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Oct 24, 2021 - 6:11:11 AM
136 posts since 9/17/2017

I have a problem that I haven't always had on my fiddle. I have trouble on the G string that I haven't always had. Sometimes it fails to produce a sound. Seems to happen more when pushing the bow and is dependent on the angle of the bow and of course the amount of pressure I apply to the bow. If I really angle my bow more perpendicularly than horizontally it works better. I've come across some posts that say this might be related to bridge or sound post problems and wondered if anyone has experienced and overcome this problem.

Oct 24, 2021 - 8:26:22 AM
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Swing

USA

2070 posts since 6/26/2007

It could be several problems... I experienced the same last year and here is a suggested list to help resolve the issue.... #1, really clean your strings, use alcohol wipes or 0000 non-oiled steel wool..#2 clean the hair on your bow, wash it lightly and let it dry then re-rosin it...#3 take it to a good luthier and have them check the position of the sound post and make adjustments as needed....#4 change your strings.... #5 try a different rosin, makes a big difference

Play Happy

Swing

Oct 24, 2021 - 1:08:29 PM
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1904 posts since 12/11/2008

Does it happen from tip to frog or only on certain sections of the bow?

If it indeed only happens with the G string, put some rosin on the G string at the spots where you normally bow...just for kicks. You can always wipe it off with a dry wash cloth.

Of course, if you have another G string handy, put it on and give it a go.

Finally, yes, I've found that I get much better, less scratchy tone from my G string with a perpendicular, properly-weighted bow stroke, and that the G string is much more sensitive to this than the other strings. Making matters worse, because the G string is figuratively 'way up there on the fiddle when you hold the fiddle under your chin, you really have to get your bowing hand higher in altitude...something that makes it more difficult to regulate the amount of pressure you impart on the string.

Ain't fiddlin' fun!

Oct 25, 2021 - 3:58:37 AM
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195 posts since 11/28/2018

I had a similar problem several years ago ... might not be the same but thought I would throw it out there. Took the fiddle to a good luthier who only took a few seconds to figure out that the G-string was sitting too deep in the bridge. In other words the groove for it was too deep and this had the effect of muting the string. He spent only a few minutes making very minor adjustments to the top of the bridge where the G-string crossed it and it made all the difference in the world. Don't quote me on this but I believe that the groove should be sufficiently shallow that less than half of the string is actually below the top of the bridge.

Oct 25, 2021 - 6:47:34 AM

2393 posts since 10/1/2008

Hmmmm .... Good answers above. Check your posture and or your shoulder rest if you use one. Either may have slightly changed and is impacting the angle and pressure your bow contacts the G string. R/

Nov 1, 2021 - 3:05:54 AM

RB-1

Netherlands

41 posts since 9/28/2020

I've got something similar, yet different.

On  the A string, from where I'd stop an Eb/E note and up, I should be bowing closer to the bridge then where  I'd have to on the other strings while getting a solid sound.

It feels like the bow is losing grip.

I've cleaned the strings as described, used another bow, all to no avail.

I like the tone I'm getting on the other strings while bowing further away from the bridge, but when bowing there, the A string seems to "slip".

Nov 1, 2021 - 8:26:37 AM

123 posts since 7/30/2021

Maybe it's time for a string change? Or bow rehair? ( I don't know how long you have had the strings on, but believe or not, I hear pros change their strings every 6 months! I am of course am nowhere near that, since I don't play multiple hours a day...but I do try to change 'em somewhat regularly...)

Sometimes it's a rosin thing, so make sure your bow is well rosined?

I've had the "no sound" issue, when I was using a new cheap baroque bow...
when I went back to the usual bow, the soundless issue went away. Lousy baroque bow, apparently.
It's an annoying issue, for sure.

Nov 1, 2021 - 9:16:27 AM

RB-1

Netherlands

41 posts since 9/28/2020

OK, chronologically:

A year ago, the bow was re-haired, finally I could make a decent sound on this fiddle, THE incentive for re-starting after 27 years. I've never been able to play as well as I'm doing now.

