Just to clear up something, when people see a violin that is softer than others, some may call it soft, but there are a wide variety of options out there.
“The key is that a pianist who is not playing a good violin makes the mistake of not trying a different violin for a performance,” says Schoenfeld. “That’s a big mistake,” he says. “In a big classical concert, all pianists are playing very well and it’s not important if the instrument is too soft.”
Here are some of the qualities that make a violin softer than others:
1. Soft, airy sound
The sound of a violin is almost exactly the same regardless of which hand the string is played with. This makes the sound very pleasant for both ear and ear-buds.
The “softness” of the violin may come from a variety of factors, such as the material that the wood comes in, how it is treated, and the type of wood.
Some violin makers may use special woods whose notes are harder or softer than the rest of the wood. This means that when these particular woods are used in making the top, the string vibrates more evenly.
Like a flute’s airy sound and the way a viola organ sounds, a violin is less a “percussion instrument” than a “brass instrument.” This means that the strings do not vibrate as much.
3. Low range of tension
If you’re playing the violin as intended, you can always play with the right hand and pull the string slightly. But it’s also okay to move it out and “suck” the string to add even more tension. This adds to the low range of tension.
4. Fine tuning
Some players enjoy the ability to use their fingers to tune and adjust the string tension in different ways. With a violin, it is important to be able to tune it by hand so the sound doesn’t change with the string’s tension.
Even tuning with a finger is fine. Many players will leave it to the expert when it comes to tuning: a violinist is the perfect violin teacher. But when it comes to fine tuning, there’s no substitute for actually doing it!
In this video, you’ll learn how to fine tune with just your middle knuckle:
4. Good feel and tone
There are two main types of
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