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Ringing in the new year with a new skill at 31!
I'm on day 3 of learning the violin
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Rachel
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November 8, 2017 - 3:50 pm
Member Since: November 8, 2017
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Hi everybody!

I'm so glad I found this forum! I've wanted to learn the violin my entire life. I'm from a small town and there weren't any violin teachers within 30 miles, so I grew up playing the piano and clarinet. I haven't played either in over a decade. I do a lot of seasonal work and move around as a wildland firefighter, boat deckhand, or field biologist, and recently bought an RV and am living in it full time. I love having my own personal space, and it has given me the courage to try to teach myself the violin! My dog has stopped hiding in the bedroom when I play, so that is something!

I really struggle with doing things poorly in front of people. I am a perfectionist. For some reason recording myself struggling to learn violin and posting it to the internet gets me past that nervousness. I want to surprise my mom with her favorite Christmas carol at Christmas time, so working hard on my scales and using Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as my current progression song.

I love the portability of the violin, and hope to bring it with me when I travel so I can be a wandering gypsy fiddler!

Rachel

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
November 8, 2017 - 4:09 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2336
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Welcome aboard, @Rachel !  And thank you for the introduction !

Enjoy your journey, in life, and with the fiddle - the effort you put in to learning is re-paid many-fold as the little successes mount-up !  

dancingviolin_girlexactly

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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Ferenc Simon
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November 8, 2017 - 4:15 pm
Member Since: September 24, 2017
Forum Posts: 246
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Welcome to the forums 🙂 

I'm sure you're going to love it here. 

Also, don't be shy in sharing some of those videos you record in the critique section!

violin-student

Have fun!

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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November 8, 2017 - 4:27 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
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Welcome to the forum and to the fiddle!!! 

dancing

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On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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Bob
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November 8, 2017 - 6:34 pm
Member Since: July 13, 2017
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Rachel, 

Welcome to the most "user friendly" fiddle/violin forum around. I'm also new here, but have been impressed with the attitude of all the folks here. 

Keep playing and having fun. I'm sure your mother will be happy to get your Christmas carol video:)

Bob

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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November 8, 2017 - 7:22 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
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Welcome! I'm new here too, but I like the community a lot.

I grew up on the Arabian Peninsula, where there were almost no string players until the late 1990s, so can relate to not having the chance to start early in life. (I was a pianist myself, for the same reason.) The good thing is it's never too late to pick up a new instrument. 🙂

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Mark
Honorary advisor
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November 8, 2017 - 9:43 pm
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 424
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Welcome to the forum and the fiddle!

Humm I'm sure a gypsy fiddler is always welcome here!

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Charles
Honorary advisor
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November 9, 2017 - 8:30 am
Member Since: June 7, 2016
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Rachel said
Hi everybody!

I'm so glad I found this forum! I've wanted to learn the violin my entire life. I'm from a small town and there weren't any violin teachers within 30 miles, so I grew up playing the piano and clarinet. I haven't played either in over a decade. I do a lot of seasonal work and move around as a wildland firefighter, boat deckhand, or field biologist, and recently bought an RV and am living in it full time. I love having my own personal space, and it has given me the courage to try to teach myself the violin! My dog has stopped hiding in the bedroom when I play, so that is something!

I really struggle with doing things poorly in front of people. I am a perfectionist. For some reason recording myself struggling to learn violin and posting it to the internet gets me past that nervousness. I want to surprise my mom with her favorite Christmas carol at Christmas time, so working hard on my scales and using Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as my current progression song.

I love the portability of the violin, and hope to bring it with me when I travel so I can be a wandering gypsy fiddler!

Rachel  

Hi, Rachel,

Welcome to the forum.

I read "wildland firefighter" and "violin", and I got this image of you standing in front of a burning forest (at the stage where there's nothing more to do but let it burn itself out, of course) in a toga and laurel wreath, fiddling away...  You really should do that if the opportunity ever presents itself. 🙂

What violin have you got?  And which Christmas carol are you planning to do?

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Rachel
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November 9, 2017 - 1:00 pm
Member Since: November 8, 2017
Forum Posts: 2
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Charles said

Hi, Rachel,

Welcome to the forum.

I read "wildland firefighter" and "violin", and I got this image of you standing in front of a burning forest (at the stage where there's nothing more to do but let it burn itself out, of course) in a toga and laurel wreath, fiddling away...  You really should do that if the opportunity ever presents itself. 🙂

What violin have you got?  And which Christmas carol are you planning to do?  