Three months ago, replaced the strings, dramatically improving the sound. Response was super in all positions.

6 weeks ago, I noticed this 'slipping' when playing in higher positions on the A-string. Like said bowing closer to the bridge and/or using more pressure, compared to the other strings, cures this to a certain degree. But this is highly disturbing when trying to concentrate on the rest of the bowing.

I haven't changed anything in the amount of rosin I put on....

Nov 1, 2021 - 9:26:07 AM

5505 posts since 9/26/2008

How far from the bridge do you usually bow compared to where you need to bow for the A string?

Nov 1, 2021 - 12:02:22 PM

RB-1

Netherlands

41 posts since 9/28/2020

Taking the distance from bridge to end of fingerboard, I normally play at 2/3 from the bridge (~33 mm).

When playing on the A string higher than d#/e, I have to shift back to about 1/3 from the bridge (~17 mm) to have the bow "grip" the string.

When playing in lower positions (between open A to d), all is fine.

Strangely enough, the other strings are responding fine with no issues.

All this started a few weeks after replacing the strings.

Nov 1, 2021 - 12:32:34 PM

5505 posts since 9/26/2008

Same string brand/gauge?

Seems to me what is happening is as you stop the string it is much lower than where the other strings lay or something along those lines. Maybe the fingerboard needs to be looked at?

Nov 1, 2021 - 1:19:44 PM

RB-1

Netherlands

41 posts since 9/28/2020

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Same string brand/gauge?

Seems to me what is happening is as you stop the string it is much lower than where the other strings lay or something along those lines. Maybe the fingerboard needs to be looked at?


Definitely not the same brand/gauge.

The strings that were on it must have been at least 20 years old, sounding very thin, but... Equally bad everywhere, but no weaker spots or such.

Now I'm having Thomastik Spirocore, G: S16 , D: S12A, A: S11A, E: S9.

These strings brought my mediocre fiddle entirely back to life. It's better than it ever was, I like the power of the G and D strings.

But you're on to something, considering action, I guess.

Action is certainly higher than it used to be, but its not in my way ( maybe because I'm a (Bluegrass) mandolin- and banjo player too). You could call me a 'left hand man', bowing is the harder part of fiddling to me (but getting there slowly, I'm just over a year in again...).

There is about 4,5 mm action where the E note is on the A string.

Nov 1, 2021 - 3:21:16 PM

5505 posts since 9/26/2008

The bow IS ultimately the hard part.

If the bridge hasn't moved (you should occasionally look at it from the side to see if it is leaning towards the fingerboard btw), then I have nothing more to suggest other than having your luthier give it a look.

Nov 3, 2021 - 9:05:32 AM

JonD

USA

35 posts since 2/12/2021

4.5 mm seems really high. Maybe the string has trouble establishing a good vibration if not adequately depressed?

Nov 3, 2021 - 9:42:52 AM

RB-1

Netherlands

41 posts since 9/28/2020

quote:
Originally posted by JonD

4.5 mm seems really high. Maybe the string has trouble establishing a good vibration if not adequately depressed?


Sounds plausible, but.... Being a mandolin player too, I have enough strength in my left hand, so I think not enough finger pressure is not very likely.

Also, in that case, I would expect the other strings showing the same behaviour, but it's just the A-string.

By the way, the bridge is fine (perpendicular).

Problem over here is that violin luthiers only have experience with classical violins and not with Bluegrass, steel string set ups.

I'm more or less out on my own, hence my question at the Hangout

Nov 3, 2021 - 2:32:11 PM

5505 posts since 9/26/2008

The fingerboard can have wear that will affect the playability of the strings up the neck. Did you replace the strings one at a time, in other words, did you move the bridge somehow, like by changing all of them at once?

I problem solve via lots of questions wink

Edited by - ChickenMan on 11/03/2021 14:33:51

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