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Hello from NH
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
February 16, 2017 - 9:18 am
Member Since: February 12, 2017
Forum Posts: 10
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I signed up after I rented my violin. I have loved the instrument since going to a school concert in 5th grade. I am 32 now and hope to finally be able to play. I bought my son one for Christmas since he has been wanting one. He is 9. Him wanting one rekindled my desire.

When do you go from violin learner, to violin player, to violinist? Do you need to be able to play all 24 Caprices flawlessly? 


My personal playing goals are being able to play Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell, and the violin pieces from the movie The Red Violin. Love that movie.

February 16, 2017 - 11:47 am
Member Since: February 11, 2017
Forum Posts: 13
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Good luck, michigan! What a wonderful thing for both you and your son! I have no answers to any questions, being new here too. But I love your goals.


February 16, 2017 - 1:48 pm
Member Since: June 7, 2016
Forum Posts: 373
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michigan0626 said

When do you go from violin learner, to violin player, to violinist? Do you need to be able to play all 24 Caprices flawlessly?

You'd have to define your terms. I don't think anyone ever gets to where they've completely mastered the violin.  I call it a "deep" instrument, because not only are there about 3 dozen techniques (and that count might be low), there's combinations of them.  Since (depending on your talent for those particular techniques) it takes hundreds or even thousands of repetitions before you just do it right, regardless of what else you're doing, mastering all of the hundreds of possible combinations takes quite a while. And people keep coming up with new ideas, so it's a moving target.

Most of the individual techniques are easy to learn, easy to improve, but difficult to complete master.  You can do it (thousands, maybe millions of people have), but you have to be patient.

There's no way to put a number on how long it will take. What style do you want to play, and what techniques are needed for that?  Which of those techniques are you talented at? Do you have the determination to get good at the ones you don't have a talent for?  Etc, etc, etc.


michigan0626 said

My personal playing goals are being able to play Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell, and the violin pieces from the movie The Red Violin. Love that movie.  

I don't know those pieces, so I can't comment on how difficult it will be to get there.

For me personally, I tried for many years to pick up various instruments and teach myself to play them, so that I could play songs that I liked, the way I heard them by the original people who created them.

As a general rule, the gap between knowing almost nothing and being able to play that well was much too large, and I ended up giving up.  With the violin, I didn't have anything in particular I wanted to play (or even a genre I wanted to play), and I knew I knew absolutely nothing about the instrument.  It has made a HUGE difference.  I now know that I suck at teaching an instrument that I don't know how to play, even to (or maybe especially to) myself.

So for me, a goal of playing certain songs, to a really high standard, doesn't work. I need something I can achieve in a few weeks to work on, not something that will take me several years.

What works best for you only you know, but if working on something for a long time before you get any payback at all does not work for you, I'd advise finding some intermediate goals - things that will keep you moving at least a little bit in the direction of your end goal, but are fun and accomplishable a lot quicker. Or put another way, go for your goal, but enjoy the journey along the way.

California, the place of my heart
February 16, 2017 - 4:11 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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Hello and welcome.

I believe you are a violinist when you play the violin.... no definitions needed...unless in the first week or two after saying you are a violinist and someone says, can you perform at an event.. "UH well...okay... I am learning.."  haha.. thats my take on it.

Five years and I don't care what I am lacking.. I say I am a violinist..and I don't care whats missing in my playing that many would reject.  ha ha..

Something about turning 50.. sheesh...ha ha..

Good luck and mostly enjoy the music.



Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

King for a Day, Peasant for many

February 16, 2017 - 8:00 pm
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1816
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you're a beginner until you can play like David does in this bar scene... THEN you're a "violinist" LOL


"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

Fort Lauderdale
February 17, 2017 - 5:35 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16062

Welcome to the forum michigan0626,

You definitely don't need to be able to play all 24 Caprices flawlessly, or at all. LOL. I learned about half of them when I was a teenager and gave up spending time on them shortly after I had full time orchestral work. There are so many other great etudes that aren't even close the the torture of learning Paganini. :)
Though it's cool that you reference to the Caprices.
It's always way cooler for kids to play when they see their parents are interested as well. I believe you will achieve your goals if you keep the desire and have devotion.
Looking forward to your posts.

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

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