I'm Colin and live with my lovely wife here in Yorkshire; England. Having just turned 74 my wife kindly asked what I would like for my birthday; I chose a brand new Hidersine Vivente full sized violin.
I've never previously touched a musical instrument these being alien to me considering my heavy engineering background and many hobbies; I've fancied a violin for over 40 years but now have two violins. I've also got a second hand "Rainbow" metallic green full sized violin to play around with this only having two strings fitted. I bought a full set of new Hidersine strings and at first just replaced the missing G&D strings allowing me to start squeeking.
Watching lots of videos I decided to replace the remaining strings the A&E; I was very surprised indeed to find two E strings fitted. I thought a major problem would be tuning but actually no problem at all I bought an electronic tuner to get me started.
I've just created a studio for my wife's crafting hobby and I intend to make a violin this coming winter gearing up for it having already bought wood from Poland still awaiting its arrival. My hobbies include furniture and fine cabinetwork; I've also got a well equipped workshop.
At the moment I'm useless; last night I decided to try using a shoulder rest and of the only two ways to fit the rest I chose the wrong way which is normal practice for me but I quickly learn from silly mistakes.
I'm looking forward to spending time on the forum as winter starts to bite.
Kind regards, Colin.
Colin, Welcome to the forum! Never too late for violin! Lots of good information here, with sheet music & tutorials. Fiddlerman has a specific tutorial about tuning here: https://fiddlerman.com/beginne.....38;slide=2
Other tutorials for beginners are here: https://fiddlerman.com/beginne.....eo248772=1
With your woodworking skills, your violin making project should be very interesting. We’d love to see your progress as you go. Enjoy your new journey!
Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.
welcome to the forum, you will now become addicted and never be able to put the fiddle down, you will be able to tell when food is cooked because you will smell the burning from the kitchen as you play, you will become engrossed with any tv programs that have violins in them, and in short will have a great time. I come from merseyside so not far away from you.
Many thanks everyone for your very friendly welcome to the forum; I'll soon settle in and start asking all the questions newbies ask and also check out all the links kindly supplied so far.
A special thanks to you Mouse for your lovely email which I've just replied to.
Thanks for your welcome SharonC and for the links which I'll be happy to browse; it's certainly a new journey for me but I enjoy leaving my comfort zone to aquire new skills; having only just joined I've been looking around to see if images can be posted; I'm a member of at least six more forums covering subjects from gardening to vintage radio restoration; there aren't enough hours in a day.
Thanks Emily; I've just been experimenting with the shoulder rest and am getting nearer; I've watched video's where things like rubber bands can be used to prevent it slipping; I'm a welder so pity I can't weld it on? I'll get there eventually and I'm enjoying this ballistic learning curve.
Good on you JohnG; just because we're retired doesn't mean wall to wall TV all day and night; I love learning new things; I missed a lot of my early school years due to severe asthma which I grew out of at the age of 11 so I feel like I've been catching up ever since; I was a weak sickly child but at 15 leaving school I went straight down a deep coal mine which toughened me up. Thanks for your encouragement; I'm still like a kid but my toys are bigger these days. Good luck with your learning I hope to catch you up.
Hi stringy; nice to see a local guy on here; it's years since I crossed the border into Merseyside.
Once I start a new project I'm like a dog with a bone; I often say I'm too stupid to know when to quit so I dig in and sort out problems as they are thrown at me; engrossed is a good description as is obssession which this is turning into; I've got a wonderful understanding wife who doesn't mind what I watch on TV even if it is violins or Tig welding aluminium; she too enjoys her hobbies and we fully support each other.
I've been on the go since 6 o'clock this morning so time now to settle down to a movie with my wife before another day slips by.
Did I mention I'm chatty?
Kind regards, Colin.
Thanks Emily; there is indeed so much on this forum that I might end up spending more time on the forum than in practicing playing the violin but I'm in no hurry.
