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Hello from adult learner/dabbler.
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Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 5, 2013 - 7:03 am
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just a little message to say Hi.

 

I joined here because it comes across as infinitely friendlier and less catty than the other violin forum that came up when I was looking around. :)

I play the electric guitar, and dabble in a little bit of base and keyboards.

felt like a new challenge, and I enjoy new things, so when I saw a really cheap violin on ebay for just over £30, I decided to go for it, and see if it was something I'd like to have a go at or not (and if not, no big loss financially, and a decorative object I could hang up somewhere, right?)

as you'd expect for the price, it is something of a donkey, goes out of tune far too quickly, and the soundpost fell over almost as soon as I tried tuning it. but I do like the bow, and it's shown me enough to know that I want to carry on learning, so I'm looking for a more adequate instrument now. in the meantime, it's not awful.

I live in Cornwall, enjoy all kinds of music, have a seemingly abnormal passion for Creole food for an English girl :P and a deep seated love for perfumery.

it looks nice and friendly here, so hopefully this will help me on my way to scratching out the occasional half pleasant tune on the little box.

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StoneDog
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May 5, 2013 - 7:58 am
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Welcome Rattus, hopefully you will get your new instrument together and be able to keep it in tune. Its hard to learn any instrument if it does not stay in tune. The more I played around with my new find the more I was able to get it to a point where it was stable. There was a time when I only had two strings on it. I kept playing it until I was able to correct a lot of hardware issues. Its doing OK now and I am getting a lot of pleasure out of it. This is a great site and many here have been helpful to getting me started > I'm sure if you stick with it and ask questions and read the post you will be on your way. > Enjoy!!!

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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 5, 2013 - 8:22 am
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yeah hopefully.

my main plan is to invest in a better main instrument, then, when I have more knowledge and experience, I can try and improve the cheap one to make a reasonable backup instrument.

it seems very welcoming here, with lots of good knowledge, so I'm sure I'll find it a good and supportive place to come during my learning process.

 

randomly it turns out one of my work colleagues was up to either grade 7 or 8 (never having done any formal grading system in instruments, I forget which) and she's being very useful for pointers, if I ask her about things I've wondered about.

it's a nice instrument to be learning, and I'm not feeling too disheartened about the tuning issues. and maybe when I get to the stage I can tweak it around a bit more, it might be more reliable.

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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May 5, 2013 - 12:16 pm
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Welcome and good lucky.

This is  a friendly happy  place.

Toni from Cali

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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May 5, 2013 - 5:14 pm
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Rattus Norvegicus said
... but I do like the bow, and it's shown me enough to know that I want to carry on learning, so I'm looking for a more adequate instrument now. in the meantime, it's not awful. ...

thumbs-up

I just LOVE that attitude! You can realy go far with it!!! Please, keep up that spirit!

cheerleadercheerleadercheerleader

Welcome to the forum!

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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May 5, 2013 - 5:51 pm
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Hi @Rattus Norvegicus 

Welcome from Australia aussie_flag

My best advice that I can give is, with the violin, don't 'dabble'. Take a deep breath and dive in. exactly

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

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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 5, 2013 - 7:19 pm
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hehe. I know what you mean.

 

I'm sure I'll be doing more than dabbling. in the mean time it's just practicing tuning the critter, and practicing keeping the bow nice and smooth and even on the strings.

even just that, I'm enjoying.

 

as I said, I wasn't expecting too much from a £30 instrument. it was literally to serve the purpose of seeing whether I like it enough to carry on learning, and get something better.

 

the way I saw it, at that price, if I really didn't get any fun from it, then I wouldn't have wasted my money.
I went into a cheap instrument expecting that it would be unreliable and probably not sound too good. realistic expectations can be useful in situations like this.

if I'd got a better student violin, and not enjoyed it, then it would have been very disheartening. instead I get something very cheap, expect it to play like something very cheap, with the aim of deciding whether to spend more.

I really do like it here. people are very friendly, supportive and welcoming, and I'm really looking forward to learning more.

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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May 5, 2013 - 11:31 pm
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@Rattus Norvegicus 

BTW Ratus. Beware of the Ferretus. rofl

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

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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 6, 2013 - 4:55 am
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yeah, our pets had better not have playtime together :P

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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 6, 2013 - 7:48 am
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brilliant, I got my soundpost back up.

that's helping a lot. just need another E string. got one in the post.

