Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
EU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the European Union version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > June 2019 > RISE OF THE MACHINES

RISE OF THE MACHINES

For maximum thrills, its hard to beat an electric violin at full throttle. Christian Garricktest-drives some of the most innovative models and discovers if they sound as wild as they look
Bridge Violins Aquila Electric four-string model
F-Trad-5 Fidelius five-string Violin

For many, pitting classic violins against electric violins is like comparing fine dining with street food - both are tasty but very dissimilar. Fortunately for us fiddle players each type shares the same core fundamentals of fingerboard, bridge and strings.

Electric violins have been around for almost 100 years - even longer than the guitar variety. Indeed, we’ve been amplifying our violins throughout the history of jazz, popular and rock music in one way or another ever since Stuff Smith began experimenting with National pickup systems in the 1930s.

A pure electric violin depends on an electric current to radiate sound, whereas an electro-acoustic instrument is a hybrid, retaining the traditional sound chamber of classic violins and working both plugged in or unplugged. Step back further still and you can fit a standard violin with a microphone for extra volume. I find there is a use for each variant in professional life, depending on the musical setting. In this article we’ll focus primarily on the full electric type.

A culture around the electric violin has sprung up quite suddenly in the past 25 years. Now it’s a global phenomenon. The trend for electric violins seems to have mushroomed in tandem with the growth of the internet and now there is a huge scene of electric violinists, many of whom are online performing pop and rock covers. To supply such demand, incredible things are happening in the electric violin making universe. Witness the distinctive flying-V shaped Viper violin by Mark Wood, the fully MIDI synth-ready violins from Zeta, the exotic creations by mavericks like Australia’s David Guscott, and perhaps the most quintessential of futuristic violins - the 3DVarius, a 3D-printed premium electric violin from France. But with so much choice, selecting an instrument might seem an impossible task. My advice is to try out as many as you possibly can, either at a specialist music store like Moseley Violins in the UK and Electric Violin Shop in the US, or ask teachers, friends and colleagues if you can try theirs.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of The Strad - June 2019
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - June 2019
€5.49
Or 549 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only € 4.58 per issue
SAVE
17%
€54.99
Or 5499 points

View Issues

About The Strad

We conclude our investigation of Stradivari’s moulds and examine some radical teaching methods. Vadim Gluzman, Philip Dukes and Matthew Barley are interviewed and there’s our annual Accessories supplement, featuring carbon fibre bows, wolf eliminators, mutes and lots more.