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Beginner adult learning
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 16, 2016 - 8:49 am
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I've seen people come very far while learning on their own. One of the best motivators on the other hand is knowing that you have to prepare for a lesson, which of course is costly. One can advance quicker with private lessons but if you are truly motivated and work hard, you can come extremely far watching online lessons, listening to many players and styles, and experimenting with your own playing. What works, and what does not..... Through trial and error you figure these things out.

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

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Nathalie
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December 16, 2016 - 11:55 am
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Thank you everyone, I'm making myself a daily to do list and I will add some time for practicing.  How long do you practice every day or does it vary?

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damfino
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December 16, 2016 - 12:00 pm
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Different every day for sure. The first year I'd practice/play anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours a day (not always all in a row, but short practice sessions through the day) depending on how much I was determined to get something, or enjoying the song I was learning.

Now I stick to around an hour if I can get it in. My early practice sessions weren't structured at all, and usually just involved learning the song I was playing and whatever ornamentation or bowing was in it, I didn't do scales. 
 
Now I break up my practice more into certain bits of what I'm working on. It worked for me to not be so structured and just have fun the first year, and to now be working harder at getting technical bits down more. 

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Fran
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December 16, 2016 - 1:21 pm
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I do scales to warm up, then Wohlfardh etudes. I have homework also from my online lessons so I do that too for a total of about 1 hour/day

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NiloiV
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December 21, 2016 - 12:41 pm
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Hi, and welcome to the forum :) I'm also an adult learner, started 2.5 years ago. Been taking private lessons during the whole time (and still do), even though it is indeed quite pricey, simply because I would not be able to do it any other way - could not possiblydetect all the little faults and inaccuracies that I make the way my teacher does, and therefore, could not reach the level that I am at without him.

But this is me. I have no doubt that there are people who can teach themselves to play the violin, and I envy them very much for that..

From reading the comments above, it seems to me that my daily practice routine is somewhat like @damfino - I divide my practice to the different "assignments" that I get from my teacher, which are usually 1 etude (currently still Wholfhart), one technique exercise (at the moment I'm working on shifting from 1st to 3rd and vice versa) and one classical piece (currently Vivaldi's concerto in A minor, 3rd movement).

 

Good luck, you are going to have so much fun learning! :)

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stirlingite771
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February 15, 2017 - 11:53 pm
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Nathalie said
Hi everyone, I'm new to the group and to the violin.  I haven't actually started learning yet, my violin is getting new strings.  If you learned to play the violin as an adult, did you find it hard?  I'm anxious but very nervous but determined :)   

It isn't as hard as some have stated to me, I also played when i was around 5, but I'm not sure how much help that has given me. Just lots and lots of practice. I hope your learning is going along nicely :) I also try to get an hour of practice in each day... been that way from the start, mainly because it seemed like I had major catching up to do lol

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jetboy
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February 17, 2017 - 2:01 am
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I also have just started to learn as an adult 42 years old- 

I am lucky enough to be able to have an hour lesson every week and (only on my 3rd week) but that hour is worth 30 hours of my own work.  Just the simple things that a beginner could not know- and the ability to ask questions.

 

I would suggest, that even if its a long drive and a bit costly, to get yourself to a teacher at least at the beginning so you can get through some of the basic hurdles without killing yourself, or worse, encoding bad habits.  Its the little things, like last session she taught me how to listen for the harmonic resonances when placing the 3rd finger- that really make the violin have its distinctive voice.  such a simple thing made my sound go from "meh" to "hey, that sounds halfway decent!"

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joy
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March 4, 2017 - 5:20 pm
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Nathalie said
Hi everyone, I'm new to the group and to the violin.  I haven't actually started learning yet, my violin is getting new strings.  If you learned to play the violin as an adult, did you find it hard?  I'm anxious but very nervous but determined :)   

I am 70 and taking lessons.  Loving every minute of it.

