FORUM

Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
TAPS learn from my mistake
Final thoughts on the end of my attempt to learn violin,and a warning to those who are looking to get started.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (6 votes) 
Avatar
Watchtower68
Fillmore Indiana,U.S.A
Member
Members
March 14, 2013 - 4:54 am
Member Since: December 29, 2012
Forum Posts: 36
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

This will likely be my last post as there's really no reason left for me to be on this forum but if I can help anyone keep from making the mistakes I've made and point them away from disappointment such as I've known now since December at least it won't be a waste.

In December 2012 I purchased a package deal "student violin?" that was suppose to be a step up from the norm of Cecilio's lower priced models named Mendini MV-400 well if this is representative of most of their violins and I've no doubt it is as I've read post on this forum of a negative nature on pricier Cecilio models.

Mine boasted ready to play out of the box everything you need to get started it came with a case 2 bows 2 sets of strings chromatic tuner a shoulder rest rosin and extra bridge,now what did it really come with one bow no strings no shoulder rest and the rosin wasn't that good.

In the end I got an unplayable violin one bow a tuner and a case and 2 bridges.

I've replaced the strings rosin the shoulder rest taken several lessons at the local collage all the while hoping this thing would eventually quit sound like two stray cats copulating on a tin roof and its not,so what am I left with well...?

I'm not going to be able to start over so I've just got to give up send this thing out with Wednesdays trash discontinue my lessons and cut my losses,I know I used an expression to express the sound of this violin that isn't very nice and I hope I've not offended anyone but there's no other way to describe the foul sound of this thing.

With all of this said for those looking or those who have taken an interest in violin think long and hard and remember this cheap is not better its just junk,look for a reputable seller who sets violins up before they send them out ask questions before you by and one other thing ask about the strings avoid steel core.

My personal opinion is if you have a budget in mind rethink that by at least $150.00 more than you want to spend,if nothing else rent until you can afford to buy because a good instrument is not going to be cheap.

I hope this post helps some one or at least point them in the right direction and thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
March 14, 2013 - 6:34 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sorry to hear you have been discouraged, Watchtower68. 

My first acoustic violin was a Mendini MV300, which is even a bit cheaper than yours was.  As it came out of the box, it was pretty dreadful.  It came with a bow I really didn't like, rosin that was very dusty and broken before I ever got it.  A set of spare strings that I never bothered to try and hope to never be desperate enough to use as backups.  It was far from "ready to play" right out of the box, and I have often said that if I had strung up the box it came with , it might have sounded better.  As it came from the factory/warehouse, I do not think it would have been possible to actually get a good sound out of it.  Action was high, bridge was badly placed, pegs wouldn't stay in tune, and the overall sound was.. pretty awful.  Chinrest was uncomfortable, shoulder rest wouldn't stay on well.. I think that about covers it.

I put a better set of strings on it and a fair bit of work into it and a lot of playing and it eventually got to be rather likeable.  But the average beginner wants an instrument to play, not one to work on.

I didn't just return it or turn it into a spiffy clock or something, since my family had bought it for me as a treat.  I think it cost them about 60$.  I'm not a stranger to working on other instruments, so I decided to work on it and see if I could get it sounding and playing reasonable.  Quite a lot of research, questions and tinkering later, it got to where I felt it has some good sounds.

On the other hand, my next acoustic violin, I paid a little over 160$ for.  I won't mention where I bought it, since some people on this forum get a bit confrontational when anyone buys anything from anywhere but Fiddlershop.  But in my price range at that moment, all Fiddlershop carries are Cecilios, and "Mendini by Cecilio" had left a bad enough taste in my mouth that I wasn't up for giving that maker more money to see if I got lucky.  I bought from online again, but somewhere that I could call and talk to a salesperson.  I asked some questions, got what I felt were good reasonable answers, so I decided to risk it and asked the salesperson to pick me a nice one.  Which is a bit different than buying off Amazon.  LOL

When it arrived in the mail, after I removed the packing material, it was even almost in tune.  It only needed a touch up to the fine tuners.  The included rosin was nice, the bow felt good.  And it sounded pretty darn good even from the first note.  Action was nice, the strings were reasonable, and I can't say I've had any complaints about it.  It always has held tune well without any "peg drops" or etc, and the pegs tune smooth enough that I had no  problem later when I changed from the carbon fibre tailpiece to an ebony one and just left off the fine tuners.  I like it, and enjoy playing it, and feel it was money well spent.  Nothing fancy, a beginner instrument, but it actually was pretty much ready to play right out of the box and came with everything they had said it would.  There was even a note from the salesperson I'd talked with tucked inside the case.

