These unique illustrated books by Henry Strobel for violin makers are professional, concise, and convenient. They reflect traditional, conservative, and artistic work. They are high quality paperbacks made to lie flat and last on your workbench. 8.5 by 11 inches (215 by 280 mm). There's also a video.
"Among the most comprehensive and comprehensible (books on violin making) are the ones written and published by Henry A. Strobel." Norman C. Pickering, Past President, Violin Society of America, from his book The Violin World, 2003
"Si tratta di volumi che hanno una
finalitaÂ practica, di ausilio al lavoro del liutaio. .
. L'intera collana rappresenta una interessante initiativa
editoriale, che ha in pia il vantaggio di prezzi modesti." (I
translate: ". . . These books are for the practical assistance of
the working luthier. . . The whole series represents a noteworthy
publishing venture, with modest prices as well.") From the review in La Lira di Orfeo, Cremona, No. 3,
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Henry Strobel has operated a commercial violin shop for over thirty years. Based on this experience, his new book shows in concrete, practical detail how he does it. Repairs, guidelines, sources, sales, rental, instrument levels, business forms, customer relations, etc. It's not about getting rich selling old fiddles, but making a decent living providing genuine service to students, musicians, teachers, schools. Like all of Henry's books, it's downright readable too!
"This is probably the only such book in existence and Henry has achieved his purpose very well. Nicely written . . .a very welcome bargain." Leonard Showalter, Editor, Southern California Association of Violin Makers Bulletin, June 2003
"If you have your own shop, or plan to set one up - even if you only plan to do a little repair work . . . or sell one or two of your violins - then you NEED this book. Highly recommended. David Brownell, Editor, Michigan Violinmakers Association Newsletter, July, 2003
A complete, traditional method. Includes brief descriptions of alternate methods. Photo-illustrated, from sharpening tools to varnishing and adjustment. Includes full size drawings for making a Stradivari model violin. Illustrated with 115 photographs of the model violin (Leandro Bisiach), and of the demonstration violin as it was made, step by step, by Henry Strobel. For the beginning or advanced maker or the interested violinist.
"If a beginner could own only one book . . . I'd have to recommend this one above all the others." Sam R. Compton Jr. Editor, VMAAI Journal and a Director of the Violin Society of America
". . . is clear, systematic, and full of good information and advice." David Brownell, Editor, Michigan Violin Makers Association Journal
The seventh in this readable, no-nonsense series, it has the same format as Violin Making, Step by Step (which it requires to avoid repetition) and Cello Making, Step by Step. It includes full size drawings for an elegant smaller (15-5/8 inches or 397 mm) viola, as well as information and illustrations on a wide range of traditional and innovative viola styles, sizes, and other considerations. You can see photos of this viola in the Photo Gallery.
"You keep coming out with these marvelous books that are so full of common sense and real facts . . ." Norman C. Pickering, Past President, Violin Society of America
A "sequel" to (and normally requires) Violin Making, Step by Step, and is keyed to it, without duplication. (See above.) Full size drawings for the 4/4 (755 mm) cello and its inside mold. The process of making a master cello, including some alternate tools and techniques, is described in detail and illustrated with numerous photographs. This new (third) edition also includes full size drawings and measurements for the 7/8 "Guadagnini" cello, varnish information, etc., as seen in the video.
"The energetic Mr. Strobel is now onto his sixth handbook, and this modest volume contains a wealth of valuable information for the novice and, I would guess, not a few professionals as well . . . Strobel's motivation in publishing these handbooks from his delightful country workshop is purely and simply to help someone out here to share in the great pleasure of building an instrument to be proud of. I am sure he has already succeeded many times over." John Dilworth in the March 1996 Strad Magazine, London
Second revised edition. Design: The violin's outline, scroll, geometry, esthetics.
Wood: species,selection, figure, cut, and orientation. Making: mold types, antique and modern methods. Ribs, corners, graduation, barring, selected repairs. Creativity and copying, fads and fundamentals. Illustrated with over 70 photographs and diagrams. For the violin maker, repairer, and connoisseur.
