FORUM

Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
A newbee here, with a question.
Hello from central Florida
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (14 votes) 
Avatar
Almost Tone Deaf
Palm Coast, FL
Member
Members
August 14, 2014 - 9:37 pm
Member Since: August 14, 2014
Forum Posts: 48
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hello everyone, I,m sorry this will be a little long. I love the violin, I have many CD's and of course you tube videos, my favorites are Hilary Hahn and Vanessa Mae. I enjoy classical music. It amazes me that such beautiful sound can come out of such a small instrument. But I have never played the violin in my life. But I want to learn just a short sonata or even twinkle twinkle little star, it has been a life long dream of mine. but I have been told I'm too old to learn (65 yrs) and my slight disability will stop me from playing. And my Grandkids say that I am crazy because I am almost tone deaf and can really not carry a tune too well. I have a old war injury that effects my left side and shoulder and I have about 50% dexterity in my left hand. I went to a music store the other day and was told that there is no such thing as a real left handed violin. The salesperson, because of my disability, tried to sell me a trumpet, she said that I could use my right hand to play the notes, and my left hand was good enough to hold the trumpet. But the trumpet is just not what I'm looking for. Finally, The Question, is there such a thing as a left handed violin. I see on the fiddlerman shop that he has one listed, but again I am told that this is not a real violin and just a VSO, which would not sound correct. Am I just an old fart that is getting senile, with a dumb dream, or do I have a chance to maybe play a note or two, and yes I know that the violin is a very difficult instrument to play. Any truthful  input and suggestions  would really be appreciated. Thank You in advance.

Avatar
Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
Members

Regulars
August 15, 2014 - 12:48 am
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Don't let the being 65 stop you. I started at 62 and I think I'm doing OK

Not being familiar with your disability, I can't really say how that is going to effect things. All you can do is give it a go.

Are talking about this left handed fiddle?

http://fiddlershop.com/cecilio.....Lefthanded

If so, have you watched the video? I have and I think that for this price range it sounds quite OK. But if you feel that it's not for you there is surely more out there. 

Edit: I just had a google around. There are plenty out there ranging from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars. There must be some 'real' violins there

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 15, 2014 - 4:16 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1659
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Welcome, @Almost Tone Deaf to the near insanity of fiddle playing....

ATD: I'd like to buy a violin.

Shop assistant: Here, have a trumpet.

Aye......  right....

Here is an alternative.... it's just done for fun ( not to MAKE fun ) - it just depends on how far you want to go - in my video the bow is going all-over the place - and looking back on it, that's because I hadn't thought about changing my grip and my right-hand wrist was working the way it normally does, trying to keep the bow at 90 degrees to the strings... anyway....  but I'll bet you could end up playing a good few tunes in that style - and if no-one was watching - they probably couldn't tell...  but like I say - watch your eyes !

feature=youtu.be

Almost Tone Deaf said
...... Am I just an old fart that is getting senile, with a dumb dream, or do I have a chance to maybe play a note or two.....

   No - not an old fart, no yer not getting senile, no, it's not a dumb dream - and YES you do have a chance to play...

  Bill

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
OldOgre
OhiO
Members

Regulars
August 15, 2014 - 6:15 am
Member Since: March 15, 2014
Forum Posts: 203
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Learning the violin is a personal choice, not a democratic one.

I didn't get my first violin till I was 59.

I have severe hearing lose in my left ear, from years of not protecting my ears.

and an Electric violin my be a good choice, you can turn up the volume and if nothing else annoy those that think its a bad idea.

I have an EV and AV, I use a headset on the EV to hear it without having to have my roommate her it, but I use my amp when I want to annoy them..lol

Just because your getting older doesn't mean you cant have fun.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

Avatar
Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
Members

Regulars
August 15, 2014 - 6:43 am
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

OldOgre said

I have severe hearing lose in my left ear, from years of not protecting my ears.

Welcome to the club OO. :) same here mate thumbs-up

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

Avatar
RosinedUp
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
August 15, 2014 - 9:11 am
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes, there are left-handed violins, and they are mirror images of right-handed violins.  Many a $100 violin can make a beautiful sound in the hands of a good player, so I wouldn't worry much about the 'VSO' label.  I wouldn't worry much about your age either.

