squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

hi all! i just recently changed my e-string ( on my fiddle) and lately it’s been very squeaky…i’m not playing on the side of my bow or anything…do you guys have any ideas why it’s doing this? also what do you all reccommend in terms of strings, let me re-phrase that: what are your favortite brands of strings? (b/c i want to be adventerous and try a different brand! πŸ™‚ ) thanks!!!

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

I used to use a dominant flat e string. Squeek city - I changed to the dominant wound e string - Good bye squeeks. I believe there are other posts on the subject. Try a search and good luck.

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Hello there. I’ve been using the INFELD red and blue strings with good results. The E strings are not wound. The only problem I’ve had is physically wearing out the A string at the D note location. " Juststrings.com will sell individual strings.

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Aaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!
(inside joke, sorry πŸ™‚

Posted .

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

*grin* Go ahead, Will. Answer the question. I dare you. hehehehehehehe…..

Zina

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Will,
I suppose "Why Does my E-string Squeek" is not your favorite tune anymore. It got old on you? The problem with inside jokes is that I still want the inside scoop. When I finally understand the the behind the sceens part - it turns out to be one of those "You had to be there" scenarios.

The biggest question is - WHY would I even waste time analyzing this one?

Anyway - Zina Dared you. What is it to be?

Mark

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

The problem with this question is that really there should be a whole section of this site dedicated to fiddle strings. There’s got to have been at least a million discussions about best/worst/favourite fiddlestrings here in the past few months. But i guess it’s such an important topic that this is unavoidable.

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Right Glauber, but I’ve found the search function for discussions can be a bit frustrating. When I recently tried to find the link for the old "Common Session Tunes" thread, I typed the header in to the search box but the main thread (and it’s actually called "Common Session Tunes") didn’t come up. I finally found it by entering the name of a tune I knew was on the list and not as likely to occur in many other threads. Still strikes me as odd that a search for the specific header wouldn’t produce that thread as a result….

And even if someone did find the thread on squeaky e strings, part of the discussion was erased by our benevolent dictator (I tend to think those parts weren’t very instructive myself, but then I’d be biased, eh Zina?).

So Mark, the joke is that once upon a time we had a long thread about squeaky or whistling e strings. Someone (a less experienced player) wanted to know how to avoid the problem and what e strings worked best. I made the mistake of offering my advice based on many mispent years playing fiddle. She then asked me (by name) for more specific advice. I tried to be diplomatic and helpful, but she didn’t like what I had to say, which was that bow attack has a lot to do with it. Let’s just say she got ugly about it and now no longer has a hall pass to come play at The Session. The whole experience was unpleasant (not unlike playing with a whistling e string), so I’m a little gun shy around the topic of e strings….

The heart of the matter: Some strings do whistle or squeak more readily than others, but if you plan it right, you can make any string—wound or unwound—give a yelp. In most cases, the answer is in your bow hand—be less tentative. Isolate the phrase where the squeak occurs and concentrate on stroking the string with the control coming from your hand or fingers, not the bow.

Of course it helps to use high quality strings. But strings are a very personal choice—the brand or mix of brands you choose will depend on your own preferences and what sounds best on your fiddle. I know lots of people who swear by Thomastik Dominants, but I’ve never liked them (despite having used them for years at one time). I prefer Pirastro Evah Pirazzi’s or Obligato’s for synthetic core strings, and D’Addario Helicore for steel core. But that’s just me.

Posted .

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Oh yes, i remember now. So those posts were erased? Bummer! πŸ™‚

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

If you prepare for that cross over to the e-string and just take care when your bow first hits it, then it’s usually avoidable.

Also, if you just touch it with a different finger just as you cross, this starts it speaking clearly. Cellists use this trick on their C string, so that it instantly speaks, but you have to be very careful.

Personally, after years of hunting, I really like the W. E. Hill
e-string - it speaks very clearly

Dan

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

The advice wasn’t. The offending posts were. (Erased, I mean.) Will is understating the whole thing. At the time, I was practically beside myself (I know that’s hard to believe *grin*) — I couldn’t believe that someone who had 1) asked him for his advice, 2) knew she was a beginner, and 3) knew she had a problem (but didn’t seem to want to believe it was her own fault) was actually insulting WILL of all people.

