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Rank Beginner from NJ...
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JamesRSmithJr
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July 20, 2017 - 1:48 pm
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Hello all, brandy new to this world (haven’t gotten my VIOLIN (not fiddle 🙂 )) yet.  Opps, did I just off put many of you, you did see the smile right?

A little back story, turned 60 in April, never played an instrument (ok, drums in elementary school, as I said never).  All the kids are out of the house (baby just got engaged 7/4 (the last to get hitched) and number 3 is due with our first grandbaby in Dec (we have 4 girls)).  They all played wind in HS and the wife played flute in HS and college.  Have loved the classical violin for years and decided that I should try to make that kind of music (think Shostakovich Romance).  Call it my 60 th birthday present to myself.  

Been doing some research and learning;

- I can just about read a score and know which finger on which string, just about :).

- DEFINATLY decided to get my fiddle from Fiddleman.  Looking at the Artist package over the Concert.  Ordering by the first week in August. 

  A few questions;

  • Is that overkill for a rank beginner? Would the Apprentice be better?  The couple hundred dollars is not an issue (a few hours of private lessons).  Heck, would the Master be better yet?
  • In the, hopefully never to occur, happenstance that I can’t ‘get it’, would the resale value be better than the lower cost models?
  • Being a beginner, would it be best if I request they install fine tuners on all four strings?

Then onto lessons; I can’t seem to find a teacher around here (Northern NJ) that does not want to start with Suzuki.   Thoughts on that method for an older, never played before beginner.  I mean, I don’t think I will reach my goal of playing Tchaikovskys 3rd by Christmas if we go the way :).

Sure I will have many more questions….   Thanks for being here…

Journey began on Aug 3 2017

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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July 20, 2017 - 3:13 pm
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Welcome to the forum, and to the violin 😀 Generally when buying a violin, the more you can spend without breaking the bank is the best bet. That said, don't hesitate to call Fiddlershop and ask for their help and advice. They will only steer you in the direction that is best for you. They want happy customers 🙂 (I say this as a happy customer 🙂 )

From what I can tell (as I've never sold a fiddle before) they tend to hold their value if you end up needing to sell it. You can also usually sell on consignment at a local shop and put whatever price you want on it. My teacher does that with her extra fiddles.

Skipping fine tuners isn't as hard as you would think, but it can make life easier at times to have them, for sure. My main fiddle only has one on the E string, and the days I don't feel like fussing with tuning too much before my lesson I grab one of my fiddles that has all 4 fine tuners. 

My teacher's method with me has just always been "here's what would be good for you to learn, now what do you want to work on?". I don't know if she teaches Suzuki at all, but she never even suggested it with me, so maybe not. From everything I've read about it, it seems like a fine way to learn, but I kind of like the free-form learning my teacher and I do. It's better for my easily distracted brain. 

Anyway, I feel like I'm rambling, lol. Welcome to the forum, and I'm sure other people will pop in with better formed answers for you, haha. 

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On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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Charles
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July 21, 2017 - 10:17 am
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I agree with Mandy's (aka damfino's) comment about it generally being best to get the best you can afford.  You tend to outgrow violins quickly in the early stages.

My personal opinion would be go for the Master over any of the others you mentioned, but that's simply my personal opinion based on what I think of the various models involved.

If you were unsure whether you wanted to do this, I might suggest the Apprentice. It's a remarkably good violin for the money. However, you don't sound undecided at all, so if the money is not an issue, I'd go with the Master.  Knowing what I know now, that's what I would have done back when I got my first one, but back then, I hadn't found the Fiddlerman site yet, so I didn't have that option.

I would recommend that you either get fine tuners on all four strings, or get the regular pegs replaced with geared pegs such as Wittners or Perfection Pegs. I prefer Wittners, myself, because they have a higher gear ratio (8:1) than the Perfection pegs (4:1). Tuning is quick and easy with geared pegs, if not traditional. I recommend them highly, but some of the stuff you've said hints that you might prefer tradition over ease of use.

Reading back over your questions - the better the quality of the violin at the start, the better it's resale is likely to be. Violins don't work like cars or circular saws, where they steadily go down in value. They either get more valuable as they get older (if they're made of good materials and sound good, because they tend to sound better as they age), or get less so (because age shows that they didn't make the cut).  In the lower end (and all the ones we're talking about are in the lower end), it's chance. The lower the value of the violin to start with, the greater the chance it's value will head downhill with age.  You're not going to see much change in 6 months. It takes a few years of playing before you start seeing if a violin going to start aging well, and a couple of decades before it starts being noticeable to people who aren't experts. (Most of the time, anyway.)  I would expect most instruments in this range will take a hit from being "used" for the first couple of years. If you get one that IS sounding better with age, that will change once people hear it.

However, Fiddlerman does offer fairly good trade-ins on their own instruments (better than on other brands), so if a couple of years down the line, you're looking to trade it in to get an upgrade from them, you'll almost certainly get a pretty good deal on it.  (Although if you get a Master, I wouldn't trade it in, myself. It'd make a mighty fine backup instrument.)

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JamesRSmithJr
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July 21, 2017 - 10:25 am
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Damfino and Charles..  Ty for replying, you have confirmed what I was thinking...

I will call and discuss ...   I hear they are great at listening and getting the customer the right thing (wish more businesses were like that).

