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Howdy folks from south central PA. I vowed to take up the violin (actually fiddle) when I retired and so I did... at 62 and I never played an instrument and I never learned to read music! Now there's a challenge... or else an old fool.
Anyway, been practicing for a few months now and find that my biggest struggle is learning to read basic music swiftly enough to play what I read. I'm determined to play the fiddle. I've always loved the sound of this instrument and the music that it makes! Although I'm an Old Time and Bluegrass fan, I have a great appreciation for classical as well. I've had several beginner lessons and plan to have more, but I'm not sure that my current instructor is right for me. Just not many options I'm aware of in my area.
My aspiration is not to be a great musician. I know I started way too late in life for that. But, I can't wait for me to play well enough to truly enjoy my own music and to jam with other like-minded folks someday.
So, that's me and I look forward to learning all I can from you good folks on this site!
Any other old dogs on here just starting to learn new tricks?
Hello Homey, Welcome to the insane world of strings.
You will find alot of us Older beginners on here, I'm 60 and just picked up a violin a year ago. There is alot of good information on this site. And Fiddlerman is great help.
There are lot of people here that want to help other beginners and about learn more about music.
I hope that you enjoy yourself here, and above all have fun.
With violins there is no fretting over the music.
Welcome, Homey. Many of the forum members started playing later in life, but you will find lots of inspiration in the videos and sound clips that are posted of people playing and having fun. It is good that you are taking some lessons right from the start. Even if your instructor choice is limited, it is great you have someone who can get you started with the right ways to hold the bow and the violin and produce a pleasant tone, because it can be quite difficult to get rid of bad habits once they set it.
I'm learning Suzuki violin along with my son and am taking some lessons at least for the summer. Am looking forward to playing fiddle tunes some day soon, but for now the basic learning tunes (Twinkle, Lightly Row, etc) are providing plenty of challenge!
I started late on playing this instrument > this site has been very helpful for learning and sharing thoughts,etc. Just keep at it. I play just about ever night now when I get home from work. It takes a while > it did for me > but things are starting to come together. The different physical pains and the frustrations of grip and bow movement have faded. Your gonna find out that every moment you pick it up will make the next time you pick it up more fun.
Have fun and keep Viddling!!!!!!
@ Homey Did I hear someone mention Old Time and Bluegrass!! YAY!!
I started late also at age 58!!
Yep a fun and great place to learn - Jams. A year ago in May I found a Old Time and Bluegrass jam in my city. I go every Tuesday evening, except the last 3 weeks it has been killing me, kids moving, then the next week streets flooded, then I was coughing and sneezing with a cold!! Yes @Fiddlerman I did continue to practice even though I was miserable!!
Anyway hope these links will help you:
I had played for a year and taken a handful of Suzuki lessons before I attended my first jam. Even then I didn't take my fiddle for 3 weeks but sat and listened made a list of the tunes and keys they were played in. Took notice of how the jam was run, the levels of playing ability.
Most important thing I did was learn CHORDS!!!
Good luck and have fun!!
Violinist start date - May 2013
Fiddler start date - May 2014
FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius. BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.
Welcome to the madness that is music and the special flavour of lunacy we call fiddle/violin, Homey.
I personally think it is an excellent challenge. Fools? We are all fools, it is part of the package of being human. But to take up any art, at any age, is not foolishness. Would we consider someone foolish for deciding they wanted to learn to draw or paint at 62? I would hope not.
I think it should be thought of as one of the things that makes life worth living, at any age.
I started with violin "late" as well, 51. But have played guitar and other instruments since my teens. Even at 15 and 16 yrs old, I was getting told that I had "started too late". ROFL But most of the people (mostly young musicians) who ever told me that don't play anymore. If this was a race, then who are the losers? Those who started late? Or those who gave up before the finish line?
I have a poster on my wall that reads "You don't fail until you quit."
You don't have aspirations to be a great musician? I would rethink that statement if I were you. I think you should have aspirations to be a great musician. Every day, every time I pick up an instrument, I aspire to be the best musician that has ever played or ever will play. What is the advantage in aiming for any less?
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
@Homey - WELCOME ! I like your style ! I'm another late beginner to fiddle (started at 61, a year and a bit ago) and like @DanielB I have played guitar for many years. Although self-taught and largely played by ear during my full-time "working years", music has always been a "hobby" - and now, in early partial-retirement - it has become a passion.
Never drop your sights - aim for the best you can do, all the time. You will amaze yourself - your "best" will always get "better than before" and you'll get that "wow" moment every so often. Sure - there are setbacks - when there are - temporarily put them aside (but don't put the fiddle down - do something else with it for a day or so - like taking one of your current "best" pieces and extending, improving, adding embellishments, changing expression - you will eventually "own it" and your performance of that piece will become unique to you).
I promise you two things, you have come to the right place, and you will love the journey - I just KNOW it !
I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh -
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)
Adult beginner too! IT is a magnificent obsession. You will meet so many interesting people, and become inclined to hear so many different violin performances, and it will grab hold of you and you will be compelled to just play more and more and more.
Good job on learning to play violin and read music. I was a lifetime lover of music... but not ONE drop of learning to read music or play an instrument. Never even understood a scale or anything...so... where there is life there is hope.
I can read music ok enough to get around .. and play a few tunes now.
YOU can do this.. woo hoo!
Cheers, Toni from Cali
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato