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Argh! My ears!
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caterwaul
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January 26, 2015 - 10:06 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2015
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Hello all.

About 12 months ago, during a guitar session with a friend (and probably with one too many beers in my system), I made the point that a violin would make a great backing instrument for the sort of music we play (lots of blues stuff, often in open D and slide). He agreed. I don't really recall the rest of the conversation but apparently I committed to buying one and learning.

Now, I'd always wanted to play the violin but never said or did anything about it. I spent about 10 years learning the piano as a kid (and still play today when I can). I play the guitar a bit, mess around with other instruments and spend a bit of time in software like Ableton Live. So about 25 years of doing something musical. But man, the violin?... It always seemed way too daunting to pick up.

So I started spending a bit of time online looking around and reading. Watched lots of YouTube videos (most by a certain hat-wearing fiddler or an English violin and piano teacher) and I was thinking it might be possible to learn the basics online. Then I found out my parents figured this crazy idea I'd briefly mentioned in conversation was 100% serious - they'd decided to buy me a violin as a Christmas gift. And so on Christmas day I had a card with a blank cheque inside, a Kun shoulder rest and a rubber violin mute. I'm sure the neighbors will really appreciate that last one.

So here I am. After two weeks I've had quicker progress than I expected. I'm also enjoying it way more than I thought I would. I can't stop taking it out of its case and messing around.

Looking forward to seeing where this all goes.

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DanielB
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January 27, 2015 - 2:40 am
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Congrats, caterwaul, and welcome to the wild and mad world of the violin.  LOL

I'm also a guitar player, and spent a lot of years always kinda wanting to try violin, but never actually doing it.  All the talk of how hard the instrument is to play and how expensive they are and etc.

But almost 3 yrs ago I finally gave in to temptation and started giving it a try, and i would agree with you.

Challenging instrument, yes.. But also a lot of fun! 

thumbs-up

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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January 27, 2015 - 3:28 am
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caterwaul said
Hello all.

.......I can't stop taking it out of its case and messing around.

  Welcome aboard @caterwaul - I sense the enthusiasm, the desire to play, the love of playing music in general - it sounds like you're going to fit-right-in here !!!   Enjoy the journey !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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Jacques
San Diego
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January 27, 2015 - 4:03 am
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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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January 27, 2015 - 2:51 pm
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Welcome and thanks for sharing your story.

Have a fantastic journey with the violin.  I look forward to hearing more.  

Cheers,

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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ElisaDalViolin
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January 27, 2015 - 5:42 pm
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Welcome to the forum caterwaul! :)

 
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Mark Bliss
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January 27, 2015 - 9:40 pm
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Well I hope to get some satisfaction, eventually.......

I have always had the ability to quickly learn to at least pick out a basic riff on about any musical instrument I have tried.

Thinking the fiddle might be a cool addition I added one to my wide collection of instruments. This one is tough for me. Working on basic bowing technique, but not feeling it yet. 

Bit frustrating. I am far more confident I could build a decent fiddle than ever play a little something........

Not giving up, but not yet getting it either. Results could so far be described as the voice of the devil.

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DanielB
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January 27, 2015 - 10:26 pm
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Hmm.. "Voice of the Devil Blues".. in the key of D.  I think you could be on to a song concept there!  Good going, you're already working on writing your first song for violin.  LOL

 

The bow is what takes the most work.  It is also where most of the sound of the instrument is.  Doesn't that just figure? 

But as you get more comfortable with the bow, everything will sound better.  Just keep at it and you'll do fine.  

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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caterwaul
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January 27, 2015 - 11:24 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2015
Forum Posts: 21
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Thanks for the welcome everyone - one thing I've noticed reading the posts on this forum is you all seem to be a friendly bunch!

Mark Bliss said
Well I hope to get some satisfaction, eventually.......

Results could so far be described as the voice of the devil.

Heh, yeah I know what you mean Mark, I'm kind of the same.

Lack of frets is gonna take a lot of getting used to. I'll save working on improvising killer solos til after I've got that bit sorted. blink

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 28, 2015 - 10:44 pm
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What a great story caterwaul,

With the piano and guitar under your belt you should learn a bit quicker than normal. Sounds like you have some cool parents that surprised you with that. :)
Look forward to hearing more about it.

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

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caterwaul
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January 30, 2015 - 6:09 pm
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Okay so.

It's a Kreisler #120. I figure the brand name is irrelevant... I spent ages researching before making a decision but only found them referred to at this shop. It's Chinese made. Purchased as an outfit, case, bow etc. I think the shop just has them branded with their own label after being shipped here to Australia and set up by their luthiers. Maybe known under other names elsewhere?

They do the bridge, nut, soundpost, strings, pegs etc to their specs. They only sell and service orchestral strings, so they probably (?) know what they're doing. This is one of their entry level violins and also the cheapest.

Satin finish. Maple and spruce. Ebony pegs, fingerboard, chin rest etc etc... The usual stuff. You'll notice in the closeup photo of the f hole theres a squiggle of black on the spruce... looks like someone at the factory had a bad day blacking in the edges! When I noticed it I felt like I should probably be annoyed, but I wasn't... I'm totally ok with it. I don't know why. Imperfections are interesting? "There are many like it, but this one is mine".

Warchal Ametyst strings (synth core, silver / hydronalium windings, stainless E string).

In the end, I really liked the sound of this over the Gliga II and III, Raggetti RV5 and other instruments I looked at. It was about the middle of my price range too. I thought about going a bit more up-market, but since I'm just starting out I didn't see the point. If it sounds good and I enjoy playing it, I wouldn't care if it only cost $100.

Issues? None really... Some peg slipping at first, but I put that down to the summer weather we have here this time of year - hot and dry one day, hot and storms the next. Bought a D'Addario NS Micro tuner to help with retuning... it's brilliant.

Anyway. Enough talk, photo time!

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BaldBeardedViolinist
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February 13, 2015 - 1:06 pm
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"Watched lots of YouTube videos (most by a certain hat-wearing fiddler or an English violin and piano teacher) and I was thinking it might be possible to learn the basics online"

I think I've been watching mostly those same two! haha cheers

"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be."

~Marcel Pagnol

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RedViolin
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February 18, 2015 - 4:52 am
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Another avid viewer of those two YouTube channels here!

Welcome @caterwaul! What a great story :) And beautiful pics of your violin. Enjoy!

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