An electric violin usually refers to an instrument intentionally made to be electrified with built-in pickups, usually with a solid body. Some famous instrument stores sold electric violins in the 1930s and 1940s. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, an American company that manufactures string instruments and amps, produced a very small number of electric violins in 1958 and reissued them again in 1969. During the 1980s, more companies were formed producing their own brand of electric violin. There have been a number of companies that have been in the electric violin trade since the 90s.
While electric guitars are obviously the most popular example of an acoustic instrument “reinvented” as an electric one, the electric violin is another example of this evolution.
Although it is not nearly as widespread as the electric guitar, the electric violin is becoming increasingly popular. But it can also be a bit controversial.
A lot of people are up in arms about the violin duel because most people associate it with folk and classical music. While the traditional sounds you’d be hearing are those of wooden acoustic instruments.
For that reason, the electric violin is not used in those genres, but its experimental nature has led to increased use in others. And now it’s time to put the focus on their differences..
But before we get into what’s different, let’s talk about what stays the same. Basically these two chanters rely on some of the same guidelines. Even though electric violins can look very different, the same basic components are there. And the best electric violins are now high-quality instruments that can be used professionally.
Both have a number of things in common. They both have a body, neck, tuning pegs & fine tuners as well as a tailpiece, bridge and chin rest. Both instruments are played with a bow and are held the same way.
But that is where the similarities end. Now let’s take a look at the major differences.
- Differences Between Acoustic Violin and Electric Violin
- 1. Different Structures
- 2. Different Weights
- 3. Different Sound Transmission
- 4. Different Designs
- 5. Different Sound and Genres
- 6. Feel Of The Instrument
- Advantages of the Electric and Acoustic Violin’s
- Advantages of the Electric Violin
- Advantages of the Acoustic Violin
- Why Get An Electric Violin?
- Why Get An Acoustic Violin?
- Final Thoughts
- FAQ for Electric Violin vs Acoustic Violin
- What is an electric violin?
- What are the benefits of an electric violin?
- Who plays electric violin?
- Who invented the electric violin?
- Are there any disadvantages to playing an electric violin?
- What is a acoustic violin?
- What are the benefits of a acoustic violin?
- Who plays classical violin?
- Who invented the acoustic violin?
- Are there any disadvantages to playing a acoustic violin?
- What are the main differences between an acoustic violin and an electric violin?
- Which is more common in orchestras electric violin or acoustic violin?
Differences Between Acoustic Violin and Electric Violin
1. Different Structures
The acoustic violin is made of a hollow structure that amplifies the vibrations of the strings. Conversely, the electric violin is often made of a solid structure and must be connected to an amplifier to be heard. So, the main difference is related to how you amplify the sound.
Besides, an acoustic violin has a sound box while an electric violin does not. Therefore, an acoustic violin is heard from the moment being played. As for an electric violin, if it is not connected to an amplifier, it will not be heard by the public but produce a slight sound which is barely audible.
2. Different Weights
Since the acoustic violin has a hollow body, it weighs less than the electric violin. An acoustic violin weighs about 480g. The weight of an electric violin differs from one manufacturer to another. Some manufacturers might want to make their instruments as light as possible by limiting the amount of material, whereas others might not. Heavy electric violins may tire players’ arms and hands, and develop tendinitis in the long term.
3. Different Sound Transmission
An acoustic violin uses a classical bridge, which is placed on the body of the violin and sustained by the pressure of the strings. The bridge of the guitar amplifies the vibration created by the strings with its sound box. However, an electric violin will have to re-transcribe the string vibration into an electrical signal, and then transmit it to an amplifier.
The bridge will contain pickups that generate this signal. The sound quality of an electric violin will depend on the type of bridge and the number of pickups it contains. There are a number of different pickups that use different ways to create the signal. For instance, piezo-electric pickups or magnetic pickups
This is not an argument for or against violin lessons. Sometimes violin players may use a mute to muffle the sound of an acoustic violin, but it is not enough. Using headphones to amplify the electric violin can allow players to play quietly at home without disturbing their neighbors.
4. Different Designs
An acoustic violin has 4 strings: G(Sol), D(Re), A(La), E(Mi). An electric violin may have 4 or more strings. A 5-string electric violin has the C(Do) string, which is generally used on violas.
What’s more, acoustic violins always have the same visual appearances. We can find common elements on acoustic violins, such as f holes, tailpiece, scroll and so on. But these elements can disappear on an electric violin. Only some necessary elements are remained on electric violins, such as the neck and the fingerboard. In fact, electric violins can have any type of designs, colors, and materials. The appearance of the design can be completely decided by the designer.
