Best Electric Violins: What are they?
Electric violins are musical instruments which produce sound by means of electricity. They have been used since ancient times to accompany music, but their popularity increased during the 19th century due to improvements in technology and mass production. Today, there are many types of electric violins available. Some offer only one or two strings while others can play several notes simultaneously. Most electric violins are made from wood, although some models are constructed entirely out of metal.
What makes them different from other stringed instruments is that they do not require any physical contact between the player and the instrument. Instead, the vibrations produced by the strings cause electrical impulses to travel through wires attached to a battery pack. These impulses then affect a computer which controls various functions such as volume control, pitch bend and vibrato effects.
Types of Electric Violins
There are three main categories of electric violins: acoustic, hybrid and electronic. All electric violins fall into at least one category, though it’s possible that all three could be present. Hybrid instruments combine elements from both acoustic and electronic instruments.
For example, a violin with a digital keyboard attached to it would qualify as an electronic instrument rather than just an acoustic one.
A full acoustic violin produces sound the old-fashioned way, through the vibration of strings. These types of instruments give a more nuanced sound that isn’t always suitable for popular music. It’s also more difficult to amplify the sound using traditional means, so in these situations an amplifier or PA system is required for it to be heard by the audience.
An acoustic violin with a pickup installed can be plugged directly into an amplifier and doesn’t require an audio engineer to make it louder. This type of instrument is known as a “half electric” violin. If there is a separate microphone attached to the violin, it becomes a fully electric violin.
Finally, an all-electric violin uses electronic components to produce sound. The strings still vibrate and are affected by the player’s touch, but amplification takes place inside the body of the violin rather than using an outside source.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Acoustic instruments have a more natural sound and are considerably cheaper than electric ones. An acoustic violin requires no batteries, power source or amplifier, so all you need to play is the instrument itself and a bow. If you don’t mind dealing with audio engineers, you can also get by without needing a microphone.
The sound quality of an acoustic instrument varies depending on the materials from which it’s made and the skill of the person making it. Some of the materials used to make violins can cost up to a few thousands of dollars, but even cheap, low quality instruments can produce a more than adequate sound.
One of the disadvantages of using an acoustic instrument is that it’s sensitive to external noise, so you need a quieter environment to play in or the audience needs to be further away from you. In most cases, you will also need to bring some sort of stand to hold your instrument in an upright position. This is due to the fact that you must place the base of the instrument on a sturdy surface in order for the sound to travel properly.
Electric instruments don’t have these types of limitations since they produce their own sound and don’t require external resources such as an audience or audio engineer. They’re portable enough that you can play them just about anywhere, so long as you have a power source or an amplifier (or are using a microphone). The downside is that some can be quite expensive, especially the more high-end models.
The technology used in electric instruments can sometimes lead to a “machine-like” sound or create an overabundance of feedback. The microphone or pickups may not always pick up every nuance of your performance, leading to loss of tone and dynamic subtleties.
The violin is a fiddle-shaped stringed instrument that’s held upright, and the strings are played using a bow. It has four strings that are typically made of steel, although other materials may be used. The higher-pitched strings are the E strings, and the lower-pitched ones are A strings.
The violin is probably the best-known instrument in the string family.
In terms of size, a full-size violin measures just over three feet long and is about eleven inches tall. The body of the violin is hollow, with the belly — or bottom — constructed using both solid wood and spruce (a type of wood that’s strong but flexible). The back, or top part of the violin, is also made of spruce, with maple used for the edges and surface.
The neck of the violin is typically made of maple, although other hardwoods may be used. It joins the body at a joint known as the heel. The fingerboard is made of ebony, and the tailpiece — which is located at the bottom of the instrument — is made of either wood or metal.
The E strings are typically made of steel, which is a type of metal that’s been treated to have a more flexible quality. The A strings are also typically made of steel, but they may also be made of a variety of other materials.
Violins come in a variety of sizes depending on the age and height of the intended performer. A full-size violin is best for children who are eight to twelve years old or whose height is between forty-two and fifty-three inches.
Other sizes of violins include:
Half size: Meant for children who are five to seven years old or whose height is between thirty-eight and forty inches.
1/4 size: Intended for children who are three to six years old or whose height is between thirty and thirty-seven inches.