"All (of his books) are thoroughly illustrated . . . replete with bibliographies, annotations, and indices . . . The Art &, Method of the Violin Maker is . . . a very personal account, written with great erudition and insight . . . All of these titles are recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in violin literature." John Dilworth in the Strad Magazine, London
This classic handbook is the standard reference for violin, viola, cello, bass, bows, all sizes. Size and adjustment. Tables, text, diagrams. Concise, objective explanations. Bridge templates. Illustrated, with select bibliography. Cross reference of 200 violin terms in four languages. Essential for anyone working with bowed instruments.
"I hardly know another book where a maker can find all the important measurements in such a clear order . . ." Karl Roy, Geigenbaumeister, Past Director of the Violin Making School, Mittenwald, Germany
A shop reference manual. Chapters on bow rehairing and repairing. Repairing and retouching cracks in instruments. Workshop safety. Instrument photography. Musical intervals. Photo- illustrated. Orientation, guidelines, and annotated bibliography for the connoisseur. Now contains an illustrated chapter showing the repair of a fine violin smashed in a car crash.
"Both Useful Measurements for Violin Makers and Violin Maker's Notebook are at a ridiculously low price for the amount of data they contain." David Brownell, Editor, MVA Newsletter
"Practical Advice on the Acquisition, Maintenance, Adjustment, and Conservation of Bowed Instruments" by Lucien Greilsamer. Henry Strobel's translation from the original French is the first appearance in English of this classic from 1910.
". . . a great wit and humor about it . . . Strobel's translation is wonderful . . . In addition to his other talents as engineer, luthier, scholar, and author, I believe there must also be something of the poet . . ." Robert Lundberg, Master Luthier, in American Lutherie
Description and sample selections
This video, running almost 6 hours, can supplement the "Step by Step" books for violin, viola or cello, but is also an independent educational resource for anyone interested in the practical procedures and artistic processes of the violin maker, which are described and demonstrated close-up and in detail by Henry Strobel in his workshop. Makers and would-be makers will be interested in practically every scene; others will want to fast-forward in areas, but will find much of interest. As in his books, Mr. Strobel has a personal, but clear presentation. In addition to the traditional procedures he includes some innovative or alternative ones, equally professional.
(See the book, Cello Making, Step by Step, Third Edition, above on this page. The new edition has added full size drawings and measurements for the 7/8 "Guadagnini" cello, varnish information, etc., to complement the video.)
Please note: The procedures of the violin maker are shown in this video using a cello as an example - hence the title and subtitle. They are generally similar for violin, viola and cello. The individual "Step by Step" books illustrate the differences. Photos and more about the video.
About Chuck Traeger - one of the great jazz bassists ! Fine photos of him and his fellow artists.
Author Chuck Traeger is an artist bassist and expert
repairer who operated a top professional bass shop in New York City
for many years. David Brownell is an expert repairer, bassist, and
long-time editor of the Michigan Violinmakers Association Journal.
Bill Merchant is a bassist and repairer in NYC who apprenticed with
Chuck a long time ago. He provided the photos throughout the
This big new book is the bible for the bass - information that you will not find anywhere else! Most is special to the bass, but much applies to other instruments too. It's for the player who wants more and better sound, and for the maker and repairman who will provide it. Detailed, clear, and efficient techniques for practically any repair. Thoroughly illustrated, 375 pages.
". . . Mr. Traeger's book touches on everything from
scrolls to endpins, bows to bridges, C-extensions to broken necks,
mode matching to dovetail keys, and just about everything else in
between. It is a massive book, over 370 pages long, and very
reasonably priced at $85.00.