5. Different Sound and Genres
An electric violin does not have the same sound as an acoustic violin does. It is possible to get closer to a classical sound with an electric violin using small effects. But if violin players wanted to play classical music, they would be playing it on an acoustic violin.
A multi-effect pedal can be used on an electric violin to improve and transform the sound produced. It can transform the sound into different genres. We have a range of pedals for violin players to use in their diverse musical styles, including rock, metal, jazz, pop and more, on an electric violin.
To conclude, acoustic violins and electric violins are designed for different uses. It’s not uncommon to meet a violinist who performs on both kinds of violins. And most violinists have one or more of each instrument. People normally choose to use one or the other depending on which game they’re playing. In classical performances, such as a church ceremony, they will choose to play the acoustic violin.
In other performances, like a rock music festival, they may prefer electric violin. But we recommend violin beginners to start with an acoustic violin, simply because it is much easier to play and does not require anything to be plugged in.
6. Feel Of The Instrument
Because electric violins have solid bodies, they resonate far less than acoustic violins. Comparing the feeling of playing these two instruments is like comparing apples to oranges.
Violinists use their shoulders and chin to feel the vibrations on their instrument This allows them to have more control over their playing.
The size of the body also differs between guitars and violins. For example, both instruments have a similar center of gravity; however, they feel different to hold.
Advantages of the Electric and Acoustic Violin’s
Advantages of the Electric Violin
Honestly, it’s hard to say. It all depends on what goals you have as a musician, and what kind of music you want to explore.
Just like with electric guitars, the biggest advantage of electric violins is that you have more options to shape the tone.
With the string vibration translated into an electrical signal, it’s easy to use digital processing units and add distortion, chorus, reverb, echo and many other cool effects.
Some are even using wah-wah pedals with electric violins. You’ve got the full range of sonic possibilities when you choose equipment to suit your musical style.
Classical and traditional violinists may look down on the electric violin as some kind of an elaborate parody of the original instrument , but it has found use in many other genres. The tone is what sets the instrument apart and it can do anything from classical, to blues or rock. It’s like having a whole band at your disposal without even needing to plug in your electric guitar.
Solid-body electric violins can also help you avoid any unwanted feedback. If you’re using mics or contact piezo pickups, you might still get a lot of feedback if there’s a lot of loud activity in your space. When it comes to louder live shows, the electric violin is much easier to handle and control.
Advantages of the Acoustic Violin
No matter the features and bells and whistles, electric violins can never fully replicate the sound of conventional acoustic violins. It’s important for violins to be made with care when traditional violins are made, and even small details can affect the final sound.
And that is the biggest advantage of an acoustic violin: its natural tone. You cannot really get that sweet and mellow sound from an electric violin.
Yeah, getting the right sound for live performances or studio work might require some work because you should use microphones. But at the end of the day, there simply is no replacement for the great natural tone of an acoustic violin.
Some musical styles are unimaginable without an acoustic violin. In most cases, classical, country, folk, and even some jazz violinists would never consider an electric model. To them, an acoustic violin is the only way to go.
Why Get An Electric Violin?
There are two main reasons you should play the electric violin instead of an acoustic one.
First, if you’re playing live shows with louder bands or orchestras, then an electric violin can give you not only more control over your sound but also significantly reduce any chances of experiencing feedback. I found this especially useful when I play in smaller venues, like bars and restaurants. Outdoor stages are a different story….
The second reason for getting an electric violin is if you’re playing genres other than classical and traditional folk. In recent years, we’ve seen rock and heavy metal bands where the electric violin takes the lead role. You can probably extend this argument to other genres like jazz, blues, and even pop. If these are the genres you play in, and if you feel like experimenting, then an electric violin is the right choice for you.
Why Get An Acoustic Violin?
On the other hand, if your main passion is classical, country, traditional folk, or traditional jazz music, then you should go with an acoustic violin.
Electric violins are even more common in these areas. However, violinists often still use acoustic instruments for more “serious”/professional gigs. You cannot really expect to have an electric violin in a philharmonic orchestra or any traditional music ensemble.
These two violins might look the same, but they have different sounds and are used in different settings. You should not look at the electric violin as a replacement for a traditional acoustic violin. It can never replicate the natural tone.
