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Too old to learn?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (6 votes) 
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 12, 2014 - 4:54 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Hey Aqualung, <--- Would like to hear about that too. LOL
Welcome to the forum. Very much of learning to play the violin is mental as well. Your attitude will help you come a long way or allow you to give up too easily. Start with baby steps and set goals for yourself. Be happy for the progress and look forward to your set goals.
I believe in you. :) Don't rely only on your local instructor, make sure you find additional ways to learn. They can only do so much and do not spend enough time with you to do as much as you can do with some research.
We have members that are experts here at finding ways to learn and motivate each other. Plenty of members that have started very late in life and are loving the journey.
Happy you found your way over here too. :)

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

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kylesito
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November 12, 2014 - 9:30 am
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So much great stuff has already been said but I'll add something else too...

 

Enjoy the journey of it.  With a 4 year old, a second on the way, grad school, and a job that requires too much time - practice and therefore progress is slow at best for me.  I'm sure you have your own commitments and, in my case, it's really easy to get frustrated by not progressing faster/better.  But I still force myself to step back and enjoy the challenge and reward of getting to learn such a very cool instrument.

 

Just enjoy the challenge.  And enjoy the company of some great musicians and great people at Fiddlerman. 

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
November 12, 2014 - 12:30 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
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Welcome Aqualung.

Nice to meet you.  I hope you enjoy the forum as well as your violin.

Cheers,

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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NickSan
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November 13, 2014 - 2:24 pm
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haha, great thread. I'm also very much a beginner and have about 10 years to catch up with 30 years of being not very musical. Played more sports...

But I really feel motivated now and it will definitely going to be fun.

Cheers.

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Raywells
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November 13, 2014 - 2:59 pm
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I was 68 when I began for the 1st time to learn a musical instrument. Things did not go swimmingly with the violin but in Nov 2013 I bought an inexpensive mandolin and at our one year anniversary things are beginning to come together. I am half way through my 70th year. I am learning tunes, restoring an antique bowl back mandolin and having fun making music. NO YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD to learn to play a violin.

Octave Ray

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oscar07
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November 14, 2014 - 6:38 pm
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Hi everybody,

I'm Oscar and it gives me real happiness to see how many adults are here giving their opinion about starting to learn the violin at an a "advance age" I'm currently 30 and I have had the desire to learn to play the violin since I was like 15 but never decided to take the step until now, I have a family now and a full time job, so I understand what many of you say about not having as much time to practice as a kid but what I do have is the complete decision to learn to play the violin, is not my goal either to be a famous world class virtuoso or make a living out of playing I just want to play for myself the beautiful songs that I like, I recently purchased a violin from fiddlerman website and I'm as excited as a kid could be, I hope I can progress as fast as I can and be able to play something well enough for my family and my own entertainment soon enough and as many of you I was also concerned about being "too old" to do this but now all the positive comments I've read have sent those thoughts away and I'm more convinced now that I made a good decision.

P.D. My 5 year old daughter is going to start taking lessons too, I bought her a violin as well xD.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 14, 2014 - 8:18 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15214
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Hey Oscar,

Happy to hear that you took the plunge. And yes, 30 is fairly young as we have people starting to play in their 60's, 70's and I believe one guy was over 80. :)
Probably won't be long before you'll be giving advice to others here as well.
I understand your excitement and I hope you are happy with your decision.
Also, very good idea to get a fiddle for your daughter too. Playing together as a family is a lot of fun. Hope she likes it too. You can motivate each other and it's a real good idea to listen to a lot of violin/fiddle music in your home.

Look forward to hearing about your new start.

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

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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November 15, 2014 - 2:22 am
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I'm 59 this year (Sept.) and I've been trying to play this thing for the past 3 years come Feb. '15. So, you're never too old to start anything in my opinion. Can you pay attention? Can you physically make the motions? Can you remember from day to day what you learn? Well, then if you answered 2 out of 3 yes, then go for it!dancing

You're only too old if you give up before you begin. Rock on, fellow fiddler. Get involved in the projects, the parties here, and all the conversations. Learn, read, listen and make your own videos and post 'em up here for all to see and droll over.devil-violin

We've all been a beginner at some time, ask any question you might have regardless how dumb YOU might think it sounds. We've all asked the same questions believe it or not.duncecapexactly

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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oscar07
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November 24, 2014 - 10:21 am
Member Since: November 14, 2014
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Hi Again Everybody!

Well I'm just writing again to let you know that I got my Fiddlerman concert violin this Friday and I'm in love with it, its beautiful and it has just the sound I was looking for (I was looking for a violin here in my city like from more than 6 months ago and all that I found were just garbage) I don't know if I mention it before but I'm from Mexico and a familiar was the one who made me the favor to bring me the violins (mine and my daughter's) on a trip he made. Anyways I was going to tell you that I started playing it, just playing the open strings because I don't know how to play it yet but even that it was just noise I felt like if I was playing Beethoven's 5th symphony hahahaha, I've been practicing a lot on how to bow, how to grab the bow, how to play the open strings with some youtube videos trying to learn the position of the bow without looking at it and trying to make a good sound haha so yeah this has been my experience so far I hope I can come back with more news on my progress :)

P.D. My daughter loved his violin too she's also practicing with me and amazingly she learns so fast!!! She wants to play it all the time :)

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
November 24, 2014 - 12:16 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
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Hello and congrats on receiving your violin!!!!!!  Many great moments lie ahead of you. How lucky to have your daughter play with you.

Congrats..welcome again and post often.   :)

Cheers.

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
November 24, 2014 - 1:32 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
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@oscar07 - WELCOME - y buena suerte desde el extremo nor-oueste de escocia!  LOL you are NEVER too old to start dude !