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Fiddlerman
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March 4, 2017 - 5:38 pm
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Great to hear Joy :)

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

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Crazymotive
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March 21, 2017 - 7:05 pm
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MACJR said
Okay, I think my G string issue is not with the Pirastro Tonica G string, or the violin. I just need to play that G string better. I was managing to bring out better sounding notes during today's practice session.
Overall, I like the Pirastro Tonica strings, but they tend to vibrate longer than the Prelude strings did, and that part I am not as fond of. I do like the softer tones though.
However, I may experiment with alternate E strings before too long. And I am interested in trying a set of Fiddlerman strings when my Tonica strings start wearing out.
MACJR  

I've been using Tonica strings for quite a long time now.  The thing I like about them is that they have a very nice sound, great response whether I am playing fortissimo or pianissimo, and price wise they are reasonably priced and I don't break the bank every time I buy an extra set. btw I have yet to have a Tonica string ever break on me. I replace them after about 6 months to a year and I keep the used ones as spares in case one does break...which has yet to happen. And even when I do replace them periodically they have never sounded bad, even after extensive use.

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Crazymotive
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March 21, 2017 - 7:34 pm
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I experienced both learning as a child and learning as an adult. As a child I was taught toi read music, how to hold the bow, how to play various etudes and music and playing the the school orchestra.

When I graduated and went on to high school they had a band rather than an orchestra so, no need for string players. I did practice on my own at home now and then but I wasn't really learning anything new. Eventually I put the violin (which needed repairs) down and I didn't pick up a violin for about 40 years.

One evening my folks gave me an inexpensive student violin that they found on sale at a discount store while shopping. I don't recall the brand but for a cheapo it sounded reasonably good with good strings and came with a nice case.  I started off by playing stuff I remembered playing as a child and then using the Internet I started  teaching myself new techniques that I didn't learn in the past, taught myself higher finger positions, vibrato, etc. Then one day I loaned the violin to my neice who was taking lessons in school. I never got it back and I really missed having a violin around. I was anxious to keep on playing and relearning, So I saved up some money and bought a decent quality violin and box and case. The Luthier I bought it from did a really great job setting it up and adjusting it and once again I was off practicing and learning again improving my playing and improving my music reading skills as well.

Finally one big break came along. Through one of the local newspapers I learned of a local, audition free, amateur orchestra in my area. I decided to join. It was the best thing I ever did as far as music was concerned. At first playing in the orchestra was extremely hard. I couldn't follow the conductor and play at the same time, the pieces we were playing were much harder than anything I ever attempted before. Regardless I stuck with it and slowly I started coming around. I would say that through the orchestra I learned a lot and it was one of the lest enhancements to learning to play the violin. First off my music reading skills improved rapidly and dramatically. My sense of timing improved as I learned to follow the conductor and watch for his cues. Gradually the music looked less and less as hard and i was playing more and more of it. Learned a lot of new techniques, i.e. tremolo, pizzicato, learned to pay attention and understand dynamics , etc. There is also the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment of contributing to the success of the orchestra as well as playing along with other violinists and other instruments and working together as a team. I would say that joining the orchestra was probably the greatest enhancement to my learning and vastly improving my violin playing abilities,

I would strongly advise anyone who is learning the violin (or any instrument), regardless of age (young or old) to jump on the opportunity to join a local amateur orchestra or a music group of some type. If there are no local groups or orchestras in your area see if you gan get something started. Even if you can just get together with a few other players and form a local practice group that meets once a month or whatever. I think you will find it both enjoyable, satisfying, and, a major help in your learning experience.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 22, 2017 - 8:47 am
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Yes Crazymotive, Community orchestras offer great resources for improving your playing and meeting other players at the same time.
It suits many but not all. Requires a certain level of playing and dedication to be accepted and to continue. Many beginners don't have the time to devote for this kind of commitment.

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

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trinityx
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April 9, 2017 - 4:28 pm
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damfino said
Learning on you own is doable :)  Having a teacher take a look at your playing to make sure you're not developing any bad habits can be a good idea when you start out... bad habits could be hard to break. I started taking lessons with the idea in mind of just having a teacher get me started in the right direction, but so far over a year later I'm still taking my lessons, lol.  

