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What should I consider before deciding if I want to learn the violin?
I don’t know anything about music and the fiddle sounds difficult, but it also seems like it would be fun.
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New member
January 23, 2013 - 8:26 pm
Member Since: January 23, 2013
Forum Posts: 2
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Hi guys.  I’m new, so forgive me if I do/say anything dumb. ^^;

For about 6 months I’ve been trying to decide if I want to invest in a violin.  Problem is, I have virtually no musical background (I can’t play an instrument or read sheet music or even sing) and it seems like the fiddle isn’t a good starting point.  Plus I don’t know if I’m willing to sink $150+ on a hobby that might fall flat on its face.  It seems like it could be a lot of fun, though.

So do any of you have suggestions for things I should think about to help me decide if I want to try to learn the violin?

A few notes:

  • It’s the violin or nothing, so please don’t suggest any other instruments.
  • It would be a hobby just to amuse myself.  I don’t plan on playing for anyone.
  • I’ll probably only use free resources to learn, at least at first.

Thanks ahead of time. =)

King for a Day, Peasant for many

January 23, 2013 - 9:41 pm
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1773
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OK, first of all, WELCOME TO THE GROUP!!

Investing only a $150 should be last of your concerns... honestly... to be semi proficient at playing the violin, you'll need to devote time and effort to it. Just because you have a violin in the case in the closet and take it out once a week or twice doesn't mean you'll be able to play in 6 months. I personally have been seriously practicing, and I mean practicing... at least 30 min to 1-1/2 hrs at least 5 days a week, every week for the past year almost (feb 14th will be 1 year) and I have semi mastered the bow and the ability to play some recognizable tunes. How many is irrelevent if you can't play at least one flawlessly and that takes hands on practice. It's far better to practice 1/2 hr a day than try to acomplish all your practice time in 2 hours on Sunday. It's a real hands on thing and the value of the violin will seem trivial when you figure in the lessons (if you choose to take some) and time required to 'sound decent'. Some people are quite content playing for themselves and others need to accomplish a concert or orchastra position which requires an almost lifetime comitment. Some catch on quite quickly and master a dozen tunes in the first year of me, not so many.

I play for myself and feel I could've done better in the note reading department but I play by ear and play well enough for "me".

Once you get a violin, you'll treat it like a little baby, seemingly scared to hurt it or maybe drop it but you'll soon develop the required concentration to handle it well. You'll find yourself skipping dinner and such things as a movie to stay home and practice, if you truly want to play the violin. You'll break strings and ask a million questions that have all been asked before. You'll learn and then turn around and help the new comers to the instrument and share your wealth of education you learn along your path of playing expertise. You'll want to either sell it and never look at another violin, or you'll be so enchanted by it and the potential for sound to be developed that you'll sell it and upgrade to a better one, or you'll keep your 'first' and buy a second and be so proud most people won't understand, but the others that are just like you will.

It's a long road to proficient playing but very rewarding if you commit and learn. It's nothing like guitar where you can poke your fingers down between frets and play a note, no sir... this takes muscle memory and thus becomes automatic to 'stick the note' because of lack of frets, (on the conventional violin anyway) and then there's the question of strings, rosin, type of bow, even talk of temperature and humidity and playing outside in the sunshine...then there's the question of whether you should play electric or acoustic, ( I suggest starting on an acoustic one) whether you can play with others, jam with a band or friends that play... what type of music do you fancy to play on it... comtemporary, country bluegrass, classical, cross over like David Garrett does or hip hop stuff typical of Lyndsey.

So many questions to answer from your simple question you asked. 

Whatever you choose to do, you're in good company around here, all of started somewhere and all are very helpful... because since you're here now asking...

you're part of our family.thumbs-up

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

Honorary advisor

January 23, 2013 - 10:03 pm
Member Since: July 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 328
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welcome to the forums!

well, Get the violin and start learnin'!

it's gonna be hard at first but after some time of practise, it would be very easy!

back when I was before starting the violin, I didn't know how to play it, I have no other experience in any instruments except for the piano, and I don't know how to read a sheet music! but after some time and some help from the members here, I can now read sheet, and play the violin without even having real tutors...I still don't have any real tutors!

cheers! - ⁰ℨ


January 23, 2013 - 10:57 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2013
Forum Posts: 885
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Do you feel it when you listen to others play the Violin? > Does it move you? > if so go for it. If not, if not > I gots nothing on if not.