So yeah, I agree that cheapest is not necessarily best.  Cecilio probably sends out some good instruments, and the place I bought my second/current acoustic violin probably has shipped out at least a few lemons.  But shopping round, asking questions and paying a bit more seems to be how to be more likely to get an instrument you'll actually like.  I do have to say in all fairness that I have heard some 100$ or less instruments on this forum where they do sound pretty darned good.  It obviously isn't impossible, at least with some good strings and some TLC.  But maybe not the best route for a beginner to buy something from an online place just based on a low price.

Anyway, sorry to hear that your experience was negative enough to turn you away from violin/fiddle playing for now.  Hope that someday you get an instrument you are happier with the quality of and we see you again. 

"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

Avatar
Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
King
Members

Regulars
March 14, 2013 - 8:05 am
Member Since: January 21, 2012
Forum Posts: 2637
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It's too bad you feel that way, Watchtower68, but I have a question, when you received the violin and what you expected to get wasn't there, why didn't you return it for a refund. If you bought it on Amazon there is a return policy, if I'm not mistaken.

Home work is very important when it come's to purchasing a delicate item such as a violin or any thing else, whether it be from the internet or otherwise and evidently you were drawn in by the advertisement. I don't ever recall hearing the phrase, "cheaper is better", you get what you pay for.

I'm sure there has been a lot of people who have been discouraged by these "come on" ads. I myself was one several year's ago when I purchased a $90.00 violin from the internet, but with some adjustment's, as Daniel said, I got it to sounding rather good.

All of us here on the forum wish you would reconcider your decision and see if you can't make some of those adjustment's and continue with your musical journey.

Maybe if you talk to Fiddlerman personally he can steer you in the right direction as to quality and value. If not, then I wish you the best.

 

Ken

Avatar
Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
Members

Regulars
March 14, 2013 - 8:20 am
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My opinion is TFU

I don't feel the you where really committed to learning in the first place.

I started with a cheap eBay special that cost me $47  plus post. 

I've practiced every day for more that 365 days without fail.

Get your act together. The violin is very hard to play and very easy to give up.

 

Start over again.

Sorry to be harsh. Just do it. Or give up. Don't look for sympathy. TFU. Just do it

If you are serious about learning the violin PM me and I will help. If not, give up

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

Avatar
suresh
Tuticorin, India
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
March 14, 2013 - 12:48 pm
Member Since: August 22, 2011
Forum Posts: 485
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Watchtower68!  Don't give up so easily man.  You will get plenty of support from people like DanielB, KevinM,CatMcCall,Ferret and others.  Cheer up.  I want you to stay here and continue your journey with the violin.  violin-1260

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 14, 2013 - 2:48 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Watchtower68,

Almost everyone goes through discouraging moments in their learning cycle. If you can't get an exchange or refund on that violin, send it to fiddlershop and we'll make it playable for you if that will change your mind about playing. We won't charge you anything except for shipping. We'll try to fix it using used parts. If it is not possible or worth fixing we will advise you and dispose of it for you or ship it back.

I'm glad that you are warning others of the possible dissappointments in store for those who spend way too little. It's very important to keep in mind.

We choose not to sell the Mendini violin and I really don't understand why Cecilio insists on keeping these lesser quality violins.

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

Avatar
Tyberius
Members

Regulars
March 14, 2013 - 3:43 pm
Member Since: November 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 555
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Pierre, what you just stated is why i am here. You are the core and center of this whole group of amazing people. Your attitude towards beginners and experienced players is faultless. You care for even the newest of players and (seemingly) tirelessly work again and again with them. Even 1 on 1 you give yourself. This is unheard of in any profession with the skill and resume you have at yours. Even if Watchtower does not decide to ever play again, the care and service you offered at your expense sets you on a pedestal to be emulated. Thank you again, for Watchtower, the forums, the friendship, the mentoring and a place we can all keep coming back to.

