Sometimes referred to as an “electric fiddle,” the electric violin has found a place in a variety of musical styles, from classic rock and country to jazz and fusion. To reflect that broad range, they come in a variety of formats as well.
Amplifying a Traditional Violin
Several different types of pickup systems are available. These can be attached to existing acoustic violins via special putty, soft mounting clamps, or a similar method. While they tend to experience feedback more than other pickup systems, they do offer the most natural violin tone when amplified.
Purely Electric Violins
Though they are designed with a standard sized and shaped neck so they can be played comfortably by violinists, these instruments deviate from that point. Varying body shapes can include “headless” models (where the tuning is done with fine tuners), among other things. While they sound and feel the least like traditional instruments, they open a whole new realm of sonic possibilities. These models also reduce or avoid the feedback problem altogether.
Outlined or Silent Electric Violin
Somewhere in the middle fall the “outlined” violins, such as Yamaha’s Silent Violin models. These instruments have a body that is a partial outline of the traditional violin shape, as well as a standard peg arrangement. Thus, they feel more like a classic instrument then the purely electric models but offer many of the advantages of the latter.
For more information, read our full article on Electric Violins.