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Electric violins

Jane of 'ull 28 Jul 11 - 06:56 PM
Mark Ross 28 Jul 11 - 09:42 PM
Jane of 'ull 29 Jul 11 - 03:04 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Jul 11 - 03:19 AM
Will Fly 29 Jul 11 - 03:43 AM
GUEST,FloraG 29 Jul 11 - 03:52 AM
Jack Blandiver 29 Jul 11 - 04:31 AM
Crowhugger 29 Jul 11 - 11:29 AM
Jane of 'ull 05 Aug 11 - 04:45 PM
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Subject: Electric violins
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 06:56 PM

I am looking into electric violins at the moment in order to be able to practise fiddle playing without annoying my neighbours. I have an acoustic violin but don't often play at full volume at home. I live in flatland and I hate my mistakes being heard!! It'd be great to plug the headphones in and practise. Can anyone advise me what to look for in buying an electric violin, and what price should I expect to pay for a low to middle range instrument? I know little about them but I've heard the Stagg brand is popular, but Yamaha also do them and I usually prefer Yamaha products.


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Subject: RE: Electric violins
From: Mark Ross
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 09:42 PM

Get a couple of clothespins of the spring variety and clamp them on either side of the bridge. This will mute the instrument. If you want to spend a little more, go to a music store and buy a violin mute, the hard rubber kind. You don't need to spend the money on an electric fiddle.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Electric violins
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 03:04 AM

I have several violin mutes, but what I like the idea of is being able to hear myself (through headphones) at full volume rather than playing muted all the time. The thing is I'm currently looking for a new bow for my acoustic violin and if I'm going to buy an electric one, I'd rather hold off and buy one that suits both violins.


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Subject: RE: Electric violins
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 03:19 AM

They start at about £50 on ebay - but if those are anything like the £50 ebay electric mandolins there will be much to do before they are playable. I don't know whether violins can be transformed as to playability as readily as guitars and mandolins can (at least intonation is not an issue), but if so you could have a usable pluggable for about £200.

You can finish up in the several thousands of pounds - Bridge fiddles (no relation, based somewhere near Canterbury) are I am told well thought of.


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Subject: RE: Electric violins
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 03:43 AM

Jane - PM me if you're interested and I'll lend you one. I'm in Sussex, but it can be posted. Stagg.

Try it and see what you make of it.


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Subject: RE: Electric violins
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 03:52 AM

Are you likely to play your electric fiddle out in the future? If so it might be worth considering a more expensive item. They are great fun as you can use all sorts of sound effects.

I use harder strings on mine and an inexpensive plastic bow.

Sound engineers are much more likely to get the sound right on one of these than an acoustic fiddle. I've heard some pretty awful PA set ups on acoustics.

However, they are not a lot of good in sessions. Do you have the room at home for an extra instrument + effect peddles.

I have a Bridge and its very good at staying in tune. However, my sound effects peddle has a mute tuner which is really useful half way through a performance when other instruments are playing.

You can get them to play in viola tuning or an octave lower.
Enjoy
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Electric violins
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 04:31 AM

For the record, there is a mute you can buy that will silence your violin quite cheaply and effectively: The Tonwolf Violin Practice Mute.

Problem is, if you play heavy, as I do, they have a habit of leaping off the bridge and landing on your toe (if, like me, you're a bare-foot fidder) which can be extemely painful as these things are very heavy. I've also smashed several items of crockery with them. Those heavy rubber mutes aren't so good at silencing a violin - I use one as a matter of course and can readily complete with banjo & concertina. As with horns, Mutes are generally more about tone than volume, though I've yet to find one that'll give my fiddle the Harmon buzz, like Miles Davis, though feel it's not beyond the realms of possibility.

Some very interesting electric violins from Song in China on ebay right now (see HERE. I'm thinking about getting one for my birthday for similar neighbourly reasons. Richard's right though, anything like this will need all manner of setting up and tweaking before it's playable, but this is half the fun. I bought a weird looking Song Baroque 5-string a couple of years back and love it very dearly; nice instruments if you get them at the right price - though they regularly crop up in UK dealers a lot more than you can get them from Song.

Another option of course is the practise violin itself. There's one at Pamela's Music just now: 19th Century Frame Fiddle. You can easily make these electric, as Ric Sanders did with his.


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Subject: RE: Electric violins
From: Crowhugger
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 11:29 AM

What an interesting site at the link to the frame fiddle. Makes me wish I could play that instrument. Not that I need another form of IAS to treat.


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Subject: RE: Electric violins
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 05 Aug 11 - 04:45 PM

Thanks for the offer Will - my local music shop has the Stagg in stock, so I'm going there tomorrow to try it out. But very kind of you to offer to lend me yours (I get a bit worried about things in the post though!!) FloraG - that sounds real exciting I am interested in effect pedals.

I don't really have much room at home, but what the hell I love my instruments around me!


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