This is an extremely helpful book that can help every bass player gain a solid understanding of their instrument and will serve as a reference book for the professional repairman. Again, this book is a must for the library of anyone who touches the double bass. Dustin Art Williams, ISB Makers' Competition Chair (Review in Bass World)
"Chuck Traeger, who became a bass repairer in New York after a successful career as a jazz bass player, appears to have covered in this book nearly every possible type of double bass repair. . . Each type of repair is described thoroughly and in great detail. The manual includes information on bass-specific techniques such as fitting a low C-extension on the scroll and sound adjustments for jazz players; and general string-instrument techniques such as fitting adjusters to a bridge, high saddle, making purfling and fitting patches. There is also a section on bows which takes into account the budget and quality of the instrument, and many other low-budget techniques (including ironwork, rethickness-ing, and plywood bass repairs) are also discussed. Traeger understands the acoustic properties of the bass and considers these in his approach to all aspects of bass maintenance and repair. I found especially interesting his opinion on the differences in sound between the Italian, French and German schools of bass making, and his approach on how to optimise the instrument's sound. . . I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn more about the double bass' construction and sounds. . . " Stefan Krattenmacher, Geigenbaumeister, Berlin (Review in Double Bassist)
"At 375 pages of text, diagrams, illustrations, photographs, and reference material, this book is a monster source of information. It represents a lifetime of craft and professional work in the field. . . Both David Brownell and William Merchant contribute a lot of information and perspective. Just the chapter on installing a fingered C extension for your customer who suddenly discovered the music of Wagner is worth the cost of this book. . . Thanks for the lifetime of hard work and the ability to share it with the rest of us, Chuck! " James Condino, American Lutherie, Winter 2005
". . .So I am happy for the bassists in New York, and now the whole world, that Chuck has been able in this book to share his insights . . . with his characteristic humor; knowledge (based on experience), and concern that each bass sound as beautiful as possible. So if you want your bass to sound and play as you dreamed it always could, read Section II - it's for you! . . ." Ron Carter, NY
"A better title for the book might have been the "Encyclopedia of Bass Repair" . . . This has to be the greatest bargain I've ever seen in luthier books. . . . Anyone who repairs or wants to repair basses can not afford to be without this book. . . ." Bob Branstetter, Kansas City bassist, luthier
"I believe bass playing to be a brotherhood. Anything relating to the instrument and its nobility is of great interest to all of us, players and repairers alike. Everyone will benefit from owning a copy of this magnificent body of work. The bass world finally has an extremely comprehensive guide all to its own to help us sound better and keep our life partners in the bass well maintained." Kurt Morrow, bassist (Review in MVA Journal)
From the Prologue by Chuck Traeger:
"About the title, the dictionary definition of the word "coda" is:
music; A: a concluding passage, the function of which is to bring a composition to a cogent and well-proportioned close.
"My wife, June, suggested this title because that is exactly what I am doing here. This booklet is the conclusion of my research and my writing. It is not that there is no more to be done. It is that at eighty three I am running out of the time to do it."
From the back cover: Chuck Traeger has continued his research into what makes a double bass sound and play at its maximum potential with this CODA to his magnum opus, "The Setup and Repair of the Double Bass for Optimum Sound." Contained herein are new sound setup discoveries and repair tips. The book also features pictures of ten signed instruments by name makers, photographed by Bill Merchant.
Non-mathematical, illustrated, for the string musician rather than the violin maker. A wealth of practical information on adjustment, strings, instrument and bow characteristics, historical perspective, etc. Dr. James is known for his articles in the VSA Journal and The Strad. You are welcome to read a sample: Chapter 7, The Bow Note - this is a large copyrighted file.
Describes the author's twenty-five years of experience and the methods and equipment he used to "play-in" string instruments. (Only for experts who can properly evaluate this process.)
"Violin makers and players have long believed that
violins, both when new and after long repose, need playing in. In
this short book Gerhard von Reumont explains his method for quickly
doing this by means of a mechanical device attached to the bridge.
. . covers some fascinating territory and proposes what may well be
a valuable workshop tool." Joseph Curtin in the
August 2000 Strad Magazine, London
See the updated Vibration Dedamping Notes for more information.
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