When you play music, you are touching someone through the air.  If they don't like the sound, it can be a kind of torture, and people won't take that lightly.  If you expect others to enjoy your playing, and you are actually tone deaf, you should choose some other instrument.  If you have a good sense of rhythm, you may be able to read and play music that most people would like---if you choose an instrument for which intonation is not an issue.

Avatar
Almost Tone Deaf
Palm Coast, FL
Member
Members
August 15, 2014 - 12:52 pm
Member Since: August 14, 2014
Forum Posts: 48
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank You everyone for all the information.

Ferret: I looked at the CVN 320 video, and also the electric left handed violin, thanks for posting it.

MadBill: Awesome video Thanks, never thought of that with the violin, that could maybe help my situation. 

OldOrge: Thanks for the info about the EV, never thought to go that route, but it gives me more input and something to think about.

RosinedUP: Thanks for your honest input. I took that test on the internet, (Are you tone deaf ??) and I didn't do too well, hence, my name Almost Tone Deaf. I'm really not looking to play in front of  anyone, it's just something I would like to try, my sense of rhythm, I would say is fair. But you raise an interesting point. What type of instrument, in which intonation would not be an issue, would you suggest, a trumpet? maybe the saleslady at the music store was correct after all. 

Avatar
RosinedUp
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
August 15, 2014 - 2:03 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm a former trumpet player, and I was never aware of any intonation issues.  Many trumpets do have slides that can be operated while playing, in order to adjust intonation (pitch).  But that is an optimization mainly for soloists.

Just about all instruments have to be tuned, so in a sense, intonation is an issue for just about everyone.  But the instrument can be tuned electronically, and that need not depend on the ear. 

It gets difficult when every note has to be tuned.  That's the way it is with a few instruments, notably the trombone and everything in the violin family.  If others can detect pitches and the musician can't, things are upside down.  Even when a violinist has a good ear, there is still the little matter of putting the finger reliably in precisely the right place to produce a pitch precisely.  And a trombonist has to extend the slide the correct distance to produce the correct pitch.

The pitches on some instruments such as piano, harp, or harpsichord can't be changed by the player.  You hit the correct key or you don't, or pluck the right string or the wrong one.  Trumpet is mostly like that.  You've either pressed the correct combination of valves or you haven't.

There are a lot of instruments between the two extremes, allowing "bending" the pitch.   Not sure, but I think a lot of woodwinds are like that: clarinet, harmonica, saxophone, oboe, recorder.  Also guitar (as strings can be stretched).  But my understanding of these instruments is that you have to do something special in order to change the pitch very much.

The above is based on my experience and understanding.  If I am wrong in some details, I believe the main ideas are correct.

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 15, 2014 - 2:13 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1659
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

LOL @Almost Tone Deaf - glad you appreciated my feeble attempt - partially at humor, and partially serious - I myself struggle with a broken pinkie on the right hand - I'm told it may improve over time - who knows - but it does play havoc with "normal bowing as we know it"... LOL

Whatever decision you make, I'm sure it will be the correct one - is there any chance you can get your hands on / a loan of / a fiddle for a week or so from someone, just to see how it feels in your hands ?   ( P.S. No - do not drill holes in the body of your friend's acoustic !!!!!   Arghhh...  rofl)

I'm less than a year in to playing and only a couple of years younger than you - and day by day I am astonished at what I cannot achieve - and also - what I CAN achieve - it is after all the "Devil's Own Instrument" and is a hard mistress!  ( Don't let that put you off.... )  For me - it has been - and continues to be - totally worth the effort...

Bill

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 15, 2014 - 2:29 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1659
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

RosinedUp said
.......   Not sure, but I think a lot of woodwinds are like that: clarinet, harmonica, saxophone, oboe, recorder.  Also guitar (as strings can be stretched).  But my understanding of these instruments is that you have to do something special in order to change the pitch very much.

