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Another new member from England.
Raw novice.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (41 votes) 
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Retired

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October 6, 2021 - 11:09 am
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Hi,

Thanks stringy for your encouragement. I didn't touch the violin yesterday just having a rest because I've been trying too hard; today I'm busy elsewhere but I'll soon be practicing again. When I first applied rosin to the new bow hair I did rub it in and the violin plays OK; it did leave a deposit on the violin and strings so I must have applied enough. I simply don't understand yet regarding so many things; I'll stick with the Kaplan rosin though because it appears to be highly recommended unless I'm informed otherwise; I did wonder about the Hidersine rosin.

I'm fully tensed out when I practice just trying to balance the violin and it's likely this will remain until I get lots more practice in; I can stand it so long until pain and burning sets into my left arm due to gripping the violin neck so tightly; I've tried lesser grip but then can't control the violin; at the moment even with the shoulder rest fitted I can't contact the chin rest correctly unless my head is right over; for my set up I think I need a mitre joint in my neck. I've tried lots of positions with the shoulder rest even having it adjusted to maximum height; it's uncomfortable and putting me off.

What a shame York is an hour away but I've just emailed our local violin shop requesting help in setting me up for correct posture so am awaiting their reply; visitors are by appointment only but the shop is pretty near; it's worth a try.

I fully understand you never wanting to be without instrument in a similar way I'd never consider being without a lathe and I have three of these but used to have five; totally different to violins of course but the desire remains even after almost 60 years of using a lathe.

Thanks Fiddlerman; you make playing a violin look so easy; I've tried many positions to use my violin both with and without shoulder rest and confess I'm really struggling; I have most problem contacting the chin rest hence I need to support the violin with my left hand; if I ease back on grip the violin slides away; I've been pretty near with setting it up but then the violin rotates if I let go; I'm not the only bony member built like a stick insect with a longish neck but it doesn't help me so I will find a solution.

Thanks Andrew for the Hill Light rosin information but as you say the Kaplan rosin will be fine for some time; I've lots more to think about. Thanks also for taking the time to add the two videos which I've just watched in their entirity; as you rightly say Yehudi appears to have the chin rest located under his ear which is a position I've not tried. I hope I'm not boring but I'm adding information as to my progress or lack of it as each day passes by. I'm expecting a center chin rest to arrive and in the meantime I'll pester our local violin shop; every little helps; I'd like to hold the violin between chin and shoulder unsupported by my left hand; I'm not sulking I just want to feel at ease whilst playing which at the moment I'm finding so hard to accomplish; as a child I learnt how to ride a bike but lost count the number of times I ended up tangled in the bike; a violin is smaller which should help?

The selection of engineers new files arrived today so another step nearer to making a violin; I keep moving forward.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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October 6, 2021 - 12:33 pm
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The photos are fine, except that perhaps you could hold the violin more at 11 O'Clock, and your left elbow should come under (a lot) more to your right.

It's just that you haven't got a shoulderrest attached, so they may tell us nothing. With a shoulderrest your stance may be totally different. For instance, your left shoulder is raised a little. That might become a problem.

If money is no object, then this is my preferred shoulder rest. I suspect from your photos that you will find that there's a big difference. https://www.hidersine.com/acce.....ulder-rest

(mirror images taken into account)

Andrew

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stringy
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October 6, 2021 - 12:41 pm
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Colin take a look at this you may find it interesting watch all the way through though.

She talks about and shows how to use shoulder rests and how you should place your head, she knows what she is talking about she is a russian professor of violin

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Gordon Shumway
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October 6, 2021 - 12:44 pm
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Yes, don't underestimate the value of a car sponge and a rubber band, Colin!

Andrew

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October 6, 2021 - 2:00 pm
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Hi,

I hope I'm not coming across as a whinger or moaner; I'm just sharing my story and in fact I feel quite cheerful after all I'd be a fool to expect to play a violin overnight. thumbs-up

Thanks Andrew for taking the time to study the pictures; not the best of pictures because I was trying to do so much hence the facial expression which actually changes little. I've book marked the shoulder rest link you kindly added and please have a look at this company I hope to visit once they respond to my email enquiry;

https://www.hansonmusic.co.uk/.....ulder-rest

Lots and lots of shoulder rests but I doubt they're all in stock but you'll see they sell Hidersine products; surely they should fix me up and yes money certainly isn't a problem in fact any suggestions as to anything else I might need whilst there; they only have one type of chin rest though but it's a lot different to the chin rest I have; I measured my chin rest earlier and it's very low; I was looking at a site where they sold chin rests up to 35mm high which even for me I think would be too high. A thought did occur to me in that a higher chin rest would slightly lower the height of the violin? I'm trying to consider everything.