Good question; my dream is to be able to play "Lara's theme" (Somewhere my love) on my violin so I'm ambitious and it's something to work towards; I find this particular tune to be incredibly moving and never tire of hearing it.
I never seem to get a clear day because something always wants doing to occupy my time; last summer I spent removing a 60' long very tall hedge mostly cherry laurel which was extremely hard work on my own; I also removed the stumps the largest weighing in excess of a ton; I created a wildflower meadow; the bungalow and gardens are high maintenance but it keeps me fit and active; the problem I now find is I'm used to a lifetime of hard work and this means my hands and fingers need to adjust to playing a violin.
I'd better get off my backside before another day slips quietly by.
Kind regards, Colin.
Many thanks Fiddlerman for your warm welcome it's much appreciated. WOW and WOW I've watched a number of your exemplary violin playing videos today and can only aspire to such expertise and high skill; what a true inspiration for me to do lots of practice.
I've enjoyed two one hour sessions and just enjoyed half an hour practicing today using the bow; the first few sessions my right arm tired very quickly indeed but suddenly tonight I've started to feel more comfortable; I've also been watching your excellent tutorials which are helping me a lot; I couldn't settle with either of the shoulder rests I have so decided to stop wasting time with them in order to get the hang of using the bow on open strings first; it's pointless for me to try to do everything at once so I'm making progress and am making steady progress a string at a time. I just keep going over and over using my hands; wrists and elbow without moving my shoulder and it's working; I'm gaining control and the bow isn't bouncing around much now so a bit of good news in such a short time.
I'm making a point of sticking to at least a practice session each night and the newness is wearing off allowing me to relax and enjoy the learning curve and of course to have some fun.
I'm unsure if the attachments will work but if so they are of the new studio I've just created.
Kind regards, Colin.
Many thanks Mouse for taking the time to email me; much appreciated and I've now replied.
Last night I ran out of time after another busy day but I've now got all day to play in so I'll have another go at adding images; this time I'll preview before posting; I'm a member of quite a few forums and each have slightly different ways of adding images so fingers crossed.
Got there; I'd just missed the "Start upload" having seen the files as thumbnails I thought they might load automatically; something simple and an omission on my part but if there are 99 ways of doing something wrong I'll do something wrong 103 times because I can easily make the same mistake a number of times it's how I learn.
Here's a picture of the new studio I've just created it now very well lit with the addition of three LED 4' long strip lights. I've arranged the two strip lights as shown over the section I'll be working in; this should eliminate the problem of working in my own shadow. This is our third bedroom which is an addition of two rooms added to the bungalow by a previous owner; I remodeled it many years ago because the wall seen right was the rear exterior wall of the bungalow in random stone; I added the rustic framework and plastered all the panels finishing with a timbered ceiling; it's very cozy with good lighting and central heating.
My end of the studio where I intend to make a violin from scratch during the coming winter; I've already bought the spruce and maple from Poland now awaiting delivery; when I retired in 2000 I used this room for my newly adopted vintage radio restoring hobby; the following ten years having started not even knowing how to use a test meter (DMM) I progressed and became proficient enough to have ten articles published in The British Vintage Wireless Society "Bulletin" in 2009 I was truly humbled and honoured to be awarded top restoration for an AVO Wave Winder I restored from scrap.
My lovely wife's section of the studio where she can enjoy her crafting hobbies; card making; painting; drawing and pyrography etc; we've been married 45 years and love each other to bits; we've not had an holiday away from home for the last 44 years and don't even want to leave home we're content in our own company and have more than enough to keep us happy with our respective hobbies; we're just a very quiet couple with no children enjoying what we've worked so hard to achieve.
This now is our new studio where we can enjoy each other's company in comfort; I've installed a car radio powered from a small adapter 240VAC/12VDC and it now plays our favourite 60's songs in MP3 from a memory stick. I also have a well equipped workshop located beneath the bungalow; I've just sold three of my big pieces of kit; Tig welding kit; large concrete breaker and garden petrol rotavator; now at 74 it's time I backed off after a lifetime of heavy work and selling these will remove temptation to keep using them.
