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Yes, You Can Play Classical on an Electric Violin!

How to become a one-person chamber ensemble.

Have you ever wondered what kind of music you should play on your electric stringed instrument? There is an assumption that these kinds of instruments are only used for jazz, rock and pop genres, but that’s simply not true! In fact, you can take your classical repertoire to new places with a few interesting tools and tricks.

In the video below, jazz violinist and Yamaha Artist Toshi Nakanishi gets creative by playing and layering all the parts to Pachelbel’s Canon in D by using his Yamaha electric violin (YEV) and a looper effects pedal.

Here’s how he does it:

Step 1 – Set up your rig

You’ll need an electric violin (like the Yamaha YEV), some effects pedals, a looper pedal and an amplifier.

Step 2 – Study the parts

Several guitar footpedals.

“Canon in D” is a staple of the classical repertoire and quite possibly the most famous eight-note melody of all time. With this tune in your mind, you’ll be able to structure your approach by separating and then playing the different layers of the canon.

Step 3 – Add each part one at a time

As Toshi demonstrates in this video, add each part on top of the previous one, with effects as needed, starting with the bass line. It’s a great technique that allows you to perform each piece as a one-person chamber ensemble!


More videos featuring Yamaha Artist Toshi Nakanishi:

Making Sound

Changing the Sound

Leaping Bow & other unique effects

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