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The Best Violin to Play
Taken from a Banjo site....
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (8 votes) 
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Annon
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December 28, 2012 - 7:32 pm
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Just use the word FIDDLE or VIOLIN where you read BANJO:

 

...A huge percentage (of) stuff you see and read online and in print about banjos – from setup to history to techniques – is going to be (cipher extracted; same as cow manure) . For every person who puts in the work and learns to play the banjo there are another hundred that give up on music in favor of faking it, and fakers love (cipher extracted; same as cow manure).

When you are an artist you work with whatever is at hand. When you are faking it, the trappings of the craft become important. Carrying around whatever is being touted as the hot banjo of the week allows the lazy or unmotivated student to pretend to be something without going through the bother of becoming something.

My advice is to ignore what anybody says about what is traditional or proper about banjo setup and just play what you have. As you gain experience you will find yourself tweaking your setup here and there to find the action and tone that is pleasing to you.

When somebody says you need to change your banjo to fit in, just follow these steps:

HOW TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO TELL YOU
THAT YOUR BANJO IS IMPROPER FOR FRAILING
By Patrick Costello

The first time somebody tells you that you need a special kind of banjo or a special setup to play frailing banjo simply follow these steps:

  1. Smile
  2. Say something charming and innocuous
  3. Go back to making music

If that person persists, move on to stage two:

  1. Look that person square in the eye
  2. Tell that (phrase extracted; same as son of an unwed mother) to go (cipher extracted; same as fornicate) himself
  3. Go back to making music

As I have said before, one of the sad realities of art is that you will be confronted by bullies.

If you believe in the music you are making then start standing up for yourself.

 

Hello folks,

In my opinion, most instruments are capable of playing better than the person playing it; I know mine does.  The point being that the music world, as is true in most if not all of the art world, is full of elitists and wanna-bees who feel more comfortable in their world showing off their overpriced tools or equipment, telling you how to do it better their way, and spending your money as if their own.  

Thank god for people like Pierre and Fiddlerman.com, and the scribes from whom I quoted the passage above.  Their advice to just play and have fun is both refreshing and sound;  Pierre is such a soft salesman that you have to look hard to find a link to his store, which he operates cordially.

So, what is The Best Violin to Play?  THE ONE YOU HAVE, of course.

I wish you all a (word extracted; same as fruitful) and (word extracted; same as joyful) new year.  

treble-1226

99 % of the people I meet are self absorbed human waste sphincters.
1 % play fiddle

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DanielB
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December 29, 2012 - 6:39 am
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I quite agree on the point of the *best* violin being the one you have, and there being a lot of gear snobbery in music.  To a point.

There are some quality differences that can be felt and heard, but I think those mostly fall in the first few hundred dollars of price range, at least so far as what can be just bought.

I can say that as they came right out of the box, my $160 violin played and sounded better than my $60 one.  But the 60$ was much better after a bit of work.  So I wouldn't say either was actually "bad".  And they were mine, so I'd consider smacking anyone who said they were bad, anyway.  LOL

I had an interesting talk with a more experienced player shortly after I got my current $160 acoustic and he took exception to my referring to it as a cheap violin.  I'll put what I can recall of the talk into block quote to distinguish it from my own, but it isn't a direct quote, it is from memory.

What, so you want a $1000 dollar violin?  I'll tell you how to get one.  Take your brand new $160 violin, and play it a lot for the time you can return it and look for any major flaws.  If you find any, return it and get another.  But if you don't, then keep playing it for about 6 months. 

Then take it in to a luthier, and get a fresh set of strings put on and the setup checked and maybe the soundpost adjusted.  Then have the luthier do an appraisal for it and tell them it is for insurance purposes.  They'll appraise it for probably at the least $300.  Because nothing major is wrong with it and it sounds at least reasonably good and has held together, so it would cost at least as much to walk into a shop and just buy one off the shelf that was guaranteed to be as good.

Take it back to the luthier for a checkup every 6 months and take very good care of it.  Keep it clean, handle it carefully, just like you would if you had paid more for it.  Checkups should not be expensive, and if you take good care of the instrument, any repairs should be minor.  If the luthier suggests trimming the nut a little nicer or a different bridge, let him do that.  Get a new insurance appraisal.  It will probably get appraised for about $500 then.   

Take it in for a check up every 6 months and have it appraised once a year.  So long as you are taking good care of it, the appraisal will keep going up and in probably 3 or 4 years, it will appraise as being worth at least $1000.  And really, you would be a fool to take that little for it.  Part of what determines the value of an instrument is the care that is taken of it.

On the other hand, if you have a lovely brand new $5000 dollar violin made by a good luthier, and you neglect it, don't take care of it, mistreat it a bit, don't take it in for check ups or repairs?  Within a few years, it will probably be worth less than $1000. 

So you see, some of the value of an instrument comes from the care it is given and the respect it is treated with.  That is all you.  Value is not just what an instrument cost when it is new, but what it would cost to be able to replace it with one of equal quality at a moment's notice.  That is what appraisals are about for insurance and what most people will be talking about when they say what a violin is worth. 

Don't call it cheap, the word implies a lack of respect.  Any violin that has no major problems, plays well and sounds nice would be worth $1000 to a musician with sense.  If you paid less than that, then it was a good value, not "cheap".

I found it to be some food for thought.  I don't actually know anything about appraisals of that nature or how they are affected by good maintenance, personally.  Maybe some of the more experienced folks here know.

Guitars I know a bit better, not a  noob with those.  I still don't know anything about appraisal, but I know my old Gibson electric I bought for 200$ used is a solid, dependable instrument that was put together well.  I put in some years with it gigging and it never let me down.  I wouldn't trade it for a $2000 brand new guitar, and I have tried playing a few of those. I have also seen pretty 2k$+ guitars that other players I knew bought that pretty much fell apart over a few years.

