An electric violin is an amplified violin that sends out a signal through an electrical pickup device. There are several different models of electric violins. Some are standard acoustic violins with an electric pickup added to the bridge. Other types of electric violins are designed differently and only work properly when plugged in. Electric violins are often used to play different types of music than standard acoustic violins.
The pickups of electric violins are important. Since electric violin strings are usually made of metal, either magnetic or piezoelectric pickups are used to transmit the sound to the amplifier. This system is similar to the way electric guitars work.
Some people add an electric pickup to a standard acoustic violin so that it's signal can be transmitted to an amplifier. The problem with putting a pickup on an acoustic violin is that acoustic violins have a hollow wooden body that can create feedback when it is played electrically. The resonance of the sound vibrating in the violin's body interferes with the sound made by the strings and can cause annoying, high-pitched squealing noises to come out of the amplifier.
Most electric violins have a solid body design. The solid body keeps the instrument from feeding back. Also, any necessary electrical equipment, such as any wiring or batteries, is housed in the body. Since the electric violin is a relatively new invention, it has no standard body shape or design, and makers are free to experiment and invent new ways of designing the instrument.
Electric violins are usually used in different situations than acoustic violins. An electric violin is viewed as an experimental instrument and is not found in classical or traditional music, but is often used in avant-garde music. Guitar effects like reverb, chorus, and distortion can be used to give the electric violin a unique, otherworldly sound.
Electric violins are unique instruments with a sound all their own. Electric violins are perfect for musicians and composers who want to have their own individual sound.