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Hi from RedViolin!
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January 17, 2015 - 5:37 am
Member Since: January 15, 2015
Forum Posts: 154
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treble-1226Hi everyone! I recently picked up the violin again after a hiatus of almost 2 decades, just before my 30th birthday. I had taken some lessons at school, but never really got anywhere (didn't finish Suzuki book 1), and always wanted to try again. I bought an electric violin (I live in an apartment) a couple of years ago, but didn't know how to tune it, and was too scared to use it! (My old violin teacher was always very adamant that we shouldn't try tuning the violin ourselves, and should barely touch it!)

A friend encouraged me to try again, so I've been doing some basic exercises (after figuring out a great way to tune my violin, plugging it in to the computer). I have forgotten everything and am basically starting from zero, but enjoying it a lot so far - more so than when I was a kid - I think in part because of all the other tools available now like the videos on this site, which are keeping me motivated to practice each day, which is more than I did back then.

I'm really happy to have found a forum which includes some other beginner adults as well as experienced violinists, and am super grateful to Fiddlerman for the great siteviolin_girl

Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil

January 17, 2015 - 7:05 am
Member Since: November 19, 2012
Forum Posts: 229
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Hey, RedViolin! Welcome to the Forums! :D

I honestly think your violin teacher was VERY wrong in telling you not to try to tune your instrument. Every musician should be able to do so, and there's no way of tuning it without even trying. :)

Even EVs work with chromatic tuners - I personally like the ones that clip on the instrument, they're very practical. I suggest you look for one in a nearby music store or in online shops, such as Fiddlershop.

Anyhow, feel free to ask and opine on anything you want, this forum is just for this and has one of the best online communities that I'm aware of. Hope you get to learn fast!

Skype: augustoad Email: [email protected] Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)


Honorary advisor

January 17, 2015 - 9:54 am
Member Since: November 26, 2014
Forum Posts: 209
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Welcome RedViolin!
I also was afraid of tuning the violin myself after I broke the E string in the first weeks. But my teacher always encourage me to do it, so I began slowly turning the pegs because I needed for praticising at home. Don't be afraid and if you feel insecure, follow the advice augustoad gave you. Nowadays, there are free apps for your phone, tablet or pc that include a tuner. I started that way :)

Wish you the best in your journey. Anything you need, just ask :)

January 17, 2015 - 11:07 am
Member Since: January 16, 2015
Forum Posts: 14
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Welcome from another newbie, Red! 

It's great that there are so many here that are ready and willing to offer help. And I'm sure you already know that it's silly to baby your toys: photography is another one of my hobbies, and I learned early on you can't be afraid to put a few dings in stuff!


January 17, 2015 - 11:15 am
Member Since: November 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 555
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 Greetings and Welcome!!!

I Like to agree that your instructor was wrong. You need to know your instrument and be able to care for it. Every time you pick it up, you should see if its in tune. You ear eventually becomes accustomed to each note and you can then tune it without a "tuner". When you play, weather, humidity, heat, cold, sunlight will all affect your instruments ability to stay in tune. You need to be able to adjust, even minutely, on the fly or to start your practice, rehearsal or gig.

I was a late started with the violin. I picked it up a few yards shy of the 50. I can't imagine life without it. I am by no means one of those WOW players. Well, actually I am, but its more of a fainting-1344wow.   ;)

I love playing what I can and enjoy trying new bits. You will find really amazing players and more importantly, amazing people here. You can get advice, assist another, even demonstrate via video your progress or accomplishments. ITs very uplifting here. Fiddlerman (FM) has assembled a great family. Whatever your comfort or skill level, no one will berate you for what you can do. That in itself is refreshing and welcomed.

Pull up your fiddle or violin and join right in. cheers

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

Honorary tenured advisor

January 17, 2015 - 12:38 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 973
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Telling young students not to tune their own violins is very common in elementary-middle school classes.  Kids would be popping strings all over the place, bridges collapsing, sound posts rolling around in the instrument and doing who knows how much damage to the instruments.  My son and later my grandson were told the same thing by their school teachers.  The problem is, as the kids get older, they remain afraid to touch anything and actually fear that they will ruin the violin if they try to tune it, after having been told so many times not to do that.

The cure for that, of course, is simply to learn how to tune the instrument, how to change the strings, adjust the bridge and all of the other necessary things that are required.  I taught my grandson how to tune his viola while he was in middle school and showed him how to change the strings.  Now he'll whip off an old set and have the new ones on a a few minutes and adjust the bridge without even thinking about it.  All you need to do is realize that while it is not made out of iron, it's not made out of eggshells either.  Just learn how to do it and have at it.  The main thing is no big moves and don't muscle stuff around and all will be fine.  There are a ton of videos out there -- and some good ones right here on this site, so have a watch and do what they tell you and you'll be able to do all of this stuff in no time.  Next we'll be hearing how you just finished adjusting your sound post. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

California, the place of my heart
January 17, 2015 - 4:17 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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Hello Hello and welcome.

