Lora Staples - beginning violin and fiddle expert
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How to deal with squeaky-whistling sounds

Learn how to cope with annoying sounds during playing

Released on April 2, 2014

  
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Gordon Wilcox * VSM MEMBER * on April 24, 2014 @3:28 pm PST
First, a tip: A (dry) Scotch Brite pad is a wonderful string cleaner for any metal-clad string on any bowed instrument. You can buy them at the grocery store. I get "generic" ones in multiple colors from a discount store and cut them up into postage-stamp sized pieces for distribution to my students. (Caution: use the pads only on the string; they will scratch the finish of the instrument.)
Second tip: Some instruments (both the student variety and a few of the more expensive ones) have conflicting resonances, particularly in the higher registers. You can try a "rubber doughnut" under the string at the bridge that dampens the higher frequency vibrations somewhat. (You may be able to test whether this will help by playing the instrument with the mute on, which will have a similar, but more aggressive, damping effect.)
Third tip: If none of the suggestions made by Lora or here seem to help, have teacher or professional play the instrument (with your bow). If they don't have any problem with squeaking what so ever, you will need to work on your technique.
Finally, if all fails get a different instrument... (My wife had a rather expensive violin to learn on that often went screeching out of control; when she traded it in for an identical model, the new violin was immediately a great improvement.) Sometimes you just can't fight bad harmonics.
P.S. Pirastro also makes a "whisle-free" E string. I have not personally used either it or the Kaplan on a problematic instrument.
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Lora - host, on April 28, 2014 @7:14 am PST
Gordon--
These are FANTASTIC ideas! Thank you!
Jeanne on April 23, 2014 @12:57 pm PST
Thanks for the info. I cleaned my e string, straightened up the bridge, checked the rest of the violin and hopefully it won't whistle anymore. It is so bad I ordered more strings and now may not need them. You were very informative. Thanks again
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Lora - host, on April 23, 2014 @3:47 pm PST
Hey Jeanne
Thanks for your comment and for watching. If none of my suggestions work, check out Al's comment below.....there is supposedly a "squeak-proof" E string by Kaplan Solutions! It's worth a shot!
Al Colombo * VSM MEMBER * on April 17, 2014 @12:32 pm PST
You may want to check out the Kaplan Solutions...whistle free E String. I have not experienced a single whistle since I began using them 3 years ago. The nice thing is that the quality of sound is not compromised.
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Lora - host, on April 18, 2014 @11:44 am PST
Seriously? That sounds almost too good to be true! Thanks for that tip! I was not aware there was such a thing! Hooray!
Salvatore Barbaro, Jr.,PhD * VSM MEMBER * on April 3, 2014 @8:38 am PST
I am a professional violinist for over fifty years and I really enjoyed your explanation regarding the Whistling E string.
Thanks you.
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Lora - host, on April 3, 2014 @10:18 am PST
Hi Salvatore! Thank you for your feedback! You probably have a few ideas of your own about the whistling E.....if I missed any, please share them here! We'd love to hear it!
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