Journey began on Aug 3 2017

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JamesRSmithJr
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July 24, 2017 - 11:21 am
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Just got off the phone with FiddlerShop, talked to Christina, such a fantastic person...   My new (first ever) violin is now in the process...  Can't wait..

 

Ty for the replies...

 

Now, get ready for some questions and terrible vids, my cats are going to hate me..  🙂

Journey began on Aug 3 2017

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damfino
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July 24, 2017 - 4:09 pm
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Yay 🙂 What did you choose? 

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On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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JamesRSmithJr
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July 24, 2017 - 4:16 pm
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With a little push (from you and Charles and a number of blogs I have read) I decided on the Master (I will need all the help I can get).

Christina was great..

 

Now the wait (well I asked them not to ship until Monday next, as I will be out of town for long weekend)....   I am like a little kid on Christmas Eve...   🙂

 

Thanks again, you and your story helped push me over the, can an old (me not you) dog learn new tricks....

Journey began on Aug 3 2017

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damfino
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July 24, 2017 - 4:21 pm
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Awesome 😀 I'm sure you'll love the Master 🙂 Christina is really nice, we've chatted over email a few times 🙂 

I remember how exciting it was waiting for my first fiddle 😀 2 years today since it arrived, too 😀 As hard as it is, the wait is kind of fun, though, lol.

We will be here to help you, for sure 😀 

☆•*¨*•¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆•*¨*•¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆
On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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rockinglr33
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July 24, 2017 - 6:46 pm
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Whoop Whoop! Congrats! It's so exciting waiting for it in the mail. And even though you're a beginner it's so much fun to put bow to string and begin making music (albeit a bit screechy to start 😀 ) ENJOY! 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 25, 2017 - 3:05 pm
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Welcome to the forum - JamesRSmithJr
The more new players the merrier 🙂

I think that it's very cool that you actually have learned how to read sheet music before even getting your instrument.

You chose a great learning instrument IMO. A better instrument makes it easier to learn and more pleasing to the ear as well. As far as resale is concerned, at least you are not paying thousands as many who can afford it do as their first instrument. Hopefully, you'll want to keep it forever and find that it goes a long way. 🙂

Thanks so much for supporting Fiddlershop, we love our customers. 🙂

Look forward to hearing about your new journey.

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

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CyndieZ
Maryland
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August 1, 2017 - 9:40 am
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Welcome to the forum and to learning to play @JamesRSmithJr 

I am a displaced Jersey Girl living in Maryland......grew up in Freehold and went to college in Rutherford. You mentioned having trouble finding a teacher who doesn't teach Suzuki. Have you tried any local colleges? Many of them have community outreach schools. 

Here is a url to an article I found on Suzuki and the adult student. I thought it was interesting - good luck in finding a teacher! And keep us all posted on your progress!

http://thewiseserpent.blogspot.....dents.html

Cyndie

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
August 2, 2017 - 12:55 pm
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A belated welcome @JamesRSmithJr  !

Enjoy you new violin, and never hesitate to ask questions on the forum, or, indeed to share your learning experiences - it's how we all learn !

P.S.  I take it, it has now arrived ?    Yeahhhh fireworks_gif

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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JamesRSmithJr
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August 2, 2017 - 1:45 pm
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@CyndieZ   @billyg  Thank you...

 

Cyn, Don't feel displaced, my third daughter has set down roots in Germantown.  We are from Roxbury, Morris County

The local college has no music program 🙁   I have a call in to the local HS, they have a string program.  Ty for the blog, I get differing opinions on Suzuki.  We will see.   All I know is I am excited...

 

Billyg, Not yet, I asked FM not to ship until Monday as I was out of town this weekend.  FedEx says tomorrow, guess I will not get much work done tomorrow :)...   

Journey began on Aug 3 2017

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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August 2, 2017 - 4:08 pm
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Welcome to the forum.
I am so please that you picked the Masters violin.

Good luck on your journey. I hope to see you around the forum for a long time.

Cheers.
Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 3, 2017 - 2:39 pm
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@JamesRSmithJr - Looking forward to hear what you think about it. 🙂

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

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JamesRSmithJr
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August 3, 2017 - 3:20 pm
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@Fiddlerman Looks beautiful and amazingly this newbie is getting some nice sounds out of it already.  It helps that I did a lot of research, listening to vids (yours, Allison Sparrow and Todd Ehle) so I think I am holding the bow and Fiddle and bowing correctly.

Planning on a short vid this weekend so you all can correct me on the basics (bow hand, fiddle hold..  etc).

I want to thank all of you for the warm welcome and look forward to the day that I can call my self a fiddler..

(I can't sound that bad, the cats didn't run away and hide 🙂 )

Journey began on Aug 3 2017

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
August 3, 2017 - 4:22 pm
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Good stuff @JamesRSmithJr - I recall the feeling 3 years back when I picked out my first simple (poorly intoned, but recognizable) tune !   

I just KNOW you're gonna love the journey - more power to your elbow ( as they say here ! )    thumbs-up

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
August 3, 2017 - 4:44 pm
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Oh - check your "Inbox" @JamesRSmithJr ... LOL I sent you a PM...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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intrepidgirl
Bragg Creek, Alberta
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August 5, 2017 - 10:06 pm
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Welcome, @JamesRSmithJr ! I look forward to your videos, and hope you have lots of fun learning, from one older learner to another. It is encouraging to hear the cats are not running away :).

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