I have been playing fiddle tune with drone notes for a while now. Recently, I started to try playing tunes with just single notes. Somehing sounded off and I realized the notes aren't "popping" off the string and this is giving me a mushy type sound that I don't like. I tried different string brands but that didn't help.
Can this be adjusted, or is it time for a new fiddle? The violin was made by Robert E. Weber in 1943, so it's not a cheap beginners violin. More of an intermediate instrument.
There are so many factors to consider here that the mind boggles. If you want a stronger, more focused tone, my suggestion is to focus on the "me" factors (your technique) first. If you are playing fiddle tunes, then likely your bow mainly stays "on the string" and you are doing ordinary back-and-forth bow strokes. The three main parameters are (1) Your sound point -- where your bow meets the string in relation to the bridge or the end of the fingerboard. You want to start roughly in the middle and I would suggest that you try to move closer to the bridge over time, by a few millimeters will make a huge difference. (2) Your bow speed. (3) Downward pressure ("weight") on the bow.
Thank you very much for he advice Paul. I'm not home now but I'll try your suggestions tomorrow. Your right about sawing away. I'll have to concentrate on bow pressure. Instead of the notes popping out, the sound builds up and I'm not getting a clean note. If that makes sense.
One more bow variable - Watch yourself in a mirror - you may not be bowing perfectly straight (parallel to the bridge), which might affect the focus of your sound. Try slow open string bows and see if you can make the sound you want.
Get your violin adjusted by your local violin repair person. This normally can solve many problems.
Bruce, this may or may not produce the desired result. Skillsets of violin repair persons are all over the map.
David, hopefully the odds of having a trained luthier examine one's violin are better than DIY. Skill of surgeons varies too, but I'm not transplanting my own liver.
Could it be an open seam?
Parallel bowing caveat...while we always speak about this as a principle, it is extraordinary how many violinists, and including some of the greats, diverge from the parallel as they approach the point: this, without loss of sound quality, volume, etc.
Thank you for your replies everybody. I discovered the problem is not getting perfectly in tune. I have severe high frequency loss and can't get the d and g strings right. I tuned up to a tuning app and the problem went away. Getting old sucks. I don't recommend it.
Nell - I use both tuners you name and they are great!
I've been using the D'Addario tuner for some time now. The phone app I use is gStrings. I'll have to check out sound corset. I not only have profound high frequency loss in both ears, but also tinnitis. Some days are louder than others.
Thank you Neil and Andrew for recommendig Sound Corset. It works much better than gString which I find a little too sensitive. The needle wavers back and forh so much that it's sometimes difficult to determine where you are.
The sharp "ping" you get when you switch between notes is a result of very fast stop of the string and very fast lift of the finger. That's what creates the fantastic clarity you hear with the best players, but it's something anyone can achieve with practice.
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