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How many backup violins?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Gordon Shumway
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February 8, 2019 - 4:17 am
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What's the ideal number of violins to own?

  • 2(36% : 5 votes)
  • 1(29% : 4 votes)
  • 3(21% : 3 votes)
  • 4(7% : 1 vote)
  • more than 4(7% : 1 vote)
Total Voters: 14

This question isn't as facile or as frivolous as it looks. I didn't want to crash the backup violin thread, so I started a new one. When I bought my first student violin I didn't know how much to spend, so I went about three-quarters of the way up the Stentor range. Now it's clear I could and should have bought Stentor's best (questions of whether or not to import from Florida aside). I might still do that to have a better violin and to use the one I currently have as a backup. But that wouldn't be a big leap. I could wait and buy a pro violin, but then would my Stentor be a good enough backup? If I play Western swing or bluegrass, maybe I'll want a fiddle with steel strings and another for orchestras and an orchestral backup?

I know there are people who will say the ideal number is "however many you've got plus one" (there are people with large collections of $5,000 guitars), but let's keep it ASF (Acquisition Syndrome Free).

Andrew

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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February 8, 2019 - 8:21 am
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I voted "2"... just one back-up when the other is in the shop.

The better violin is for practice and safe, indoor orchestra stuff. The inexpensive, beat up second violin (which turned out sounding really nice after a bunch of Fiddlershop TLC) will be my go-to if I play outdoors in Florida summer weather or for travel.

Just took delivery of a smaller, fitted case from Fiddlershop for that purpose.

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Gordon Shumway
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February 8, 2019 - 8:28 am
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bocaholly said
Just took delivery of a smaller, fitted case

All my fiddling friends in the 70s had the same case - black, wood, violin-shaped. But you don't see them nowadays - all you see is oblong ones. Even EBay doesn't have anything I can see. Maybe the old ones just fell apart because they were wood?

Andrew

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mookje
The Netherlands
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February 8, 2019 - 9:01 am
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I vote for one 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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mookje
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February 8, 2019 - 9:11 am
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I voted for one. For me one good violin is enough. If I had more violins I probably played only on my favorite one. I don’t need a backup violin because I’m not playing in a orchestra and I only play at home. If my violin has to go to the  violin maker/ luthier I gues I will survive a day without smile 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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DennisS
Long Valley, NJ/Hobe Sound, FL
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February 8, 2019 - 9:52 am
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I voted for two, even though I now have three!  Just took delivery yesterday of a carbon fiber violin from Fiddlershop, as I'm playing at an outdoor event next week, and I couldn't bear the thought of my #1 fiddle getting bumped, bruised, or (perish the thought) rained on.  Oh, and my #2 back-up fiddle is 1200 miles away up in New Jersey while I'm in south Florida.  The carbon fiber is really neat, with the reddish weave beneath the black matrix - really easy to play too.  

Dennis

If I don't have time for a short post, I'll write a long post - (adapted from Mark Twain)

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cid
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February 8, 2019 - 10:01 am
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I said three violins. I have three sort of by accident, but I am now thinking, it would be useful for others. I won’t go into how or why I ended out with three, that would be too long a post. The short story is that I wanted to make sure I could actually hold, finger and bow a violin before getting a good violin. The first was purchased for that reason. The second one we happened across while waiting for delivery of the first. Both are very low cost. After I decided I could hold, finger and bow it, we found a violin shop and I purchased a higher quality violin, and then upgraded that one at that violin shop a month later.

The reasons I find the three violins handy are:

Reason Number 1: The first two do not sound really bad. They have a different sound than my good one. These are brighter. One of the two is brighter than the other. They are not as full sounding as my good one, they are a bit hollow, but still have a fairly good sound. When I want to see how a song would sound with a brighter sound than my Doetsch gives, I use my Mendini (the better of the two inexpensive ones). If I want it to be even a more simple sound, I use my Windsor. So, having three, gives me a variety of tines or sounds to play with.

Reason Number 2: Also, they are there if anyone who comes over wants to play with them. Not keen of handing my Doetsch over. I keep them tuned, so they would be pretty much in tune for drop ins. 

