Sunday, March 28, 2010

2nd dance for the new fiddle.

We don't get many photos of our band at gigs, but my wife, who was the caller, managed to catch this one of us playing a waltz version of the Loch Tay Boatman Song at the Victorian Ball last night in Boise, Idaho. My violin has been strung up a couple weeks now, and this is the second dance that I've used it.


In the time that it's been strung up, I've cut a new soundpost for it -- the first one was just a little short, or perhaps became a bit short as the plates moved -- swapped the old metal Wittner tailpiece for a lighter composite tailpiece, and replaced the mediocre old Zyex strings with Dominants. I am not a perlon string player, or haven't been, using mainly steel strings. But I find that when I go to the violin-makers workshop in the summer, that many makers there use Dominants, so I'm trying to get used to them -- what they sound like, how they behave -- to make comparisons better.

I should add that in addition to using a fiddle I made, I am wearing a kilt my sister made for me last year.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day tune

I've made a little video here of the new fiddle being played, unfortunately by me -- but it might give some idea of how it sounds.

Sure the image is a little dark, but otherwise you might be able to see me! :-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Strung up

Spent time yesterday (Antonio Vivaldi's 332nd birthday) putting on the fittings (pegs, bridge, soundpost, and such). Didn't have the tailpiece I wanted, so used a metal one. Didn't have the strings I wanted, so used a set of Zyex (old formulation) I had lying about. But really, there is so much settling in that takes place the first week, not to mention the adjusting that I am prone to do -- move the soundpost this way, re-tune, listen, move the post again -- so the first set of strings is badly abused anyway.


I played it at band rehearsal last night, and both Tim and Bill thought it sounded better than my previous violin. I thought the A was dull, and that my other violin was easier to play -- but it has several months of playing on it now, and I am a believer of the "playing-in" effect. This morning, strung up less than 24 hours, I think it already sounds better.

In a few days, I'll post a video, with me scratching out a tune.