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I'm a noob. I have a few questions about my cheap violin.
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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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January 16, 2012 - 2:24 pm
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Hello Everyone! I've always loved the violin & about 3 weeks ago it hit me, I should learn to play it.

      I bought a Mendini by Cecilio MV-BLUE+92D from KK music store. I watched several videos about setting it up & playing my first notes. I got the violin to make pleasant sounds on open strings but I really have to concentrate on smashing the strings to the finger board to get 90% of the sound quality of an open string. If I don't smash them, it sounds pretty bad.

    Will better strings make it easier to play? Is it just my weak fingers, poor fingering & bowing technique that will improve over time?

   

 Would I be better off to send this one back & spend a little more (under $150 preferably) to get something better out of the box?

 

Thanks in advance! This site has been a lot help already.

   

   

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 16, 2012 - 3:11 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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No idea about that fiddle since Mendini is a cheaper version of the Cecilio models but you do need to apply enough pressure that the string touches the fingerboard in order to get a decent sound. Also enough pressure with the bow and make sure you have plenty of rosin. It takes a lot on a brand new bow with no rosin. You may have to rosin the bow for a good 10-15 minutes the first time if you haven't already applied enough rosin.
We can give you more help if you record yourself and embed the video here.
To answer your questions about the strings. Steel strings are a little stiffer so you need to press a little harder for that. Pro-Arte is an extremely reasonable string type with a great sound quality and feel for $21 on Fiddlershop 🙂 in case you are looking for a great synthetic core string to make a big difference.

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

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Kevin M.
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January 16, 2012 - 7:33 pm
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I think if you stick with it you will all of a sudden have everything come together and you'll say, that sounded good.  I found when I started that when I was playing notes on the fingerboard, I was so concerned on placing my finger correctly that I sounded terrible.  Make sure you have enough rosin. If the rosin was new and the bow new just scratch it a bit to get the gloss off of it then try putting on the rosin.  If you use too much, no problem you just have to clean it off the violin.  Next make long even strokes with the bow and try to keep the bow parallel to the strings.  The only way to know if you are bowing straight is to use a mirror or take a video of yourself and look at it.  Keep playing

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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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January 16, 2012 - 9:14 pm
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@fiddlerguy

Thanks for the advice. I had rosined the bow quite a bit but I did spend an extra 5min on it tonight & I have rosin collecting on the violin now so I think I have enough. I believe it did help. I think I’ll order that set of strings soon. I will try to get a video posted tonight or tomorrow.

@ Barry

"but at this point you wouldnt sound much better on a Strad."
I was afraid of that. smile Thanks for the reply. I will keep at it & see what happens

@ Kevin

Thanks for the tips. I have a feeling bowing straight & even is a battle not easily won but I shall stay the course!
 

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Mad_Wed
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January 17, 2012 - 2:26 pm
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Hi, I_Bleed_BlueOctober! Welcome to the forum! =) birthday_balloon

I have a !CHEAP! violin! I bought it in our music store for ~ $100... But saw the same one on e-bay costs $35 duncecap Yeah! our stores have awesome prices LOL! And i don't produce on it a good sound, but if only You could hear how it sounds when my teacher plays on it...amuse

So i don't think that You MUST to have a good expensive violin right now unless You really WANT it and price isn't a problem....=) And later, when You'll define the sound that You wanna get from an instrument - You could choose it and it will be a deliberated choice =)

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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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January 18, 2012 - 3:56 am
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Thanks for sharing Mad_Wed!

 

My main concern is if I have a "toy store" violin & it produces bad sound despite my best efforts, I may be easily discouraged at some point. I just want to make sure spending $100 more wouldn't make a world of difference.

 

I have friends that play guitar already & I want to play Violin along with them. They know how to play already & its on me to learn my instrument so I don't see any quitting in site.

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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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January 18, 2012 - 4:29 am
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My embedding skills are failing me so here's some links to me playing if anyone would be kind enough to take a look and offer any advice. I already know I need to ditch the Harry Potter look. I cut my hair for the first time in 3 years a few days ago & it didn't turn out so well.yell

 

 

 

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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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January 18, 2012 - 4:36 am
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 surprised       Like I said, I've embedded some videos if anyone would be kind enough to take a look.  cool

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 18, 2012 - 8:20 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

First of all congratulations to taking the first step to improvement by posting yourself playing. This is a great way to get better by both receiving tips and by listening to yourself from another perspective.

I agree with Barry that this violin doesn't sound bad at all. Don't be surprised if you get a bad rap for the blue color from an orchestra member or conductor in the future if you get into that.surprised I wouldn't switch just yet. Get good on this violin, it won't hold you back, you have a long journey and it would be better to have more knowledge if you later decide to invest in a great instrument. Later, you will notice a great improvement just by changing the strings to better quality strings.

You seem to like the minor scales 🙂

As Barry said no one here is the least bit judgmental about how you look.

I can foresee problems in the future if you hold the violin like that. It's not really bad but your head bending down a little too much for long term practicing. You may get tired in your neck. I suggest that you raise the violin (to the left) more towards your shoulder about 2 inches. Balance it before holding it with your jaw.

