Vibrating Strings

Have you ever wondered what a vibrating violin string looks like in slow motion? Here is an interesting demonstration from the Discovery Channel. Notice that the E and G strings are vibrating sympathetically with the bowed A and D strings.

As string players, our goal is always to draw the most resonant sound from the instrument. It’s possible for the bow to slip and slide on the surface, never fully catching the string and missing the deep, focused “core” of the sound. At the same time, pressing will dampen the natural vibrations of the string. The bow arm should remain relaxed and springy, with natural weight transferring into the string. The energetic flow of the bow is essential from the moment the bow is pulled or pushed. Imagine the sound you want to produce and then listen carefully as you play. Continue to strive for a better tone every day.

Is the entire universe vibrating strings?

Dr. Micho Kaku, who works in string theory, thinks so and offers interesting ideas in this Big Think talk. NOVA’s Elegant Universe: Resonance in Strings explains the theory further.

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3 Responses to Vibrating Strings

  1. ordinarylife December 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    This is terribly interesting for my daughter to see. We are striving tp produce an even cleaner sound each day despite her rather good tone. And that’s what suzuki is about – take away eveything first – just listen. If you would one day do a post on how some players have such a clean clean sound that will be great. Thanks!

  2. ordinarylife December 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Like can you comment on the clean sound from David Nadien, what are your thoughts. Thanks!

    • Timothy Judd December 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Thanks for bringing up David Nadien, an amazing violinist. Here he is playing the solo from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”

      Regarding tone, I offer a few ideas in my post, Suzuki’s Tonalization

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