Thanks stringy for adding the highly informative video; Bron and I have already watched this but I've just watched once again full length absorbing the information; this lady is brilliant and even speaks better English than I do; I still struggle with "Yorkshire" joking apart there are some truly wonderful tutorial video's to watch and not forgetting our very own Fiddlerman whom I took a lot of notice of regarding getting my elbow under the violin to reach the D & G strings; I must be making progress though because I can use all four fingers on both the E & A strings so I'm sure once I get the violin support I'm striving for things will improve a great deal. I liked the inflatable pad if I understood it correctly.

I think the sponge will also come in useful too Andrew if wetted to cool my fevered brow after struggling practicing. I tried a short while ago practicing without shoulder support and now I've got left lower chin aching gums but my left arm isn't hurting. Clenching my teeth trying to reach the chin rest sure doesn't work but when I've tried every combination of what doesn't work I'm sure I'll make a breakthrough. The shoulder rest you like Andrew looks nicely shaped. I've actually got the Wolf shoulder rest the Russian lady spoke of.

I'll be happy to post an update if and when I visit the violin shop which I'm looking forward to; we still have Covid causing problems where masks are requested to be worn in stores although so many prefer to spread Covid and not wear a mask.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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October 7, 2021 - 2:37 am
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I was going to pm you, colin, but you've signed out of the pm system.

Best not to post commerical links here, as Fiddlershop is the host commercial link.

otoh, cross-Atlantic business can be tricky - for example, I was curious about what a Fiddlerman bow was like, but the shipping was $77, so this side of the Atlantic does need to keep its eye on the ball re shopping. And vice versa Hidersine are unknown to the USA.

I was going to recommend you check out "thestringzone". They don't in fact have my particular rest in stock at the moment, but its basic design is common, and there are plenty of Chinese copies on Amazon, one of which I bought when they were cheaper than they are now.

Andrew

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October 7, 2021 - 5:32 am
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Hi,

Many thanks Andrew regarding posting commercial links which I'll bear in mind in future; I thought it would be safe mentioning our local violin store because anyone importing from the states to the UK would need a mortgage to cover postage (shipping) but I'll not do it again. I've looked at The String Zone but again isn't this commercial although like the violin store I mentioned is here in the UK. I'm unsure what postage charges are the other way round from the UK to the states; in an earlier post I mentioned I'd been looking at stickers costing only $3.25 but was horrified to see shipping at $59.93 I only wanted to buy the stickers not the company.

I hadn't realized Andrew I'd not activated PM's so thanks also for this I'll look into it shortly because I do receive quite a few PM's from members of other forums.

Last night I had a 15 minute practice session just using the bow; first thing this morning I decided to have a quick browse because I'm thinking of making my own shoulder rest after all I've got lots of materials and machinery etc; on Pinterest Fiddlerman popped up showing a shoulder rest. So much to choose from.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Retired

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October 7, 2021 - 5:41 am
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Hi,

I added the picture of the chin rest shown in the previous post but tried to delete it but it's remained; I don't want to tread on toes and am still finding my way around the forum. crossedfingers

Kind regards, Colin.

A quick update to you Andrew; I've just spent a while looking how to activate PM's but without success so I've also tried to send you a PM but again without success; could this be due to me being a new member and can't PM until I reach a certain number of posts? Eventually I'll fully settle in. I'm unsure if this is mentioned in forum rules which I did check before joining.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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Afaik, the main function of the chinrest is to protect the tailpiece from your face: pressing the tailpiece will affect intonation.

After that, the shape and position and height (combined with shoulderrest shape, position and height) will depend on your personal requirements, but as a beginner you shouldn't have any, unless a teacher specifies, so bog-standard everything (e.g. those as-fitted guarneris) should be your first resort.

Thestringzone is commmecial*, but I didn't post a link, I just mentioned it, a bit like Amazon.

