10 years of Irish dance competitions (not me, our daughters) must have instilled a craving for jigs and reels. I put the idea of learning a new instrument out of my head- until now. Helped a friend with her Celtic show and got the bug again. I played piano, flute, and guitar- even the ukulele/tin whistle- and actually tried a carved wood wind I picked up from an Indian reservation. Eclectic or just easily distracted- but, I finally have time to devote to it- our kids are all out of college/studies as of December.
I’ve searched online for help finding an instrument- it will solely be for Celtic music- my budget is under $1200- but that has to include everything I’ll need.
All up for the free lessons- can’t wait! Any tips/encouragement will be so greatly appreciated…I need to stick with this- hoping to get my daughter to take it up as well- so, may be in the need for two down the road- she’s a lefty- I don’t even know if there are accommodations for lefties or they just use the same form.
Thanks for the welcome and this great resource!
Hi and welcome to fiddlerman! I am pretty new here myself and just started less than a month ago - seems to be a friendly and helpful group here. Since I am learning through books and videos instead of a music teacher I have found it really helpful to have a place I can ask some questions. Many good learning videos are available for beginners here and if you scroll through old posts on the forum you can find lots of interesting things too.
As to getting a violin - I cannot speak from personal experience, but I have looked at the fiddlerman.com selection and no doubt you can find something decent in your price range. Unless you really want to buy local where you can test out the instrument I think this is a pretty good place to look. What I would recommend AGAINST is getting one of those cheap set ups found on Amazon etc. If you are really good already you can probably make them sound acceptable (maybe?) but as a beginner you need an instrument that is ABLE to produce a nice sound. It is too hard to start with a strike against you that having a really poor instrument will be. I like that fiddlerman tries out every instrument they sell, plus they set them up before they send them out. You don't need to have to figure out how to set up an instrument you don't know how to play yet. (if you have a teacher this of course is not a problem).
If you have a strict budget - remember when you are selecting your instrument to keep some funds for things you might need - such as books/a digital tuner/rosin/bow/case. Often some of these things may be included if you get a beginner set. But, you might need to replace your chin rest or buy a shoulder rest.
Yeah, buying a violin on Amazon is worse than buying flatpack furniture - at least flatpack furniture doesn't require an expert for the self-assembly. An online music shop is basically a keyboard and guitar shop. You have to buy a violin from a luthier.
If you have a strictly limited budget, then trust Fiddlerman to put together a kit for you - either an off-the-shelf one, or he may be able to add extras: otherwise there's research to be done on what proportion of your budget to spend on the bow and whether it should be wood or carbon, and without a teacher to teach you how, all that is too much hassle.
But I would recommend all beginners get one or two lessons face to face to sort out things like correct posture.
@ma23peas I think you'll be pleased that you found this forum. Fiddlerman (aka Pierre) has a vast number of video lessons on this web site. Check out the menus along the top, you can find a lot of sheet music free to download.
I'm sure you're familiar with https://thesession.org if you're interested in Irish tunes.
I also recommend fiddlershop.com for instruments or accessories. Their instrument setup is superb and they go to extreme measures to insure safe shipping. I've used their instrument and bow trials several times and ended up buying one of each from fiddlershop. Their prices for strings are better than what I can find in Dallas (my closest big city).
I'd also like to commend you on your "Wordlyways" website. As someone who always wished to write professionally I appreciate you efforts to instill this skill in youngsters.
Bob in Lone Oak, Texas
Welcome to the Fiddlerman Forum!
So wonderful having a new fiddler join us!
Many of us here, including me, have learned to play on our own - with the GREAT help of this forum!
Fiddlershop has all sorts of wonderful violins, informative reviews and GREAT customer service, but if you don't live in the USA or Canada, shipping may be an issue.
Just food for thought... several of us here play Irish & Scottish fiddle music on VIOLAS. If you enjoy a deeper, richer sound - it's wonderful.
I play a 5-string Violin that can be played electric AND a 5-string Viola - love them both & they are good for ALL music!
Can't wait for you to embark on your new Fiddling adventure!
Fiddlershop does carry a couple left-handed violins.
The Fiddlerman Left Handed Master Violin was designed from the ground up for violinists overcoming injuries, lack of mobility or dexterity in their left hand, and those who need to play the violin in opposite hands. It is not intended for violinists who are left hand dominant, as the violin is traditionally played on the left shoulder regardless of which hand is dominant.
Up until now, those who needed a "Left Handed" violin had to go through the process of retro-fitting a traditional violin which becomes somewhat cost prohibitive. The alterations to a traditional violin include moving the bass bar, cutting a new bridge, resetting the soundpost, moving the fine tuners, getting a custom made reversed chinrest, filling and re-drilling the peg holes.
We talked a little about Charlie Chaplin playing left-handed here...
...where Mouse linked to this GREAT article about left-handed players at cmuse.org!
Great thanks to all! I’ve been browsing the available instruments- beautiful! I’ll try and call on Monday and speak to someone who can guide me in the right direction- I know so little about bridges and bows.
Thanks for the tip on the Session site- I need to add it to my favorites. I’m in Houston- but not sure who to trust locally- they seem to be focused on classical violin. I’ve read such differing opinions on fiddling and classical- just would prefer to hear tips from fiddlers who’ve played a good while. I took classical piano- thankful- but wished I’d branched out from it. I did later, on my own, but life was busy and didn’t have the time.Excited to share the journey!! Aww- thanks for the kind words on my amateur web page- I still teach classes pro bono- deep into research papers these next 5 weeks. The violin will be a reward for finishing another year 👍
@ma23peas Welcome to the Forum! Your music background should help you along on this string thing. Flute & violin have a lot in common, I think. I've played some stuff by Telemann (Six Canonic Sonatas) that was written to be played by either two flutes or two violins.
I've gotten two violins from Fiddlershop (2014 & 2021) - and have been pleased with both! Whether you get one from there or not, enjoy the start of your new musical adventure!
Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.