Instead, view the electric violin as a separate instrument that is based on a regular violin. Electric violins are different from classical violins and as such, they have a specific use. If you play certain styles of music, you might want to experiment with a violin that replicates the sound of an electric guitar for example.
FAQ for Electric Violin vs Acoustic Violin
What is an electric violin?
An electric violin is an instrument that has a pickup and is plugged into an amplifier. The amplifier produces the sound so that it can be heard by the audience.
Electric violins are becoming more popular in orchestras because they can produce a louder sound than acoustic violins. They are also often used in rock bands and jazz groups because they have a more natural tone than their acoustic counterparts.
What are the benefits of an electric violin?
An electric violin is a type of violin that is amplified with pickups and speakers.
Electric violins are often used in orchestras and other classical music settings because they can be heard over a large group of people. They are also popular in rock, jazz, blues, country, and other styles of music.
Electric violins are easier to play than acoustic violins because they don’t require the player to tune them before playing. They also have a wider range of notes than acoustic violins do.
Who plays electric violin?
The electric violin is a relatively new invention. It was created in the late 19th century and became popular in the early 20th century. The electric violin is often used in contemporary music, and it has replaced the acoustic violin as the most common instrument for playing jazz music.
Electric violins are mainly used by rock musicians and jazz musicians, but they can also be used in classical music.
Who invented the electric violin?
The electric violin was invented in the 1920s by Paul Tutmarc, his wife Margaret and their two brothers.
Paul Tutmarc, an amateur violin player, built an electric guitar in the early 1920s after he had been given a broken acoustic guitar. He found out that it had a much louder sound than an acoustic guitar so he wanted to create an instrument that would be louder than a violin but quieter than a trumpet.
He then made some modifications to his original design and created the first electric violin.
Are there any disadvantages to playing an electric violin?
Playing an electric violin is not as easy as it looks. Electric violins are heavier than their acoustic counterparts and the sound produced by them is not as rich or full.
Electric violins can be a bit more expensive, but they are also more durable, making them a good investment for families with children who have a habit of breaking instruments.
What is a acoustic violin?
A violin is a musical instrument of the string family. The violin is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family, usually measuring less than 16 inches (41 cm) in length. Violins are usually tuned in fifths, and played by drawing a bow across one or more strings.
A violin is an instrument that can be used to play many different types of music from classical to jazz. It has 4 strings that are tuned in fifths and they are played with a bow.
What are the benefits of a acoustic violin?
Many people are not aware of the benefits of an acoustic violin. The sound is much richer and more full than a traditional violin. This is because the strings are closer to the wood and thus vibrate better for a richer sound.
The tone of an acoustic violin is also much warmer, which can be heard in any performance. The tone of an acoustic violin can be used as a way to distinguish it from other types of violins on stage.
The touch (or feel) of an acoustic violin is also different from that of a traditional instrument because it has more room for the player’s fingers to move around and create different sounds.
Who plays classical violin?
If you are looking for a musician to play the violin at your event, then you need to know how to find a classical violinist. You can search for a classical violinist on Google, or ask your friends if they know anyone who plays.
The best way to find a classical violinist is by asking around.
Who invented the acoustic violin?
The acoustic violin was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in the late 17th century.
Cristofori was a maker of keyboard instruments and harpsichords. He is often credited with inventing the piano, but that is not true. He did invent the harpsichord with a hammer action, which made it easier to play than its predecessor.
Are there any disadvantages to playing a acoustic violin?
Some disadvantages to playing an acoustic violin are that the strings are not as responsive as the strings on a electric violin, and it is difficult to make the violin sound louder.
The second disadvantage to playing a acoustic violin is that it can be very expensive. Violins are not cheap, and they can cost upwards of $2,000 in some cases. The third disadvantage to playing an acoustic violin is that you have to practice every day.
Playing a musical instrument takes time and dedication, and if you don’t practice enough you won’t be good at it no matter how much you spend on lessons or your instrument.
What are the main differences between an acoustic violin and an electric violin?
In the simplest terms, an acoustic violin is a violin that generates sound from the vibration of the strings by themselves. An electric violin, on the other hand, is a violin that has an electronic pickup and amplifier to generate sound.
The main difference between these two violins is in their construction. The acoustic violins are made with wood and have a hollow body that allows for resonance. The electric violins are made with metal, have no resonance chamber, and they are more durable than the acoustic violins because they can’t be damaged by changes in humidity and temperature.
Which is more common in orchestras electric violin or acoustic violin?
Electric violins are more common in orchestras because they have a wider range of volume and can be heard more easily.