*Hidersine aren't commercial, hence my link. They are now owned by Barnes and Mullins, which I suppose is their commercial outlet.

Gordon Shumway said
your left shoulder is raised a little. That might become a problem. 

And when you are bowing, keep your right shoulder low too.

Andrew

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Hi,

Thanks Andrew for taking so much time for me and patience; I do appreciate it.

I emailed the violin store and asked them to please disregard my previous email. I'd been awaiting a reply and really all I wanted was to buy a suitable shoulder rest so possibly it wouldn't be worth their time setting up an appointment for me to visit and in stores we are still being requested to wear masks due to Covid.

This morning whilst watching on YouTube people making shoulder rests at home we came across a shoulder rest which looked ideal it being fully adjustable using Velcro pads; straight to the computer to buy one only to find it in the US; fast food has been the UK growth industry for years and it's increasingly difficult to buy genuine British Made any more. I've now bought Velcro pads through eBay to play around with and await their delivery. I'm also increasingly concerned regarding the wood order from Poland I placed and paid for some time ago; it still hasn't arrived; everything takes so much time these days. The company selling the wood have a good reputation and having paid via PayPal my money is safe; I'm still gathering items and materials I might need for when I start to make a violin; time though is flying by at an alarming pace and winter is almost upon us; we alter the clocks at the end of the month so lose an hours daylight in the afternoon making this a miserable time of the year and is why I decided to adopt making a violin where I can be warm and comfortable for a change.

I'm sticking to practicing at least once per day even if only in the evening for half an hour; playing a violin is a hobby to me but I want to stick with it whatever it takes.

Thanks again Andrew.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Fiddlerman
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October 7, 2021 - 10:11 am
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It's crazy how much shipping costs have gone up. :(

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

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Gordon Shumway
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Retired said
This morning whilst watching on YouTube people making shoulder rests at home we came across a shoulder rest which looked ideal it being fully adjustable using Velcro pads

 

we alter the clocks at the end of the month so lose an hours daylight in the afternoon 

I had to work that one out - yes the clocks go back, so dusk is an hour earlier, but dawn is also an hour earlier and we gain an hour in the day, so that cloud has a silver lining*.

Apart from car sponges, I found a sponge covered in synthetic chamois somewhere a few months ago, I suppose it was Sainsburys, but it may have been Lidl. I snapped it up just in case.

*I used to play bridge in a hotel twice a year, spring and autumn when the clocks moved, and one autumn my bridge partner accidentally (very drunk) put his clock forward an hour when he went to bed at 1AM. He got up at 5AM thinking it was 7AM and went down to the breakfast room and wondered why the hotel was in darkness with no-one around.

Andrew

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Hi,

Everything here is starting to increase in price Fiddlerman but WOW shipping costs from the US to the UK for even the smallest item means buying from the US isn't on; what is strange though buying direct from China on eBay the shipping is often included and the item in the first place is cheap too so shipping costs must be exceedingly small.

As they say Andrew regarding clock changing the easiest way to remember is Fall back Spring forward; we don't actually lose any daylight it's just at a different time and I don't know why we bother changing clocks; kids now tend to go to school by car hence the school run.

I've just enjoyed half an hour practicing and this time sat down to get comfortable and just go for it on the E & A strings. Being seated I can bend my head forward and with the violin pointing more foward and downward I can actually get my chin onto the standard chin rest but not support the violin without help from my left hand but if I'm very careful indeed with balancing the violin on my left thumb I've been running up and down both these strings with all four fingers and this time no death grip and no arm burning; I must be doing something right; as my confidence grows then I can start looking at correct posture etc and getting my left elbow in the correct position.

I tried to hold the bow correctly and also control not only bow stroke but pressure whilst not doing too badly supporting the violin neck with just my thumb with my fingers virtually hovering over the strings; I'm as yet still unable to hold the chin rest under my chin without the chin rest getting away but I've got a center chin rest due to arrive anytime to play with. I've not had chance to really look to see if I can modify the chin rest to give greater height but definite progress tonight; the usual squealing at the start but with full concentration I'm running the bow almost full length with more control. Tomorrow I might be rubbish again but I've seen a glimpse of what is possible and my right arm action is smoothing out as are my fingers on the strings.

