blob of blue-tack over the end of the bass-bar has a similar effect, though I am wary of oily substances on the varnish.
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