Violin
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New Strings

I've been looking into buying some new strings. It's about time. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't bought new strings in at least 4 years.

As it turns out, I have an almost complete set of the brand of strings I used to use before I got all experimental in college. They're still new - they were my backup set (all except the A, I guess I must have broken one and for some reason I had two used ones).

Why did I wait this long? It's so much easier to play. I blame all of my squeakiness in the musical on the strings. I knew my E string was false, but apparently the rest of the strings had problems too.

There are a million possibilities when it comes to strings. Gut (never tried), synthetic (what I've always used), wound steel, or plain steel (less sophisticated sound, apparently), wound with silver, aluminum, titanium, gold plated, different gauges - yes, they're all meant to be tuned to specific pitches, but each pitch comes in a soft, medium, or hard/loud meant to give options for playing styles. Eesh.

And I can't complain much, because violin strings are the least expensive, but it costs money to even try all these options. Add these options to the fact that every instrument (and bow) is completely different, and it's a wonder anyone ever finds the right sound.

Bass strings run from about $35 a set for steel to $190 for multi strand wire core. It's interesting that there are only two brands of synthetic core bass strings. Violin sets run from $5 for steel to $60 for synthetic.

Apparently you're supposed to change your strings every 6 mo. if you play 30 minutes a day. I used to change them about once a year in college (and I played a lot more than 30 minutes almost every day). Sometimes the E went false faster or broke altogether, and I changed it. I had at least one A break, but I think I had installed it poorly.

Now I have to decide what to order for my next spare set.

1 comment. Last comment by Phaedra.
Another performance opportunity

It sounds like I'm going to be playing for the Stoughton Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service on 11/21 at Christ Lutheran Church. This time it's pretty low-commitment, just one rehearsal and the Thanksgiving service. I need the performance experience, so I'm very glad to have the opportunity.

On another violin related note: I went to see Hilary Hahn (violin) and Valentina Lisistsa (piano) at the Wisconsin Union Theater tonight. A friend asked me to go, and I'm very glad I did. It is really interesting to watch violinists - I was amazed by her use of the bow, it inspires me to work on mine. Seeing this concert reminded me of a couple of my favorite violin sonatas, and gave me some ideas for new material to study, even if I could never hope to perform it. Violin and piano sonatas require a lot of coordination between the two players. It was fun to watch and fun to listen.

4 comments. Last comment by Musevia.
I have a job!

Don't get too excited. It's just for a couple of weeks and might pay a little (a little is better than nothing!).

I'm playing in a musical over the next couple of weeks. I'm not sure what's going on yet because I'm filling in for one or two people who dropped out at the last minute.

If I'm busy every night for the next two weeks, that's why. Keep Ruppert entertained and book your appointments with me THIS week :)

2 comments. Last comment by Musevia.
Breaking Bows

I tend to have nightmares about damaging my violin when I'm not practicing enough. A couple of nights ago I had a dream that I had broken all three of my bows. The one that has been broken already and fixed wasn't worth repairing. The other two were also badly damaged. I was glad to wake up and realize it was all a dream.

I need to build up my endurance again, so I think I'll start at 20 min a day and ramp up. I just need to do it EVERY DAY.

100% humidity

It has to be 100% humidity. Of course today is the day I went to get my violin bows rehaired. I had my 2 good bows rehaired. The "pit" bow is going to stay the way it is unless I end up playing somewhere where I need a bow that can be knocked around a little.

After I dropped the bows off, I walked down to Case to say goodbye to whoever I could find. I had to walk about half a mile from the bus stop to the violin shop, then probably another half a mile to Case. I was sweating like a pig. I walked back to the violin shop, picked up my bows, and walked back to the bus stop. I can't complain about same-day rehair! It started raining on my way home. Maybe that will knock some moisture out of the air.

I hate this kind of weather. Thankfully it's not like this as much in Wisconsin. Ohio needs the rain.

2 comments. Last comment by Musevia.