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Help!! Need some Fast Advice!!


lauragigs
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Hi all,

I have a St. Patrick's gig Monday night. I ordered new strings (light tension Helicores) that should have come last week at the latest, but they have yet to arrive!!!

The strings on my fiddle now are medium-tension helicores that are getting older and therefore sounding gritty and really screaming under my ears. (I'll be playing through a good preamp and can possibly dampen that though.) Also, I would like a lighter tension to make the cuts and other celtic ornaments easier to play.

A knowlegable luthier/shop in my area (Boulder CO) has medium-tension Tomastik Dominants that he says are still much lighter-tension than the medium-tension Helicores. Problem is, I've never played this fiddle with that brand. (I used them on my viola all the time but it took a good week & 1/2 to break them in, intonation-wise.)

So my choices seem to be:

1) Keep the old strings despite the grittiness and try to mellow them best I can with the preamp

2) Get Dominants for the newness and lesser tension, at the risk of them going out of tune periodically at the gig

3) Get a new set of medium Helocores (no shop has the light-tension in stock) and deal with the higher tension.

4) Get another brand of string that yall may know of that are relatively lower-tension then medium Helicores, that can also break in quickly!!!

Thanks for listening. Advice, please!! color>

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On the flip side, unless you really..really need new strings before, the old "scratchy" helicores might give you what some would consider that "authentic" fiddlin' sound.

Hope your new strings arrive today. Not sure who you "ordered" from, but if it were me and the strings were a week overdue, I'd be on the phone politely telling them to ship them overnight (possibly their charge).

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It's funny, but I always used to do that when I played guitar, but I can't bring myself to do it on a violin. I know a fiddle's not as delicate as all that, but I'm afraid I'll break something. But yes, wrap your index finger under the string at about the middle of its length, and pull it up (away from the fingerboard) gently a few times to get a lot of the stretch out of it.

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Thank you all for the advice, everybody -- I will heed the suggestion to stick with my old strings for this gig.

For yall who were wondering, it was Quinn Violins whose string delivery is A.W.O.L. I'd checked Maestronet for which online string place is best, and like many of you I was impressed with their site.

But not anymore at this point! I called their customer service # and their outgoing message was something like, "This is Chris. I'm out of town until March 24..." (I always thought Priority Delivery means 2 - 5 working days, not whenever Chris makes it back into town!!!!) </rant>

I will press Quinn for some proper restitution as yall suggested. Will let you know the results!

-Laura

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