Reason Number 3: As, I think, Bocaholly said, I will use the lower end ones outside under our tree or out on our deck on hot humid Summer days. Got them in the Fall of 2018, so no Summer use yet. Not sure what the humidity and heat limit is for a good violin outside before damage could be done, so won’t take it outside. Good thing I live in the country. I prefer village and neighbors, but without the close neighbors, I will be able to do it outside without a mute.

Reason Number 4: If I have an issue with the Doetsch, I can use my Mendini for a lesson, if needed. Instructor will hate it, but it would only be temporary. I do have good Tonicas on it, not the less expensive ones it came with.

So, is three too many? Not for me. Would I be against buying another good one if my violin playing improves a lot? Not really. My husband has already suggested that I might want a good bright one down the road. I said that I would not want to trade my Rudoulf Doetsch in. He said we would just get the other one. So, maybe ... But not for a long time, not really interested in spending the money on another one.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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damfino
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February 8, 2019 - 12:35 pm
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For myself, I'd be good with one extra, my main fiddle and my old German fiddle (Gramps) which I use for outdoor stuff. But, that said, I have a total of 4 playable fiddles, and I personally don't need that many at all. 

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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February 8, 2019 - 2:48 pm
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I have one viola and one violin. I hardly ever perform on violin, so I don't need a backup violin. I don't currently feel the need to buy a backup viola because, if I really find myself in an emergency, I can always restring the violin as a viola on short notice. (Not that I'd want to play on a violin-sized viola regularly, but it will do in a pinch.)

If I were to actually go out and buy a backup viola, I'd probably shop for something in the advanced student range (i.e. lower-end Chinese workshop instrument). Pros in my area seem to use that level of instrument as a backup and/or for outdoor gigs. I wouldn't spend more than that for a backup instrument, and I certainly wouldn't buy a third viola.

Drop-ins are not something I especially have to worry about either, because even though people I play chamber music with have borrowed my violin before, there has never been a need for an extra viola.

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Fiddlerman
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February 9, 2019 - 9:49 pm
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I voted for 4. To sell more violins. exactly

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

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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February 9, 2019 - 10:06 pm
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violin-studentviolin_girlserenadeviolin-1267

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cid
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February 9, 2019 - 10:10 pm
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Why stop at 4? Aim high! 

It has dawned on me that I have 3 cellos, and 3 violins. I think I have 2 more violas yet to get.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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AndrewH
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February 10, 2019 - 12:28 am
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Is the end goal to have all the instruments on hand to play Brandenburg No. 3?

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wtw
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February 10, 2019 - 3:56 am
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Voted for one, same as mookje. I have two, but I don't play the first one anymore.

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DennisS
Long Valley, NJ/Hobe Sound, FL
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February 10, 2019 - 8:14 am
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The nice thing about my new (carbon) backup fiddle is that I can leave it laying out on the sofa with a bow nearby and pick it up a dozen times per day and play for a few minutes.  I am getting in a lot more practice time this way!

I would never think about leaving my good violin out of its protective case.

Dennis

If I don't have time for a short post, I'll write a long post - (adapted from Mark Twain)

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steveduf
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February 10, 2019 - 8:35 am
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No comment

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bocaholly
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February 10, 2019 - 9:23 am
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steveduf said
No comment  

roflol

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MoonShadows
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February 10, 2019 - 10:29 am
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As someone who is brand new, my answer is zero since I just bought one and that will do me for now as I learn, but I can imagine as I get more and more into it, I will see another one or two that I will just have to buy.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

My teacher tells me there are only two things keeping me from becoming a great fiddler...My right hand and my left hand. 

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Irv
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I am in agreement with steveduf on this thread.  I am taking the 5th.  Besides, we would greatly skew the “statistics.”  I will own up to a carbon fiber violin, which owes its ownership to a 15% off day on eBay.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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Gordon Shumway
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February 10, 2019 - 12:41 pm
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MoonShadows said
my answer is zero 

Yeah, I created confusion by naming the thread "how many backups?" (after the other backup thread), but then making the poll question "how many violins in total?"

The moderator should probably delete the thread, lol!

Also I didn't mention electric violins, and I realised that might also lead to ambiguity.

Andrew

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