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Learning Classical Violin or Folk Violin
I have always loved folk music. I am talking Trini Lopez, Peter Paul and Mary, Lemin Tree, If I Had a Hammer, Puff rhe Magic Dragon, etc. When talking or thinking about violin, I always think classical music. Does anyone teach Folk Violin?
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cid
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January 16, 2019 - 6:09 pm
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When I got my violin I thought all violin was classical music. I do not dislike classical music. I listen to it once in a while, but there are few pieces I can hear and know what they are. It just really is not what I really like. 

I like 60’s, early 70’s and FOLK. I love folk. I was just wondering, does anyone know if when you are taking violin lessons, is it being taught for the violinist to be playing classical violin, or do you learn it and then play the genre you like? If you like and want to play folk, do you need a folk violinist specific instructor? 

I never thought about the possibility of folk violin. I would really rather learn folk violin. From what I have read today on the internet, and from past posts here, I guess, I would be called more of a fiddler. 

So, if I would need a folk violin specific instructor, I would have to do this on my own. If that is the case, can someone direct me to a good series for teaching folk violin. I am not talking bluegrass or country, although, I do think they do cross over.

There was a post on here with the name of a book. I have been looking for it today, and  have also been looking on Amazon. I think it was a Mel Bay book? Does this sound familiar? Which Mel Bay? I found more than one.

It would also be solo fiddle, not background that would be sung to, I want to play the songs themselves, melody. 

Also, does folk fiddle have vibrato? I do not do vibrato yet. Have no idea when I will get to that. 

I am not sure how well I posed this question, but I hope you get the gist of it. 

Thanks.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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HP
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January 17, 2019 - 2:54 am
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No, you don't need a folk specific teacher, a lot of violinists branch out to other genre as they develop as musicians. However, it would be beneficial to have a teacher that know the genre you want to play. It depends on the teacher, some won't teach anything except classical, while others have a whole range of experience in various genres, and are more than happy to make a program that fits your music taste, and what you want to play in the long haul. Your teacher will be your foundation, and you build on what you have been thought in the direction that you want to go. 

As for the vibrato question, it depends. Folk music is a broad term. Some use vibrato as a spice, although it's not as common as in classical music. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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Gordon Shumway
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January 17, 2019 - 3:07 am
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I recommend you join a folk club, though.

Andrew

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HP
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Agree. Joining a folk club would be a good idea. Or just find buddies to jam with once in awhile. My music school arrange jam sessions where you can play with other students as well as professionals. Maybe there's something similar in your area. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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cid
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January 17, 2019 - 8:59 am
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Great. I thought that was the case, but I wanted to make sure. I know that when I tried guitar a few times I had to find the teacher that fit the style I wanted to play. I was interested in solo playing, not chord strums and riffs while someone sang the melody. I was not intersted in that at all. I would sign up, with them knowing what kind I wanted to play, but it always led to the chords and riffs, I call it band playing.

I got pretty good teaching myself the solo, and classical guitar. I was doing classical because it was single to three strings at a time, using fingers and not picks, and the melody was being played. You did not need someone else doing or singing the melody. I was doing classical songs and folk songs from a teacher I found. But then he progressed too fast and I was lost. Happened every time I took lessons.

It is great to know that I just learn the violin and then get whatever kind of music I want to play. I thought that was the case, but was not positive.

@HP @Gordon Shumway There are no folk style groups around here. That said, I am seriously not a performer. I could never speak in front of anyone in school. I cannot do it, now. I simply cannot do it. That is probably why I have never heard of any. I can’t play with them or any group.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Gordon Shumway
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January 17, 2019 - 11:01 am
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I don't mean open mic stuff - I'd never do that. Just find a group of people who all play together informally over beer.

Our uke group is strictly speaking a collective. There are no subscriptions, no formal leader, etc. Our founder member was a nurse, and we got permission to meet upstairs at his hospital's staff social club. We accept all standards, including absolute beginners. We just don't give lessons. We expect beginners to learn from Youtube etc if they are interested. It's mainly a sing-song with ukes, although a few people never sing, because they are too shy, but no-one can hear anyone else strum, so they are happy.

If you are lucky, you may find a group like that in your area.

Andrew

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cid
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January 17, 2019 - 2:17 pm
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@Gordon Shumway Actually, what you are describing sounds like fun. I don’t think there is one around here. I really do not know very many around here. I wish Pennysavers were still around. So much easier to see what is going on in neighboring communities. 

But your scenario sounds like fun, and would be beneficial. I will have to keep my eyes and ears open. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 18, 2019 - 12:17 pm
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@cid 🙂 OK - I had to google "Pennysavers"  ( yeah - I'm on the other side of the pond! ) - yup I get it now..

