Strings Amplified: Contrasting the Electric Violin and Electric Guitar

July 13, 2023

Two of the famous family member of string instruments are the violin and guitar. There are acoustic violins, and there are also acoustic guitars. Surprisingly, both also have their electric versions, which is pretty interesting to learn in terms of amplifying the sounds. So for this post, we'll contrast the electric violin and electric guitar to see their unique characteristics and ability.

Electric Violin

The electric violin is the updated and modern counterpart of the classical acoustic violin. It has a solid body of wood and, sometimes, composite materials. It has a unique design for better sound control and reduced feedback, especially at loud volumes. Some electric violins have built-in pickups, which convert string vibrations into electrical signals, making it an amplified instrument.

Electric Guitar

An electric guitar is a versatile string instrument that opens guitarists to various playing styles. It has powerful pickups and electronic amplification to create sound. That means electric guitars rely heavily on an amplifier to amplify and shape the tone. Like an electric violin, it also has a solid wood body to create better sound and decrease feedback.

Contrasting Features and Playing Techniques

To contrast the features and playing techniques of the electric violin and electric guitar, we need to look at some aspects, such as the following.

Construction Features

The electric violin has almost the same shape and structure as a traditional violin. But, an electric guitar has included magnetic pickups on its body and is even more solid than their traditional versions.

Sound Production

The electric violin has kept the acoustic's violin sound in terms of tonal characteristics. But it upgraded itself for amplification and versatility, meaning you can play it with effects that aren't possible on acoustic ones. Meanwhile, the electric guitar is a totally new invention, very far from acoustic versions. It relies on the use of amplifiers and effects pedals, allowing a wide range of sounds.

Playing techniques

You'll also employ the same techniques you use in an acoustic violin when playing an electric violin. Bowing, vibrato, and pizzicato are still useful in electric violins. Meanwhile, electric guitars have a lot of sliding, bending, picking, and hammering. There are also even palm muting and fingerpicking patterns you need to learn.

Musical Genres and Repertoire

Electric violin and electric guitar also differ in musical genres and repertoire they can play.

For the best electric violin, it can cater to contemporary classical, fusion, and world music, and electronic and experimental music. On the other hand, an electric guitar can play rock and roll, blues, jazz, pop, and contemporary music.

Remember that these are not just the genres and repertoire each instrument can offer. There are still a lot more depending on the player's preferences, influences, and musical goals.

Conclusion

In the world of amplified string instruments, no one can deny that both electric violins and electric guitars provide distinct yet powerful musical experiences. Both electric instruments have their own unique features, characteristics, construction, playing techniques, sound production, and musical applications. Consider these amplified string instruments if you're searching for instruments that open you to versatility and a wide range of playing styles. You'll be surprised how powerful they are!

 

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