weird lower octave sound coming from A string

Deanna said: Feb 1, 2010
Suzuki Association Member
90 posts

This may have a simple solution but I’m stumped.

The violin of one of my students started making a weird sound last week. It’s on the A string and it sounds like a lower octave. As in when she plays open A, we hear that A but also the one that’s an octave lower. It seems to be the loudest when she plays B (finger 1 on A)—which then sounds like B down an octave. I have checked the tuners and pegs and nothing seems to be buzzing or vibrating. I don’t know much about violin repair and the music store here does not have anyone qualified either. Does anyone have any ideas what this may be or how to fix it?

Karra said: Feb 1, 2010
51 posts

Yuck. That could be a number of things, but my first two guesses would be that a)the soundpost is out of whack, or b) there are some open seams. It could also be both, or maybe a loose bass bar. Does it sound like a normal note an octave lower, or is it metallic sounding?

“It may very well be music that will one day save the world”— Pablo Casals

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 2, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

With the right amount of (excess) weight and (slow) bow speed, it is possible to make strings sound in a sort of “subharmonic” series. But since you’re hearing both pitches at the same time, I doubt that your student has accidentally discovered this technique.

New strings don’t fix it?

Deanna said: Feb 2, 2010
Suzuki Association Member
90 posts

The lower octave sounds like a normal note. It just started last week and since I didn’t know how to fix it or what the matter was we just ignored it. She’s coming again today—I’ll try changing the string to see if that makes a difference.

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services