1/8 size: For children who are two to five years old or whose height is between twenty-one and thirty inches.
The strings on these instruments are typically tuned to the same notes as the full-size violin: E, A, D, and G.
What to Look For
As with any other instrument, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a violin. Here are a few things to look for when selecting the perfect violin for you or your child.
One consideration is the wood quality of the instrument. Cheaper violins may be made of plywood, which doesn’t produce as good of a tone or have the same durability as solid wood. Solid wood tends to produce a more pleasing sound, and is also more sturdy.
If you’re choosing a full-size violin for an adult, it’s best to get one that comes to your chin when you play it. If it’s significantly longer than that, you may have trouble controlling the pitch of the notes. For a full-size violin for a child, adjust the height so that the top strings are slightly above eye level.
If it’s any higher, the violin will be too heavy for your child to play comfortably.
Look for solid wood in the back, sides, and neck of the instrument. While instruments with solid wood will be more expensive, they are typically of a higher quality. The wood of the sound box, or the area that the strings are attached to, should also be made of solid wood.
The tuning pegs, which hold the strings in place, should also be made of solid wood. Strings that are too taut or loosely held in place can adversely affect the way an instrument sounds when it’s played.
How to Play It
Playing the violin isn’t as easy as most people think. Getting the chance to learn is difficult enough, but finding a quality teacher can be even more challenging. Taking music lessons, however, is an essential part of learning how to play the violin.
Before you learn how to play, you first need to learn some basic music theory and how to read sheet music. There are several different clefs used in sheet music, such as the bass clef, alto clef, and tenor clef.
Besides musical notation, there are different ways in which a song can be written. Roman numeral analysis is one way of notating a piece of music. This type of notation indicates the order in which the musical piece should be played.
Musical compositions follow a certain pattern of upper and lower case letters used to explain what notes to play when. For example, the letter “A,” followed by a period, means that you begin playing an A note, and then pause. The next note begins on an “e,” and the next on a “B.”
Whether you’re playing the violin or a different instrument, you need music to perform. Without sheet music, there would be no accurate way of performing a song.
While sheet music is the most common way to perform music, it’s not the only way. Some songs, such as when accompanying a singer, are performed by ear. Other instruments, such as flutes and trumpets, are performed without any sort of notation at all, and are instead played by ear.
How to Choose an Instrument
When choosing an instrument, it’s best to go with what feels right. Different instruments have different qualities which appeal to different people. While some pluck at your heartstrings, others don’t.
For this reason, it’s best to experiment with different instruments until you find the one that speaks to you on an emotional level.
Besides considering how an instrument sounds, you should also think about how difficult the instrument is to play. While the viola may offer a fuller, richer sound than the violin, it’s also an instrument that’s more difficult to learn. On the other hand, the mandolin is much easier to play, but lacks the depth of sound that the other produces.
When choosing an instrument, don’t just think about the present. Think about the future, as well. If you’re a young child, it may be best to start out with the recorder or the tin whistle.
These are some of the easiest wind instruments to learn how to play, and they can be carried around in one’s pocket.
If you’re a bit older, and you think you’ve found an instrument that you’d like to learn how to play, such as the violin, then it may be best to start out with something a bit easier. The viola is a larger version of the violin, and it’s a little bit easier to play. This would be especially helpful in the case of an aspiring violist who hasn’t developed the finger agility required to play the violin.
When you’re ready to take music a little more seriously, then you can move on to more “grown-up” instruments, such as the cello or the bass. These instruments are a little more difficult to learn, but they produce a very rich sound and are essential in most orchestras.
The future of music is in your hands. Whether you’re a composer looking to pen the next sonata or an instrumentalist looking to bring that sonata to life with your instrument, the choice of what to play is up to you. So choose wisely.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Do Musicians Dream of Electric Violins? by TR Lloyd – 2018 – search.proquest.com
SEVERAL ELECTRIC” VIOLINS by A Superclass – dtrueman.mycpanel.princeton.edu
The Best Of-1951-1970 by A McKay – Uncut, 2013 – search.proquest.com
Electric guitar and violin by TG – ASEE Prism, 2015 – JSTOR
GAME THE TEST by TG – ASEE Prism, 2015 – JSTOR
Sound post for violins by TG – ASEE Prism, 2015 – JSTOR