My Violin rattles!

Troubleshooting rattling

Frequently clients come to us when their instrument makes unwanted noises such as grating, rasping and rattling sounds.

So you can try next to themselves to find the bottom of such unwanted noise:

  • A metallic buzzing could be the result of a broken winding. This might result for example, from the shrinking of the string core.
  • Check the groove on the saddle. If the string does not lie completely in the groove, vibration may result in this area. Push the string tightly into the groove and if the noise disappears you have found the problem.
  • Should the noise persist, have a look at the fine tuner screws. Are they tightly fastened or is it possible to further tighten the knurled nuts which connect to the tailpiece?
  • Is the chin rest properly mounted or is it hitting the tailpiece?
  • Is it possible the instrument has a hole? We suggest you tap the rim of your instrument with your knuckles to try to locate, based on the sounds made, holes. Should you locate a hole, take the instrument to an expert who will be able to glue it shut without much trouble.
  • Open cracks in the belly, back or frame might also be the cause of unwanted noises and constitute a much more serious problem. Carefully tapping the instrument with your knuckles and looking over the instrument will provide further clues.
  • If the noises occur only when you personally are playing the instrument, please check your outer wear as your buttons, zippers etc. might be the source of the noise.

It may be difficult to get to the bottom of such noises and require a process of elimination to resolve the problem. The reason for this is the vibration which is a natural characteristic of the instrument. It has the tendency to transport noises throughout the instrument and to make their localization difficult.

Last update on 2011-01-28 by Haat-Hedlef Uilderks.

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