As an adult beginner, I took some lessons and oddly enough my teacher always tuned my violin at the beginning of the lesson. I never told her that I would tune it before I came.  So she had very little to do. But she never showed me how.

THANK GOD for Fiddlerman.com and all the lovelies here.

Enjoy and have a blast.


Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato


January 17, 2015 - 9:52 pm
Member Since: January 15, 2015
Forum Posts: 154
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Wow, thanks everyone for such a warm welcome!semiquaver-1214

I think Uzi is probably right that elementary/middle school teachers have a reason for warning kids against trying to tune on their own... my teacher in primary/early high school (I think the equivalent of middle school) was always armed with stories of students who had tried to tune on their own, or who let their guitar-playing cousins tune their violins, and ended up with broken strings. Unfortunately,  because I didn't continue with my formal lessons for long enough to be taught how to tune the violin myself, (as Uzi pointed out) it led to me being forever scared of trying it for myself.

Thanks for the tip about the tuner augustoad. I've had some luck with  http://www.instrument-tuner.com/ In order to not become to reliant on it, I'm trying to guess whether each string is too high or too low before I actually look at the screen, but for the time being, at least it's getting me to have a go at tuning and play. When I opened up my case, all of the strings had come loose, the bridge had fallen, etc. so fixing all of this up carefully helped me to get over my fear a bit! ElisaDalViolin, good to hear I'm not the only one who was afraid of this! I completely agree with you about "babying" toys NoStringsAttached - as I've discovered, there's a big difference between respecting and looking after an instrument, and being afraid of it! It was piecing my violin back together that led me to look for videos online, which led to me finding this forum. I agree with your sentiment coolpinkone - Fiddlerman's resources and all of the great advice here has been absolutely invaluable.

Tyberius, your description of the Fiddlerman community is precisely how it appeared to me as an outsider, and why I decided to sign up. It looks like a very encouraging, motivating, fostering environment. I was very surprised to wake up this morning and find seven replies to my post - I've never had this sort of a welcome on a forum before (although I guess the time difference helps a bit - I'm in Australia aussie_flag) I hope that in time I can contribute to this community, and help support other beginners like myself :)

January 18, 2015 - 7:28 pm
Member Since: December 27, 2013
Forum Posts: 87
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Welcome to the community!  I'm happy you got over your tuning concerns and are re-exploring this incredible instrument :)

Blogging my beginner journey and progress...Diary of a Fumbling New Violinist:  http://learningviolin.ca/

Fort Lauderdale
January 18, 2015 - 11:08 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16062
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Welcome to the site RedViolin. My first teacher told us not to tune the violin but I didn't listen. LOL
I guess I can understand a teacher not wanting young kids breaking anything. Probably the best thing would have been to teach you how instead. ;)
Not surprised that you are enjoying it more this time around. It's completely your choice now and you can practice when you want right???
Happy to have you here and looking forward to getting to know you better.

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

Advanced member
January 19, 2015 - 7:44 am
Member Since: April 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 79
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I just started playing again at 30 years old also.  Fiddlerman is right, it's great playing an instrument when it's your choice.


I recently purchased a snark tuner from Amazon for like $7.  Best $7 I've spent learning this instrument!


January 19, 2015 - 5:01 pm
Member Since: January 15, 2015
Forum Posts: 154
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Thanks Shell, Fiddlerman and kylesito!

I first learned violin because I was interested in it - I didn't have a good enough ear to be selected for music tuition when I was really young - but of course, this led to a bit of a hierarchy, where those of us who picked up the instrument later (around age 11?) were compared to those who had started training in the Suzuki method from far, far younger, having been specially selected, and given the best instruments. Now, I know not to compare myself to others - just to look at my own progress.

I've been making a recording of my playing most days since I started (almost 2 weeks now), and plan on go back and listening to them again to see how I improve. By the way Shell, I checked out your blog and was inspired by the progress you show in your videos!

I had a tuner on my iPhone called Tux Tuner which was pretty easy to use, but now that I've switched to a FireFox phone, I'm finding the Instrument Tuner software on my computer the most hassle free (obviously not good for on-the-go, but I certainly won't be performing anywhere outside of my home for a good long while yet!cool). Thanks for the recommendation of the snark tuner kylesito. It seems as if Amazon has a lot of really good stuff, but unfortunately, the shipping costs to Australia are absolutely astronomical crySo I'll probably stick with my PC and iPhone set up for now, and check out local music stores if I get more serious.

Thanks for the help getting started Fiddlerman, and for the warm welcome!

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