A Five String Fiddle
[ January 6, 2018 ]
The motorcycle scene for me hasn't completely disappeared.
It's just been tapered down quite a bit. I've been doing
mostly curry and lobster runs. Those day rides are fun but
there's really not much to report. So I decided to start
writing about my other activities.
It's been ages since I picked up my violins and played with
them. I have a no-namer student violin and also the very first
generation Yamaha Silent Violin SV-100.
By no means am I any good at playing the violin since I'm self
taught (a lot of books and a lot of fiddling). If you say,
"Who in the world would teach themselves to play a violin?" I
say, "I did." I can be a bit ignorant and rebellious like
that. I took a couple of lessons but the teacher was too
flaky. I did learn one thing from her, 2nd, and 3rd fingering
positions. Beyond that, meh... it wasn't worth the
money. So I went back to my books and fiddling. Anyway,
in the process of helping my daughter learn how to read music, my
inner music ability got kickstarted once more. What's more,
when I went on-line to see what is up with Yamaha and their Silent
Violins (I've been out of it for ages), I found this:
The Yamaha YEV105NT
It spoke to me. I can't help but feel that this violin isn't
just a tad rebellious (ever so little like me). It has 5
strings instead of 4. The 5th string is a Viola C
string. Now my violin has a bass string. The price was
right and the reviews all rocked (5/5). Can't lose with a
My own copy.
I really haven't had a change to play it much other than tuning the
violin. From what I can tell, the YEV is the way folks have
mentioned in the reviews. Yes for once Internet reviews that
aren't garbage and full of troll hate. The YEV has a really
warm sound and it is easy to play. The bridge is a little
flatter than your typical violin so it's easy to strike multiple
strings. Since this is an electric violin, the YEV doesn't
have built in amplification like the SV-100. Playing the YEV
is like playing the SV-100 with the power turned off. It's
nowhere near as loud as an acoustic violin, but at the same time
it's also not very silent. You can easily hear the instrument
a couple of rooms away.
Time to drag Handle's Water Music out and start practicing again.
[ Update ]
Stupid me, I've never tuned a Viola C string before so I broke the
string. What frequency is it suppose to be at... anyway?
Something like 180Hz. Nothing like learning the hard way. The
replacement Viola C string was a pretty $55 a pop. I bought
two. One as replacement and one as spare. Expensive
hobby. But hey... who can complain about Dominant
strings. From my experience, Dominants are some of the best
violin strings around. At least I don't get calluses when I
use Dominant strings.
Once again I tune the YEV. I'm out of practice and my bowing
technique needs some brushing up. Playing a little bit of the
scale has me woefully out of practice. At least I can somewhat
remember the finger positions. whole, whole, half, open
string, ... Once the first finger lands on the right note, the
rest of the fingering isn't too bad. It's going to take a lot
more practice to get back to where I was before.
I have two bows. One is a Coda bow, made of carbon fiber, and
the other is a natural wood bow. The Coda bow is a little
stiffer because of the material. It's always a toss up as to
which bow is better. Sure, the carbon fiber is more expensive
and isn't as susceptible to climate, but I swear the wood bow has a
warmer sound. Then again it might just be that the wooden bow
just recently got re horse haired.
Written on: January 6, 2018
Last modified: January 6, 2018