Blog

2015 Summer Eclectic Styles String Camps and Festivals

Students and teachers — consider taking advantage of some time off in the summer to both hone your technique and explore different musical styles by attending one of these fine string camps! Our list focuses on camps that teach and promote alternative (non-classical) styles such as jazz, rock, blues, latin, bluegrass, celtic, etc. Below these listings are links to other online resources that list great string camps, classical or otherwise, throughout the country… Read the rest of this entry »

MIDI Violin Recording & Notation

Beyond being able to call up any sound or instrument imaginable during live performance, MIDI violin is a highly useful tool for recording and notating music in the studio.

Read the rest of this entry »

(Re)introducing the WAV Violin

NS Design WAV 4 violins

We are thrilled to reintroduce the NS Design​ WAV violins. WAVs have been off the market for quite some time while NS relocated and retooled production, but now they’re back and they’re better than ever! With better quality components all around–improved tone and volume pots, more durable chinrest hardware, finer wood, nicer finishes, a higher quality custom case, and now with NS electric strings included–the new WAV violin is the real deal, sporting a professional look and beautiful new tone.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Reduce Bow Noise [Video]

In this video Matt uses a pre-recorded electric violin track in Logic Express to demonstrate methods for reducing unwanted bow noise in the recording studio. By applying a high pass filter, the noise of bow changes and bow tracking is greatly reduced. In addition, a low pass filter reduces the high piezo sound. Finally, a generous reverb smooths the violin’s tone out nicely in the mix.

All of the techniques described in the video as being effective for reducing bow noise in the studio will also work in a live setting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Using the Roland GR-55 for MIDI Violin Performance & Recording

We get lots of calls and emails about MIDI violins. MIDI options for violins have been around for decades, but were only compatible with synthesizers that are now obsolete and only available on the used market. Also, latency and slower triggering made these MIDI violin systems less than ideal for most performers.

We are pleased to announce that we now carry two violins that are compatible with a high quality, available and currently produced MIDI synthesizer. The Fourness Fuse, with its newly calibrated 13 pin MIDI jack, and Cantini violins, with their proprietary 8-pin to 13-pin adaptor cable, have passed our in-house testing and are for sale on our site for use with the Roland GR-55 synthesizer.
Read the rest of this entry »

Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 8 – How to Get More Gigs as a Performing Musician

In episode 8, Christian gets down to business–music business that is–in his interview with Tiffany L. Goodman of Goodman Artists. Tiffany has been representing artists in jazz, classical and world music since 2009. Topics covered in this information-packed conversation include:

  • the importance of video in your marketing
  • tips for building a presence with photos, a website, and social media
  • the difference between a manager and agent
  • tips for cold calling and using your network
  • how to develop and maintain an agent-artist relationship Read the rest of this entry »

Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 7 — Conductor Markand Thakar On Achieving Transcendent Musical Performances (Part 2)

Episode 7 is part two of Christian Howes’s interview with conductor Markand Thakar, music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and co-director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Conservatory.

This half of the interview explores more concepts from Thakar’s book Looking for the “Harp” Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty, including:

  • Fundamental elements of totality of the sound
  • Balance, playing in ensembles, tempo, tone
  • Teaching and conducting

Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples.

Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

 

 

2015 ASTA National Conference — Things To See

It’s that time of year again when thousands of string teachers, students, artists and product exhibitors descend on city to commence the yearly American String Teachers Association Nation Conference.  This year the location is Salt Lake City, Utah.  Due to staffing at our shop (two new babies born into the EVS family–congratulations Susie and Ted!) we are unable to be physically present at ASTA this year, however through our good friends among the teachers, presenters and exhibitors we will be there in spirit!  If you are an electric player in attendance or a teacher interested in incorporating electric instruments and eclectic styles into your program, here are some of the events we recommend at the Salt Lake City ASTA conference… Read the rest of this entry »

Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 6 — Conductor Markand Thakar On Achieving Transcendent Musical Performances (Part 1)

Episode 6 is part one in a two-part interview between Christian Howes and conductor Markand Thakar, music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and co-director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Conservatory.

This fist half of the interview delves into several concepts from Thakar’s book Looking for the “Harp” Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty, including:

  • How music can move all of us
  • How to convey deeper beauty through music
  • The creation and release of tension on the micro and macro levels.

Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples.

Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

 

Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 5 — Jason Anick on Jazz Violin Practice

Jazz violinist Jason Anick is an instructor at Berklee College of Music and at the annual summer Creative Strings Workshop and Festival.  Jason was brought up on classical violin training, yet as early as his teenage years he began finding ways to incorporate jazz and other styles into his formal musical training.  In school, although studying the classical violin, his ensembles were all jazz groups. Listen to the podcast to learn how Jason combined the best of classical and jazz practice routines to develop bulletproof musicianship, including

  • his routines and regimens — scales, transcriptions, improvising, working with backing tracks, self-recordings
  • his successful mindset for doing business as an artist and maintaining a confident and striving optimism in the music industry

Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples.

Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!


ZETA Is Back!

ZETA Jazz Fusion 5, roasted flamed maple top and neck

Five years to the month after we received our last batch of Zeta violins a new shipment has just arrived! Zeta Music Systems, Inc. shut down in 2010, but the worldwide demand for their iconic electric violin brand never subsided. In the interim we’ve gotten dozens of inquiries each month from players all over the world who recognize the looks of the Fusion and Modern bodies and the sounds of the Jazz and Strados pickups.

