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OT: Learning to play the Electric Violin


Steve Force

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Being the curious geek that I am, I really enjoy trying out new instruments and sounds. Not that I am expert at any but I don't aspire to that level (yet.) This is my avocation (hobby) that keeps me from killing people in my vocation (IT global Project Management.)

 

So my next victim at musical instrument butchery (wow--I sound like Showtime's "Dexter"! ) is the electric violin.

 

I picked up a used but not abused Fender FV3 like this one:

 

http://www.promusicalaska.com/store_images/3751-300.jpg

 

and proceeded to learn how to play it.

 

Well, at first it sounded like shit (my technique or lack thereof (think: torturing a cat..), my amplification path, etc) so I reached out to our resident professional violinist, Dave (Cygnus64) who set me straight on many, many aspect of this fine instrument.

 

For my signal, per his suggestion I picked up a used Johnson J-Station which works wonderfully and has some great, usable effects.

 

The violin is a very challenging instrument that really keeps you focused on your playing, similar to the upright bass that I used to play (Arco style as well.)

 

One of these days I will feel confident enough to post some sound clips of my playing.

 

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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I was going to jokingly suggest the first step as "learn to play the violin" as I assumed you already knew how. Fooled me!

 

It looks like a really fun instrument. Have fun with your new toy.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

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What are the advantages/disadvantages of learning on an electric as opposed to acoustic?

 

The electric violin can easily be run through my various effects and also easy to amplify it.

 

For an acoustic setting the acoustic violin would be superior.

 

Other than that--Let's wait for the experts to chime in.

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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What are the advantages/disadvantages of learning on an electric as opposed to acoustic?

 

Apples and oranges really. I suppose one advantage is that a good electric can be had for $500-1000, while a good acoustic is going to be $20K and up to the crazy level. Electrics usually get their sound quality through effects and amps, not the instrument.

 

Electrics usually don't have a hollow body. Mine is somewhat like the Chapman Stick, it a stick with strings. A guy I know gained some fame by playing "electric" violin using a baseball bat. He's using a pocket Pod clipped to his belt. The cat's a seriously good fiddle player:

 

[video:youtube]

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What are the advantages/disadvantages of learning on an electric as opposed to acoustic?

 

Apples and oranges really. I suppose one advantage is that a good electric can be had for $500-1000, while a good acoustic is going to be $20K and up

 

:freak:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Well, at first it sounded like shit

At first? I've been playing for 38 years and it still sounds like shit. :laugh: You'll have to tell me the secret! :D

 

If you want to check out some amazing electric, at the 3 minute mark:

Ah,wonderful record! :) Lakshminarayanan Shankar on 10-stringed violin (of his own design), produced by Frank Zappa and among other great session players Simon Phillips on drums.

 

Playing the violin is hard as hell! I played for many years when I was a kid - it was my first instrument. I got a violin 1about 15 years ago to start playing again, but I just never could get it right even though I took lessons for almost a year - I was never satisfied with either my tone or the pitch. Anyway - I love the violin and in the hands of a good player it's an amazingly expressive instrument.

 

Here's a typical Swedish tune:

 

[video:youtube]

Too much stuff, too little time, too few gigs, should spend more time practicing...!  🙄

main instruments: Nord Stage 3 compact, Yamaha CP88, Kurzweil PC4, Viscount KeyB Legend Live

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What are the advantages/disadvantages of learning on an electric as opposed to acoustic?

 

The electric violin can easily be run through my various effects and also easy to amplify it.

 

For an acoustic setting the acoustic violin would be superior.

 

Other than that--Let's wait for the experts to chime in.

Learning electric violin is a lot easier on your housemates, if you leave it unamplified... ;)

 

This is the one I've used for years, in Black:

 

http://www.cranesmusicstore.com/images/straus%20main.jpg

 

Have fun!