I'm in awe of the huge amount of space in America; here in the UK space is not only very limited but also very expensive; our detached bungalow and gardens are considered a good size here but in America would appear very small. We have gardens which are called yards in America.
This is a lengthy introduction but I like to share information and with your indulgance I'll add more pictures; I feel a mug of tea coming on.
Yesterday was funny; our neighbour has three cats which we spoil rotten; normally having been fed and fussed by us they wander off but most of the day yesterday Ruby was on our kitchen window cill; I think she was enjoying my violin practice sessions?
Kind regards, Colin.
Very nice studio!
Hope the Cats aren't picky - one of mine does not hesitate to tell me if he's disturbed by what I'm playing. (lol)
Looking at any Fiddlerman Tutorials to try on your violin, yet?
When I first started (2 years ago) I couldn't wait to make an attempt at my first tune! ...pretty sure everyone else in my house didn't feel the same excitement.
Thanks Emily; I've got some work ahead of me to catch up with you. Yes I've been browsing lots of Fiddlerman's excellent videos and they are brilliant giving me lots of inspiration and encouragement; he makes violin playing look so easy. I've not yet tried playing a tune just concentrating on handling the bow and violin which both are so strange to it being an entirely new hobby light years away from the usual things I do.
I enjoyed an hour's practice this morning and today I've not got any job hanging over me so just for a bit of interest and as it's my introduction I'll add a bit of background as to what I get up to for fun. I'm not in any way smart or clever otherwise I wouldn't make the many mistakes I make but I'm stubborn in the extreme and when I start something I won't let go. Here are just a few of my projects;
I made and installed our solid hardwood kitchen including hardwood doors; my wife enjoys card making so I was happy to surprise her with an hand made chest of 16 drawers in solid oak as seen; she was delighted and soon filled the drawers with card making materials. We fully support each other in our respective hobbies.
Here is a 1957 Ekco TV/Radio I bought as a restoration project; a skip (dumpster) would have rejected this it was so bad; it was riddled with woodworm and the veneers were badly delaminating also the front safety screen glass was missing; a very dangerous project given the high voltages involved and the LOPT (line output transformer) was missing but a lovely challenge for me; please see picture lower down showing the cabinet after lots of TLC; I also restored the chassis and it still works through an Aurora standards converter.
I wanted a new computer desk so made this which I'm seated at; along the top at the back I installed seven single 13A sockets allowing things like printers to be plugged in whilst not having lots of untidy cables to tangle my feet in.
We used to visit stately homes and always admired their coffered ceilings so why not have a coffered ceiling of our own; I installed this to our master bedroom; it took a while for the blood to return into my arms and hands.
One of the power supplies I designed and made to power up my battery portable vintage radios I was restoring; batteries obviously no longer available it's shown here hooked up to a vintage Bush portable valve radio; I wound the two transformers giving both high and low voltages for the valves in both positive and negative DC voltages. The design and build of this power supply was spread over two years because I had so much to learn whilst avoiding electrocuting myself.
Just over a year ago I fully restored a vintage petrol mower and found the petrol tank to be leaking; I've been arc welding steel for almost 60 years but never attempted to weld aluminium so my wife very generously bought me an expensive Tig welder as a Christmas present; Tig welding aluminium is incredibly difficult to do but as seen the tanks to the left are the new tanks I made.
Another very interesting project started when I bought a pair of vintage coach lamps to restore with the intention of mounting these on the wall each side of our front door. The reflectors were very poor indeed so another very difficult skill I learned was metal spinning and the new reflectors can be seen in the picture; I spun these on a Graduate woodturning lathe I'd fully restored and heavily modified; I managed to break a rib whilst spinning these due to the leverage needed on the hand spinning tools; it was shallow breathing for a couple of weeks until I recovered but it didn't stop me.
