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mbstruss's Achievements


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  1. As pretty much a beginner, I find that I will attempt vibrato only on the "slower notes" of a piece and those that will be sustained a little longer. I.e., I see more experienced players doing vibrato on many notes that I am lucky to just get to and play in tune. However, slower and easier notes are safer game for introducing vibrato. Does this sound reasonable?
  2. I am 50 and started about 3 years ago. I had no previous musical experience except guitar. I took lessons for the first year and tried on my own until resuming lessons again about 3 months ago. I find that there is a real difference in being able to play and being able to play WELL. Without a teacher, I found that my intonation was just a little off and I didn't realize it. Also, my vibrato was a little stiff. Don't expect to be able to play well without sticking with a good teacher!
  3. Just heard many incredible violins at the Amelia Island Chamber series. Rachael Barton Pine (sensational violinist!) played a 1735(?) Del Gesu that really stood out over the others. Of course, in reading the subject further "which you have played", all I can say is I wish that I could have played it.
  4. I have a very well made violin that is a Guarneri copy. It has good power and depth but seems to have a bit of an echo or reverb sound. I mentioned it here once before and it was suggested that it might be a sympathetic vibration (i.e., G on D resonating open G etc.) However, I have tried muting the likely sympathetic strings and it does not appear to be that. Therefore, what I am wondering is basically whether this is generally thought to be a desirable sound or not. On some notes it kinda has an eerie sound like playing in a cathedral! My teacher says it may be good for Celtic/folk but not mellow enough for classical. Wondering therefore what others thought and what likely things might be adjusted to correct this - or is it likely just a characteristic of the instrument?
  5. Well, one thing that isn't mentioned often enough as a motivating factor is the simple goal of having an outlet for your playing. I played for awhile in an ensemble and then in an orchestra/band. The ensemble got disbanded and the band started playing too many marches and as a result, I hardly practice anymore. However, I have committed myself to playing a piece in church, and now need to practice again. Try to find yourself an outlet and you might be amazed at your motivation..
  6. I shellac finished a violin that was sealed VB and it came out very nice. However, I did not use shellac flakes but just bought some Zinnser shellac and sprayed it on with an HVLP gun. It had a nice semigloss luster to it.
  7. I am 50 now and started reading music and taking violin from scratch at 47. I now play in worship, community orchestra, and a string quartet. So, I know you can do it especially having a start in your youth. When you first start playing with groups, one important skill is learning when and how to "fake play" silent when you get lost or haven't learned a piece well. Nothing worse than someone that dosen't know they are off and keeps on playing!
  8. Michael, that's an interesting point. I have often found When trying to predict the effect of moving the soundpost north or south that it's easier to instead adjust the bridge a little to see what this effect will be. Then if I like the effect, I will place the bridge where it's supposed to be and move the soundpost the relative distance and direction that sounded best. Of course, I realize it's not quite the same since moving the bridge also changed the vibration node length for the strings etc. but it saves some time and "seems" to have some merit.
  9. <<Why we need another violin maker?>> A different angle on this question might be; "Why would anyone believe that they could succeed as a professional maker?" Making violins as a hobby or because it gives one more insight into violins is a whole different story! I also have a goal to make about three. My reasons for doing this are because I play violin, love woodwork, and collect/repair violins. Of course, if a demand should ever exist for my violins, so much the better!
  10. <<Might it not be some sort of torture tool for difficult clients…..possibly a fingernail extractor?>> Or maybe it's the Gonzales fingernail device designed to persuade the Masters to reveal their secrets!
  11. Strobel also has a paragraph in "violin Making" about getting the corduroy look.. "Final scaping with a slightly dull scraper will cut the resistant, hard, dark grain line but just compress the soft, light wood between (sanding will have the opposite effect). Then when you dampen the wood before the ground, this soft wood will further swell out, leaving the dark grain lines as recessed groves. When varnishing, the color will thicken in these grooves further enhancing the effect." Basically, the same point made in the previous thread.
  12. I am just curious if anyone here has tried to form an arch by eye without using any templates - having close on hand violins you are trying to imitate etc? I am curious about how you compare the sound compared with times you followed a template. I am currently making a top for a nice violin that was missing one. I am just "eye-balling" it by studying a couple of violins that have a great sound. I determined the height by calculating the FB projection etc. So far it's looking good but time will tell. Thanks--
  13. We'll, two that I were considering (one a 1930s German factory and the other a questionable Salzar), I am going to leave as is. However, I do have a newer Chinese of good quality that I think could benefit from trying this on. I would never consider this on a maker's instrument. Thanks for all the clarification on this subject!
  14. mbstruss


    Has anyone used (or considered) either of these for doing some fast removal - especially in maple? Which do you think might work better? http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?pag...&category=1,42524,42527&ccurrency=2&SID= http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?pag...&category=1,42524,42527&ccurrency=2&SID=
  15. Those are some great points that you bring out. However, there are always some gray areas that might not fit in so well. There are two that I am considering now. One is a Salzar that I just restored. It has a nice arching and a powerful sound but it seems to lack a certain warmth. The thickness at the sound holes is around 3.2mm. That was one of my questions about older instruments; does the fact that the wood has aged (and therefore become stiffer) possibly call for a thinner plate than was originally optimal?
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