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I'm a new-ish member here and at the Violaman forum, where I left a rather lengthier intro which anyone can read if they feel like doing so .
Condensed version: I'm an adult multi-instrumentalist. Although I've been playing music for at least 42 years (longer, if you count choir), I only picked up violin/fiddle about a year ago and viola about three months ago. My personal tastes are mostly somewhere around the intersection of country, Celtic, and jazz, although I have a growing interest in classical music with some leanings towards Baroque. I prefer the viola's voice but also love the violin for a different set of reasons, and will not even contemplate ditching either one.
I read music and have a good ear but am nowhere near satisfied with either my intonation or my bowing, and my vibrato has only recently progressed from imaginary to nasty. That's one area in which being double-jointed emphatically does not help.
I went a little bit crazy with instruments this past year, thus winding up with four violins and two violas. The violas are discussed elsewhere; the violins are:
- The House Fiddle: A GCV Il Cannone copy. Fairly spendy compared to my others, and I keep it far, far away from drunk people.
- The Road Fiddle: An Antonio Giuliani model from Kennedy Violins, with a more classical-style setup and Zyex strings. Judging by its sound I assume it's also a Gaurneri pattern, or at least closer to that than to a Strad type. (Visually I'm very hard pressed to tell the difference.)
- The Beach Fiddle: An Eastman VL100, also with Zyex. Really good bang for the buck; an outstanding student violin and quite satisfactory as a backup or outdoor instrument for a pro.
- The Hillbilly Fiddle: Made by "some old guy in Maine in his garage", and that's almost all I know about it. A surprisingly good-playing instrument--especially coming from (I assume) an amateur builder--but flagrantly screechy with Helicores. Because of that, and because its dimensions, proportions, and angles are much more Baroque than modern, it's going in to the luthier tomorrow to be at least re-strung with non-screechy strings and, if feasible, have its setup taken the rest of the way to Baroque. We'll see how that works out.
I don't know how the Cecilios stack up in comparison to the Eastman, but I'm tempted to find out.
I like to improvise harmony parts. Based on the multi-part sheet music I've seen so far, I generally prefer second violin to first and am not sure whether that's considered pathological.
Looking forward to hanging around here, and am hoping to make some constructive contributions!
All the best,
Sounds like your ready to JAM!!! Sweet!! > Looking forward to hearing ya JackL.