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Violin/SCRATCHY VIOLIN SOUND

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Question
I HAVE A NICE QUALITY GUARNERI VIOLIN, WITH ''VIOLINO'
STRINGS.....WHY DOES MY VIOLIN SOUND ''SCRATCHY''
AT TIMES?.....IS IT MY BOW...TOO MUCH ROSIN, OR TOO
LITTLE ROSIN, KIND OF ROSIN?.....OR IS IT....ME?
  IT IS A BEAUTIFULL del Gesu VIOLIN, NICE TONE ETC;
BUT VERY ANNOYING TO PLAY...WHEN IT GETS ''SCRATCHY''

Answer
Hi Wilson,

Usually the problem you reference stems from the bow arm.  Rather than focus on the scratching, let's just focus on how to get a clean sound all of the time.  

If you take a scale, for example, use a moderate weight with your hair positioned near the bridge but not too close.  As you draw your whole bows, take care to observe: (1) bow speed always stays the same, and not too fast.  Uneven bow speeds can cause the scratchiness, such as when you slow down before a bow change.  (2) your bow hair stays parallel to the bridge through the length of the bow, maintaining your bow position.  (3) maintain these standards on your detache' and slurred bowings.  

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Todd Sullivan

Expertise

Hello, I am a NYC violinist performing for Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, opera, and sundry theatre/pop tours. I would be happy to answer your questions about anything related to being a performer in the music business. I play both violin and viola professionally, so questions on playing either instrument are welcome. The only thing I am not well informed on is information concerning instruments/bows...those questions are best left to luthiers.

Experience

Professional experience includes a variety of on/off Broadway tours and shows, numerous orchestras, tours with Ray Charles and Ann Murray orchestras, leader of the 20-piece Todd Sullivan Orchestra.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Fine Arts (violin) with honors from Carnegie Mellon University (1999)

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