And yes @Gordon Shumway I agree with you 100% on that - it's a whole lot better to just "get together" with a few like-minded individuals.   And, well, yes, sort-of, that's what we do on our StreetJelly get-togethers - indeed although it is a public forum, most of the SJ people are guitar, keyboards + vocals etc...  so - we tend to find that out little fiddle get-togethers really only attract our other forum members and folks from Facebook fiddle groups - no one else is interested LOLOL....     I also well understand that a lot of folks aren't happy to live-stream (whether it is for privacy reasons or indeed just "feeling I'm not good enough" or being frightfully camera-shy and so on - I totally get that....)  but it can be a lot of fun, even just to be in the audience, chatting away in the chat-window while someone is playing.

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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cid
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January 18, 2019 - 1:46 pm
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BillyG said
@cid 🙂 OK - I had to google "Pennysavers"  ( yeah - I'm on the other side of the pond! ) - yup I get it now..

Too funny!😂 I loved the local Pennysaver. Sometimes modern technology is the death of previous ways of doing things, and mostly, not for the good. 😕 Internet searching simply does not replace local Pennysavers. I am not alone with that feeling in my area.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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AndrewH
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January 19, 2019 - 7:46 pm
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As others have said, you don't really need a folk specific teacher, as the techniques are largely the same for at least the first two or three years of playing. However, some people benefit from having one to master the stylistic details. One violinist I know (adult starter who has played for about 5 years) plays both classical and folk music, and at the moment alternating weeks between a classical violin teacher and a fiddle teacher seems to work well for her.

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cid
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January 19, 2019 - 9:08 pm
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AndrewH said
One violinist I know (adult starter who has played for about 5 years) plays both classical and folk music, and at the moment alternating weeks between a classical violin teacher and a fiddle teacher seems to work well for her.  

Infortunately, I was lucky to get the instructor I have. I would not be able to get another for folk or solo style violin playing. Luckily, I like her. I think that after about a year, I will bring this style up to her, unless she get classical specific before then. Right now it seems pretty generic.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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pchoppin
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January 29, 2019 - 1:56 pm
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cid said
When I got my violin I thought all violin was classical music. I do not dislike classical music. I listen to it once in a while, but there are few pieces I can hear and know what they are. It just really is not what I really like. 

I like 60’s, early 70’s and FOLK. I love folk. I was just wondering, does anyone know if when you are taking violin lessons, is it being taught for the violinist to be playing classical violin, or do you learn it and then play the genre you like? If you like and want to play folk, do you need a folk violinist specific instructor? 

I never thought about the possibility of folk violin. I would really rather learn folk violin. From what I have read today on the internet, and from past posts here, I guess, I would be called more of a fiddler. 

So, if I would need a folk violin specific instructor, I would have to do this on my own. If that is the case, can someone direct me to a good series for teaching folk violin. I am not talking bluegrass or country, although, I do think they do cross over.

There was a post on here with the name of a book. I have been looking for it today, and  have also been looking on Amazon. I think it was a Mel Bay book? Does this sound familiar? Which Mel Bay? I found more than one.

It would also be solo fiddle, not background that would be sung to, I want to play the songs themselves, melody. 

Also, does folk fiddle have vibrato? I do not do vibrato yet. Have no idea when I will get to that. 

I am not sure how well I posed this question, but I hope you get the gist of it. 

Thanks.  

I was just wondering, does anyone know if when you are taking violin lessons, is it being taught for the violinist to be playing classical violin, or do you learn it and then play the genre you like? If you like and want to play folk, do you need a folk violinist specific instructor? 

Beginning violin lessons generally start with very basic skills and the tunes you play are for learning purposes, rather than playing for pleasure.  A teacher will generally start with a lesson book and the lessons build on other skills.  So learning Hot Cross Buns is not necessarily to teach any specific genre of music, but to learn the skills that song teaches.

Most students will want to learn specific genres or even specific songs after learning the basics of violin.  But it takes time and students are always learning.

Great classical pieces of music are generally challenging, and students won't even touch the original score at first.  Many times, a simplified version of a classical piece is first attempted.  For example, I played a very simplified version of Pachabel's Canon that was composed in my first violin book I learned with.  Granted, it was the final lesson of that book, but it was still a very simple version of the piece.

Also, does folk fiddle have vibrato? I do not do vibrato yet. Have no idea when I will get to that. 

I have heard folk music played using vibrato on held notes many times.  It is quite common.  There is no hard and fast rule using vibrato.  It is entirely up to the player as to when and how much vibrato they wish to add.

In an orchestra, sometimes the conductor will ask for vibrato on certain parts, but most of the time he/she will leave it up to the violinists to add.

 

Here is my two cents... The more diverse and wide range of music you can add to your repertoire, the better player you will be.  The beauty of violin is it can be played to most any kind of genre (however, I probably would not play to rap music). 

Try some classical.  It is a great challenge for violin because the strings are considered to be the most important section in an orchestra and those pieces are often composed for strings.  And therefore, given some of the more technically difficult parts.

- Pete -

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