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I'm a very new to violin (isn't it obvious :). I got myself a violin (Fiddlerman Artist) and eager to learn anything and everything to help me to produce some decent sounds.
About my musical background, I'm playing guitar since I was 15. I'm from Russia originally, now I'm living in US almost for 20 years... I was playing guitar "semi-professional" - meaning getting money for it but not enough for living :). And I always have a fascination for "fret-less" instruments.
So, the long story short - "middle age crisis" :), I bought a violin and with the help of internet I'm trying to learn this trade. I am playing my violin for recreation and I love it - that what matters isn't' it.
Some say you have to play for 10000 hours in order to master the instrument but I hope I can "short cut" some learning curve :).
I like the attitude of fiddlerman community, their passions toward the music and eagerness to help the fellow musicians in their quest for learning the intricacy of the trade.
Thank you for your help,
PS: I recon that lot's of guitar players want to learn violin... interesting, not the other way around :). Well may just the ultimate tool for getting perfect pitch
The short answer about viola jokes (I'm a violist, by the way) is that they come from long ago. The viola mostly plays middle harmonies, which earlier in music history usually weren't very interesting. Between that and the awkward size of the instrument, few people wanted to play the viola, and many violists were failed violinists. That's when viola jokes started. Over time, as music became more complex, composers started to feature the middle voices more, more musicians began to specialize in the viola, and the quality of viola playing increased dramatically, so the idea of violists being failed violinists is no longer true. Haydn used to complain that orchestras rarely had more than two violists who could play his viola parts. Today a reasonably good high school orchestra's viola section has no trouble at all with Haydn. But the jokes have stuck.
There might be one other reason why viola jokes have continued. While most violinists start very young (most commonly age 4-6), it's rare for violists to start younger than 8 or 9, simply because violas smaller than 12" (the size of a half-size violin) are very hard to find. In middle school orchestras, many of the violinists have already been playing for years, while the violists are either beginners or recently converted from violin. So there is usually a real skill gap in middle school when kids start hearing viola jokes, but it disappears over time.
Good evening VladZ,
Welcome to Fiddlerman!
I picked up the violin and viola about 6 months ago. I too have been playing stringed instruments for most of my life- guitar, banjo, dulcimer; also the harmonica and didgeridoo.
Make sure to be kind to yourself. It is easy to get discouraged because of the nature of this beast. For me, the key is to relax- something I have struggled with for my entire life.
I am finding that I need to walk away from the instrument for a while when I get frustrated, which is usually when I get keyed up.
I am also trying to change my lifestyle to better accommodate the instrument. I am one of those people that try to bite off more than they can chew.
I am retired- the problem with retirement is that I never get a day off! LOL!
THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS DUMB QUESTIONS!
Be kind, stay safe and healthy.
Hello and welcome to the forum, lots of people on here are guitarists the same as yourself, me included, I took up the violin as a challenge, thought it would be as easy as the guitar lol, take my advice when you feel like smashing it to bits remember we all go through the same problems and frustrations. Most difficult instrument in the world without a doubt.
Glad you joined us!
I'm surprised more guitar players don't try a frettless guitar before a violin. (lol)
What I decided to do was give myself a year to determine if it was worth the effort to continue playing the violin. My answer was... YES, of course!
I play a 5-string violin and I'm self-taught.
Do you know about the Fiddlershop Academy?
I hope you enjoy your new adventures playing the violin!
Btw, I think playing the viola is harder than playing the violin. It's harder to get a quick response from lower strings.
@Mouse, yes, I've got an email from you. Thanks for the info.
@ELCBK, thanks for the link to the fiddlershop academy. I read that you have changed cyclic to the bow. At least you have your right hand trained to be relaxed and to not overcompensate, violin should be a breeze for you :)... Fret-less guitar? Well, I though about getting me a shamisen...
@Everybody, thanks for the words of encouragement.
I started to learn violin this summer and so far finished Suzuki Vol. 1 (more or less
Now I discovered fiddlerman.com site with tons of interesting pieces and such enthusiastic and engaged crowd as yourself.