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  • #3092 Reply

    GerriH
    Participant

    Hi Michael,
    I have a bit of a puzzle with my violin. When I play a “C” on the A-string, I can hear what sounds like another note playing. It sounds like playing that note makes something within my violin vibrate. Have you ever heard of that before? Is it normal? Should I have a luthier look at it? Thought you might have an idea…thanks for your help.

    #3164 Reply

    Michael Sanchez
    Keymaster

    This is what you call a “Wolf tone.” It happens more often on cellos but can also happen on violins and violas. I’m not sure the mechanics of it, but is an extremely annoying thing to deal with.

    Most repair shops can take care of this issue by adjusting the sound post of the violin. This is definitely not something you would want to mess with. The other option is to get a tool that helps prevent it like this wolf-be-gone. They don’t always work but you can always return it if it doesn’t do the trick.

    #3168 Reply

    GerriH
    Participant

    OMG! That’s amazing! THANK YOU! I thought I was getting a wolf tone on my G string a while ago, so I bought a wolf-be-gone but it didn’t fix what I was hearing on the G-string so I removed it. I will try it on the A string to see if it fixes it! Thank you!!!!!!! In fact, Michael, YOU fixed what I was hearing on my G-string!!! It’s called, holding the bow properly! 🙂 Thank you so much!!!! Our orchestra’s last concert is on Saturday, so I will bring the violin in to the luthier for an adjustment after that, but I’ll try the wolf-be-gone in the meantime! You are so awesome! Cannot say thank you enough for all you’ve helped me with this past 6 weeks!

    #3212 Reply

    Elizabeth Davis
    Participant

    The mechanics of a wolf tone are basically this:
    Everything has a natural resonance frequency… the pitch at which it vibrates. This is what causes a wine glass to shatter if someone sings the right high pitch.

    A wolf tone happens when the note you’re playing is close to, but not exactly, matching the natural resonance frequency of your instrument (on cellos, this usually shows up around E to F# on the D string).

    The way we compensate usually involves offsetting that wolf tone with a small weight either on the string below the bridge to offset that pitch, or glued on the instrument itself.

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