Watchtower, please take Fiddlerman (Pierre) up on his offer. The violin is a very hard instrument to play much less master. It is not instant and when you do reach small little levels of understanding and skill advancements, you will be very pleased and proud of your journey. After 10 months of trying, i myself took about a week off. it happens. You just have to keep at it.

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

Avatar
Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
Members

Regulars
March 14, 2013 - 4:23 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2011
Forum Posts: 2849
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My first violin was a cheap Chinese student violin.

I saw them on E-Bay, they cost about $30.

Played on it more than a year.

Bad box-sound, wolf-tones, untwistable pegs, which didn't work untill i applied some peg-compound, high action, wrong-cutted and totally unfitted bridge, sharp corners on the nut.. I can continue, if it's not enough.

When i adjusted it - i didn't know about this forum, where is a bunch of people who can help if one asks a question...

Lots of things that You can adjust and fix easily, to make the violin playable. But of course, one shoud have a wish to do this. If the demotivation was so bad for You that You've lost it, then i'm sorry to hear it.

Still if there's a chanse for You to get back on track - use it!

PS: Now that cheap violin helps to the other beginner to increase the skill-level - that person is happy to be able to learn on any violin. 

There are a lot of people who really wants to play, but no money to buy even a cheap one. If You seriously want to put it in the trash - think again! Because You can make someone really happy with it!

Avatar
Almandin
Stockholm, Sweden
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
March 14, 2013 - 4:28 pm
Member Since: August 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 302
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Fiddlerman said
If you can't get an exchange or refund on that violin, send it to fiddlershop and we'll make it playable for you if that will change your mind about playing. We won't charge you anything except for shipping. We'll try to fix it using used parts.

Pierre, you are an amazing, lovely person! This really shows the passion you have for the violin and for getting others to share your passion. Thank you for being so awesome! heart

And @Watchtower68 : Don't give up!

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

Avatar
dogandponyshow
Member
Members
March 14, 2013 - 5:56 pm
Member Since: February 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 49
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Watchtower68...the "want" to learn will carry you further than anything else. All obstacles on the path with this instrument can be overcome with hard work....but only you can decide if the "want" is there.

 

Please consider Pierre's kind offer. If you are willing to do the work, YOU CAN DO THIS!!! 

 

Oh, & Pierre....1st-place

Avatar
dionysia
Members

Regulars
March 14, 2013 - 6:54 pm
Member Since: January 25, 2012
Forum Posts: 657
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Naska -

Was that cheap fiddle the one that you had to play in the cemetery... the only place where no one complained?rofl

Avatar
KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
March 14, 2013 - 8:23 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1651
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I concur with the others: please consider taking Pierre up on his offer. I can vouch for his ability to make a violin sound much better.

I also have a chinese-made violin, though not a cheap one. I thought it sounded pretty good until I had the opportunity to meet Pierre in person and play with him and a few other Fiddlerman members at the SoCal Jam. Pierre immediately saw things that were wrong with my violin's set up and corrected them on the spot. The adjustments included realigning the bridge and sanding it down to the proper thickness. He also moved the sound post slightly.

I couldn't believe how much better my fiddle sounded after he worked on it. He definitely knows what he's doing and he obviously cares a lot about helping people learn how to play the violin.

I truly hope you don't give up on learning to play this beautiful instrument just because you got a dud instrument. If you bought a car that turned out to be a lemon would you quit driving?

Your experience supports what I heard when I was contemplating buying a violin and learning to play a little over a year ago. Don't get a really cheap violin because if it's hard to play or sounds bad, you'll get discouraged and not stick with it.

I hope you stick with it! crossedfingers

 

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

Avatar
sunshineb
saskatchewan, canada
Members
March 14, 2013 - 11:51 pm
Member Since: February 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 65
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@diane,

just curious what is the thickness of your bridge now??  i'm wondering if mine's a little thick.  -doesn't look too dainty to me.

may be able to make the hour's trip to the city and pop in at a music store this wknd.  in case they don't have a luthier in, if i knew what to look for maybe i could see what i can get on my own.  unfortunately, limited services around these parts!

"you make a living by what you earn, you make a life by what you give." ~winston churchill

Avatar
cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
Members

Regulars
March 15, 2013 - 3:15 am
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1774
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You can learn how to make a complete new backup bridge for your instrument in this article if you're interested.

