The New D

Tone is a funny thing – of course at this stage of my playing I chalk every deficit in my tone production up to my level of experience.  I’m a beginner on this instrument, and the pursuit of beautiful tone is something violinists struggle with forever.  But overall I’ve been relatively pleased with my progress, and I’m also fortunate to have an instrument that helps quite a bit.

An exception to my general culpability for deficits in my tone, or so I thought, was my D string.  I can’t put my finger precisely on what the problem was, but it was a muddier tone, grittier somehow.  It was, without a doubt, harder to pull out decent sounding notes with the bow on that string.  I could make it work, but it was a labor of love for sure.  I entertained the notion that this problem was just part of the nature of my violin.  Even-ness of tone across all the strings is a characteristic of a good violin, and not all are created equal in that regard.

Happily and much to my surprise, this new D string has made all the difference in my tone production on the D string.  I think the old string might just have been a lemon!  In a visual comparison the strings appeared to be identical, except for the fraying that caused me to replace it.  The string I replaced was the original one I had installed by the luthier last January – I’m somewhat sure I replaced it with the exact same brand.  It’s also possible that this fraying started earlier than I noticed it, and that the damage was the source of the poor tone impact.

Whatever the precise cause of the problem, I am very happy it’s behind me.  Apparently somebody has proven via a study or something that D major is the “happiest” key.  I’m now equipped to make that true for myself.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

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