The weather forecast isn't too bad if we can believe it over the next few days so I might manage some exterior painting of the handrails; there's always work to be done even in retirement.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=viol.....;ia=images

Lots of ideas to choose from but here's an interesting one which could be modified to prevent rope burn;

Violin-support.JPGImage Enlarger

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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Retired said
what is strange though buying direct from China on eBay the shipping is often included and the item in the first place is cheap too so shipping costs must be exceedingly small.

It's Chinese government policy - in order to boost exports, shipping is basically free on anything exported.

(that's probably an oversimplification, but it's basically what is happening)

Andrew

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Retired

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Hi,

Thanks for the information Andrew; it explains why I can buy directly from China at such low cost; a good way to get the economy moving.

I doubt I could practice playing a violin at the moment; my hands and fingers are tingling from power sanding a big long handrail; work never lets up around our bungalow and gardens.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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Retired said
I don't know why we bother changing clocks; kids now tend to go to school by car hence the school run.

A lot of people think it's to do with schoolkids, but it isn't.

In fact GMT coincides with winter time. Winter is when the sun is in the zenith at noon.

BST is what is abnormal - one view is that it's to keep factories open longer in the evenings in summer when there's more natural light. Another view is that it's, more beneficently, to give people daylight to enjoy after their day's work in the summer.

Andrew

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Fashionandfiddle
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Hi @Retired 

 

Welcome.  I'm also in the UK and learning myself. 

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Hi,

Thanks Andrew; altering clocks has always created lots of debate;

Remembering when the clocks didn't go back

 

Remembering when the clocks didn't go back
 

The BBC's Andrew Bomford reflects on an experiment to extend British Summer Time (BST) through the year.

Between 1968 and 1971, Britain tested keeping BST all year round. It was called British Standard Time.

"I cannot really see why we should be tied to such a convention... perhaps the idea of abandoning GMT would be like giving up the national anthem," one man said.

Why not stick to one or the other and be done with it. cheers

Thanks for the welcome Fashionandfiddle; we're in the same boat and are you enjoying the same experiences as I'm enjoying whilst learning to play a violin; are you making progress; I'm finding it both frustrating and interesting in equal amounts; sometimes I think what am I doing messing around with a violin when I could be doing something a lot easier but then I've never done easy and intend to carry on; I'm getting into the routine of practicing at least half an hour in the evenings after teatime and also between jobs during the day if I can squeeze a session in. Depending what I do during the day seems to effect how I play in the evening; sometimes I'm more relaxed which helps.

Yesterday evening I attached the new center chin rest and didn't notice a lot of difference; I've been practicing without the aid of a shoulder rest so I'll try this evening with the shoulder rest; keeping my arm and wrist straight is starting to feel more natural as is holding the bow; it's only a short while ago Bron kindly bought me the violin and since then I created the studio; it was all so alien at first but now just picking up the violin and bow doesn't feel as strange as it first did.

Treework_0002.JPGImage Enlarger

Playing a violin is rather different to what I'm usually doing; last summer I removed a huge 60' long very mature high hedge; as I say I never do easy and removing the hedge involved removing the stumps too; here is one of them which must weigh over a ton; this one alone took a week of sheer hard graft to get out using spade and jacks.11-July-2021_0005.JPGImage Enlarger

We live on a very steep valley side and refer to the top of our garden as the top of the mountain; here's the wildflower meadow I created at the top.22-June-2021_0008.JPGImage Enlarger

Looking down our mountain; the gardens and detached bungalow are very high maintenance hence after a day grafting it's difficult to relax. I was out very early doing some exterior painting this morning and have just knocked off for a mug of tea.

Kind regards, Colin.

 

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Retired said
keeping my arm and wrist straight is starting to feel more natural

The difficulty in the combined contortions of the left arm is something that is quickly forgotten, so beginners and experienced people, unless they teach regularly, can have trouble communicating. But I can still remember trying to play a Bb scale across all four strings and not being able to pull my index finger into the right position. After a while you wonder what the difficulty was.

Andrew

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Mark
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Turning the clocks back and forth were suppose to save energy costs, how ever that was a false assumption, it actually cost the consumers of Indiana many millions of dollars when we were forced to go to daylight saving time a decade ago.

Utterly ignorant in my opinion. 

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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