I'm guessing a guitar high e won't do the job, eh? wink

 

but I've had a good morning with the little beastie. even if it does slide out of tune quickly.

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DanielB
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May 6, 2013 - 8:20 am
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Actually, if you take a .010 guitar E string and cut it down to the right length, it will work.  Tension will be about the same as a medium violin string for E, and it can tune to pitch without breaking.  Some of the more expensive violin string sets have special platings on the E or have a wound E, which may sound a bit better.  But a guitar E string will function on a violin, and won't even sound utterly terrible.

 

"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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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 6, 2013 - 8:28 am
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that's really helpful.

I'm sure I have plenty of guitar top strings, so that's useful to know. I may be able to get back up to four strings even if the post isn't forthcoming today.

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Fiddlerman
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May 6, 2013 - 8:39 am
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Welcome to the forum Rattus,

You are right about how friendly this place is. Hopefully just as helpful as friendly. facepalm

Thanks for your introduction. I look forward to hearing more about your progress and reading many more of your posts. Try to have as much fun as you can learning to play the violin.

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

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DanielB
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May 6, 2013 - 8:48 am
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For that matter, you can use an .013 guitar string (which would usually be a B or an E, depending on how heavy you like your violin strings) as an A string on violin.  But since most violin string sets I've seen use a wound A string, the tone will be slightly different, more like the E string's sound, and a little less like the G and D strings' sound.  But I wouldn't say that is actually bad, just a little different.   

I currently have my electric violin strung with electric guitar strings, since I was playing with some ideas for magnetic pickups on violin.  I've had it that way for a couple weeks now, with no ill effects that I have noticed.  Neck seems fine, and I'm not losing more bow hairs than usual or anything. 

I  don't know as I'd try it on any instrument with historical, trade-in, or great sentimental value, though.  LOL

"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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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 6, 2013 - 8:54 am
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hehe. another benefit of having something inexpensive to experiment on there then. thumbs-up

I don't think it has any resale value at all :P , maybe 50p and a pint. :P

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mischa91
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May 6, 2013 - 9:08 am
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Welcome!  banana

 

Sounds like you have a great attitude about learning a new instrument.  I had a cheap violin and it served me well for 5 years before it went past the point of being repairable to just a sentimental object i can't seem to throw away.  

 

Keep us updated on your progress!

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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 6, 2013 - 11:05 am
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alas a rummage through guitar cases churned up nothing smaller than a .16.
but there's a guitar shop walking distance of work, so I know I can get SOMETHING in a tight spot. they might even do violin strings, but it's quite focused on guitar, bass, keyboards. sadly the other instrument shop is no longer open, and they had violins. typical, that.

 

again, thanks for all the great welcomes and positive attitudes. it means a lot :D

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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 6, 2013 - 11:23 am
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been looking at some of the beginner sheet music on here.

 

nice and clear, and easy to understand (I've always struggled with written music, except tablature) so it looks like it will be helpful in picking that up

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DanielB
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May 6, 2013 - 1:45 pm
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I feel your pain on shops.  Both of the shops here changed ownership within the past year or so.  They both shrunk as well.  One to half it's former size, the other to about a quarter.  Most of the new stuff in both places isn't any major brands and the owners know less about instruments than the former owners.  At least the one guy is trying, but it's likely to be some years before he's anything like an "expert" music shop owner.  Neither one carries much for violin now, and what they do have is either overpriced or things I have no need for. 

Ah well, good incentive to learn for yourself.  The one place at least still carries my usual guitar picks, so I'll have a reason to wander in and say hello now and then.

Now, about written music in standard notation.. Think of it as tablature for vocalists.  That's really what it started out as.  You know those poor singers don't have any strings or frets to jot things down as lines and numbers.  The "staff" comes from holding up a hand sideways and pointing to a finger or a space between fingers to cue kids on note changes while they were singing.  Five lines, five fingers.  Four spaces, four spaces between fingers.  All the other parts of music notation and the terminology and all were added over time to allow the system to do more and to be useful to more instruments. 

So it is really isn't that different from tablature.

 

"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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Rattus Norvegicus
Cornwall
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May 6, 2013 - 2:14 pm
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hehe. hopefully it will start falling into place

 

as for plectrums, I rather love Jim Dunlop 3mm stubbies myself. ;)

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