While the violin is considered as one of the most common musical instruments being played, they sometimes leave a bad review because of its sharp and grating-like sound. Aside from checking out good quality violins and properly maintaining it, there are other ways to improve your violin tone.
Here are the things to consider to improve the violin tone:
- Proper Posture
Even if it may seem irrelevant, observing proper posture actually affects the violin tone. It allows us to hold the violin without tension which helps us create the ideal sound as we play the instrument. Maintaining proper posture will also make us look good which eventually helps us confidently express ourselves with music.
- Bow Position
Aside from making it aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, keeping your bow on a straight position while playing also affects the violin tone. There’s a difference in the sound when you bow too close to the neck or to the bridge. If you’re a beginner, the typical playing range for the violin is in between the fingerboard and the bridge.
To practice this technique, place the bow on the violin’s “sweet spot” which is located at its typical playing range, one and a half-inch from the bridger, parallel to the upper part of the F-holes. This place is where the strings are the most responsive while giving a focused and smooth tone. Make sure that your arm creates an up and down elevator-like movement, and let the forearm and wrists do the bending and arching motion.
For some violin coaches, they recommend using a comb and think of it as your bow and position yourself with an imaginary violin to see if you’re practicing with a straight bow or playing it on a crooked position.
- Violin Bow Rosin Application
If you’re playing your violin for the first time, you can draw a bunch of rosin on your violin strings. However, after this, applying rosin too much frequently will cause your violin to sound scratchy. It is wise to apply rosin 10 times from the frog of the violin in smooth upwards strokes once or thrice a week depending on how much you play the violin.
Also, clean the rosin dust that falls off in your instrument every after you use it. Leaving it uncleaned will create an ugly residue and will also affect the tone of your violin.
- Bow Pressure
Applying bow pressure is a crucial part of playing the violin. You will need to practice putting a normal amount of pressure to produce a consistent and clean tone. Playing it too lightly will produce a thinner sound while playing it with too much pressure can create a scratchy sound.
It is also a must to check the bow grip as you don’t want it to end up in a poor form and affect the overall sound as you play the violin. If you’ve been using your violin for a long time already, check for warps and scratches on your instrument, as well as the bow hair. In general, bow hairs should be replaced every 6 months.
Once you have developed your skill in playing the violin and learn the proper techniques, you’ll be able to transform that rough and squeaky sound into a heart-piercing beautiful tone.