smittyone
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Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 1:57 am

OK get your cargo bays ready...

Recently I decided to do something I've wanted to do for a long time - start playing the violin. I sang in choir in high school but never had much success with instruments growing up. Never had the discipline to work hard at it.

After about a month I am absolutely LOVING this...sounds crazy but I can't wait to get home from work and take care of the nightly honeydo list so that I can practice. You couldn't get me to practice anything when I was a kid!!

In short order I've gone from a terrible off-key screeching and moaning that set off the neighborhood dogs and cats to something that sounds a lot like music. I really enjoy the sound that a violin can deliver when you play it right...

Anybody else pick up a random instrument in their 40s+ and live to tell about it?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 2:06 am



 
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
SmithAir747
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 5:49 am

Go for it, and good luck! You will enjoy it.

I picked up a green violin in London, UK, in April 2005, and taught myself to play. (I already had 20+ years of piano experience behind me.) I really enjoy playing the violin (especially since mine is green).

SmithAir747
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
 
smittyone
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 10:04 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):

Haha, yes that was about the size of it when I started.

I think I have a pretty good ear so I can tell right away when I've missed a note. Which can be a blessing and a curse!

Quoting SmithAir747 (Reply 2):
I picked up a green violin

As in literally green colored? That must be something to see. At some point I can see buying my own instrument...my teacher said something about her BOW costing $3,000 so it won't be anytime soon!
 
AM744
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 2:03 pm

That's excellent. Being a non tempered instrument (as in no keys or frets) I'd guess it's a lot more difficult to hit the right notes. You actually need talent and an internal 'tuning' to do that, right? What kind of music are looking into?
 
smittyone
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 3:09 pm

Quoting AM744 (Reply 4):
You actually need talent and an internal 'tuning' to do that, right? What kind of music are looking into?

Yes - you've got to train your fingers to go to exactly the right spot, and be able to tell with your ear whether you hit it or not and adjust. So far so good - it's not quite as difficult as it sounds. I've made huge progess in about two weeks.

My teacher put some little kid stickers on the fingerboard to help keep me oriented but I'm getting close to not needing them any more. Not like you are looking at your left hand much with trying to read the music and keep the bow going straight!

Ironically the single biggest thing that has made a difference so far is just figuring out how to keep my right hand relaxed.

I'm working through the first "Suzuki Method" book right now...but whenever I get competent enough to play sheet music I'm looking forward to playing baroque and classical. I don't know enough of what is out there to be particular yet...

I do want to someday be able to bust out the solo from Boccerini at the end of Master and Commander  
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 4:42 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
Haha, yes that was about the size of it when I started.

My Pshop skillz are pretty poor, so if someone could make a cargo bay full of howling dogs, that would be great.  

Have you ever played an instrument before?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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SmithAir747
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 5:49 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
Quoting SmithAir747 (Reply 2):
I picked up a green violin

As in literally green colored? That must be something to see.

Here it is!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/SmithAlien747/SmithFrancis.jpg

SmithAir747
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 6:45 pm

Congrats Smitty! I played violin for about eight years (started in 6th grade, last played when I was a freshman in college) and enjoyed it greatly. I ultimately put my violin down because of my last conductor - I was in the University of South Carolina's Symphony Orchestra and enjoyed it...LOVED getting to play Carmina Burana, Carmen, Copland, etc., but the conductor was just an awful human being who delighted in making members of the orchestra miserable. I remember when he insulted a flautist in practice because she missed a tricky run and said that if she were a music major she might want to consider a change of major as she had no chance of being anything in the musical field - "Madame, I have more talent in my pinky than you have in your whole body." It was just such an overwhelmingly negative experience I didn't desire to come back for a second year, especially since I didn't need the credits. I do miss it from time to time though and have often thought about getting my violin back (it's still in CAE with my mother), restringing it, getting it back into shape, and trying to gain back what I might have lost in terms of muscle memory.

As for picking up a random instrument later in life, I've always wanted to try my hand at the banjo or an electric instrument - particularly bass.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):

As in literally green colored? That must be something to see. At some point I can see buying my own instrument...my teacher said something about her BOW costing $3,000 so it won't be anytime soon!

I have never seen a green violin like SmithAir's before! As for price, there are price ranges all over the place - not all bows are that pricey. Generally the factors affecting bow costs are the type of wood (rainforest woods like pernambuco are the most expensive), whether it's fiberglass or horsehair, and whether the frog is made of plastic or natural materials (ebony, ivory, mother of pearl, etc). My violin that I used forever cost us around $500-$600 in the early '90s. Not the finest quality ever, but a solid instrument that treated me well. Check out Southwest Strings (www.swstrings.com) and you'll find instruments anywhere from $140 to tens of thousands of dollars. A middle of the road pricepoint will do you well for a first instrument with decent quality sound.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
smittyone
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 7:26 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
Have you ever played an instrument before?

I played viola in 4th/5th grade (school band / group lessons kind of thing). I didn't progress much past the "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" stage. Way past that already now LOL.

Quoting SmithAir747 (Reply 7):
Here it is!

That looks like the kind of violin a comic book Superhero would use   I mean that as a compliment!

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 8):
Check out Southwest Strings (www.swstrings.com) and you'll find instruments anywhere from $140 to tens of thousands of dollars. A middle of the road pricepoint will do you well for a first instrument with decent quality sound.

Thanks for the tip!
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Tue May 22, 2012 8:10 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 5):
m working through the first "Suzuki Method" book right now...but whenever I get competent enough to play sheet music I'm looking forward to playing baroque and classical. I don't know enough of what is out there to be particular yet...

I've been learning cello via a modified Suzuki method for the past 5 years. Having been taught traditionally via other methods, my teacher uses a modified Suzuki for me, and that works well.

I''ve been learning a (very, very long) sonata for the past year, and also playing other, supplemental material, such as Beethoven sonatas, Handel, and Popper for learning and sight reading. Given my schedule, I have to squeeze it in, but when I started, like you, I couldn't practice enough.

You'll learn your niche eventually. I'm more of a Victorian guy, but I do dabble in modern, Baroque, and Elizabethan.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
Ps76
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RE: Self Gloss Alert: Violin Lessons

Sat May 26, 2012 11:50 pm

Hi!

I've never played the violin but used to play the cello while growing up. I never really enjoyed playing solo and doing grades and exams but I loved playing in an orchestra. I'll never forget the first time I heard the sound of a string section I was playing in. It blew me away! I was into keyboards at the time and played synth strings a lot but the real sound which I was a part of was completely different. I found I tended to play more in tune with orchestras too because I cared more about the notes I was playing.

Anyway congratulations. Hope it brings you continued enjoyment.

Many thanks,

Pierre

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