Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Low string action 'muting' problem


TotalViolinNovice
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello all, 

I've recently decided I'd like to get back into learning the violin after neglecting it for a year or so. Today I picked it up to find a problem with the E string muting itself on the fingerboard that wasn't there the last time I practiced. I'll attach a video of the problem here: https://youtu.be/IIJ7EzHP7uI

Coming from a guitar background I imagined it to be a combination of string height at the bridge and the angle of the fingerboard to the stings. However after looking online I couldn't find much information on how I'd go about raising the height at the bridge (is this usually done, or would you install a new bridge?) and adjusting the angle of the fingerboard seems to be a job for a luthier.

 

Does anyone know what the best way to go about solving this issue might be? I was hoping something I might be able to try at home could fix it given the current covid restrictions in the UK make taking it in for a professional job a little difficult!

Also any information anyone has as to how I've managed to mess up the action without touching it would be greatly appreciated! It was left on a wall hanger for most of this time if that could have done it? Thank you for reading :)

Edited by TotalViolinNovice
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it just the E string that is too low on the fingerboard or all 4 strings?  If it's just the E string I would check that it hasn't cut into the bridge, thus lowering the action (your thumb covers this detail in the video). As with guitars, very low action could also highlight fingerboard flaws such as bumps and dips, which could also be the cause of your problem. An emergency bridge repair to raise the E string in the first case (if it's a cheap violin, otherwise a new bridge would be needed), a fingerboard dressing in the second case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your string is buzzing against the fingerboard. The nut may have been low to start with, but the Don’t Fret effectively lowers your nut height. You may need the nut either shimmed or replaced.

It’s also worth having a luthier check the string heights at the bridge end and the amount of scoop in the fingerboard in case those are off. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, TotalViolinNovice said:

...I couldn't find much information on how I'd go about raising the height at the bridge (is this usually done, or would you install a new bridge?)...

Fitting a new bridge is usually necessary.  But if just one string has cut into the bridge, it is sometimes possible to fill the cut.

 

2 hours ago, TotalViolinNovice said:

...adjusting the angle of the fingerboard seems to be a job for a luthier....

Yes.

 

2 hours ago, TotalViolinNovice said:

...Does anyone know what the best way to go about solving this issue might be?...

I think you need professional help.  And a luthier should look at your violin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Is it just the E string that is too low on the fingerboard or all 4 strings?  If it's just the E string I would check that it hasn't cut into the bridge, thus lowering the action (your thumb covers this detail in the video). As with guitars, very low action could also highlight fingerboard flaws such as bumps and dips, which could also be the cause of your problem. An emergency bridge repair to raise the E string in the first case (if it's a cheap violin, otherwise a new bridge would be needed), a fingerboard dressing in the second case.

Yeah just the E-string, the action on the other strings is definitely on the lower side but still playable. It does look as though the string has cut a little into the bridge, so I slacked it off a bit and sat it on top of the bridge a couple of mm to the side of the groove to raise it slightly, still has the same issue unfortunately.

 

56 minutes ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

Your string is buzzing against the fingerboard. The nut may have been low to start with, but the Don’t Fret effectively lowers your nut height. You may need the nut either shimmed or replaced.

It’s also worth having a luthier check the string heights at the bridge end and the amount of scoop in the fingerboard in case those are off. 

Yeah I thought that's what was happening. sounds like I'll just have to wait for a luthier to take a look at it, thank you. 

 

42 minutes ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Fitting a new bridge is usually necessary.  But if just one string has cut into the bridge, it is sometimes possible to fill the cut.

 

Yes.

 

I think you need professional help.  And a luthier should look at your violin.

Thanks for the response! sounds like I'll have to wait and get it seen to by a professional :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

Your string is buzzing against the fingerboard. The nut may have been low to start with, but the Don’t Fret effectively lowers your nut height. You may need the nut either shimmed or replaced.

It’s also worth having a luthier check the string heights at the bridge end and the amount of scoop in the fingerboard in case those are off. 

It's not the nut which would be the problem if it buzzed when the string was unstopped. Likely the groove in the bridge is to low for whatever reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps a very low level of humidity has caused the fingerboard to rise with a consequent lowering of the action, but it seems that the best thing is to bring it to the luthier, there are too many things to consider and just guessing doesn't get very far.

You could try putting thick cardboard shims under each string at the bridge to make it playable, but the sound will become terrible and do not take it as a serious advice from a professional luthier.:P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, bkwood said:

It's not the nut which would be the problem if it buzzed when the string was unstopped. Likely the groove in the bridge is to low for whatever reason.

If the nut is too low, the string will buzz whether the string is stopped or not.

The bridge may be too low as well, but there’s a good chance that the Don’t Fret caused the clearance issue. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

If the nut is too low, the string will buzz whether the string is stopped or not.

The bridge may be too low as well, but there’s a good chance that the Don’t Fret caused the clearance issue. 

The don't fret definitely didn't cause the clearance issue here, it's been on there for a good four years or so and the issue has only started sometime this last year

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...