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Some advice for a new teen starting out in Idaho?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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rcfra
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February 7, 2021 - 1:36 pm
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Hello, my 15 year old daughter has asked for violin lessons for a couple years now.  We made some agreements about disciplining her use of time to show her commitment level and she's followed through so I'm planning to buy her a violin as an early sweet 16 present.  While I understand that a lot of choices are subjective and simply budget based, I'm a bit conflicted between the Fiddlerman OB1 and the Concert (the Apprentice is out of stock).  Would anybody have opinions on these as a beginner violin that she would be proud to own longer term?  I expect she will just play for personal enjoyment with no great ambition to be part of an ensemble or enter competitions.

Its my impression that both are solid instruments with good accessories, with the OB1 being a darker and more subdued fiddle and the Concert having slightly nicer wood with better aesthetics and a brighter sound with more projection.  As a beginner who would be mostly playing alone, I'm sort of feeling that a darker and mellower sound would be preferred with no need to cut through and project.

I know almost nothing about violin.  I've played guitar casually for 20 years and from that I very much understand that on lower end instruments, an increase of $100 price could make a VERY big difference in instrument quality.  So, my big question is, if we buy the OB1 would we have really wished we had spent the extra on the Concert?  Or, based on what I've described above is it really not something we'd miss based on the intended use and the savings is better put into lessons, books, etc?

Also, I'm intending to get her started with weekly live lessons with a local instructor who has a good reputation and is active in the local symphony.  Are there particular methods we should pursue if given a choice?

While I want her to stay motivated with the hobby and learn to play music she enjoys, one regret I've had as a casual guitarist is not spending enough time on fundamentals and being a bit too pragmatic with my learning early on, which has now led me to go back and spend time on the basics again.  I'm hoping the structured lessons prevent this.  Long term, we will probably look for online/skype lessons to save some money and a lot of commute time.  While I'm sure it's again subjective, how long should we plan for live lessons before we start to consider online to maximize that "hands on" early habit forming of fundamentals that might be harder to accomplish virtually?

Sorry for the overload of questions, but I'd appreciate any advice as we get her started on this journey.

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Mouse
February 7, 2021 - 1:57 pm
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@rcfra 

As for the instrument, I would highly recommend the Fiddlershop to purchase from, as you have shown interest in doing. I would call them and explain all of this to them. They are excellent listeners and will really help with your decision, without just leading you to the more expensive to make the sale, They will help with the exact right fit for your daughter's needs. Customer service and satisfaction with them is top notch. 

I can't say much about lessons, I think you have to take all conditions into consideration and make the call for what is best for your daughter and what will keep her interested as things change. 

I do have the Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe violin. I also have a warmer violin. I love my Concert Deluxe for upbeat tunes and my warmer violin for more subdued pieces. Note, I am not that experienced with violin, at the moment, so take it with a grain of salt. 

The service with Fiddlershop when I purchased the Concert Deluxe was fantastic. You don't have to worry about that at all. Give them a call and ask and talk to them about your concerns and thoughts.

I just sent you a Welcome Email to get you familiar with the forum. You will find a wealth of information here, and there are links to Fiddlerman's expertise he is sharing in the menu bar above the forum. 

Also, periodically, Fiddlerman organizes a virtual group project. There is a link to one of them in the email. All levels can join. He makes it work like magic. It is one way to play as a group without exactly being in a group. I learn a lot with them because I am not one to perform in front if others. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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stringy
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February 7, 2021 - 2:37 pm
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Mouse said it all. My violin is hungarian but thats because I dont live in the states.

I know for a fact from feedback on other forums that the fiddlerman violins are good sound instruments though. part of it is expert set up which really matters.

Hello from Liverpool by the way.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Bob
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February 7, 2021 - 2:40 pm
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@rcfra

I agree with @Mouse that Fiddlershop has the best customer service online. After starting to learn to play violin in 1996 I had acquired 3 different violins of varying quality. All were student grade instruments and were okay for me to start lessons with. They saw me through 2 years of lessons without my teacher complaining about the instrument (only about my playing!)

Last year I decided to upgrade to a better instrument and a better bow. Fiddlershop offers an inexpensive trial of their instruments which is fantastic. They pack the instruments extremely well. I ended up buying one of the instruments I trialed and Fiddlershop emailed me a return label that made sending the other instruments back very convenient.

