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About mnvsos

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 09/15/1974

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    Southern Minnesota
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    Baking, homebrewing, winemaking, chocolate, woodworking, bicycling

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  1. First, the obligatory viola joke: you only need to learn first position! It's not quite true but probably 90% of typical orchestral music, the viola part can be played in first position (some things are awkward there, but it can be done). More seriously, the chart c.m. sunday posted looks helpful. Unlike bass (which I'm not very familiar with) or cello, on violin and viola typically the space between two fingers corresponds to either a whole step or a half step, so fingering and positions more directly correspond to the written note on the staff. On the A string normal finge
  2. Bass players tell the most viol jokes.
  3. I have set up a couple very small fractional violins (1/32, 1/16) using my used viola strings, cut down to length. So the viola A string goes on as the E string, the D string acts as the A, etc. If the instrument can take the tension, and the pegs don't slip, it actually makes a phenomenal improvement to the sound of the instrument. Slightly harder to play but with a sticky rosin it makes an incredible difference over anything else I've tried. Turned a $30 vso into something that, although not good, was playable. Probably voids your warranty and will eventually result in a violin tha
  4. When you're Itzhak Perlman, you can hold your bow however you like. In the past, when I've had students, I try to teach them just the basics of a standard bow hold - it takes enough effort to get that right, let alone any sort of alternative. So an analogy might be warranted here - when I was in college, I took a bowling (ten-pin bowling, USA) class - seems like it would have been an easy class for a good grade. The teacher had very specific ways to hold the ball, approach the lane, release the ball, etc. He said if we followed his technique, he would give us an above-average gr
  5. I've had good luck with Shar as well. As mentioned above, don't forget about the bow - at this price range I would think a carbon fiber bow would be your best bet for something that would meet your needs - you might find a better wooden bow in the lower price range, but there's a lot more variability with wood. If you really don't want Chinese, then eastern European is probably what you're left with for options. Don't underestimate the importance of the setup - a bad instrument will never sound great even with the best setup, but a good instrument can sound pretty bad with a bad setup (stri
  6. Hi all - I'm hoping somebody with some experience and a good eye can tell me a little bit more about my violin. This is the instrument that I learned on and I still play occasionally (my primary instrument is now viola). What makes this violin unusual, as far as I can tell, is that it is quite "narrow" compared to a standard 4/4 instrument. Here are some measurements: Body length: 356mm Upper bout width: 155mm Center bout width: 106mm Lower bout width: 195mm Neck/fingerboard width at nut: 22mm Rib height: 30mm (tailpiece), 28mm (neck) Arching on back is about 13mm, I did not m
  7. Yes, it is definitely just a small inclusion of some sort, and on the outside it is somewhat loose looking. There will be a small amount of filler of some variety required (suggestions anyone?) if I want the surface to be smooth. I have nearly completed roughing out the inside close to final thickness. This area I have left slightly thicker. I am down to about 4mm and it is starting to expose the defect from the inside. I don't think I dare to go any thinner than this. Since I'm viewing this whole project as a learning experience, I can always pull it apart and take a little more off l
  8. I'm not so concerned about aesthetics - it doesn't bother me to have a spot there. But I am afraid that it will fall out as I hollow the inside, and there is a definite gap on the lower edge that may actually penetrate all the way through the plate by the time it is thinned to the appropriate level. So if I do wind up with an actual hole all the way through, how do I fill it? Or should I apply for a patent on my special proprietary "rear-side sound hole" and soundpost secondary access method? Alternatively I could perhaps leave the plate somewhat thicker there on purpose, but then I don't
  9. Hi everybody - I've been reading this forum for a while, off and on, and working on my first violin for longer than I'd care to admit (it sat in a closet for about the last 6 or 7 years!). Anyway, I am working on the back and I came across a knot or some sort of defect in the wood. Unfortunately it was not visible from either side of the wood when I started; it's only been revealed as I carve down. At this point I'm just treating this as a learning experience as I have already made many mistakes, so I'm not too worried about screwing something up, but I would like some ideas on how to deal
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