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Cheap Electric Violin - Why are my finger tapes not straight?

by Vince
(Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

I purchased a relatively cheap electric violin online.

After practicing for a while, I decided to place tape down to help with the fingerings.
I used a chromatic tuner and my nail to exactly pinpoint each note on the fingerboard.

I saw online that the tape should be placed perfectly perpendicular to the fingerboard, but much to my surprise, the notes were going in a slant. Not only slanting, but all of the notes on the G string were a sizeable fraction behind the others.

Is there a problem with the violin? Is it the manufacture or maybe just the bridge?



Marie from learninghowtoplaytheviolin.com

Hi Vince!

Frankly, the most likely answer is that the violin strings were not in tune. If the strings aren't in tune, then any additional notes played on those strings won't be in the same place on the fingerboard.

Be sure the instrument is in tune. Then, put a tape down without really pressing it on. Hold the violin in playing position and press down where the tape is. If it's correct, leave it there. If it isn't adjust it. Be sure you're in playing position, because otherwise the tape won't be placed correctly for you.

It's possible that the strings are not the correct size for that size violin. For example, if you have a full size violin and it has strings for a smaller size violin (3/4, for example), it can cause that effect. It may be that the strings that came with the violin are thinner and subpar, given that it was a cheap instrument.

I'd recommend taking it to a music store to get it looked at, IF you feel there's something wrong.

Unless you feel something really wrong with the violin (it buzzes, the bridge is obviously out of whack, the notes you play never improve in quality) then there's probably not anything wrong. If you get a chance to upgrade to a more expensive instrument, I'd suggest doing so. Your playing experience will improve!

Thanks for the question!

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