I did the same type trial with 3 different bows and ended up buying the one I liked best.

You aren't obliged to buy any of the instruments, so the trials are "no risk". So I highly recommend taking advantage of this service.

Many of us on this forum started with other instruments, including guitar. In the 60's I was into folk (Peter, Paul & Mary,  etc) music but later took some classical guitar lessons. My weak fingernails were my down fall for that attempt!

Now I'm hooked on violin. Even though my arthritic fingers don't always want to cooperate, I still love giving it a go. I'm still mainly into classical music, but enjoy all genre.

You can even ask Fiddlerman or one of the other excellent players to make a video comparing different instruments (there are already several available through youtube).

Good luck and happy 16th to your daughter.

Bob

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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February 7, 2021 - 11:07 pm
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When you're buying a student violin, where you buy is probably more important than what you buy. The most important thing is that it needs to be set up properly, which means it's best to go to a reputable shop that specializes in bowed string instruments (Fiddlershop is one) instead of buying from a general music store or ordering from somewhere like Amazon.

As far as "brighter" and "darker" sounds go, I would not use the video demonstrations for reference. No two pieces of wood are the same, and tone color can vary much more with violin than with guitar. Even within the same brand and model you can hear great differences in tone. I haven't purchased a violin from Fiddlershop myself, but I believe you can ask for video demonstrations of specific violins that you are considering buying, not just one of the same model.

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Mark
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February 8, 2021 - 12:13 am
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rcfra,

Welcome to the forum, and congrats to you daughter on wanting to play the violin.

While the OB1 is a good instrument,  if you can afford it, a Concert it will carry her through for many years of learning. 

The better the instrument the easier the leading process, just my opinion. 

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Unfretted
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February 8, 2021 - 9:43 am
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I try to restrain myself from spending too much time in forums, believing it’s always better to put the time into playing music, so I held back from posting when I saw this last night and kept practicing.  But now, I just put down my Concert violin in the middle of playing to answer @refra because my Concert is an overwhelmingly beautiful instrument!!!  The sounds coming out of this violin this morning are so beautiful it is bringing tears to my eyes.  Did I just get an exceptionally great one or are they all this good?!

Mark said

rcfra,

Welcome to the forum, and congrats to you daughter on wanting to play the violin.

While the OB1 is a good instrument,  if you can afford it, a Concert it will carry her through for many years of learning. 

The better the instrument the easier the leading process, just my opinion. 

 

Mark

  

I agree with Mark completely, and I will add that this instrument won’t only carry her through many years of learning, but through many years of musical pleasure as well.  If your budget allows, the Concert really is in a different league than the OB1.  You won’t be disappointed.

My Concert is not bright.  It is rich and mellow, with warm, complex tones in the lower strings and a sweet, lovely singing from the E string.  

I bought my Concert as a second fiddle for my home away from home.  I just spent seven months playing my nearly-$1,000 Fiddlerman Master violin for three hours a day.  I reunited with my Concert last week.  The two instruments have their differences, but in no way does the Concert feel like a lowly step down.  It’s a truly wonderful instrument in its own way and such a total pleasure to play.

Hope that helps. 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 8, 2021 - 12:29 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15484

rcfra said
Hello, my 15 year old daughter has asked for violin lessons for a couple years now.  We made some agreements about disciplining her use of time to show her commitment level and she's followed through so I'm planning to buy her a violin as an early sweet 16 present.  While I understand that a lot of choices are subjective and simply budget based, I'm a bit conflicted between the Fiddlerman OB1 and the Concert (the Apprentice is out of stock).  Would anybody have opinions on these as a beginner violin that she would be proud to own longer term?  I expect she will just play for personal enjoyment with no great ambition to be part of an ensemble or enter competitions.

Lot's of young women get interested in playing after seeing Lindsey Stirling or David Garret. After last nights half time show, I imagine more young people will be looking towards learning to play the violin.

There is actually a much greater difference between those two violins (Concert and OB1) than one would think. I would recommend the Concert. While I don't suggest that you spend a lot of money on an instrument that might or might not get used, the difference between those two will give her a better chance. Better sound and playability. We don't make comparison videos on instruments under a certain cost, but we'll be happy to make a "video for approval" before shipping. Just add that to the notes. If you don't like the sound, you can request a different one till you're satisfied.