Botch

In Wine there is Wisdom

In Beer there is Freedom

In Water there is bacteria

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Seriously cool. I've loved electric violin ever since I discovered Jean Luc Ponty, Michael Urbaniak, and McKendree Spring, all in the early 70's. One of the hardest instruments to play. :(

 

I like hearing it, hate playing it. I think it's similar to pianists dealing with synth-action keys. It's clumsy and feels awkward to me. I don't have the temperament for it, though I admire those that do.

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Didn't there use to be a MIDI violin? What was the solo in "she blinded me with science"? (thomas dolby)

 

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Didn't there use to be a MIDI violin?

 

There was a company named Zeta that made electrics and had one with midi, they are out of business. There are probably others. The problem is latency. The limited times I have tried one, the latency was so extreme that it was not usable, maybe it got better. I had a pitch-to-midi box in the 80s that was fun at parties but an absolute disaster in reality. Play a note and maybe it might sound an hour later. :laugh: Also, violin is a noisy bugger, and the midi violin outfit tries to interpret bow noise and other noises as notes.

 

What was the solo in "she blinded me with science"?

 

I think it was a violin doubled with a synth, I'm not sure.

 

The world's most famous synth violin solo:

[video:youtube]

 

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Enjoy the ride, forceman!

 

I played viola for several years before getting my electric violin. I've been practicing mostly on electric violin to get ready for our band's shows, but will revisit my acoustic viola after those gigs are done. Some bowing exercises such as the ones on Simon Fischer's Tone Production DVD don't seem to work well on electric - nearly impossible to tell the difference in tone for the 5 bowing zones that he describes on the DVD, while they're more distinguishable on acoustic.

 

I have an EVL 5-string with a hollow body (no holes though - keeps the feedback away), Barbera pickup, and RMC Polydrive preamp. I mainly got it because the band's volume level is too high for acoustic.

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Enjoy the ride, forceman!

 

I played viola for several years before getting my electric violin. I've been practicing mostly on electric violin to get ready for our band's shows, but will revisit my acoustic viola after those gigs are done. Some bowing exercises such as the ones on Simon Fischer's Tone Production DVD don't seem to work well on electric - nearly impossible to tell the difference in tone for the 5 bowing zones that he describes on the DVD, while they're more distinguishable on acoustic.

 

I have an EVL 5-string with a hollow body (no holes though - keeps the feedback away), Barbera pickup, and RMC Polydrive preamp. I mainly got it because the band's volume level is too high for acoustic.

 

Thank you.. :thu:

 

It is truly fun indeed.

 

Life is good.

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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Eddie Jobson has always been one of the best electric violinists in the (prog)/rock setting. The "Out of the Blue" solo above was a verbatim quote of his original recorded version, and definitely check out the original UK album.

 

 

[video:youtube]

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update: Someone please help me--I am SICK.

 

I am running my electric violin through my guitar pedals and it really sounds SICK.

 

Signal chain: Fender Violin --> Johnson J-Station (as preamp and octave)--> Fulltone CLYDE Deluxe wahwah--> Fulltone OCD --> Fulltone Choral-Flange (chorus) --> MXR Phase 100 Phaser --> Ernie Ball Volume Pedal --> Malekko Heavy Industry ECHO 600 Echo --> Ashly mixer--> ADAM-A7/Yorkville subwoofer.

 

Seasoned to taste.

 

SICK.

 

:thu:

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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More pedals! More pedals!

 

No, seriously, with a few more pedals you can get your S/N ratio into negative values and create the world's most expensive 'wind' patch...

 

"Honey, is that a violin I hear inside that rainstorm?"

 

Yea, let's hear it. After all, some people really prefer that vinyl sound.

 

No, I mean it.

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More pedals! More pedals!

 

No, seriously, with a few more pedals you can get your S/N ratio into negative values and create the world's most expensive 'wind' patch...

 

"Honey, is that a violin I hear inside that rainstorm?"

 

Yea, let's hear it. After all, some people really prefer that vinyl sound.

 

No, I mean it.

 

I'll take that for what it is worth.

 

Hey, I like assholes just as I like anybody. :)

 

 

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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