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About Zeissica

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  • Birthday 10/28/1966

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    Violin & Viola playing, astronomy, audio, family & friends.

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  1. I agree about changing bows, especially better ones, nearly always necessitates a change in technique to get the most out of the new bow. I recently changed to a lighter bow that, when I first tried it, didn't excite me. But after having played on it for a couple of weeks, I've modified my hold a bit, and increased the bow speed on some passages, etc. and I love it now. It is less fatiguing to play, even through we're only talking about a difference of 3 grams. One of my musical acquaintances will often switch bows between say Haydn and Brahms in chamber music, and I noticed that his hold changes accordingly. And of course the sound follows suit.
  2. Zeissica

    The Bowmakers

    Hopefully they'll re-consider at some point. I would imagine, as has been pointed out in this thread, that the density of people in any given town that are interested in bowmaking is quite small. But there are hundreds, maybe thousands throughout the world who would buy a DVD if it became available. I have similar DVDs such as "High Fidelity" (about the Guarneri String Quartet) and "God's Fiddler" (about Heifetz) but was never able to see them in theaters.
  3. Zeissica

    The Bowmakers

    Wow - cool! If it doesn't come around here (Albuquerque) I'll then hope for DVD release at some point. Looks great!
  4. I haven't carried my viola on with American Airlines, but I have done so on Southwest many times with no problems at all. I also have a BAM case and it is in a Mooradian padded cover. I agree with checking early if possible to ensure that there is room in the carry-on overhead compartments. I keep a copy of the TSA rules for instruments in carry-on with me. There are some helpful tips here: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/air-travel-musical-instruments
  5. Quinn Violins and viola-strings.com are the two places where I usually buy strings, and I'm never disappointed.
  6. That doesn't look like a CF bow to me. I think he has something covering the stick at the frog.
  7. Thanks jezzupe - that's what I figured, but knowing the crowd around here, I thought there might be some strong opinions on the subject.
  8. Between steel wire, braided steel (Wittener), plastic, and Kevlar tailpiece gut material - what are your thoughts about the effects on the sound of a violin or viola?
  9. Another vote for Heritage - the premium is reasonable, and their instrument division must handle a fair number of musicians because they seem to "get it". And, Phillip, you're in the club with another cellist: Lynn Harrel (another Strad in a taxi story...)
  10. But, any standard wooden violin will end up needing repairs for open seams, etc. if they are used outside, in the sun, humidity changes, and the like. A middle ground might be to look for a used CF violin - there are bound to be bargains out there.
  11. I owned a L&C carbon fiber viola for several years and played on it quite a bit, although 100% classical. What I liked about it was the toughness, the fact that it stayed in tune better than most wood instruments, the planetary-geared tuning pegs made tuning quick and easy (no fine tuners needed) and it was loud. It was also light weight, although a "real" violin is also pretty darned light. I didn't care for the carbon fiber fingerboard though, it felt "plasticky" and made a bit of noise as the strings were pressed down by the fingers. I don't think you would hear that at a distance, but I noticed it. The Mezzo Forte instruments have (I think) have ebony fingerboards, so if I had to do it again, I would get one of those instead. The sound was loud but lacking in some "depth" when compared to the better wooden instruments, but probably for fiddle playing, it would not be a problem. Hope this helps!
  12. I play both violin and viola, and my viola is a 16-3/8" which for me is the "sweet spot" in size. I usually find that with practicing a few scales on either instrument, I'm ready to dive in on practicing literature, then onto rehearsals and performances. I agree that the best way to find the right viola is by shopping personally. Give the shop an idea of your price range and ask to see what they have in the size you want. From there, play them until you find the one you like best for feel, playability and sound. If you can bring a friend who has an educated ear (another string player) it is always good to get the "across the room" perspective on the sound.