Yes indeed RU - I play ( very infrequently ), the "low whistle" - just for pleasure - I can't find it now - but I had a super picture of "bending on a low whistle"....  I will try to find it !

  But yes - you're absolutely correct - if you can do it on the recorder - much the same I guess on the low whistle....   careful breathing, careful finger lifting off the hole...  love it...  oh - I'll maybe post a clip of "summertime....  and the livvvvvvvvin is easyyyyy..." or something like that ( never quite succeeded on the intro to Rhapsody in Blue - but I'll bet it can be done....)  technique... technique...

DOH - now I have to do that... man....  I'll post it later...

Bill

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
Almost Tone Deaf
Palm Coast, FL
Member
Members
August 15, 2014 - 11:18 pm
Member Since: August 14, 2014
Forum Posts: 48
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

RosinedUp: Thank You for taking the time to explain some different aspects of the musical instruments. I appreciate the knowledge you shared with me. It gives me much food for thought.

MadBill: Took your advice, went to another music store in town, I received  much better information. Make a long story short, I have my first introduction lesson tomorrow (Sat) at 10:15 am. They have a used Gliga left handed advanced student violin that they will let me use for my lesson. And if it works out I can rent that violin or order a new one to rent for 3 mos. at $17.00 @month. Looking forward to this lesson.

Thanks again RosinedUp and MadBill.

Avatar
Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
Members

Regulars
August 16, 2014 - 1:28 am
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Almost Tone Deaf 

Hank. Great news mate. Gliga is good quality. I'd say rent for a while and see how it goes. 

Am looking forward to hearing how it went :)

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

Avatar
Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
Members

Regulars
August 16, 2014 - 1:33 am
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

MadBill said 

DOH - now I have to do that... man....  I'll post it later...

Bill

@BillyG 

Bill. Am looking forward to that mate rofl

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

Avatar
uncledave
Smilax, Kentucky
Advanced member
Members
August 16, 2014 - 1:53 am
Member Since: July 2, 2014
Forum Posts: 67
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

@Almost Tone Deaf 

I'm 63 and am starting back with the violin after 30+ years of no practice. I have a hearing aid in each ear and also a neuromuscular disease called myasthenia gravis which causes muscle weakness. I wasn't sure I'd be able to play again. I started VERY slowly and have built myself up over the last 5 or 6 weeks till I can play through a whole exercise or two before having to rest. I'll never be a Zino Francescatti but I'm improving. I say go for it man. To the devil with age and/or handicaps. Go at it each and every day without fail. I think a bunch of short exercises all through the day is better than one LONG one. That's just me though. If you make a little progress each day it soon adds up!

I have Gliga violin that I love. Gliga's are well made. If I can improve enough to justify the expense I'm going to get one of Fiddlerman's Soloist violins.

Good luck on your quest!

Dave

Avatar
Almost Tone Deaf
Palm Coast, FL
Member
Members
August 16, 2014 - 2:23 pm
Member Since: August 14, 2014
Forum Posts: 48
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Oh well, Looks like I have to admire the violin from afar.

Took my lesson this morning.The instructor was awesome, she is a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (25 years) and plays with the Palm Coast swing band.

I attempted to play the left handed Gliga. I did not realize that the bow hand is so important. Because of my physical limitations, it is almost impossible for me to keep the bow straight on the violin. 

The instructor did ask about my disability, I hate to add drama to this, but I got hit with shrapnel back in 69. It tore into my left side and lung, hence that is why I cant play the trumpet to any degree. I wear an adaptive glove on my left hand when I play golf, but bowing is completely different than swinging a golf club. We even tried a cello, because bowing is more horizontal but to not much success.

The instructor said that she would never discourage anyone from playing a musical instrument, but she was very honest in her observation, pointing out to me the frustration level I would encounter in attempting to learn the violin, also she could see I was in pain after only about two minutes of bowing, I must admit, my left hand (fingers) did hurt like hell. My fingers just cannot fold and hold an object that way. I'm a little discouraged right now, but I really felt deep down that this would be the case, I just never had the guts to try it. But at least I gave it a go.

