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lucille
Southern US
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June 15, 2018 - 1:12 pm
Member Since: June 15, 2018
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Hello everyone,

I'm learning to play the violin because for one, I love violins and secondly, because I walked into a music store and the man there told me how difficult that the violin was to play, keep tuned, how expensive strings were, and there were no frets which makes it even more difficult. I said, "Fine, I'll take it!" 😀

I am loving it although everything that the shop owner said is right on, but my experience playing piano has helped 'some.'  It's been 3 1/2 months since I bought my first violin (which sounded like a brass horn honking) I have been reading this forum, watching Fiddlerman videos (thanks!) and it has really helped. I'm looking forward to learning more from you all. Thanks all ! 

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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June 15, 2018 - 1:21 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
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Hey there, welcome to the forum 🙂 Even though I had always (always) wanted to learn to play the violin, part of the draw of finally trying it out as an adult was everyone telling me it was too hard, that I'd never be able to do it. I like a good challenge 🙂

☆•*¨*•¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆•*¨*•¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆
On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨* •☆•*¨*¨*•¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆

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lucille
Southern US
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June 15, 2018 - 1:45 pm
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Thanks Damfino! Me too! I'm an adult beginner also, half a century old and thought that I had better get started, pronto. I love a challenge, too!  It has been a challenge but so much fun. I've never felt so proud as when I first 'sawed' out Old Suzannah.' It was a Paganini moment for me. 🤓 

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Bella86
Sweden
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June 15, 2018 - 5:22 pm
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your decision to learn to play! 😀 
I too took it up partially because of the challenge. I have a tendency to quit on things before I even start, so I want to prove to myself that I can actually achieve something. 
Looking forward to maybe seeing some progress videos. 🙂

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lucille
Southern US
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June 16, 2018 - 9:55 pm
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Hey Bella86. I will try to put up progress videos, at least audio when I can record on something other than my phone. I'm just now learning to play without a death grip around the neck. My left hand and arm felt awful. I never knew that a violin could be so painful. 😀 Yes I too, want to achieve something on the violin and hopefully will be able to play more smoothly in a couple of years.  I love to practice so that will help, hopefully. Thanks for the welcome! 

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ryonass
Maryland
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June 17, 2018 - 6:46 pm
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Welcome to the forum and hope you enjoy the learning journey.

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OldOgre
OhiO
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June 17, 2018 - 11:17 pm
Member Since: March 15, 2014
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Welcome to the insanity, I hope you enjoy the trip.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

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Fran
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June 18, 2018 - 11:00 am
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welcome and enjoy the journey!!!!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 18, 2018 - 2:42 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13384

Welcome to the forum lucille.
I love that attitude. The man told you how dificult it is to learn to play the violin and you said, "Fine, I'll take it!" ROFL.
I'm looking forward to your updates and posts. 🙂

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

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Mimi Aysha
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June 20, 2018 - 10:03 am
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Welcome Lucille -

I have to admit that if I knew there were so many positions and that it was hard I may not have started....but it's too late now...

I'm sure you'll put out some wonderful tunes! Good Luck

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lucille
Southern US
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June 25, 2018 - 11:56 am
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Hey All ! Thanks for the welcome and encouragement!   A pitch for Fiddlerman's carbon fiber bow: I bought one and love it, so that has helped. I didn't realize how heavy that my other bow was until I bought the carbon fiber. I think that my other bow was made of iron and fishing line. 😀 As far as progress, im still in first position. I'm so proud of that for the next couple of months. I'm just working on trying to play a decent little tune or two in some sort of smooth fashion. I'm trying to figure this madness out. 🤓 I'm working on Lovers Waltz by Jay Ungar. I can play it (saw through it) but barely. I can get the right intonation but I can't really get much expression into my playing. I'm working on bow control for that aspect, and trying to work that out. I'm thinking that it will take much experience.  I'm absolutely loving the violin and yes it's a bit of insanity. I think that I've permanently damaged my left arm but it's all good. 😀

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 25, 2018 - 2:01 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Be careful with your left arm Lucille. Take the time necessary when playing to stop and feel your arm. Make sure it's not tenser than it has to be.

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

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pchoppin
Utah
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June 25, 2018 - 11:23 pm
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Welcome @lucille 

I was just reading your comments about your arm and positions.  I am in my 4th month of playing now and it has gotten much less painful. Some discomfort is normal for beginners.  But if it is not improving, or getting worse you should have an experienced violinist or preferably a professional teacher help you with posture and proper holding of your violin. 