I very much agree with you. I wanted to learn on my own and finally found a great fiddle teacher in my state!  So I saved up and am taking lessons!  I'm glad I did. She is able to break us of the bad things as she sees them come up which is a huge plus.  I also learn from Youtube videos, there is a lot of help there :)  

I'm adult learner, and if I can do it, anyone can!

 

Trin

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Helvetika
The Paris of the Prairies Saskatoon SK Canada
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April 9, 2017 - 6:32 pm
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Welcome to the forum, where you will find tons of help and support here.  (fellow Canuck here).

Lessons are a big help if you can find a good teacher but of course the better they are the more they charge.  Plus some have extremely strict studio policies, which were not for me...  I had never so much as held a fiddle before so I absolutely needed some lessons & started in my 50's.   I found a young lad offering lessons, a champion fiddler,  still a teenager.  Mostly we played simple songs together.  After about 6 months or so of lessons, he quit teaching due to school,  so I was on my own.  When I was more motivated I would practice at least an hour or more on weekdays, and more intensive on the weekends. (not usually all at once). 

I found out you will quickly regress if you do not play every day!  At least that's true for me....I think finding a group to join is an excellent idea as well.  Many people here have had no lessons and are amazing!

Enjoy!

Cindy

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trinityx
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April 10, 2017 - 7:56 am
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coolpinkone said
Welcome to the forum.

Adult beginner here.  If you can get a handful off lessons, I believe that is great... if not, then you truly can learn to self teach yourself the violin.

Good luck and welcome.  

Ask questions, listen to videos.  There is usually more than one way to learn something, or a technique.  Find out what works and make some music!

Welcome and congrats.

Cheers,

Toni  

I agree with Toni, and also even if you have an instructor, what you get out of those lessons will come out with practice. It's the practice that makes a difference :)   am a  noob myself, not to music but to the fiddle and I can tell you, practice is the name of the game :)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 11, 2017 - 11:02 am
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All great points. The teacher can't do anything for you unless you put in the hours and can think for yourself. :)

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

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Faith
Warwickshire UK
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April 21, 2017 - 4:43 pm
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I would love to have a tutor but just can't afford it right now. I had a bit of a play around a couple of years ago without much progression but then stopped as my practise bothered the new dog :-0 I started again recently as she seems fine if I am upstairs! I have realised that I really need to work on the basics however and have already noticed more progress than when I just tried to play a tune. I have been taking advantage of all the online resources such as youtube videos and the games on this site although  If something doesn't work for me sometimes another approach will but I have tried to not watch too many on the same topic as it can get conflicting and confusing.I am prepared for a long haul before I am half decent and will try to celebrate every small step forward. I try to practise for about 45 mins daily which I hope to build up, as my muscles adjust to playing.

I am 50 next month so hoping I haven't left it too late. That said my OH was working for a neighbour last week who is 70 +. He makes violins and showed me an amazing one he has just finished. He also is trying to teach himself and his wife is nagging us both to have lessons. I have been over for for a good 'strings' chinwag. He has made a viola and is working on a Cello, his dream is to have a quartet play his instruments when they are finished. Perhaps when we both grow in confidence we can do mini projects together. I have printed off one of the game of thrones arrangements so if it is still awaiting submissions in a few months! You never know ;-)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 24, 2017 - 10:23 am
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I'll save your submission when and if it comes. I'm not sure how that will go. Not than many submissions yet.
Hope you can get some free lessons from your neighbor. I had to look up OH. That would be your other half. LOL
Look forward to hearing more about it!

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

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Glenn
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May 8, 2017 - 1:49 pm
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I'm 47 and have been playing for exactly 4 days lol. I know 2 simple tunes twinkle twinkle little star for example. I am loving it always did love the sound of a violin!

i don't have any instructors around me, im on an 18000 acre exotic game ranch in west tx, but have played guitar and am finding all manner of online resources. 

Im gonna use the hell out of this place so just wanted to say hi and thanx for the info y'all are posting

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 9, 2017 - 3:10 pm
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Welcome Glenn,

I'm glad that you will be using the hell out of this site. We're happy to have you. Glad that you are learning so quickly. Enjoy the journey. :)

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

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