I sure hope I did not waste anyones time with the posting of the drama of my experience, of wanting to learn the violin.

I would just like to thank you guys for your encouragement and kind words. 

Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
August 16, 2014 - 2:49 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1659
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Almost Tone Deaf  - Hi - I'm truly sorry to hear of the outcome, and your disappointment - but - as you say - you got out there, gave it a shot.  If you hadn't done that - well - you would still be wondering.

Yes, you need fairly fine "motor control" on the bowing arm, wrist and hand, and of course similarly on the other-hand for fingering whether your playing left handed or right handed.

You most certainly did not waste anyone's time here.

I'm sure we all just wish the outcome had been more positive for you.

Keep listening to, and enjoying your music - oh - and keep popping in to the forum even if you can't contribute pieces - there is always a lot going on, links to "unusual" or "unexpected" violin performances, and a lot of friendly banter !

However - before I sign off - here's a thought - check this out - 

 - there are modern versions of this instrument.....

Bill

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 16, 2014 - 10:35 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717
17sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

I wouldn't give up just yet Almost Tone Deaf. The first weeks are the toughest physically. Funny you should mention the left hand violin because we special ordered a Barcus Berry left hand violin for one of our customers and you guys would laugh your butts off if you heard me try to play that. I now know what it feels like to be a beginner and I have tons of knowledge too. Patience is a virtue ATD.
Hope you give it a little more time, and don't worry, not wasting anyone's time here.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

Avatar
Schaick
Members

Regulars
August 17, 2014 - 10:56 am
Member Since: December 25, 2013
Forum Posts: 841
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

Cool idea @BillyG to protect the eyes use a shorter bow?  

As I have been trying to teach my 87 year old MOM who is extremely stiff she has held the violin on her forearm that is resting on the arm of her chair and she uses my grandson's very short bow.

She is able to play all the open strings and the higher notes but can not reach the lower notes.

Did we have a discussion here about playing the violin as though it were a cello?

How about playing upside down not like this  

but holding the violin scroll pointed down?

There is ALWAYS this technique!!  

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

Avatar
Almost Tone Deaf
Palm Coast, FL
Member
Members
August 17, 2014 - 12:07 pm
Member Since: August 14, 2014
Forum Posts: 48
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Uncledave: Thanks for your reply and the words of encouragement, and what you are doing with the violin is fantastic, you have helped motivate me.

Fiddlerman: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to respond. Again your words of encouragement has helped me think again about the violin. BTW your site is awesome, I really enjoy looking at all your videos.

Schaick: really cool videos, I might try holding the violin on my lap, and see if that might work.

MadBill: OK you got me really thinking, I am on my way up to Guitar Center in Jacksonville ( 180 mile round trip but worth it ) to check out the Theremin and they also have a Theremini a smaller version, and to try their Lap guitar. Also other e-guitars, and try playing them with what I like to call the Jeff Healey way of playing. and also to put the violin on my lap and see if I can try to play it that way. So I guess my musical journey continues.

Avatar
Almost Tone Deaf
Palm Coast, FL
Member
Members
August 17, 2014 - 6:53 pm
Member Since: August 14, 2014
Forum Posts: 48
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Well I have returned from my musical journey:

1- I checked out the Theremin and the mini, pretty cool. Of course not knowing how to play any music, I kind of made those UFO sounds, but no real musical notes, but it was fun.

2-The lap steel guitar, I think I could learn to play this even right handed, you use finger picks on your right hand, and your left hand uses a slide, so I can lay my left hand mostly flat by the strings. 

  But my big question is: Even after checking out these other instruments and trying the violin with not much success, why the heck do I still have this burning desire to try and play the violin?

   I would like to ask some of the forum members here; What made you decide to play the violin, as we know it is one of the most difficult musical instruments to play. Was it your love of the sound of the violin or maybe the challenge of playing?  

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online:
37 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming Mad_Wed, Prudence, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3767

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3563

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6446

Posts: 80405

Newest Members:

bo, EKBanjo, charlieD, Folky fiddler, Morgenes42, stringo

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11717, KindaScratchy: 1651