Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Bridge Too Far

I've taken ownership of the Pfretzschner. That is to say, I've started modding it. I don't know what the history of the bridge is (it's probably not original) but it looks like it has been through a number of hands. On closer examination, the curve is all wrong.

The A string was sunk far too deep. I could work with it in 1st Position but when I really started working 3rd I couldn't sound it without hitting another string. So I cut a tiny sliver of hardwood out of the back of a file handle and glued it in with CA glue. Re-shaped, cut a new notch.

The E string is still not right. This may be the fault of the bridge having been cut for an E without the protective sleeve. In any case, the compound curve just isn't there (oddly, though, someone seems to have monkeyed with the G string -- the curve there is sharper than it should be). Enthused by my success with the A string I lightly recurved and deepened the notch for the E string by less than a string width.

And it feels good now.

And that all inspired me to another crafts project:

The metal practice mute was not working for me. I have lots of scrap materials at work, though. So I cut two pieces of thick rubber, bolted them together (no need for Barge Cement for something this simple) and cut string notches in it.

Works like a charm. The volume is significantly lower but much of the sound quality is still there. Only drawback is not being able to see the fingerboard over the mute. But then, I'm not supposed to be working by eye anyhow.

Now all I need is to find a shoulder rest I like. Perhaps I should build my own there, too....

The U-bass, meanwhile, has developed a minor electronics issue. Volume dropped a bunch. I may have to swap out the pre-amp. Going to try adding an external pre-amp first.

I'm working up a full Instructable when I finally finish the thing, but here's a preview pic of my other bass-related project:

At two violins, a ukulele, and a bass (not to mention three recorders, a crumhorn, a bombarde, and a penny whistle -- and of course two 61-key keyboards and a couple of mini keyboards) I really need to add some kind of rack to my collection as well.

The main musical adventure of the moment is theory, however. I really need to improve my music theory. I've been listening to podcasts -- maybe not the optimal format, but very efficient for studying during work hours.

I'm realizing I need more theory to do what I want to with my next big composition. I want especially to be more deliberate with harmony, especially harmonic progression. Fumbling around for chords that sound cool kinda works for solo piano stuff, but it becomes a huge pain trying to find which notes to harmonize with, which need emphasis, etc. when working up a full arrangement.

More on that later. I'm strongly contemplating an unrelated sketch just to get back into things.

But, hey, if I do it right, I can work in some violin recording. I'm just about ready to start learning parts.

No comments:

Post a Comment