She came after me and Kerri as well, too, but mainly poor Will, who had done nothing to deserve it and who is a hundred times more experienced and knowledgeable than herself.

Which was when we discovered that you do not want to wake the sleeping giant that is Jeremy, our Benevolent Dictator. Slow to wrath, and with vengeance heavy as a really heavy thing when it’s finally roused in him, that’s not a truly hot idea. *grin* Have it engraved on your tombstone, O great BD.

Mainly, it’s a dangerous thing to assume that this is "just" a bboard, any more than you can assume that a session is "just" a group of people getting together to play music. Just because we’re online doesn’t mean that we don’t consider ourselves a community with previous relationships and experiences together under our belts. I have a lot of affection for Will and Brad and Glauber and Kerri and Scotty and most of the folks here that have been on for any amount of time. We’ve argued and hurt each other’s feelings and forgiven each other, shared a lot of good times and gotten each other through hard times, just like you tend to do with friends from a meatspace session.

Wandering in and plunking yourself down and starting to interact with folks here without a clue that we’ve got back history is just as dangerous as wandering into a new session and playing too loud, too fast, too stupid.

Anyway, she was clueless and refused to get a clue after countless attempts by many to help her to get one. If you go back and search for it (if you know her name, it helps), as Kerri put it (damn I miss her great sense of humor, I hope she comes back), we now look like a bunch of crazy people yelling at someone that no one else can see or hear. πŸ™‚

And it all mainly started off with a request for help with a squeaky e string, you see, Mark. *grin*

So that’s why Will’s a bit gun shy. πŸ™‚

Zina

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

"…heavy as a really heavy thing…" *snort* made me laugh out loud, thanks.

BTW, your choice of rosin also makes a difference with squeaky strings. We’ve covered that topic at length as well.

Posted .

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Stole it from Terry Pratchett, my favorite author. Even if you’re not into fantasy writing, you’ll enjoy his books — if you haven’t read any of them Will, go out RIGHT NOW and get a couple. You’ll love ‘em, is my bet. Lots of jokey references to other books and other myths and media that takes a fairly well read person to "get" but also good stories even if the references fly straight over your head.

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

An advice stalker! Who would have thought? Well the story is a good one - thanks for sharing it.

The point was made that good bowing technique might be able to remove the unpleasant noise. I can’t agree more.

By the same token E stings are cheap. I would recommend that you not adjust your playing to compensate for a bad string. Hand your fiddle over to an experienced person. If they don’t squeak you know something about your playing. If they do squeak - tell them they stink and buy another e string in secret. πŸ™‚

Cheers,
Mark

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

like any discussion group, if people just sit and read for a bit (I do it too much) without contributing, then they easily learn what is and isn’t accepted. Much the same as sessions, I suppose.

Dan

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Very much so, Dan. I don’t believe I’ve seen your name before today — welcome! Well, you’ve done it now, so start contributing. πŸ™‚

Zina

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

And your recent contributions have been duly noted and enjoyed, Dan. Welcome aboard!

Posted .

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Or maybe you just changed your user name? *grin*

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

wouldn’t dream of it! (and thanks for the welcome)

Dan

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

ASK FOR LOW TENSION STRINGS AT THE MUSIC SHOP. THE MAN’LL KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN AND IT HELPS TO CUT OUT THE SCRATCHY QUALITY NO END. I CAN’T REMEBER THE NAME OF THE ONES I GET(MUCH LIKE MY TUNES) BUT THEY COST ABOUT

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

May i suggest getting a computer keyboard that has lowe case letters also? πŸ™‚

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

I’m blessed (or cursed is it?) with a very responsive and resonant fiddle which seems to be rather particular about its strings. Steel strings such as Helicore are ok but a little scratchy. Dominants are a definite no-no for me, although I know many players (both classical and trad) who are quite happy with them. However, I’ve gone from Helicore strings to the new Zyax strings which are metal wound over a new polymer composition core. They are made by the Helicore people. The tension, feel and tone are very much like good quality gut except that they keep very well in tune and are not affected by temperature or humidity changes. No scratchiness here, and the g and d especially have a depth of tone that reminds me of a good viola.

Acting on advice from a classical violinist friend I recently changed the Zyax e for an "Olive" e with a marked improvement - very smooth, clear and sweet with no hint of squeak. Having said that, the choice of strings and rosin is very much an individual matter for the player and the instrument, and experimentation is needed, as indeed is advice from an experienced violin maker and the best players.

