Yes, the violin is much harder to play. The lower the fretboard, the longer the vibrating strings. So when it comes down to the violin, I think you’ve got a great chance of getting a very enjoyable, playable instrument if you do it right, which for us, means having to adjust the string tension and how it’s tuned. Because the strings of the violin are all different, even the same length, so you have to tune the instrument according to each individual one. So they’re different, and you have to tune it correctly.
If I go back to the violin, the string tension is not too important. The violin has a very low string tension, and it’s just like a piano. But, of course, you need to get rid of that low tension, to make it playable. That’s a tough one, and that’s one of the reasons why they’re called violins. They’re not a very good instrument because sometimes the string is too short for it to play with the same feel. And that’s a tricky one to solve, because you have to get rid of the low tension so you can play with good feel, because otherwise it won’t play well.
And once you do that, the string can vibrate with the perfect tension to make the sound. And when you do that, it’s such a wonderful instrument, because you can play so many different instruments. It’s very, very good.
How does the technology differ so radically from playing the piano?
If you go back to the first invention of the violin, where we used strings, we developed the first electric string instrument in 1875, and that was the instrument called a violina. The one that was invented had a very simple sound. It was the same length as a violin, and it wasn’t loud. So the first violin was very, very quiet. The first cello was just a small instrument. And then it was not very loud. The first piano was just a big instrument.
So you could make it any size, and you could make it play in any pitch you wanted to. And all of those instruments eventually became standard instruments. There was just no improvement. In terms of technology, it hasn’t changed much. But we have a lot of innovation with the electronics, which for us is much more advanced. That’s why a piano has very powerful and sophisticated sound.
So what’s different on the pianos versus on the violins
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