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Roblington

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  1. Yes, the luthier said that skating like that can be the bow and/or the cello's responses. I think it's obvious it could be playing too, and I said as such to him, but he's a polite guy. What happened in my case was that the skating problem was there right up until the service, but then vanished after the service, four hours later, and has remained gone since (4 days). I'm getting a good test of this, because one of my exam pieces that I'm practising has a string crossing where it used to happen a lot, maybe a third of the time. My bow and bowhair hasn't changed, and in the four hours that the setup took it's unlikely my playing had changed. Note also from my original post that the problem got steadily worse as the new instrument aged, and stepped up with new strings, plus it worsened in step with the wolf note during this time. Given all that, and the fact it's now gone completely after the setup, I think it's certain the setup was the culprit.
  2. Problem now solved. I had my 6 month checkup on Friday and the luthier tightened the sound post, which apparently can become a little loose on a new instrument because they expand as they settle in. She also fitted the wolf note eliminator that I bought, a 5 gramme New Harmony model (ideally I'd try the 7 and 9 too, but I thought I'd start with the lightest), and adjusted the sound post to suit. The wolf note has gone from the F on the G and D strings and is now very faint on the Eb on just the G string. The resonance of the cello has improved; I can now feel it vibrating, and it sounds even better. The skating problem, which continued right up until the checkup, has now completely gone.
  3. Thanks Rue. I'm assuming that new strings just resonate more and it pushed my cello over the edge. Whether that edge is absolute, or is related to my ability, I don't know. I suspect the latter given I'm not that good. My cello comes with a free service at six months, so hopefully they can set it up to minimise this tendency and the wolf tone (both related to resonance), and perhaps fit my wolf eliminator (or another) for me.
  4. Update: My strings are now 9 days old, which for me is about 10-15 hours of playing, and the problems have reduced markedly. The gliding over the strings issue has pretty much gone, although I still have a pretty bad wolf note, and I didn't have much success with a New Harmony eliminator that I bought (probably my lack of experience in adjusting it). I'm planning to get the shop to set the cello up soon (I'll give them the cello and the NH eliminator)
  5. Thank you for your reply. I've just been experimenting and bow pressure doesn't seem to stop it skating, or at least in the five minutes I played with it. I also tried squeezing the cello between my knees, which didn't seem to have much effect. The wolf tone is super wide and very harsh: it starts on the D string at about the C#, peaks at F (4th finger 4th position), and runs right up to around a B. I wonder if my problems are just a very significant wolf tone? With the old strings the wolf tone was only about a quarter tone, perhaps a semi-tone, each side of that F, and not that intrusive, so I never bothered with a weighted device to curb it. The shop/luthier I bought it from have a good reputation and sell some quite high value instruments. I suppose it's possible that the cello was set up well when new and perhaps has slipped somewhat when the cello's been trialled or moved around the shop in the past. The old strings perhaps hid the impact of that by resonating less?
  6. I'm a beginner/intermediate and have recently upgraded from my beginner cello. The new one sounds much better, but when new had a slight tendency for the bow to skate across the string instead of pulling it, which I (rightly or wrongly) just assumed was a feature of a slightly more advanced cello needing better technique to get the best out of it. The problem is this tendency has gradually got ever so slightly worse and more frequent. I know the new cello had been with the shop for a year, and probably been trialled a few times, so wondered if it was the strings. So I changed to a new set of strings, the exact same brand (going by colour, at least). The new strings have made an enormous difference to the brightness of the sound and the resonance - my wolf note has got much stronger, which I guess is a sign of this greater resonance. That tendency for the bow to skate across the strings though has got markedly worse. It mainly affects the G string, and when it does play notes properly they sound lovely. The wolf note is around an F on the G string, but that metallic throbbing seems to extend beyond this pitch to most of the notes, and even the open string, though bowing technique (weight, speed & position) does make a difference. Switching back to my beginner cello with the same bow and same rosin amount and no problem at all. Is this a setup problem? Do I need a wolf note eliminator? My teacher doesn't teach in the summer holidays and then I'm away, so it'll be 6 weeks before I can ask her. Many thanks.
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