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NewFiddlerGirl
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October 7, 2013 - 9:30 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2013
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Just joined the forum as I am a new player. How I got into this is pretty different. My husband's great-grandfather was a violin maker. When my in-laws were moving, my mother-in-law gave me one of his fiddles that was in disrepair and the jig used to make the violin ribs. No one in the family wanted it and eventually it would've been tossed in the trash. The violin was made between 1900 and 1910, I have no record of the exact age.

It was missing the nut, the bridge, no strings and had a few minor cracks.  It has signs that in its day it was a well played violin. About a month ago, I took it in to get repaired. While I was waiting I found this site and starting watching videos to learn.

I just got the violin back on Saturday and started to figure it out. Just wanted to say hi and check in. Fiddlerman reminds me of the music teacher that everyone loved because he makes learning fun and easy for even a difficult instrument like the violin.

I can read music. Wanted to play the violin when I was in school but my parents couldn't afford it. Now is my chance to learn. Just want to have fun - no other aspirations. My husband and I play guitar together and figure this will be fun to add to the mix.

 

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 7, 2013 - 9:38 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Very nice introduction. I think that your husbands great grandfather would have been very happy over your decision and his spirit will go on through that fiddle.
Glad that you have joined us and have decided to learn to play the violin. We'll help out in any way we can.
Welcome to the forum.

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

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Ginnysg
Southern California
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October 7, 2013 - 9:57 pm
Member Since: May 13, 2013
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That is a great story!  I'm so glad you are now getting the chance to play. And how very cool that you have a violin with a family history!  Welcome to the forum!

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” 

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1stimestar
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October 8, 2013 - 12:36 am
Member Since: August 28, 2013
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Wow, how exciting!  And since you already have music in your background, it will help you jump on the violin wagon lol.

 

I'd love to see a picture of it.  

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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October 8, 2013 - 1:12 pm
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Hi, NewFiddlerGirl! Welcome to the forum! 

 birthday_balloonIt's good to know that your violin has that long and interesting story =)

How do You like it? Playing itself and violin's sound? Reading music is good advantage! 

Happy Fiddling! =)

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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
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October 8, 2013 - 2:54 pm
Member Since: February 27, 2013
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Hi Samantha,

Welcome to the forums and to your violin. I agree with Pierre. Their spirit lives on with the violin.

Your introduction brought a couple of things to my mind. We are just the opposite. I was told if I am going to play an instrument, it will be the violin. We didn't have much money to rent or buy and instrument.

I actually wanted to play the trumpet, and I still want to. In spite of what I wanted, I am very happy that I play the violin.

I still have the violin that I played as a child, which was part of the family. My mother, who was born in 1930, played it as a child. Later on, both of my sisters played it. I played it from 5th grade through high school. It was very frustrating because at that point, it really needed some maintenance. It was developing a small crack just to the right (as you look at the violin) of the e-string. It was difficult to tune, and the sound post kept falling. My parents didn't have money to get it repaired or wouldn't spend money for that.

Now, it is a family heirloom. I don't have the $$$ to pay someone to restore it. I am thinking about doing it myself. One drawback is, the little vices seem to be pretty expensive. The crack extends from the bottom of the tailpiece about 2/3 of the way to the nut. I don't even know if it is repairable, but I and my children have a great deal of sentiment for that instrument. It was born in 1917.

Believe it or not, that violin had a nice sound even when the sound post was down, despite the crack.

Have fun with your violin adventure.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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NewFiddlerGirl
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October 8, 2013 - 9:34 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 90
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I love playing. And as best as I can tell the fiddle sounds great. It gets better with practice. I haven't actually heard it played by someone that knows how.

Thanks to Pierre I was able to not totally embarrass myself when I picked up the violin. The luthier that worked on it was not in the shop. His son is also a luthier but doesn't play. Strange - oh well. So he said go ahead and try it out. In a shop full of people mind you so I was a bit nervous. I only squeaked the strings twice til I got the bow pressure right and made a halfway decent sound. That was from just watching videos on this site and practicing a bow hold with a pencil.