Your left hand finger angles aren't bad, bring your arm under the violin slightly more and apply weight to the left side of your fingers to give them a better angle and a little more strength.

Apply slightly more pressure on the strings when bowing by turning your hand counter-clockwise. Barry's suggestion to tighten the bow is very important. You need the hair to be off the stick when you are playing that lightly, otherwise you have the stick rubbing against the strings instead of the hair which is what gives the strings the vibration and sound. When you bow harder later the stick will still touch but that is not a big deal. Don't over tighten though or you may get a very bouncy hard to control bow. Get it at least 1/4" from the stick in the middle of the bow, depending on the tension of that bow but possibly more.

Great start. You'll be jamming with your friends before you know it.thumbs-up

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

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Mad_Wed
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January 18, 2012 - 3:55 pm
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Well done, BlueOctober!

Actually by rereading all that You wrote about your playing before that video i'm wondering why do You think that You do bad duncecap? I don't see there any "weak fingers",  or "poor bow technique".. And the violin, as was said before doesn't sound that bad. You doing fine!

 Could You look at your bow hold, please? I think the right elbow is a little low. If You could rise it slightly up - it will give You more freedom for wrist movements and bow control, also it could take off the extra stress from the fingers, that hold the bow. Pinky especially - it supposed to land on stick from above and not so much from the inside =)

thumbs-up

I'd love to see your bowing with a whole bow length, i think that You are ready =)

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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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January 19, 2012 - 1:13 am
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@ Barry

Thanks for the tips. I’ll tighten my bow up a bit. I don’t have a certain style I want to pursue. I have a list of songs I would like to learn that range from traditional Irish, classical, rock… A lot of the stuff I want to play doesn’t have the violin in it originally so sheet music is not easily found, that’s going to be a bit tricky.  Thanks a lot, I’ll let you know if I have any question.

@ Fiddlerman

Thanks. I just plan on playing for friends & family at most. My favorite band “Blue October” is a rock band that features a lot of violin. Naturally, the violinist often uses a blue violin. I didn’t have much of a decision once realized blue was an option.smile
Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it. I will review it all & try to put it into action.

@ Mad_Wed

I don’t know what I do bad, that’s why I’m on here smile. I know that my violin playing doesn’t sound as good as others so I assume that since I’m beginner, my technique is just not as good.
Thanks for the tips on my bow grip. I watched videos on how to hold the bow but the way I hold it does put a lot of stress on my pinky.

Everyone seems to agree that the violin sounds ok so I will continue to practice. Thanks for all the advice!

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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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January 19, 2012 - 8:52 pm
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My D tuner peg slides through the scroll further than the rest. The string starting to slide into the scroll is what causes the friction for it to stay. It makes it hard to tune. Is this normal or a defect? I'll try to post some pictures. Thanks

2012-01-16_01-14-19_128.jpgImage Enlarger2012-01-16_01-13-02_207.jpgImage Enlarger2012-01-16_01-13-23_382.jpgImage Enlarger

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Fiddlerman
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January 19, 2012 - 10:16 pm
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It's not really right. It's not normal but I've seen it a number of times. From your pictures it looks like the loose end is going into the hole. If that is the case you can do one of two things. Either cut off that loose end or loosen the peg enough to pull the string out enough so that there is no long loose end then re-tighten

"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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January 20, 2012 - 8:08 am
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Is the hole for the string right up against the side of the pegbox?  If so you will have to redrill a new hole in the  peg.  The problem is on a new violin they reamed the hole too far or if you are lucky they shaved the peg too far.  It is just sloppy work on the builder.  If the pegbox is reamed too much you should be able to get a peg sized for the hole if it is way past that a bushing would have to be put in then redrilled and reamed to fit the new peg.  If the peg is just shaved too small then a new peg can be easily fitted.  You might even be able to go to a music shop and if they have pegs there from old violins you may find one to fit better.  The problem is that the pegs are shaved to a taper in what looks like an old pencil shapener and new ones come way oversized and need to be shaved. Then the peg holes are made to fit the pegs and no 2 are alike.  Let us know what you want to do to fix this.  If you can't find some used pegs near you let me know and Ill send you some used pegs to see if you can get one to fit better.

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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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January 20, 2012 - 1:59 pm
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Thank you Fiddlerman & Kevin for the replies,

  I contacted KK music store(my place of purchase) since I'm in the 15day DOA period and after a series of emails they are going to send another peg. We'll see if it fits any better. Currently the string hole is up against the peg box. I hadn't thought about it but I can drill a new string hole pretty easily if the new one does not fit any better.

 

Thanks for the offer to send pegs, Kevin.

 

I'll let you know how the situation turns out.

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Kevin M.
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January 20, 2012 - 4:11 pm
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If that doesn't fix your problem let me know and I'm sure I can do something to help you out.

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I_Bleed_BlueOctober
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February 20, 2012 - 11:49 pm
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KK Music store finally sent some new tuner pegs to try & the new one seems to be working ok for now. Thanks for all the help.

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Mad_Wed
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February 21, 2012 - 1:31 pm
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Those are good news, BlueOctober =)

Happy fiddling! birthday_balloon

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