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/th.....ridge-pdf/

"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

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
March 15, 2013 - 4:45 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Well, if they're still reading the forums, maybe they'll give it another try.  But even if not, kudos to the crew for the strong show of support!

clap

 

I do agree with one of Mad_Wed's points.  If you are actually giving up on an instrument, give it away to someone else who wants to give it a try or at least drop it off at the local "thrift shop" as a donation or something.  Throwing it in the trash has less of a chance that it may do someone some good.

My Mendini MV-300, I eventually got to where I felt it sounded at least reasonable.  When I got a new violin I fit with better.. Well, the Mendini had been a gift and I had put in some work on that Mendini.  Didn't want to just throw it away or have it go to a stranger who might not take care of it.  So I gave it to a friend.  He's still playing it, and he's plumb worn the wraps right off at least one set of strings that I know of.  It definitely didn't go to waste.

 

"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

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 15, 2013 - 11:31 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717
16sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

Thanks everyone, but I'm just like all of you. Just trying to help because it makes me happy when others get pleasure out of playing the violin.

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

Avatar
Fifi La Fume
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
March 15, 2013 - 12:40 pm
Member Since: May 6, 2012
Forum Posts: 153
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Hi Watchtower68,

I started out on the Cicilio cheapy $99.00 kit with the works as well. It came with the same crappy strings, rosin etc. too. I did that because I wanted to learn how to change bridges, strings etc. I didn't know a thing about music other than I liked to listen, dance and sing to it. I suddenly just decided to take up violin one. I didn’t want to spend money on something I’d give up on.  Since receiving her, May7th, 2012, I’ve practiced every single day without fail, sometimes for hours on end because it is so much fun. I'm the kind of person that laughs at my mistakes when I practice my violin, sometimes I go into fits of laughter the sounds are so awfully bad.

My point is, I want to learn everything there is to know about the violin, so what better way than having to repair, replace and fine tune an instrument to see how it operates? I like to tinker and experiment. J

Since buying the first cheap violin, I have rewarded myself with an upgrade. I purchased the August F. Kohr K550 from Fiddlerman's Fiddlershop because I knew he would do right by me. He is an exceptional business man. I haven't met him in person but I think he'd be a pretty cool dude to meet.

Here's a link http://fiddlershop.com/august-.....-k550.html I'm thrilled with that baby and every morning when I wake up I pick it up to see if it is tune, grab a coffee and practice. I leave it out of its case during the day so that when I walk past it I get to pick it up and practice some more. I have learned to multi-task around my daily routine. The highlight is the violin/fiddle practice. This is coming from a person who picked up the violin on a whim. I've become addicted.

O.K. I'm rambling I know but I wanted to ask you to keep going, don't give up.  

I believe you would be wise to take Pierre up on his offer. Man,  you can't ask for more than that, as far as I'm concerned.

Truly,

Fifi La Fume

 

Ps: Now that I have another violin to play I know I always have my first cheapo violin to take apart and rebuild one day.

 

 

Avatar
KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
March 15, 2013 - 7:57 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1651
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

sunshineb said

@diane,

just curious what is the thickness of your bridge now??  i'm wondering if mine's a little thick.  -doesn't look too dainty to me.

may be able to make the hour's trip to the city and pop in at a music store this wknd.  in case they don't have a luthier in, if i knew what to look for maybe i could see what i can get on my own.  unfortunately, limited services around these parts!

Sorry for the delayed reply. Was traveling to NYC to attend Mondo Musica. Not sure I could answer that question anyway. I hope you found a suitable bridge!

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

Avatar
Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
Members

Regulars
March 17, 2013 - 5:09 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2011
Forum Posts: 2849
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

dionysia said
Naska -

Was that cheap fiddle the one that you had to play in the cemetery... the only place where no one complained?rofl

Haaaaha! Yep! You're right! I didn't think, someone remembers this story of my beginning! roflThose were precious momentsroflroflrofl

Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online: Uzi, Fran, Demoiselle
48 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming HeadCheese, Mad_Wed, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3767

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3557

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6445

Posts: 80394

Newest Members:

sexymom04, FerSZ, elaine a, Mukundan, MyMing, dbsimon

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11717, KindaScratchy: 1651