#1
Is it alright to downtune a violin?


t.y. for your time.
Quote by icaneatcatfood
On second thought, **** tuning forks. You best be carrying around a grand piano that was tuned by an Italian
#2
I wouldn't see why not, but I also don't see the point in downtuning a violin of all things
#3
I'm no violinist, but if it sounds good to you, and you truly believe you can create music with it, go for it.
#5
Quote by Phat Stud 55
well the way a violin works the strings must be tight to produce a decent sound so since downtuning a violin would make the strings loser I wouldn't recommend it.


yeah. I've gotta agree with that.
#6
If you want to experiment with it, try it. But the strings aren't going to be tight enough after one or two steps down.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#7
I'll try it and see if it works.

thanks for the replies btw.
Quote by icaneatcatfood
On second thought, **** tuning forks. You best be carrying around a grand piano that was tuned by an Italian
#10
Basically, the strings (unlike guitar ones) aren't meant to be tuned to anything but their specific pitch. This means it might be ok down tuned but when tuned up again they're likely to break.

Also, as some other people said, violin strings have to be pretty tight to play properly so I can't see you going to far down with it anyway.

Out of curiosity, why do you want to down tune your violin? A lower sound?

Playing from music when down tuned a tone wouldn't be that hard if you know your second and third (for 3 semitones down) well, but without that reading will be a nightmare.

Also, out of curiosity TS, how long have you been playing violin? Have you done any grades?
#11
I've downtuned slightly before, you can't downtune it too much because not only does it keep the bridge in place, but violins aren't like the guitar, where the strings have some slack. Once you downtune too much, the string pops off.
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#12
In older strings the bridge will become loose and the bridge will come out of place, while the strings will become much easier to go out of tune.

In newer strings they need time to stretch, which means constant hours of re-tuning when you play. It's important that the strings are in the right tuning when played.

I don't think downtuning a violin serves any particular purpose. It's tuned quite specifically and made to match it. It would be best to keep it that way.
#13
only slightly. For example, Saint-Saëns' danse macabre requires the solo violin to tune the E (highest string) down a semitone, to create a tritone on the top two open strings (A to Eb).

The open string passage towards the start represents the devil tuning his violin, as the tritone has traditionally had connotations to the devil (in medieval music it was known as diabolus in musica and its use was therefore frowned upon by religious authorities). For an earlier example of this see Tartini's 'devils trill' sonata (just the diabolus, not downtuning).

So yes, you can downtune the violin. but if you're looking for br00tal sounds you might be disappointed.
#14
downtuning isn't used much in the classical world, at least not more than a full step, and not on every string. Crosstuning is something you might want to look into, because tons of bluegrass/country fiddlers use it to get open tunings and such. check this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scordatura
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#15
To all those wondering why you'd want to downtune, sometimes I end up writing songs in keys only friendly to guitar, so if I can tune a semitone down on violin to make the part exponentially easier for me to play, I will. But as far as br00tle chugga goes, it's not gonna happen. Get a cello.
#17
Dont, phailure is imminent.

Violin=/=guitar. The strings hold the bridge in place, plus violin necks acclimate much differently.
#18
Quote by Ultraturtle0
To all those wondering why you'd want to downtune, sometimes I end up writing songs in keys only friendly to guitar, so if I can tune a semitone down on violin to make the part exponentially easier for me to play, I will. But as far as br00tle chugga goes, it's not gonna happen. Get a cello.

It would probably be more useful to practise in the keys that you have trouble with, rather than spending a lot of time downtuning.

The more you practise you can remeber where your fingers go on each string (ie. in Eb major the first finger on the D string is flat, ect.) which makes playing in each key much easier.

By playing a lot in a key you will know by heart where each finger goes so instead of having to constantly think of which notes are sharp and flat you will just have your fingers in the right place and will only have to think of playing, for example, some kind of E.

This is especially useful when you have notation with key signatures like Gb or Db major. In these keys it would be very akward to continually have to remember all the flats. Also, if you don't know your Co5 very well (I've had to learn them all really well anyway) then notation with key signatures rather than (if you have written it out yourself) all the accidentals would mean you would have to remember which notes are flats or sharps in each key.
#19
Quote by 12345abcd3
It would probably be more useful to practise in the keys that you have trouble with, rather than spending a lot of time downtuning.

The more you practise you can remeber where your fingers go on each string (ie. in Eb major the first finger on the D string is flat, ect.) which makes playing in each key much easier.

By playing a lot in a key you will know by heart where each finger goes so instead of having to constantly think of which notes are sharp and flat you will just have your fingers in the right place and will only have to think of playing, for example, some kind of E.

This is especially useful when you have notation with key signatures like Gb or Db major. In these keys it would be very akward to continually have to remember all the flats. Also, if you don't know your Co5 very well (I've had to learn them all really well anyway) then notation with key signatures rather than (if you have written it out yourself) all the accidentals would mean you would have to remember which notes are flats or sharps in each key.


To summarize, when I have to use my n00b violin skills (or lack thereof) when it's crucial that something sounds tight, I might change the key by a half step. It's not like I use it as an alternative to practicing in all keys, because I don't. Also, I've lost all of my reading ability from when I played viola five years ago, so in a rock setting, I'll typically just play by ear.