Prior to its shutdown Zeta had been around for a very long time by electric violin-world standards.  Keith McMillen, who today runs the forward-looking music technology company Keith McMillen Instruments, and Richard McClish, now of RMC Pickup Co., first founded Zeta Music Systems in the late 1970′s.  By the mid-1980′s jazz fusion violinist Jean Luc Ponty made the Zeta brand world famous and the ‘Jazz Fusion’ model iconic. Read the rest of this entry »

Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 4 — Performance Psychology for Musicians with Dr. Noa Kageyama

Dr. Noa Kageyama is the founder of the Bulletproof Musician and holds a Master’s degree in Violin Performance from Julliard and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Indiana University.  In this episode of the Creative Strings Podcast Dr. Kageyama discusses how to practice for performance in order to overcome distraction, nerves and stage fright and stay in the creative moment during musical performance.

Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples.

Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

<< Previous episode                                                      Next episode >>

Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 3 — Matt Glaser on Music Education, Improvisation, and Mindfulness

Matt Glaser

Matt Glaser (Photo by Phil Farnsworth)

In this episode of the Creative Strings Podcast, Christian Howes talks with Matt Glaser, an accomplished Jazz and Bluegrass violinist and the Artistic Director of the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music.  This is a great episode both for students aspiring to learn improvisation and alternative styles, as well as for string teachers navigating the changing terrain of strings education in this era of stylistic diversity.

Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples.

Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

<< Previous episode                                                      Next episode >>

Holiday Gift Ideas For Any Budget

holdiday-buying-guide_672



Holiday shopping can be difficult–especially if you are a non-musician shopping for musical equipment! Electric Violin Shop makes shopping for the string player in your life easy by offering a variety of gift options to fit nearly any budget! If you’re looking for something small or relatively inexpensive, check out our Stocking Stuffers category. If you want ideas for something bigger, including instruments and musical gear, take a look at out Holiday Gift Ideas, where you can sort items by price. For further advice on what to get your musical loved one this holiday season, read on or contact us for personalized advice…

Read the rest of this entry »

The Top 4 Things To Consider When Beginning An Electric String Instrument

Avoid beginner frustrations by keeping these things in mind as you dive in

Nationally renowned strings educator and friend of the shop Scott Laird is at the forefront of helping teachers introduce electric bowed string instruments into their classrooms and studios.  He gave the presentation below, entitled “Ten Practical Strategies for Inspiring Your Students with Electric Stringed Instruments”, at the 2013 American String Teachers Association National Conference.  Before getting into his ten strategies, Scott outlined four great “precepts” for teachers looking to incorporate electric strings into their school programs.  We think these principles are right on the money and apply equally well to anyone taking up an electric stringed instrument for the first time.  The four precepts are covered from 05:30 to 10:25 in the video and we’ve outlined them below…

Read the rest of this entry »

Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 2 – Randall Williams: How an Indie Musician Bootstrapped Tours on Veggie Fuel and why he Let it Go

Creative Strings Podcast is a production of Christian Howes, sponsored by Electric Violin Shop

Randall WilliamsIn this episode, Christian interviews singer/songwriter Randall Williams about the many creative ways he engineered a career in music. Randall explains how he got his foot in the door by offering value to (as opposed to asking for money from) music stores, manufacturers and distributors, folk festivals and his audiences.

Learn more about Randall Williams, his music and his travels at whereisrandall.com. Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples.

Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

<< Previous episode                                                      Next episode >>

Step Up to Yamaha and Get a Rebate up to $100 at EVS

Step Up to Yamaha

Why ‘Step Up’?

Your skills have grown and matured and with them your need for a better instrument, one that works with you to realize your musical expression. Yamaha’s step-up Silent strings models accomplish this with their features, design, and overall playability – all of which aid advancing musicians with their musical growth.

Read the rest of this entry »

Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 1 – Billy Contreras: Inspired Insights from a Country Fiddler and Jazz Master

Creative Strings Podcast is a production of Christian Howes, sponsored by Electric Violin Shop

Jazz violinist Billy Contreras sat down with Christian Howes live at the 2014 Creative Strings Workshop to discuss Billy’s life, music, and more in the first episode of the brand new Creative Strings Podcast.  The conversation is interspersed with a progression of amazing clips of Billy’s playing from when he was young through to today.  In these clips you will hear Billy’s evolution and incredible stylistic variety, and the discussion gives insight into Billy’s improvisational thought process.

Next episode >>

Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples.

Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

A Guide to CodaBow Violin, Viola & Cello Bow Models

codabow-violin-collection

The bow makers and engineers at CodaBow use advanced materials to bring consistency and affordability to their great bow designs. CodaBow’s graphite and kevlar bow sticks have the same performance agility and tone-drawing capability as fine wood bows that are several times more expensive. Whether for use as a primary performance bow or as a travel / backup bow, there can be little doubt that CodaBow bows represent some of the best value in the strings industry. If you’re looking to invest in a bow, the question then becomes not whether to choose a CodaBow but which CodaBow to choose. The following guide breaks down the choices for you to aid in your decision-making process.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bows Without Borders: CodaBow’s GlobalBow™ Technology

How CodaBow’s GlobalBow™ technology will permit your CodaBow® to cross any border on the globe

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Due to increased international regulation, shipping or transporting items containing endangered, regulated, or monitored species across international borders can result in delays, fines, and confiscation.  With those species including Ivory, Madagascar Ebony, Tortoise Shell, Pernambuco, Lizard Skin, Whalebone, Mother-of-Pearl (Shell), internationally traveling string musicians may find it difficult to cross borders with their traditional wood bows.

Read the rest of this entry »