Jazz Will Eat Itself

Published on Sep 4th, 2010 by

Violin header

Things I have learned today about the (or my) violin:

  • The tuning is very sensitive, far moreso than a ukulele or guitar. This is not unexpected, but it’s not the most high quality of violins, and it does tend to detune itself with regularity.
  • I’ve always held the bow slightly wrong.
  • My E string was fucked, and has now snapped during said tuning. Years of barely any use have left the E string a brittle, corroded shred of wire, and that has taken its toll.

Luckily I have a spare, and by a spare, I mean a much higher quality instrument. It’s electric though, which means setting up the practise amp. And, er, finding it in the first place. I might have some spare strings with it. I know I bought some a while back but whether I kept them safe is another matter. Later I shall go and look.

Okay, now is later. I have looked. Didn’t have any spare strings. I did have a fully stringed-up electric violin though. Below are both of the instruments:


I’ll leave it up to you to work out which one’s which. I think I need to get some spare strings, as I can foresee breaking a few more in the near future. Anyway, it turns out this book’s pretty useless alone, as it moves on from open-note bowing techniques to fully fledged scales requiring finger-work, only neglects to mention how to do this at all. I’m going to assume the accompanying tutorial DVD contains the required information, but that’s not much use if I just have the book open. So, instead I’ve been practising the bowing technique, which seems to be going okay. I can even make a sort of sinister, Psycho-esque sound with some rapid bowing (is bowing even the right term? THIS BOOK IS USELESS) which would no doubt come in handy were I to score a horror film, or Dead Space 3. Unfortunately neither of those are on the cards right now, so I’m going to have to be content with scaring the neighbours with ominous, sliding notes that don’t really go anywhere. On the plus side I spent a long time tuning the damn things, so I think that counts as today’s practise.

As a bonus, here’s a picture of a ukulele (HMV card included for scale):

I'm Amanda Palmer

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