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Is something wrong with my violin?
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:18 pm    Post subject: Is something wrong with my violin? Reply with quote

Hello, I am Steven. I am a student violin player.

I have played my violin when I was 9 for a few months and I never touched it until August 2013. I have been continuing on to practice.

In the beginning I bought a very cheap palatino violin, Chinese made.
(It is now a dust collector.)

Then I dug up my over 15 years old violin from Korea. It was around $350 dollars Canadian value in 1999 or 1998.

There was a GREAT improvement to the quality of sound and I also put on Infeld Red which allowed my left hand to loosen quite a bit more.

Now the violin has a crack that was fixed in 2000.

recently I went to a local professional violin maker in December 2013 and he told me that it's fine.

I have replaced the bridge once,
(not done by a professional. I met the professional after I had it done at Long & McQuade
[apparently a guitar guy does bridge fitting])

Something I have been noticing is that on each string, the finger is different. I couldn't be sure just from my ears, so I have attached tuners using the vibration of the top piece and it confirms that I HAVE to change my finger position for each string. If I recall correct, they are supposed to be parallel.
[If I am to go to natural G to G on A string, I just need to follow the same finger position on G and A strings, in a GOOD condition. Not for my violin]

Something else that I've noticed that the fingerboard, made of ebony wood, seems a little bit tilted.

I will post pictures if they would help. I am waiting to be able to get some time to rent a good violin for comparison, but my current violin has quite a bit of sentimental value to me.

I was told that it is "not that good" violin by the professional maker (He handles violins that are in 4 digit price range) but I wish to fix little thing that may help.

Thanks for your time
-SJL
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Scott S
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Joined: 27 Jan 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Michigan, Tri State area

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible that you got the strings mixed up when you changed the strings. The G string should be the thickest string followed by the other strings in decending order. Sometimes I use a micrometer to measure their diameter.

Scott
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The strings are not mixed.

I think my guess is the combination of the nut and bridge being bad.

Lately the D string gets loosen rapidly.

I am going to have the violin looked by the professional for refitting the nut and the bridge. The nut is over 15 years old.

Any recommendations for something similar to Infeld Red if I am to replace the string?
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the professional violin maker says it is ok, then more than likely it would
be ok. Please let me know his name...more than likely I'll know him. I would
have taken the violin back to the professional violin maker after having the
bridge redone by a guitar guy. Why? Because the skill required to set up a
bridge properly for a violin, is NOT easy.

I need you to clarify what you are trying to do on the G and A strings. In
order to go to G on the A string, you need to be at least in 3rd position, so
I'm wondering if you are finishing on the G note on the E string instead.
(I'm also assuming when you mention natural G, you mean open G which is
the 4th and thickest string, and no fingers on it).

Please clarify.....
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The professional's name is Carlo Nicolo Loso,

Unfortunately due to my schedule I have not been able to speak to him in the past while.

What I am trying to do is basically comparing finger positions of:

On the G string
G A B C D

On the D string
D E Fsharp G A

On the A string
A B Csharp D E

On E string
E Fsharp Gsharp A B

and back. To my knowledge, their finger positions on the strings are identical, but with my violin. I am finding that the finger positions for these are all different
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for clarifying.

So, just to make sure I understand....

For example, you find that when you place your finger on note A on the G string
and go over in parallel to the D string, it is not E. Right? Or...another example,
when you put your finger on C on the G string and cross two string in parallel to
the A string, you are not getting D.

Since you are using a tuner, it should show you by how far you are off?
Please let me know how far you are off (in hertz or cents)?
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SJLPHI
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Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems they vary, all of them within +/- 10 cents. some too sharp, some too flat.
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not surprised by your answer. My conclusion is that there is nothing wrong with
your fingerboard (as far as pitch location is concerned).

Even if the violin was perfectly tuned (G D A E) I would consider +/- 10 cents hardly
detectable on normal playing and has all to do with the imperfect placement of our
fingers on the fingerboard.
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SJLPHI
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Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I am getting the hang of it now.

I am recently noticing that as I get lower on my strings
D and A specifically, as I need to extend my fingers longer, I have tendency of not separating my fingers far apart enough.

As for the G String, because I know that separation must "feel" longer than it actually is, so I over-compensate for that.

I am still picking up unwanted noises from the A String though. I have two bows, one is relatively new, Korean made, 80 dollars bow and one I have been told that it's worth 160+ dollars bow which I had since I was 10.

For some reason the cheaper bow makes better sound for me. I had the older bow re-haired by the professional but I am a little bit confused by my bow control.
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Highlander
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Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 85
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

the intonation of the strings should not change by length, if you play in front of a mirror, you may notice that what you perceive to be the same distance from the playing point of view and where your fingers actually are, could be different. if it is muscle memory, practice your favourite scales this way and you may be able to see the difference.
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SJLPHI
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Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. I am looking forward for the summer to get onto this project I am still stuck at the second Suzuki book and my exam schedules are unmerciful and I have been confined to study in empty classrooms during my breaks at school.

By the way, is there a Local store in Ottawa that has fretless finger guides?
I have had horrible experiences with paypal and I would like to know if anyone knew.
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Highlander
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Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 85
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the first suzuki book, If you have a teacher, go by what they say first. I also use a tuner to rehearse with, a guitar tuner does if you cant find a violin one, I was also fortunate enough to find some studies for vioiin written by herbert kinsey, I thimk rhey really are good for keeping your ear trained.
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SJLPHI
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Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is something that I have noticed today during practice.

As I play the A on the G String,
my A String also oscillates. (Of course the bow isn't touching A String)
and also my open E "sqeaks" once a while

I have Infeld Red which is about 8 months old with average 5 hour practice per week and my Bridge is yet to be re-done by the professional Luthier.
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normal expected physics in action. I get the same thing.

Try to play:

D on the G string, and the D string will sound or
A on the D string, and the A string will sound or
E on the A string, and the E string will sound

The interesting thing is that the A on the G string is one octave lower than
the A string. One would expect to hear the E string, if you played E on the D
string, but you don't hear it.

As for the squeaking E string, take a look at this link:

https://www.violins.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1095&highlight=squeak
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SJLPHI
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday I picked up my violin from Luthier with a brand new bridge. I can tell by the comparison from the old and the new bridge the older bridge had a very slanted shape.

With the new bridge I am finding it FAR easier to play and change strings as they are now separated better. Also fingering feels easier also. I am having no trouble whatsoever now to play some of the tunes that I had trouble with before.

One thing though is that it is possibly due to the bridge being brand new. When I change my strings quickly. The bandwidth of the sound is greatly increased.
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