I, as all our members here, wish you total enjoyment on your journey - you have a good violin/fiddle in your hands there - enjoy and share your learning experience !  And never hesitate to ask questions - there is no such thing as a "stupid question"...

Cheers, Bill

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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oscar07
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November 24, 2014 - 2:44 pm
Member Since: November 14, 2014
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Thanks for all your comments, I do have a question:

The excersises I've been doing are just for the open strings but I've been trying to make some notes using my left hand fingers and for some reason I find it extremely difficult to get a clean sound, when I play the open strings I can get a nice decent clean sound out of them but as soon as I try to use a finger on any of the strings I get a very scratchy out of tune sound why is this happening? am I not pressing hard enough on the string? and I doing it on the wrong position?

Thanks for all the help!

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
November 24, 2014 - 3:23 pm
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...hmmm many reasons - I'll go back to my beginner days - "out of tune" is "normal" until you get the fingering correct - don't worry about that.  Screechy and scratchy is different.  What I did find was that open string bowing was OK - I found the same once I stopped a string on the fingerboard.  I "uncovered" two things - 

(1) The open string has a "really solid" endpoint at the nut.  Under your finger, it's a bit "softer" and a bit more "damped".  The open string will always "ring louder and clearer" (for want of a better description) than a stopped string.  The pad of your finger is not as solid, or hard, as the open string passing over the nut.

It is "very easy" ( LOL - sort of ) to bow repeatedly on the open strings.  With a "fingered string" - well - what I found - was - I had to be "conscious" of what I was doing - play an open string "less hard" - sure - it will end up screeching.   

I am aware of the "open string" sound now - it can often be "out of context" (well depending on the style of music and the particular piece you're playing) - and I sometimes feel it is "not right" - or have to very intentionally play it "softer"

(2) Bowing - it can be very easy to "slightly hit" more than one string at once- you may not be playing a "full double stop" intentionally - but if one side of your finger is touching an adjacent string, and the bow passes over it - you get this strange scratchy/buzzing sound.   On a four-string bowed-instrument  there are 7 "planes" your bow should move in - on the G, the D, the A, the E and three more - where you intentionally play (not necessarily open) two adjacent strings at the same time....  that MAY just be what you are (un-intentionally) doing....

It is TOTALLY impossible for me to be specific about this - it comes with practice - but I kind of think the way I cured it was to be "a bit more aggressive" with my bowing - none of this "gentle touch" that makes the open strings ring out - get a bit more "attack" into it.... of course - NOW - to my ear - I find the open string sound often too resonant and present compared to the rest of the notes I'm playing in a piece - of course - you can play the same note on the next lower string a bit further up - and then it "blends" better.

One of these days I'll master higher positions on the strings - getting there !

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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oscar07
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November 25, 2014 - 9:46 am
Member Since: November 14, 2014
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Thanks a lot for all your tips Bill, but what I actually meant was that I think I wasn't getting the fingers on the right positions, I mean I think now I got the first finger position right, and now I'm doing some exercises for it so yeah that's what I meant when I said that I was getting "out of tune" sounds from the strings because I wasn't on the right spots, because now that I think I got the first one right, the notes sound waaayy much better lol!

Anyways thank you very much for all your help!

Cheers!

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
November 25, 2014 - 10:18 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3533
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Cool.  That just comes with practice ! LOL   We all play "out of tune" to a lesser or greater extent - getting the finger position repeatable to within fractions of a mm is not easy.   I don't recall who said this - it was a very famous violinist though - "of course I play out of tune, it's just that I correct so fast, no-one notices" - or words to that effect.... 

It gets worse if you have different instruments with different nut-to-bridge lengths ( my EV is about 7 mm longer nut-to bridge than my two acoustics - and the bridge position is fixed ) so my fingering has to be marginally different - but somehow, you just get used to it - as you gain familiarity with each instrument, you just kind of "adapt" automatically.

I haven't done this, although I do have a clip-on "Snark" tuner - but some folks do use that ( other clip on tuners are available - LOL ! ) during their initial learning.  I neither advocate, nor disapprove of the idea - I guess it can be useful.  Just a thought.

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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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 25, 2014 - 8:27 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15214
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Hey oscar07,
I'm very happy that you are satisfied with your Fiddlerman Concert Violin. I'm also excited for you that you can play violin along with your daughter. That adds so much to the journey. Music with family, and friends..... Playing together and having fun through one of life's essential elements. :) MUSIC!!!!!

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

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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November 26, 2014 - 1:47 am
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I found that playing along with a recording of something I liked and wanted to play that was in tune helped me to get the fingering of the string spot on. If you're a little high or maybe a touch low it'll sure sound out loud and clear.

That in itself is worth playing along with a recorded version of my written sheet.

hats_off

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Mark
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November 26, 2014 - 7:32 am
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Oscar07,

Welcome to the forum jump in and join in the fun.

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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oscar07
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December 1, 2014 - 6:03 pm
Member Since: November 14, 2014
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Fiddlerman, Yes I love my violin you guys picked me a really nice one and it sound its just magnificient, and my daughter loves hers as well, although I think I got her a big size for her, so she will have to wait until she can use it well, she does practice her bowing though :p

cdennyb, Actually that's what I have been doing, the excersices that I've been doing I watch the video and play along to try to get the same notes and I think it's working :)

Mark_1, Thanks I will keep posting my advances with the fiddle, who knows maybe I even post a video ;)

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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December 1, 2014 - 10:06 pm
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That's how I perfected my favorite tune. Chose an artist I admired and tried to follow their every little note and string crossing, even their bowing strokes. It certainly helps in all respects even pressure on the bow for loudness and softness of the tune.

Glad it's workin out for ya.thumbs-up

Look forward to the vid.cheers

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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