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What motivated you to start violin?
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GregW
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February 27, 2020 - 7:49 pm
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So I was a couple years into OWNING a guitar and trying to figure that all out.  I found that I gravitated toward fiddle tunes.  I suppose since I started late my taste had changed and wasn't interested so much in learning free bird and such.  Angeline the Baker was a favorite..go figure.  Anyway, one day while looking through the latest how to pick book I'd thrown money at, the author used this example as a tune to try and figure out.  It was when I heard this that I decided to try and see what this fiddle thing was all about.  A few weeks later I found an instructor and have been at it since. 

Was there a piece of music or tune that flipped your switch and motivated you to start?  here was mine.  don't know why..just liked it

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cid
February 27, 2020 - 9:07 pm
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I started out trying to learn guitar.  Had issues managing six strings. I plateaued and that issue stuck. I tried banjo. That was actually coming along. Then the stretch of my left arm with the long neck for fingering was way too much for me to do. My shoulder joint could not handle it.

I am also at a time in my life when my husband and I are retired, the kids are moved out and on their own. We moved two houses west, on the same road, to a single story ranch and we settled in our new life of our own. We were now able to explore our interests. No mortgage, no student loans, no debt. Nice spot to be in. I love music. I love music of pretty much any genre except jazz and opera. I used to wind up my entire collection of music boxes and put them around my first child, when she was not mobile, and lying in her blanket in the livingroom floor. She loved them. 

I bought a ton of 45’s and albums growing up. Something happened to the 45’s but I had most of the albums I bought as a teen when I married. I used to listen to my albums constantly. My oldest, when she was about 5, was riding in the back seat of our car with an uncle. “Don’t Cry Out Loud” started playing on the radio. She belted out, “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and scared the bejeebies out of her uncle. LOL She, apparently, was listening to my albums when I was playing them.

I now have a bunch of CD’s: oldies, country, folk, sound track, holiday. I love music. I have an old CD with cello on it and was listening to it one day. I did some research on playing cello. Sure looked like something my arm could handle. I mentioned it to my husband. He brought me to the local music store, and unbeknownst to us, he actually leased cellos. I found I could play the cello, at least physically. Lease was up, instructor was really bad, so I turned the cello in.

The following Fall we decided to spend Fall, Winter and Spring in Vegas and Summer here. Good thing I gave up cello, it would not fit in the car. Strangely, my husband kept thinking I should get a cello there. I had to keep reminding him that we are now in an apartment. We did that for 4 years, finally coming back in 2017. We arrived back in our nice single story ranch for good on March 4, 2017, blizzard hit March 5. Welcome home!

The end of April is our anniversary. My husband drove to the music store on our way home from shopping on our anniversary. Turns out the wife of the owner had a cello she was selling because she wanted to upgrade and couldn’t until she sold that one. My husband bought me that cello for our anniversary after I tested it, 😁

Well, then we both got interested in whether I could learn violin. We bought a cheapo one just to see if holding it and fingering the strings was going to be a problem. Didn’t appear so. Then we just happened to both be Googling about violas, it was very strange. He asked about viola and I told him that I love the sound of viola. We bought a cheapo viola with the same idea about using it to test before getting a good one. The fingering on the viola was much more suited to me than violin. We ended up upgrading the $43 violin and $39 viola.

I love them all. At my age, there is no way I would be able to get super good in any of them, arthritis is already setting in on my knees. I am having fun with all three. I am taking cello lessons, I have time set aside for my viola, and I have time set aside for my warm violin and for my Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe that I use for fiddle music. 

I have no intention to play with anyone or for anyone. This is just for me to enjoy in our little single story house in my period of life I consider my and my husband's time. 

So, that is my story. I just love music and these three instruments seem to suit me just fine. When I hear guitar (not chord strumming. I was trying to learn solo guitar) I still long for that, but after 15 years of trying to learn it, the same issue over and over would not budge, after three different teachers, so I just have to be content with my bowed instruments. I seem to be able to handle them more comfortably, not easier, more comfortably. I am very happy with them. I am very lucky to have a husband who encourages me and has an interest in my “fiddling” around with string instruments.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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GregW
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February 27, 2020 - 9:38 pm
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@cid for some reason I was thinking your first bowed instrument was violin.  didn't know you started with cello!  

Did you ever try a smaller body guitar?  something like a double O or single O?  Also Im a fan of 12 fret guitars now with the smaller body.  helps with the shoulder thing.  The drednaughts have a big sound but Ive about switched over to smaller bodys.  my favorite now is a 0000 12fret martin.  love it.  about the same sound as my Dred but much more comfortable.

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AndrewH
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I jumped straight into wanting to play big classical pieces from the first time I ever saw string instruments.

