1

I am taking my violin to a luthier on the recommendation of my teacher (though I have been considering it for a while). Recently it has been 'sounding a bit off' - it has a forced quality to the tone, and doesn't 'feel' as resonant. My teacher has tried it out, and agrees, so it can't be entirely my playing!

Background

  • I've had persistent trouble with the soundpost. I've taken it to a different luthier a few times, and after a few taps it sounds a lot better. It eventually resorts to sounding bad again.
  • The instrument 'wants' me to play with the bow nearer the fingerboard. It sounds scratchy nearer the bridge (my teacher has bourne witness to this too). Is there something a luthier can do about this?
  • The bridge is quite steeply curved, partially due to the fingerboard having a more prominent 'tilt', but I want to know if it is too much.
  • I'm not sure if the strings (Evah Pirazzi Green) are too tight for it.

Questions

  • What are some good questions to ask a luthier about general violin maintainence?
  • What could they do for the instrument that I would not be able to?
  • How can I make sure the luthier addresses all the above points and any others I haven't found yet?
3

Well, tell the luthier all the points you have posted here and ask him to make an overall check of the violin, in case there are matters you are not aware of. That should make sure that he does look for more than what you know yourself.

Regarding the bridge and fingerboard, it could be an idea to replace both, but the luthier could make an evaluation on that. A steeply curved bridge in relation to a tilted fingerboard can have an influence on your technique especially string crossings.

Regarding strings, you could try out different strings, although that can be expensive and time consuming. Maybe the luthier can suggest relevant strings.

In general I would say that the luthier would be the right person to ask for advice regarding general maintainence of the instrument.

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