January 9, 2019 at 11:38 AM #68428
So I took my fiddle outside on the porch over the weekend (the children and Paul were trying to escape the noise but unfortunately for them, I need an audience 😉 ). It seemed to kinda go somewhat out of tune and the bow was getting loose. I’m on the coast and even this time of year, it was hot enough that we’ve had the A/C on inside and the air outside is always very humid. I think the humidity swing from the dry A/C air to the soupy air outside had the big effect.
Not really a question in here, just an interesting observation from someone new to fiddling.January 9, 2019 at 1:43 PM #68429
Yep! I’ve never experienced that till today, cuz we don’t have glass windows in africa, so what temp it is outside it is inside. But I just took a banjo out on the porch to play, and it went a bit out of tune; it wasn’t enough to be unpleasant, just enough to sound like a real banjo 😉 my bow has actually tightened as the day gets hot, but that’s a bit different
P. S. I’m currently in the states, which is why the temp changes going out on the porchJanuary 9, 2019 at 3:26 PM #68432
Both the strings and bow hair will expand and contract with temperature changes. When playing out side in our northern climate, I often have to make minor tuning adjustments as the sky alternates between sunny and cloudy. Our church choir practices in a cool basement and then plays in an often too warm hall. I have to let the fiddle set and adjust in the hall for several minutes before retuning and adjusting the bow tension.
JoeJanuary 9, 2019 at 3:43 PM #68433
Yes, that happens. Our house doesn’t have central heat, and the room where I record is so different than the room where the instruments stay…sometimes I’m out of tune before I get two minutes of playing recorded…I spend a ton of time tuning in the winter. Not much difference in the rooms in the summertime here though. However, high humidity does affect the bow, etc. Fiddles are very sensitive to temperature and humidity changes.January 9, 2019 at 4:11 PM #68435
Are there any thougts about the quality of the actual sound from the instrument itself (the violin) in dry wather versus high humidty conditions after it has been tuned correctly.
My experience from my two fiddles is that I have a very strong feeling that the instrument itself does not sound as good in high humidity weather as in dry weather.
I wonder if that is a condition only for my fiddles or if it is some type of general rule that a violin sounds better in dry weather rather than in high humidity weather. Does anyone have exerience on this or a violin that sounds equally good in both conditions or maybe even better in high humidity conditions. I am only curious.January 9, 2019 at 7:50 PM #68440
When the humidity has been low around here, my fiddle doesn’t seem to have much depth to the sound, like it doesn’t resonate well. We don’t get really high humidity so I can’t comment there. When our humidity is around 50-70% it sounds good. This is based solely on the opinion of my ear, which my wife regularly informs me is faulty.
JoeJanuary 10, 2019 at 10:00 PM #68453
There are days when my fiddles sound good to me, and days when they just sound off. I usually blame myself, which is probably the cause, but I never thought to pay any attention to if it could be weather related…hmmm.January 11, 2019 at 10:25 AM #68465
Well we have humidity levels in the high 80s and low 90s during the summer, so i’ll let you guys know how it performs during the summer.January 11, 2019 at 1:11 PM #68468
Everything effects tuning from temperature changes , to changes in humidity , to elevation changes , to playing a tune roughly and hard will stretch the strings , I always tune at a new location and check the tuning after a few tunes ! We have a community building we play at once a month ,with no central heat just a wood stove when we show up about 5:00pm the place is cold , first thing we do is build a fire by 6:00pm the place is beginning to warm , We tune up and start playing , as the place continues to warm we have to retune , we usually play till 9:00pm or so and I have had to retune up to three times or so
January 11, 2019 at 7:24 PM #68477
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by Steve Srader.
I play for fun (sadly few performance opportunities have encountered me) so unless my instrument is out of tune with itself (and then only noticeably) I don’t bother checking or retuning. I have found that either strings all change mostly equally, or it takes a big change to detune them noticeablyJanuary 12, 2019 at 8:55 AM #68501
The thermal expansion of steel is about four times the thermal expansion of wood. This means that when the temperature drops, the strings contract around four time as much as the neck. For this reason, the tuning will go a little sharp in cold weather and a little flat in hot weather.January 12, 2019 at 10:13 AM #68502
Spoken like a physics professor 😉January 12, 2019 at 3:03 PM #68505
Gunnar , I may be wrong , But playing out of tune will not help you as you will be compensating to be in tune all the time up and down the fingerboard on closed notes and open strings will be sharp or flat , It’s noticeable to the ear when open strings are not right . Playing out of tune drives me nuts when I hear it , But to each his or her own , if it works for you , ?January 12, 2019 at 7:26 PM #68507
Oh, yeah. I was thinking about my banjo when I posted that. My fiddle stays in tune almost perfectly most of the time, and occasionally a peg slips and detentions the string. I retune at that point. All of my instruments tend to either stay in tune, or detune uniformly to where you don’t hear it. When they are “noticeably” out of tune, I retune. Also my guitar has bad intonation so it sounds out when it’s not.January 12, 2019 at 10:40 PM #68510
I used to fight and fight and fight my fiddle while playing outside at festival jams…. the night air is dropping temps, then you walk up to a jam with a fire.. BAM! high heat and another tuning session… the bow hair is constantly needing re-adjustment.
Switching to a carbon fiber fiddle helped alot, but is not an option for most folks.January 13, 2019 at 8:01 AM #68513
You have to learn to love to tune almost as much as you love to play…lol.
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