Hahaha! We burned piles from a fuels reductions project last week. I totally missed my chance! Next year, when I can actually play! I got a Gibson Baldwin Education one from a lady on Craigslist. It isn't very good, but it is what I could afford at the moment. If I stick with it 2 months it will be cheaper than a rental would have been, and I hope to upgrade. Maybe I can convince my mom to finally let me sell the nice clarinet I have that I haven't played in 15 years to fund a nicer violin!

I'm not sure what carol is her favorite, actually. I asked my sister and my dad, and all we could think of was not Little Drummer Boy, because she really really dislikes that one after having to teach it to kindergarteners for 31 years! 😀 I thought it would be funny to tell her I was playing her favorite song, then start to play that, but not sure I can learn everything that fast! Trying to keep it a surprise, so going to have my 8 year old nephew as her! I'm still working on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and scales, so hopefully I'm not dreaming too big.

Rachel

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swish_and_flick
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November 9, 2017 - 10:22 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2017
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Hi Rachel,

Good luck! I haven't been on here for long at all, but it's encouraging seeing fellow newbies (to both the forum and the instrument). Hope we can help each other progress. serenade

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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November 10, 2017 - 9:46 am
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What about replacing practicing Twinkle with something simple like Jingle Bells? That way if you feel like you can't learn something more complicated, you'd have a fun little winter jingle in your pocket for the surprise 🙂 

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On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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Charles
Honorary advisor
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November 10, 2017 - 10:44 am
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Rachel said

Maybe I can convince my mom to finally let me sell the nice clarinet I have that I haven't played in 15 years to fund a nicer violin!

I'm not sure what carol is her favorite, actually.

If you're 31, you can actually sell it without your mom's permission, you know. 🙂

I'm of a mixed mind about encouraging you to do that. Good instruments of any kind are not easy to come by, and clarinets are fairly portable, too.

If you've lost all interest in the clarinet, then it might be a good idea to sell it. On the other hand, you could play your own accompaniment to that Christmas carol, if you wanted (and the clarinet is with you, not in a closet at your mom's house. 🙂 )  You'd have to figure out how to merge two videos, which I can't help you with, but there are several people on here who can, if you're interested.

I had a wild and crazy idea for how to find out her favorite Christmas carol - ask her. If you hardly ever talk, and that's the only topic of the conversation, it will kind of give things away, but if you talk more often, and about a variety of things, you could bring it up casually.  Mention that she hates such-and-such (talking about something she wasn't happy with) as badly as she hates "The Little Drummer Boy", and then casually ask "I know that's your least favorite Christmas carol, what's your favorite?"

Also, as long as you don't pick The Little Drummer Boy, she'll probably like anything you play. (Be warned, though. She'll ask for a live performance. Mothers are like that.)

Two that are fairly easy:

Silent Night, starting on A

O Holy Night, starting on D

(That's the singing part - I couldn't begin to tell you what any intros might start on.)

As to difficulty, for a beginner, I'd rate them like this (scale 1-10)

Twinkle: 2

Silent Night: 3-4

O Holy Night: 4-5

There's sheet music for Silent Night here on the website, but I don't recommend that for a beginner on a tight time schedule. It's in C, which is not a friendly key to violinists, especially beginning ones.  Here's a version on MuseScore in D (play the voice line) https://musescore.com/user/33352/scores/50821.  I recommend getting MuseScore. It's free, and it's a very useful tool. You can do things like take music in one key and transpose it to another.

One of the handiest features I've found is that it will play the music for you. It's a horrible sounding synth for "violin", but you can at least hear what the song is supposed to sound like.  I have trouble turning sheet music for a song I've never heard into music. I can play a song I know well from sheet music 10 times better than I can play one I don't know at all. (I doubt that will be a problem with Christmas carols. 🙂 )

A version of O Holy Night in D (it starts on F#, rather than D, but it's pretty playable for a beginner) https://musescore.com/user/7668141/scores/2815371. You want the top piano part.

Have you started reading music for violin yet? I assume if you used to play clarinet a lot you read music, but finding the fingering on the violin is a little trickier.  If not, you can just sound it out by ear. If you've got any candidates, let me know and I'll try to sound them out, and give you an estimate of difficulty. (Assuming I know the song.)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 17, 2017 - 2:17 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Welcome to the forum Rachel,

Loved reading your introduction.

What is your moms favorite Christmas Carol?

Which state did your work bring you now? If being a perfectionist makes it hard to practice, you may want to get a heavy metal practice mute for practicing in the RV parks..... Sounds like you have the perfect situation to learn.

Looking forward to your posts!

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

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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November 25, 2017 - 3:12 pm
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Hello and thank you for your introduction.

I was plagued by perfectionism ... until this evil instrument broke me down.  Ha ha..Just kidding.

Welcome and enjoy.

We are so happy to have you.

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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