Got it home and didn't squeak at all. Hubby was impressed. He couldn't get it to play nice. 

Someone requested pics - here are some of the fiddle and the jig used to make it. I'm planning on framing the jig and the non- workable parts in a display case to hang on the wall. (I have no idea why two of the images rotated they were in the right orientation on my desktop but you get the idea)

 

fiddle-1.JPGImage Enlarger

jig.JPGImage Enlargerfiddle-1.JPGImage Enlargerfiddle-3.JPGImage Enlargerfiddle-2.JPGImage Enlarger

 

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'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

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1stimestar
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October 9, 2013 - 12:15 am
Member Since: August 28, 2013
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Wow how interesting.  I love it.  It's beautiful.  I would totally display that jig too lol.  

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 9, 2013 - 8:09 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Glad that I had something to do with you not having to be embarrassed :-)
Looks like a very nice instrument. Congratulations!!!

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

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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October 9, 2013 - 9:04 pm
Member Since: September 10, 2011
Forum Posts: 1957
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I would die to have that jig. It is actually 2 jigs. One of course an outside jig and the other an inside jig. They would not be used together. As for being a Luthier and not playing a violin is not all that strange. I am sure if pressed he could play a note or two but love the craft you sometimes just can't play but love making a fine instrument and listening to someone else play it for you.outside-jig.JPGImage Enlargerinside-jig.jpg

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NewFiddlerGirl
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October 9, 2013 - 9:24 pm
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I've been really pleased with the violin so far. I have been using the bow exercise that uses the full length of the bow as a warm up. It sounds pretty ugly but it helps with bow control. In only two days I got through the first three lines of Twinkle Twinkle. And it's recognizable. When I get a good note it sounds really sweet and full. I was a bit afraid of tuning it at first. The violin as an instrument in general seems pretty fragile.  But I guess if it survived 100 plus years unless I drop it I should be ok.

 

I'm so glad this didn't get trashed, both jig and instrument. I'm curious how are the two halves used? I assumed that the jig was to shape the ribs when the wood was steamed and bent but I'm no luthier so....

 

It has been a joy to play. I hope with practice someday I can do it justice. For the time being I feel like I'm rubbing my tummy, patting my head, and trying to read a foreign language simultaneously..... 

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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October 9, 2013 - 9:50 pm
Member Since: September 10, 2011
Forum Posts: 1957
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outside-rib-jig.pngImage Enlargerribs-on-inside-jig1.jpgImage Enlarger

ribs-on-inside-jig.jpgImage Enlarger

The ribs are bent first to the proper shape and then put on or into the mold and glued to the end blocks and corner blocks. the holes in the jig are to allow for placement of clamps. On older forms as yours are dowels would be put through the forms and twine would be used to clamp the ribs.

And the Cardinals now are up 3-0

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NewFiddlerGirl
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October 9, 2013 - 11:33 pm
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Awesome! So I guess great-grandpa Ezra was a talented fiddle maker. He made the jigs himself. I'm searching through some old family records as there are supposed to be letters from some of the people that received his violins. I still can't get over how cool this is on so many levels. Family heirloom, fine instrument etc. I feel truly blessed.

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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October 10, 2013 - 2:03 pm
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NewFiddlerGirl said
... I have been using the bow exercise that uses the full length of the bow as a warm up....

I'm really glad to hear it! Believe it or not i'm still doing the same! XD And not only as a warm up, but during my practice session. It helps with the tone production and as You've said with the bow control!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 11, 2013 - 7:27 am
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Way to go. From the frog to the tip focusing on quality, even tone, bow changes, contact point, varying dynamics.... The list goes on. :-)

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

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wookieman
Tennessee, USA
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October 13, 2013 - 7:15 pm
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What an exceptional gift!  And welcome!

There is no failure, only results.

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