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Hi, I'm Stephen
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Stephen
Winchester, NH
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March 13, 2015 - 11:29 pm
Member Since: March 13, 2015
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Hi all, I'm 56 and thinking of taking up a bowed instrument: Violin, Viola, or Cello.

I'm looking for a stringed instrument to play popular tunes I hear on the radio: rock, pop, jazz or blues. Fun stuff. I'll learn by ear and play for my wife and two annoyed dogs.

I've watched several beginner videos on Youtube. Every one of the introductions demonstrate the Violin, Viola, or Cello with orchestral music. Doesn't anyone try to show off their bowed instrument with popular tunes?

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rottrunner
Chicago, IL, USA
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March 14, 2015 - 12:02 am
Member Since: February 10, 2014
Forum Posts: 23
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Hi Stephen,

An up-and-coming young musician by the name of Kevin Olusola does some great covers on cello.  He plays with the acapella group Pentatonix as well, and does what he calls "cello-boxing," where he beat-boxes and plays the cello simultaneously.  He's pretty fun to listen to/watch.

There's also the Dueling Fiddlers:

The Piano Guys have one cellist who does some fun stuff:

Lindsey Stirling writes original violin/dubstep/electronic music which is surprisingly good:

There are lots out there, but I agree, they're hard to find. =)

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
March 14, 2015 - 1:05 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4176
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Welcome to the forum.

I too would like to learn some pop tunes.   Thanks for posting. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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fiddlrgrrl
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March 14, 2015 - 4:36 pm
Member Since: January 23, 2012
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It's not actual "pop" music but there are several interesting violinists on YouTube playing the theme from Game of Thrones.

Can you give some examples of pop songs you'd like to learn?

Fiddlrgrrl

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Stephen
Winchester, NH
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March 14, 2015 - 7:38 pm
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fiddlrgrrl said
...

Can you give some examples of pop songs you'd like to learn?

Nothing specific. All of them, really.

I was too vague. I meant to say that the instructors could attract more people to the orch strings if they promoted them as instruments to play modern music, stuff we hear on the radio every day and buy on iTunes.

Say the words: violin, viola, and cello, and people think of: guys in formal attire playing stuff written 200 years ago, or child geniuses.

I have this idea that orchestral string teachers take an oath to start everybody with "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and "Amazing Grace" right before they introduce you to their regimented, classical cult.  If I tell a teacher, "I don't want to hear a single note of classical, or I'll find someone else," I think they'll be stumped. There must be other music for instruction somewhere.

I like all kinds of music. Have you ever heard of teachers who get their students started with contemporary music (top 40). If I get a violin I know I'll have to suss this music out for myself and transcribe it.  (I use MuseScore to transcribe pieces for my trumpet and ukulele.)

Despite this, I'm considering a violin, viola, or cello. They all have a wonderful sound.

A couple days ago I found 2CELLOS on Youtube, a great duo. They have imagination and also play beautifully. The only 'con' for the cello is its size. I don't know whether I could get it into my small pickup truck.

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Rob C
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March 14, 2015 - 8:46 pm
Member Since: January 2, 2015
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Hi Stephen. I'm not sure how to do links but there is a youtube channel called the string club that breaks popular songs down for you and shows how they are played. 2cellos is awsome as are many others like Talor Davis, Lindsay Sterling, Josh Knowles and Rhett Price, David Garrett, Simply Three among a few. They are all pros and have been playing for a long time. You'll be proud of yourself when you can play mary had a little lamb confortably lol.

Whichever you decide, enjoy.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 17, 2015 - 9:25 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14800

Stephen said
Hi all, I'm 56 and thinking of taking up a bowed instrument: Violin, Viola, or Cello.

I'm looking for a stringed instrument to play popular tunes I hear on the radio: rock, pop, jazz or blues. Fun stuff. I'll learn by ear and play for my wife and two annoyed dogs.

I've watched several beginner videos on Youtube. Every one of the introductions demonstrate the Violin, Viola, or Cello with orchestral music. Doesn't anyone try to show off their bowed instrument with popular tunes?

Welcome to the forum Stephen.

Which instrument are you leaning towards learning? Violin, Viola, or Cello?

In principle, there are really no popular tunes that can't be played by any of these instruments. I feel like you loose a lot from a popular song when you eliminate the lyrics which is why I don't do it but I'm more than willing to make those kind of videos as well. :)

Looking forward to hearing about your final choice.

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

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Stephen
Winchester, NH
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March 17, 2015 - 11:52 am
Member Since: March 13, 2015
Forum Posts: 3
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I've decided on the violin.

Now ... which one? I want a quality instrument which will satisfy the ear of an experienced player, and won't hinder me as I progress.

What I have to learn now is what makes a good violin. I want to know the difference between a $300 violin and a $1,500 violin (made in the same shop) so I can make an informed decision about the compromises I'm making.

Which parts will need regular replacement? Where will I get them?

After I get one, what customizations can I do at home?

Accessories?

And, what should be avoided?

Is there a "Buying a Violin for Dummies"?

Stephen

"It's not the critic who counts ..."

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 20, 2015 - 11:12 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14800

Usually the more expensive violins are easier to play, feel more open and powerful, have a generally more appealing sound under your ear. There are exceptions, good and bad in all price ranges but you're usually allowing the learning process to be easier.

You shouldn't have to do any customizations at home. You can change strings obviously. :)

Accessories would be shoulder rests, tuners, stands, electric pick-ups and effects, playback equipment, mutes (nuance and even solid heavy practice).... and more....

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

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RedViolin
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March 29, 2015 - 4:19 am
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Welcome to the forum Stephen, and thanks for starting off some interesting discussion :)

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Fiddlestix
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