Advanced member
January 23, 2013 - 11:14 pm
Member Since: August 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 53
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If your unsure about trying it and don't want to invest just yet, then look into rentals if that is possible where you are. For roughly $20 a month it is an inexpensive way to find out.

I have very little music background but always wanted to try the fiddle. Finally one day I just said "screw it" and went out and rented one. For the first couple months I wasn't all that happy with it, it was fun but I just wanted to make good sounds and was getting tired of all the screeching and scratching. But finally things started to click and so far going on 10 months and bought my own personal fiddle back in August.

Like you, I dont really have any ambition to play any other instrument, well maybe a tin whistle but Im in an Irish phase right now. 

Playing for other people is completely optional. I started for my own enjoyment and had occasionally played for my parents if i had the fiddle with me. But I just started taking lessons in December and had a Christmas recital and to be honest, it was the most fun I've had playing. I played in a church band a couple weeks ago and have been invited to join some folks for some fiddle jam sessions and totally looking forward to it. So you never know how you'll feel about playing for an audience down the road.

There is TONS of free resources out there for learning, look around this site for a nice selection. I don't pay for any of the sheet music i use.

Just realize what you put into it is what you get out of it, unless you happen to be a natural, and it does take quite a bit of practice. In the beginning, setting time aside to practice might take some effort but once you get into it you'll find time to do it no matter what. I took mine to work with me after getting bit by the bug.

A hoopy frood always knows where his towel is!

New member
January 24, 2013 - 2:41 am
Member Since: January 23, 2013
Forum Posts: 2
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Thanks guys! =)


Yeah, I know it'll take loads of time, but to be honest I often have more free time than I know what to do with (for the time being, anyway).  So if I do find myself digging it there's no doubt I'll have the time to invest in it.  My main worry is losing direction and therefore interest (ie: I might be unable to find new things to do with it and thus end up not playing as much as I'd like, just because I'm not sure how to get my hands on sheet music I enjoy or whatever).  It seems like a silly thing to worry over considering how vast the internet is, but I've always been bad at research. lol


Money, on the other hand, is something I have a difficult time parting with, especially because right now I don't have a job and I need to get a new car ASAP.  If I was super stoked on learning the violin I'd just go for it, but I'm in the lukewarm zone of "that might be something I could enjoy." I certainly wouldn't mind sinking a bunch of time into it just to discover that it's not my thing, but I can't say that for the money at the moment...


Now that you mention it, renting doesn't sound half bad.  I wasn't sure what kind of price to expect because nothing came up when I poked my nose around on Google for rentals in my area.  But $20 for a month sound very reasonable and ought to be plenty of time for me to decide if I want to buy my own.  I'll try looking more into that!


I wish I could say I'm really passionate about it and get totally jazzed when I listen to other people play it.  Really I'm more curious than anything, and it seems like the kind of thing I could really enjoy if things go right.  But then again I'm not really passionate about anything, so the fact that I'm interested at all is saying quite a bit. (sad, yes, but true. lol)


Anywho, I'll try to hunt a rental down.  Hopefully I can find an electric one, since that's the kind I would/will buy.  I live with other people and am shy about having them able to hear me. ^^;  Thanks again for the advice.  If you've got more, keep it coming! =)

Merritt Island, Fla
Pro advisor

January 24, 2013 - 10:05 am
Member Since: June 25, 2012
Forum Posts: 1281
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Welcome to the forum, this is the best place to learn for free and to make free friends. The only thing to consider about the Violin you want to play it? So much variety and possibilities are available that there is sure to be a style or genre you like. Can you afford the instrument? Do you have any hangups that will prevent you from focusing on learning step by step? Do you like violin music?

Ok, so those are thing(s) lol. My desire to play began with my daughters learning to play and my wish to "bond" with her while she was learning. The impetus that spurred my serious study was my divorce and my need for a hobby that wasnt drinking or smoking. You see, learning the fiddle is highly addictive. It may lead to your breath smelling like moonshine and your teethfalling out so be careful! lol, I love that joke.

Anyways, welcome and You can do it!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

Regular advisor

January 24, 2013 - 10:57 am
Member Since: December 14, 2011
Forum Posts: 196
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Cdennyb said most of it -- There is a time commitment --- I have practiced almost everyday for 13 months, but I love it. 