Remember also, that new strings need playing in, the fiddle itself needs to adjust to a new set of resonances and tensions (as does the player), and all this can take several weeks before the tone of the string really matures. Also, don’t change all the strings at once. Change, say, the a and e, wait a couple of weeks and then change the g and d. This strategy I find minimises tension changes in the body of the fiddle (and incidentally makes it less likely for the sound post to fall over in the case of an fiddle that hasn’t been set up and maintained properly!)

In my classical cello alter ego I attended a string workshop a few years ago (long before I took up the fiddle) in which the tutor, a baroque specialist, persuaded the violinists to do the unthinkable - play on the open e-string, something classical players are often bullied into NOT doing by many conductors. She taught these violinists, quite successfully, how to produce a clear sweet non-squeaky tone on the open e. I mentally filed the instruction away for future reference, although clear open top string playing is not quite such a problem for the cellist.

While I’m on the topic of tone production, all other things being equal, the most important component of the violin/bow combination is the bow. I’ll now let you into a little secret. Have you noticed that top violinists will quite happily talk about their Strad, Guarnarius or what-have-you, but almost never mention that

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

I finally got around to changing my strings and decided to try the Zyex. Wow, do they make my fiddle ring! I have overtones I never knew I had πŸ™‚ Much more complex than the Helicore, which is all I’ve ever used. And they also seem to have made my fiddle louder, but that could be just because my other strings were old. I went with the wound Helicore "e" string though, to lesson the chance of squealing. I nearly went with the Evah Pirazzis but decided to try a less expensive kind first, in case I hated them.

And on macsheoinin’s advice I lowered my shoulder rest even though I didn’t get rid of it, and voila!, my shoulder doesn’t ache anymore after a long session. And I had the pegs checked and the tailpiece adjusted. I suppose that could have made some difference in the sound as well. Anyway, thanks for the helpful advice, macsheoinin!

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

Since I have a fairly long neck (though it doesn’t look it, because I’m also very broad shouldered), I get more pain without the shoulder rest. Without it, I can’t get the proper leverage to let the chin rest rest against my jaw; I have to clench either up with the shoulder or down with the chin, instead of letting gravity do the work (which keeps the arm and shoulder completely free).

My very first teacher, back when I was six, emphasized strongly that you should never be applying pressure with your chin or shoulder, and that the rest is there simply to fill up the space between your shoulder and the chin so leverage and gravity will keep the fiddle in place. The fiddle, she told us, rests on the shoulder, and the weight of the fiddle and gravity wedges the chin rest against your jaw or chin, with no effort from any parts of your body.

A fiddler can do this with the fiddle directly on the shoulder, on the collarbone, with the scrolls to the side, to the front, and every angle in between.

Since then, I’ve discovered that not everyone is taught this way. I highly recommend it, though; if you’ve never tried it, you might like it. It’s important that the rest is at the correct height — a little lower than the space between your shoulder and jaw, depending on where you like to hold the fiddle, usually. It should never be so high that it’s longer than your neck measurement. If you must push up with the shoulder or apply pressure with your chin, then it’s too low, according to this method.

Addendum

Oops, I forgot to say that its the total measurement of the chin rest, fiddle, AND shoulder rest that shouldn’t be longer than your neck measurement, natcherly! πŸ™‚

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

That’s pretty much what I was taught, Zina, but at some point I think I just got a little enthusiastic with raising the shoulder rest. And my arm was up quite a ways holding the fiddle, hence the shoulder ache. I think I was trying to keep my chin from pointing down to much to avoid neck strain and just overdid it. Fine adjustments continue πŸ™‚

Re: squeak e strings ( and your favorite brand of strings) πŸ™‚

I,ve been reading through many threads and posts about strings.
What a great mixture of wisdom and wit.
IMHO the best string is the one that the fiddle likes. The analogy is that of of the fishing lure..It is most important that the fish like it, not the fisherman.
I have finally found one fiddle that accepts Dominants.
Helicore seem to be pretty good on any fiddle that I’ve tried so far.
Prims seem to last the longest.
I have not seen any mention yet of Tonika strings. Has anyone got a comment on them?