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Problem with weird G string sound when bowing

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Portphilia, Jul 25, 2012.


  1. Portphilia

    Portphilia

    Jun 8, 2012
    SATX
    I've run into a problem, the problem being that sometimes (not always, but pretty consistently) when I bow the g string (open and when the string is pressed down) the bow almost catches somewhat on the string it seems. If I bow a Bb on the g string with a steady down bow the sound is almost staggered and it sounds and almost looks like the string is stopping when I'm bowing it. Has anybody run into this before or know if this is a bridge issue or perhaps a bad string?
     
  2. If it happens on many different notes, it'll be a technique issue. Some strings make it fairly easy for that to happen, but in essence, learn not to do that by adjusting how you bow it.

    If it's only that one note, you might have a wolf tone. Something on the bass, probably the tailpiece, will be resonating along with the string. Simplest solution is to add a little weight to the tailpiece itself or one of the after lengths to change the resonance.
     
  3. Portphilia

    Portphilia

    Jun 8, 2012
    SATX
    See, I was wondering if it might be a technique issue, but it mainly happens in the first positions on the G string up until the C. For example, I can bow long steady notes in those positions and sometimes it will sound okay, but then the string will start to stop and stagger and it sounds just awful.
     
  4. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    That might be a wolf tone. They usually occur in the Ab-Bb area so that makes sense. Does it occur when you play really lightly? Wolftones usually speak most easily around the octave on the A string. Try playing in this area really lightly with the bow and try to reproduce the effect. If it makes the same kind of sound then you can be sure it's a wolf tone problem. Like Andrew said, you can experiment with adding mass to the tailpiece to see if it helps. I think the easiest thing to do is add a padded C clamp or get a friend to grab onto the tailpiece while you play. If that yields nothing, I would either find a more experienced player to try it out or try changing the G string. A trip to the luthier doesn't hurt either...
     
  5. Portphilia

    Portphilia

    Jun 8, 2012
    SATX
    Upon further inspection.. the problem isn't present at the octave on the A string. I had my sister grab the tailpiece while I played from Ab - B natural and it still made the awful staggering noise. I think I will just take it back to the shop.
     
  6. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Good luck, I hope it get's worked out easily.
     
  7. Portphilia

    Portphilia

    Jun 8, 2012
    SATX
    Thank you. I'll post back later after I take it to the shop this weekend.
     

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