Regular advisor

January 24, 2013 - 11:10 am
Member Since: January 26, 2012
Forum Posts: 140
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I think the rental is a great idea, I myself started with a rental. Two months later, I bought my own, and I don't regret it! Also, if you get a rental, most of these will be properly tuned, the sound post will be properly place, so you will know you have a good instrument to begin with!

"No one can do everything, but everyone can do something."


January 24, 2013 - 6:44 pm
Member Since: November 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 555
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Great question.


First, don't consider it a hobby. It doesn't have to consume your life (but it may) but make it part of a daily ritual. Also, don' think you can go it alone. Your practice time will be spot on at first, but wane to nothing. Make a point to play,  even for 15 minutes each day. Dont stress about it, but instead make it something enjoyable. I find the days I don't want to practice are the day I end up enjoying my play/practice session the most. I am about a 9 month beginner and still sound like it. others take to it more rapid. I don't play to appease the world. I personally do it because it makes me happy. If I can interest others in my happiness and play for them, then it makes my playing even more enjoyable.


Start slow and don't expect it to be a rapid event(hobby). Nice and slow at what ever comfortable pace you can set. By all means don't listen to Picklefish, Kevin, Terry, Mad, Daniel, Scratchy, hateful and a few other i am forgetting (forgive). If you do, you might learn something useful  ;)


It does help to have an instructor, but if that's not an option, just follow through (with help here) the beginner tutorials. On holding and bow stroke, video yourself and post it, people will crawl out of the woodwork to offer pointers. (most of which are good)


oh, yea, make sure you enjoy your journey!

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

Fort Lauderdale
January 28, 2013 - 9:32 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11605
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Welcome to the forum MissMantid,

You came to the right place to get motivated, advice and to learn.
Among other things, there are many tools above to help you and plenty of helpful fiddlers here.

Look forward to hearing about your new journey once you get started.

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

Michigan, USA

January 28, 2013 - 10:27 pm
Member Since: January 21, 2012
Forum Posts: 2637
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Welcome, MissMantid.  If your heart tell's you to do it, then do it.  Let no one discourage you from playing violin. You can learn from this site and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it.  You will need to spend hours on end practicing, it will pay off.  Here's an example of a guy who, from everything i've read about him, never had a formal lesson and didn't read music, but was co-writer of "Orange Blossom Special".  Chubby Wise.




California, the place of my heart

January 28, 2013 - 10:53 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3717
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Hello and welcome.


All the gang has said most of it.   Hear them. :)


To start playing, I looked for two or three months for a violin that I could afford, and a zillion how to play videos on YouTube.   Then I went to a violin site....not here.... and well... let's just say I went to Amazon...and found some violins... (economy style) and went to YouTube to find reviews..and lo and behold I found FIDDLERMAN.COM..... not quite all in that order.  When I was looking to buy I only wish I had known about  (sigh)

Anyway... I have never looked back.. it called me and  12 months later I am not as good as I thought I would be but I am good enough and the road was worthy and it was the "road less traveled."

I have had some paid lessons...and value them...but the value of the friends and community and and wealth of knowledge... well this is a great spot.

Wow.... scattered thoughts.... after 8... wine much?


Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Honorary advisor

January 29, 2013 - 12:18 pm
Member Since: January 18, 2012
Forum Posts: 342
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First and foremost, if, in your heart you really want to play the violin then go for it. Don;t let anyone stop you, discourage you, or stand in your way.


Second, don't discourage yourself. I takes time to learn the violin and its a life long learning process. I've been playing since i was a child and I am still learning lots and lots of new things. Sometimes beginners get discouraged because learning and progress seems so slow. Don't fall into the trap. Think of it as something that you want to do for fun and enjoyment. Different people progress at diifferent rates. Take your time and don;t get discouraged.  You are doing it to learn and enjoy and relax.


Lastly, if you have a music shop nearby why not rent an instrument instead of buying one outright. Try out different instruments, strings, chin rests, shoulder rests, etc. this way you will have a better feel for the different instruments and when you do decide to buy you will be able  to make a more  informed decision of which instrument you prefer, how you like it set up, etc.

Look at it not as a chore but more like hobby type endeavor that you are here to enjoy and have fun.



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