Can’t my instrument be the one playing a great classical piece?
It’s not always clear that the answer is “yes,” but at the same time, it doesn’t always work that way. There’s a few basic things you should be aware of.
1. The string is too thin
A note that starts with an acute bend will sound loud and bright. The reason is because of the vibration of the note, and the note will start out sounding thin. This is known as the “thinnest string” theory.
But with some notes, like flat, you will find the pitch is a little bit more subtle – the notes seem larger and brighter because they have a bit of extra vibration.
What about you, dear musical explorer? How much of the violin’s frequency is actually in the string, just due to vibrating it? How do you know if a particular note sounds sharp or flat?
2. The bow is too stiff
For your classical violin, you’ll get the most definition with a stiff bow. A stiff bow gives less air pressure in, and a tighter bow creates more air pressure out.
Because of this, it allows a faster rate of rotation of the string, which allows the neck to be raised and lowered faster and more evenly than using a soft bow.
3. The strings are too short
The string itself is more important than how stiff the bow is. The thicker the string – the longer it (the shorter the length) the lower its frequency (the louder). In fact, when you bend the string, the pitch changes because of the pressure and the length of the string.
One way to get a stiffer bow is by having a lot of the strings longer in the front end of the bow. But, because of this, some of the back strings can end up sounding softer.
Another way to get a stiffer bow is by adding extra metal in the bow itself. When you use a lighter hand, this can make for a softer bow that looks the same and feels the same. But if you’re using a thicker bow, you’re sacrificing the amount of vibration on the string and more vibration in the strings themselves. To get the same high frequency, you’ll have to cut down the thickness of the string and the extra length of the back strings.
4. The bow is too flat
This means that the bow is not able to vibrate as much on the string itself.
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