We all want to get the best sound and tone from our instrument. Here are 5 quick ways to improve your sound and make playing more enjoyable.
1. Replace The Strings
Over time, with playing your strings become worn, stretched, and dirty. They can also become flatter on the bottom, they lose their brightness, they sound dull, they can become frayed near the windings, and they can present tuning problems. With all stringed instruments including the violin, viola and cello replacing your strings can therefore make an instant, positive difference to the sound.
N.B. Putting some pencil graphite ain the string notch in the nut and bridge can help to extend the life of your new strings.
A word of warning: If you plan to replace all of the strings at once rather than one at a time and if you are not experienced in doing so, you may risk altering the position of the bridge and sound post. You may therefore wish to ask your violin shop to replace the strings for you.
2. Get The Bridge Position Checked and Adjusted If Necessary
If your bridge is not straight and / or not in the right position i.e. with the back part of the bridge perpendicular to the table of the violin, this could be having a negative effect on the sound. If the bridge is leaning towards the nut e.g. it has been pulled too far by the string tension and / or it is under stress or warped e.g. due to problems with the feet of the bridge plus being pulled by the strings, it may be worth a trip to violin shop anyway.
If the bridge is fitted correctly the feet will match the contours of the violin surface, the angle will be right, and this will contribute to a better sound.
3. Get The Sound Post Position Checked
As the name suggests, your violin’s soundpost plays a vital role in creating the overall sound in your instrument. It affects how the top and back plates of your violin vibrate and transfers sound between the two, thereby affecting the tone. Its condition and its exact positioning under the treble end of the bridge will therefore affect the sound that your instrument makes. Having your soundpost checked by a professional, and perhaps even having it replaced can make a big difference to the sound of your violin.
4. Get Your Bow Re-Haired
If you’ve noticed that you’ve been using a lot more rosin, there are broken hairs near the frog, the hairs on your bow are breaking more frequently or the hairs are so short that you can’t relax the bow tension fully it may be time to get your bow re-haired. A newly re-haired bow can restore the bow tension and provide much better and more even contact with the strings, and can therefore improve your sound.
5. Buy New, Good Quality Rosin
It doesn’t sound like much but using a really good rosin can mean that you get a better tone from your violin. If you use a softer rosin you will get a stickier bow, and using a harder rosin will give a harder, sharper sound. High quality brands include Andrea Solo and Gustave Bernardel but it may be a good idea to ask at your violin shop which brands they would recommend and why.
If you need help to improve the sound of your violin contact us online here, or call us on 020 7249 9398.