Here's the finished TV cabinet from the Ekco seen in the previous picture; I completely reveneered and french polished it having learned how to veneer using hot hide glue and how to french polish with shellac; this was a very long and complicated restoration done in front of the world in real time on a vintage radio forum during the worst winter on record; the workshop windows were so badly iced up on the inside I did the veneering in our kitchen on the work surface. I upgraded the veneer because the original veneer was bland.
As I said earlier I'm not smart and I'm not an expert in anything in fact I'm aware of just how little I know in the scheme of things; I make every mistake possible to make up front but I never quit however difficult a project becomes; I learn so much from my mistakes.
I've got thousands of images of the many projects I've completed but I think I've added enough as a sample to show how alien playing a musical instrument is for me but now I've started with violin's; violin's are becoming an obsession not only in learning to play a violin but I think I'll manage to make a violin from scratch.
I'm delighted to be a member of this very informative and highly interesting forum; I'm already learning so much only having just started as a raw novice; I'm still finding my way around the forum and can only aspire to wonderful violin playing I see; Fiddlerman's videos are enthralling; I've already watched lots but now I'm fully introduced and shared a bit of my history it's time for me to get serious with violins; a friend suggests I need to decide whether I want to learn to play a violin or to make violins; why not attempt both I like a difficult challenge to tackle.
I hope I'm not boring anyone; I'll do lots of forum browsing rather than play around asking basic questions which I'm sure will have been answered many times; I've got my double hide glue pot out and 1kg of hide glue pearls arrived this morning; I've ordered "E" strings to experiment with; I've got an electronic tuner and metronone also books including a book on making violins; I need a large mirror to practice in front of but already I'm making rapid progress; I'd like to learn to read music too so I'm not short of ambition; with winter rapidly approaching I'll have plenty of time to spend in the studio.
Kind regards, Colin.
Thank you Fiddlerman it's kind of you. I'm looking forward to my venture into violin making; it's highly likely other forum members have already posted their violin making so I'll spend time browsing; I could pick up tips saving me lots of time. I'm gathering everything I can think of to get me started; this Saturday it's Rufforth Auto Jumble near York (UK) the location is an old WW2 airfield with both indoor and outdoor stalls selling all manner of big boys toys; in the middle of the large hanger a guy usually occupies three stalls selling top quality tooling including aerospace quality engineers files and twist bits; I'm attending on Saturday specially to buy assorted new files which I can use on violin making; I've already got lots of these files but have used them on metal so with brand new files I know they will be sharp. A good way to test file sharpness and to compare files is to place a 2p coin on the teeth and see how steeply the file can be raised before the coin slides?
Thanks iFIDDLE; when I'm ready to start making the violin I'll add a new thread because it's not going to be an overnight job; I'll take my time and already I find on YouTube a guy has beaten me to an idea I had. I had been thinking of how to thickness the plates and having a big drill press thought using a round nosed milling cutter against a peg with the correct gap and the depth stop set it would quickly establish the basic thickness but I came across a video showing this already being done using a drill bit so credit to the guy on the video.
Working to the loose tolerances involved with violin making I should be easily at home with; part of my apprenticeship training was to file flat to a thou of an inch (not draw filing) and having achieved this feeling pleased with myself the instructor then handed me a set of three enginers scrapers which dulled my pride a bit; in my home workshop I can turn on the metal lathe to one ten thousandth of an inch and even this in engineering terms is quite thick; to get it even more accurate then "Lapping" is resorted to; as I say I'm not smart I was just trained by top engineers so can thank them for what I can now do.
I've just enjoyed another short practice session in bow control and I'm definitely improving; I think it's now time to try playing a tune so I'll browse your excellent tutorials Fiddlerman.
I must be learning a bit because I can already hear the difference between my Hidersine and Rainbow violins; both are fitted with Hidersine strings but don't sound the same.
I have a very cheap electronic tuner and woder how accurate these actually are it nly cost about £5 through eBay? Funds aren't a problem.
Another day has quietly disappeared.
Kind regards, Colin.