Also, I am not familiar with that song but as long as it is all in 1st position you should not have too much pain reaching the notes.  Again, a teacher should be able to help you to properly place your finger and hand so that you are not injuring yourself during playing.  

Violin is a pleasant, relaxing, peaceful instrument to play and should never be torturous for you.  I am afraid that if you hurt yourself you might end up having to stop playing and that would be tragic. 

- Pete -

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Bella86
Sweden
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June 25, 2018 - 11:53 pm
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As pchoppin says, in the beginning, twisting the arm the way you need to do to play the violin will result in some soreness. For me it took a few months before that was not an issue anymore. I even remember one time where I played for over an hour and after i felt nothing anywhere. No discomfort at all. So it is possible when completely tension free. (which pretty much never happen in my case)

I also noticed that I need to keep the shoulder as low on my shoulder as possible, as in, shoulderrest need to be kept short. This took away a lot of pain in my arm.
I've had more problems with my trapezius muscle though. It seem like I do raise my shoulder a bit even though I think I am keeping it down. (being tired and tense from work doesnt help either) I have had to try to find a very high chinrest to help with both that and to keep close to my shoulder. It's a pain having a very long neck. Even the SAS isn't perfect for me as it's so flat. I was more comfortable with a lower chinrest that was on a trial violin as it had a little lip on it that hooked under my jaw. I also just last week realised I should put my shoulderrest on at a slightly different angle.
My point here is that I encourage you to experiment with shoulderrest and chinrests if you keep experiencing pains. You really don't want permanent injuries, it'll most likely force you to quit playing eventually. I am interested in knowing where, and in what way, your arm hurts when you play?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 26, 2018 - 10:41 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13384
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I think you guys are right. It must take a little getting used to and it has to be a little bit uncomfortable in the beginning if you have never ever played before. I still caution you to relax as much as possible and want to make it clear that almost everyone uses more energy than required when playing the violin/fiddle.

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

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bluesviolin
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July 3, 2018 - 3:11 am
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@lucille: what fiddle/violin genres would you like to play, or are planning to learn?

"Striving to attain Mediocrity"

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lucille
Southern US
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July 5, 2018 - 1:35 pm
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Hey Everyone! I think that you all are right about relaxing the arm.  When I bought my first violin, it had steel strings which hurt my fingers and I kept a grip on it as if it would play prettier the tighter that I held it. 😀 It was so tinny sounding and heavy. It had a lot of thick varnish on it. I had no clue on what to look for in sound or playability.

I think I strained a muscle in my upper arm in the tricep/biceps area. 

I finally learned to relax but have not played for about 5 days and I think I'm on the mend.

About 2 weeks after playing my first violin, i went to a 'real' violin shop, as opposed to a music shop that sells mostly everything except violins, and bought a used Scott Cao 017. It was very affordable and the difference is amazing. It sounds warmer and is so much easier to play. 

I've tried shoulder rest but just feel awkward and immobile with the shoulder rest. Maybe I should try it again. 

I would love to play classical but from a realistic point of view,  I would be satisfied to just play anything with feeling. I love old time violin style/waltzes/folk as well. I want to play old Suzannah with enough feeling to either make someone want to cry or want to dance. 😊

Thanks everyone for your input. I need it ! 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 9, 2018 - 1:57 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13384
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Anything with feeling is exactly right.

I'm sure you will too. Even many professional players play without or with a lack of feelings. One does not need to be great to play with feeling.

Looking forward to hearing you play. 🙂

Good luck on your new journey

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

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lucille
Southern US
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July 29, 2018 - 11:36 pm
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Thanks Fiddlerman and everyone for the encouragement. I really have been having to baby my left arm. I'm left handed so I over use it anyway, which hasn't helped with this muscle strain. I had no idea that a violin could strain a muscle! Who knew? I guess lots of us know that have violins. 😀

It's crazy because I've always been active and had no clue that such a small instrument could strain a muscle...Anyway....

yes, I agree that playing music with feeling is the most important thing. Most people don't have a clue if someone is playing technically perfect anyway! I will hopefully post at least some audio. I've recorded on my phone and think nooooo. It sounds like a transistor radio when I play it back, or maybe it's just my playing. 😐 😀

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 24, 2018 - 11:46 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13384
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@ lucille - It's not the instrument itself but the overuse of energy and strange and unfamiliar contortions, LOL, that create issues.
If one can learn or relearn to use the instrument using the minimum required energy, it usually makes a huge difference.

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

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