I'm new. I introduced myself already but, like I said in my intro post, I have issues.
One of the issues is that I'm "stiff jointed." I cannot touch the callus pads at the base of my fingers with a fingertip or my thumb. The best I can do is about 1/4" away if I strain.
Because of this, I made a mock neck/fingerboard to what I believe are the proper dimensions (1.25" wide x 1" deep x 18" long) to see if I can touch the "strings" (lines drawn on the top of the practice board). The board is a semi circle in cross-section shape.
Holding the practice board in position where one end is next to my windpipe and the 'scroll end" at 45* to my body and tilted so the edge of the flat is at the last joint of my index finger with my thumb underneath, I cannot seem to rotate my forearm/wrist far enough that I can put my fingers on the "string lines" in the proper places. Swinging my elbow further underneath is no help. Lifting the "scroll end" is no help. The best I've done so far is by bending my wrist until the palm of my hand contacts the underside. If I do that I can put all 4 fingers on the E string in what I think are almost the right places 1 (space) 2,3 (space) 4. I have a tiny gap between 2 and 3 but I think I can get rid of that eventually if I have to.
Are the dimensions of my practice board proper?
Are there exercises I can do at my age (62) which will give me the rotational flexibility I'll need?
Is there anything else that I can do so I don't find out until after spending several hundred bucks that I'm not physically capable of playing a violin? BTW, thanks to Covid, the music stores here are not open so going to one to see if I can actually do the fingering is out. Music teachers here are into guitars and that's it. I actually got laughed at by one when I asked so even that possible avenue is out.
Currently I'm looking at a Fiddlershop Artist because I like the sound in the comparison videos more than any of the others. This is probably more violin than I'll ever need, but I also won't have to trade up in the future. That's the plan anyway. Well, that and a hopeful Christmas sale!
First of all I admire your determination, you will be able to play, it takes time, hard to tell at the moment what you are doing wrong, when you get your fiddle, post a vid and you will get answers, I will tell you straight off though even without seeing anything you are pressing to hard on your practice fingerboard, which by the way I would forget immediately, wait till you get a real fiddle,
And then like the rest off us enjoy all the set backs lol.
Only joking, best decision you ever made.
By the way age doesnt matter about learning violin, what matters is in your heart, and secondly dont start bending your wrist, like you mention unless you intend only playing bluegrass style music otherwise you will get into habits before you even start.
Fiddlerman has some basic instructions on how to get started here: https://fiddlerman.com/fiddle-.....o-i-start/
I think your dimensions are accurate, but I think there are some more variables involved.
The width of the bout of the violin, & how you place it will make a big difference (i.e., if you use a center mount chin rest, or a side mount, etc.,).
Also, varying from the 45 degree angle (e.g., moving scroll more toward the front of you), & tilting the board upward at the thumb side might help.
It can take some time for your hand to get used to using the 4th finger—this is not unusual, even for younger players.
So, because of these things, I think it will be hard to gauge without trying an actual instrument. I would say definitely do not strain—if it hurts, don’t do it.
BTW--The one who laughed – a jerk. People who behave like that toward people—their behavior is about them, not about you. Just forget about that one.
Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.
I think it's wonderful you picked out a nice violin! Think it's also great incentive to keep playing, once you start!
Age doesn't mean a lot here - I'm 65, in terrible health - December I'll have 2½ years under my belt & time FLIES! Others here starting even older.
Fiddlerman helps and other members will be able to guide you when you get started.
Just remember - we are Innovative, Creative, Human Beings!
"Where there's a will, there's a way!" I've seen fiddlers play with their fiddle pushed against their chest, against their hip, against their feet (sitting on the floor) and upright on their lap (played like a cello) - all instead of under the chin!
You will definitely be able to add a unique perspective to your writing once you start learning to play. Not sure if it's an obsession, an addiction or just love of an inanimate object that comes to life when you play - you'll find out!
Hope you get your violin, soon!
@RDP - I have a feeling that reaching the strings will be easier than you think. If your practice board is flat, you'll definitely have a much harder time using that over a real violin. The thicker rounded neck makes a huge difference.
Since you mentioned touching the pads of your hand with your fingertips, I tried it myself and it would be very difficult for me to dot that as well.
Perhaps a picture of what you are doing would help us answer your question.
The practice board is half round and tapered from 1" at the end to 1.5" at 13" from the tip. I did some research and found that these are the dimensions of a fingerboard so I shaped the stick that way.
It's .75" thick. Which seems to be the cross sectional dimension of a fingerboard/neck. And, like I said above, it's half round.
I've been doing the first few Suzuki lessons with it. (Up to Lesson 3.) Obviously, I can't get any tone out of a stick, but I can work on the finger position exercises and getting my elbow underneath. For the most part I can do everything except 4th finger sometimes. I think the problem with that is I'm tensing my hand/arm/wrist. It's not stable like a violin would be so I'm grabbing it. Bad habit and I'm working on keeping my arm/wrist/fingers "soft."
I'd post a pic but it's hard to hold the practice board in one hand, put the fingers of my other hand on it, and take a picture with my 3rd hand. A GoPro is on the "to buy" list after the violin. I'd order the violin now but I'm writing a novel and NEED to get that done before letting myself get distracted any worse than I am already. Having a new toy would definitely be a distraction even if I didn't open the box. So, waiting until next month for an early Christmas.