uncle duke wrote at 2014-02-01 20:36:24
If Mr. Fisher will permit this- Check the measurement from the nut edge facing the fingerboard to the back side of bridge. I have three 4/4 violins and they measure 326mm, 328mm and 328.5mm respectively. I'll add that mine may have moved some during the year but not far from where they're supposed to be.
Next, verify that the tailpiece fine tuners even work. I had 1 Chinese? made tailpiece that was just going through the motions and not accomplishing anything when trying to fine tune. I replaced it with one from Guitar Center, also made in China, and got good results but not as good as the Wittner tailpieces that are on my other 2 instruments. It's all in the threads when it's fine tuning time and a better known brand is just simply better- less hassle. Don't forget to get a new tailgut if you go this route.
Mr. Fisher mentioned going to a violin shop for the peg problem. Some of those repair guys can get your pegs to turn as smooth as your guitar tuners, believe it or not, hopefully you'll find one who can do that for you. About trying to go from guitar strumming/picking to bowing- I found a tip from one of the Asian players that helped me for a bit when I started out. He mentioned to put the bow in playing position at the tip or frog and starting on the G string to start bowing without hitting the string. Go slow and get as close as you can without making a sound. Do it on all the strings a few times a day for a couple of weeks. If you are still hitting more than one string when you don't want to, you may need to raise the height of the A and D strings some. Small pieces of folded paper will raise the strings off the bridge. Bridge and violin plate wood probably shrink and move some. This caused me to raise the strings off my bridges some using above paper method so I could play/reach upper registers without hitting unwanted strings.
Please Note: For an accurate appraisal of your instrument's value or history, I must advise you to take it to a local luthier or string shop for an evaluation. It's really not possible to do this with any accuracy via email.
However, I am happy to answer other questions about violins, bows, violin playing, and violin/bow repair. I can also talk with you about what bows, rosin, strings, cases, shoulder rests, etc. might work best for you and your particular instrument. (There are some great new products on the market.) I've taught violin and fiddle playing for the past 18 years and will answer questions about playing and technique.
I've been studying the violin for over thirty years. I started teaching in 1996. In addition to my training at Lebanon Valley College and at the Violin Institute, I handle violins, bows, and customer questions of all sorts on a daily basis in my shop - J.S. Fisher Violins, www.fisherviolins.com.
Organizations NAAM, ASTA
Education/Credentials I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College, as well as certificates in violin repair, violin maintenance, and bow rehairing from the Violin Institute at the University of New Hampshire.