Higher price tags are no guarantee of better quality, though with a new instrument, a very low price tag does sometimes indicate less consistent manufacture, and so it is always a case of "buyer beware" no matter what you pay.  

 

 

"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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DanielB
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December 29, 2012 - 7:58 am
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And somewhere in there with all those check-ups it was mentioned to on one of the visits to have the luthier do a "professional" or "advanced student" grade set-up on the violin, as opposed to "beginner".  I am not sure what that would entail or how it is different though, other than likely being maybe more precise or something?   

 

"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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Annon
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December 30, 2012 - 8:54 pm
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DanielB said
And somewhere in there with all those check-ups it was mentioned to on one of the visits to have the luthier do a "professional" or "advanced student" grade set-up on the violin, as opposed to "beginner".  I am not sure what that would entail or how it is different though, other than likely being maybe more precise or something?   

 

Well, if you put a lot of maintenance into cars and they don't appreciate....why should a violin?  I can see a violin being worth more if it has better strings installed - much as if a used car appreciates slightly when new tires are installed.  However, intrinsic value is a whole lot different than esoteric value - such as that experienced by strat and 1963 Ford Mustang owners..... ridiculous I think.  I dare say that my violin yields an equal number of BTUs if both are burned in a fireplace.

This world has gone insane with esoteric values;  my father couldn't sell his house because he thought it was worth more even IF the neighborhood declined (it was subsequently sold one month after his death by his widow).  The value of the German Mark became nothing more than what it was worth to burn after their economic collapse in WW-2.  

In addition, there are persons who seem to value objects more than they do another human being; my father being a prime example.  Race, religion, color, ethnicity, sex, size, and sexual preference all finding reason in his mind to spout malignant dissertations disrespecting any and all persons who were not WHITE and NORMAL.  

I'm ranting.....I know....but I hope I pushed some buttons and made the reader think a little about what is really important; something I'm sure only you alone can decide for yourself.   

I can't express how important music has become to me.  It's a uniquely human experience, much like articulate speech; something with which to gain skill and knowledge, and share with all other humans who find within music a certain joy.  There are two things that make me cry besides the death of a friend:  Meaningful art, and the harmony shared by friends who make meaningful music together.  

That's what I'm after-----I can't get enough meaning.    

99 % of the people I meet are self absorbed human waste sphincters.
1 % play fiddle

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DanielB
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January 1, 2013 - 8:18 am
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I don't presume to understand value of violins and bows.  I also don't understand the benefits of such "check-ups".  From most of what I've heard, if you take an inexpensive violin in to a luthier, a good percentage of them will tell you it isn't worth working on anyway.  So I've wondered how probable that whole scenario is, myself. 

To me personally, the value of an instrument is pretty simple.  How does it sound, how does it play, does it hold tune well, is it well enough made to be mechanically stable and reasonably durable.. Nice if you like the looks of it as well, but that's way below the other considerations.

 

The whole concept of value or appraisal maybe actually makes more sense to folks who might actually sell instruments they have.  I've never been one for selling off, trading in, or even trading up.  I'm also too much of an "animist" to think much of selling instruments I have gotten to know.  It'd be too much like selling people. 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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Kevin M.
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January 1, 2013 - 9:48 am
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My two cents.  The bst violin to play is whatever you can get.  If you can afford an expensive violin then go for it but if all you can afford is a fifty dollar violin than go for it.  Because a persom is poor should that person not play and love a violin? We have to make due with what we can afford and have in life.

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Annon
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January 2, 2013 - 12:03 am
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DanielB said:

...The whole concept of value or appraisal maybe actually makes more sense to folks who might actually sell instruments they have... 

 

There you have it.  Most, if not all, Strat owners bought the instrument because of its ability to increase in perceived value....whether or not the sound it makes appreciates as well - which I'm sure it doesn't.  These folks are interested in promoting the Strat's much over-rated play-ability: blind evaluation tests have shown the instrument to have numerous less expensive rivals.  

As an investment, the instrument has been a good choice in an expanding economy - the value usually increases in advance of the cost of living.  As long as the public can be deceived as to an imaginary esoteric value, investors will stand in line for a chance to bid at auction; the winner having spent not one dime more than that necessary to take it home. And don't think for a single minute that limited budgets kept other bidders from winning, but rather their shrewd analysis of market trends.  Do you think they would buy a violin for 2.5 million and expect to loose money?  Of course not.  They expect the Strat to increase in value at least equal to that of other investment opportunities.  

I do not begrudge an entrepreneur the opportunity to make a little money in buying and selling, except of course if in the process he scams the unwary.  I am not of the opinion that "buyer-beware" should be the standard mantra perched on the lips of every consumer.  I know in my heart that a buyer or seller should be honest and open in his dealings with the public at large.  Taking advantage of someone's ignorance or circumstance is contemptible (The government has done this to us for generations). Someone finding a $20,000 violin at a garage sale and walking home with it for 5 bucks would do nothing more than turn my stomach - and not because I didn't find it first.  

Just because Wall-street investors and bankers have rapped the nation with the consent of the National Leadership, doesn't mean that we should rape each other. 

cheers

 

   

99 % of the people I meet are self absorbed human waste sphincters.
1 % play fiddle

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 3, 2013 - 10:14 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

We have a great Strad copy:
http://fiddlershop.com/cremona.....iolin.html
smile

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

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Scottishdude12
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January 4, 2013 - 10:27 pm
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I normally dont come into this section of the forum, but I must say That was very enjoyable to read. Thank you! I believe this very much too. As long as you can produce a sound and do it with fun comfortably, more power to you!

 

God bless yall!

Practice makes perfect-Godliness with contentment is great gain!

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