Its my impression that both are solid instruments with good accessories, with the OB1 being a darker and more subdued fiddle and the Concert having slightly nicer wood with better aesthetics and a brighter sound with more projection.  As a beginner who would be mostly playing alone, I'm sort of feeling that a darker and mellower sound would be preferred with no need to cut through and project.

I agree that the darker more mellow sound is more appealing. Did you listen to a lot of videos for forming your opinion? I feel that the Concert is often darker and easier to play.

I know almost nothing about violin.  I've played guitar casually for 20 years and from that I very much understand that on lower end instruments, an increase of $100 price could make a VERY big difference in instrument quality.  So, my big question is, if we buy the OB1 would we have really wished we had spent the extra on the Concert?  Or, based on what I've described above is it really not something we'd miss based on the intended use and the savings is better put into lessons, books, etc?

You get a 45 day satisfaction guarantee so you could easily return or exchange if you are not happy with the sound of any of our instruments.

Also, I'm intending to get her started with weekly live lessons with a local instructor who has a good reputation and is active in the local symphony.  Are there particular methods we should pursue if given a choice?

I believe whatever the teacher suggests. If you research that instructor and feel confident that the instructor is a good fit for your daughter, he or she will lay out the plan based on their experience. A classically trained violinist will use methods that are common.

While I want her to stay motivated with the hobby and learn to play music she enjoys, one regret I've had as a casual guitarist is not spending enough time on fundamentals and being a bit too pragmatic with my learning early on, which has now led me to go back and spend time on the basics again.  I'm hoping the structured lessons prevent this.

Having written that, I'm sure that you'll pass or have passed that information over to her for her to make use of.

Long term, we will probably look for online/skype lessons to save some money and a lot of commute time.  While I'm sure it's again subjective, how long should we plan for live lessons before we start to consider online to maximize that "hands on" early habit forming of fundamentals that might be harder to accomplish virtually?

That is a great question but I bet it will be more evident after she gets started. It will depend on her own self motivation as well.

Sorry for the overload of questions, but I'd appreciate any advice as we get her started on this journey.

Your questions are great and will surely benefit others that ponder over similar questions.

Welcome to the forum!

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

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rcfra
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February 8, 2021 - 3:35 pm
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Thank you for the opinions.  I went ahead and ordered the Concert.  While a bit more money, I expect the increased quality will only make it more enjoyable and may be all she ever needs, or at least keep her satisfied for many years to come.

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stringy
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February 8, 2021 - 3:52 pm
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Dont forget get her to join the forum, there are a lot of helpful and friendly people on here🤓🤓🤓

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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rcfra
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February 18, 2021 - 7:39 pm
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After a bit of weirdness with FedEx tracking and being unsure where her violin was for a day (I'm sure due to all the weather issues around the country), it unexpectedly arrived today.  She loves it.  It's got gorgeous wood and finish, the workmanship looks very nice, and it just feels like a high quality instrument in hand.

What most surprised me though, was even with a beginner who has zero knowledge of technique, it sounds delightful!  Frankly I was expecting things to sound pretty bad around here for a few months while she started to learn some technique, but open strings and rough searching for notes all sounded sweet and rich, nothing shrill or scratchy about it.

My daughter begins lessons next week with the conductor of our local symphony and she is very excited and proud of her new violin.

Thanks to everyone who encouraged us to step up to the Concert model, it was definitely the right choice.

Thanks to Fiddlerman for bringing these wonderful yet affordable instruments to market with trustworthy service and a good setup so we can get her started with confidence!!!

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Mouse
February 18, 2021 - 8:06 pm
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I am so happy your daughter's instrument arrived and she is happy with it.

Your daughter is more than welcome to join the forum, or feel free to ask questions and post comments on her behalf, or ... yours. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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February 18, 2021 - 8:21 pm
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@refra -

Very excited for your Daughter! 

Hope she'll join us here on the forum with her progress. 

 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c0/a4/6f/c0a46f4a2d6370d2ed9512536ce19823.jpg

 

- Emily

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Mark
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February 19, 2021 - 12:01 am
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Fantastic,  I hope she takes to like a duck to water, making music is so rewarding on so many levels it hard to describe.

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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