From age 3 to 12, I lived in Dubai, at a time when Western classical music barely existed there, and Western string instruments basically didn't at all. (The first violin teacher in Dubai, that I've been able to find evidence of, started teaching there less than a year before my family moved back to the US.) I took piano lessons there, but never heard a string instrument in person until I was back in the States.

Once back in the US, I had a bit of reverse culture shock. Pop culture in Dubai was about ten years behind the US at the time (this was before the internet made pop culture global) so it was like jumping straight from 1985 to 1995. I became mostly a classical and jazz listener around that time, because those genres weren't going to go in and out of style, and I discovered classical radio.

A few months after returning to the US, I had the chance to go to a symphony concert with a friend's family. That was the first time I saw string instruments in person. I still remember the entire program: Kabalevsky Overture to Colas Breugnon, Walton Viola Concerto, Beethoven Symphony No. 3. It was the Walton viola concerto that really made an impression. I decided on the spot I wanted to play the viola.

I started on violin rather than viola because there was an old violin in the family that I could get for free. (I knew by then that most violists started on violin.) My great-uncle had played the violin, and when he died years before I was born, his violin had gone to my uncle who thought he might want to learn. He never got around to it, so the violin sat on a shelf in his house for more than 20 years until he finally gave it to me. At that point, my parents started inquiring about violin lessons, but every teacher they asked said I was already too old to learn a string instrument. Eventually, after about three years of looking for a teacher and occasionally trying to play a little, I gave up on finding a teacher and started self-teaching more systematically a little before my 17th birthday.

For college I ended up going to Caltech, which has no music department, so the musical ensembles were purely recreational and not selective at all. I got into the orchestra even though I was barely a lower-intermediate learner; that was my first orchestra experience. I also played in the chamber music program as a pianist; they had three violas that were sometimes loaned to violinists to play viola parts, and about halfway through my freshman year the director of the chamber music program agreed to loan me a viola until graduation. From then on, most of my string playing was on viola. I still have my great-uncle's violin, though, and I still play it from time to time, usually when my viola is in the shop for maintenance.

Just in case anyone's curious, here are the other two pieces that were played at the concert that first inspired me to learn strings:

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cid
February 27, 2020 - 10:58 pm
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@GregW 

I tried folk guitar, electric guitar and classical guitar. I liked the sound of the classical guitar best. The electric was easier to finger, but the weight was an issue. I also loked the acoustic sound better. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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GregW
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February 27, 2020 - 11:18 pm
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@AndrewH thanks for sharing the videos.  I got to watching the page turning going on about halfway through the Kabalevsky and couldn't help but wonder...have you ever had a situation where either you or the page turner knocks the music off? my twisted brain I guess.. Thats something Id probably do.. 🙂  That's a dream having a family instrument passed down like that.  I'm thinking that one would be the favorite.

As time went on were you able to play these in any of the concerts youve been a part of?

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Gordon Shumway
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After the 30-year hiatus, I tried classical guitar, but couldn't grow the fingernails and hated its solitariness, and preferred the uke and its sociability. Took up the violin to accompany Western Swing numbers at the uke group, but realised the group was moribund and amateur orchestras needed violins. Also the arthritis (left side hand and foot) now makes uke-playing painful, whereas the violin is painless, mostly, at the moment.

Andrew

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AndrewH
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February 28, 2020 - 12:04 am
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GregW said
@AndrewH thanks for sharing the videos.  I got to watching the page turning going on about halfway through the Kabalevsky and couldn't help but wonder...have you ever had a situation where either you or the page turner knocks the music off? my twisted brain I guess.. Thats something Id probably do.. 🙂  That's a dream having a family instrument passed down like that.  I'm thinking that one would be the favorite.

As time went on were you able to play these in any of the concerts youve been a part of?

  

I played in the orchestra viola section for the Walton concerto in April 2018, with San Francisco Symphony principal violist Jonathan Vinocour as soloist. It's the only time I've ever been on stage with someone who is arguably top-50 in the world on his instrument. I'm also in the middle of learning the solo part, though progress has been interrupted by injury.

I've also performed all nine Beethoven symphonies now (this one in September 2014). Have not yet had a chance to play the Kabalevsky.

About page turning: the convention in orchestral string playing is for two people to share a stand, and the "inside" player (the one farther from the audience) turns the page while the "outside" player continues playing. If there isn't a long rest, the section may try to stagger page turns a little, with some outside players memorizing a little before the page turn so the page can be turned early, and some memorizing a little after the page turn so that the page can be turned late. I've had the music knocked off the stand a couple times in rehearsals, never in a concert. My most embarrassing moment in an orchestra was the time I was seated inside, turned a page with my bow not quite securely in my hand, and accidentally threw my bow up in the air. Fortunately it came back down within arm's reach, but it still hit the music stand before I was able to catch it.

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Peter
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February 28, 2020 - 3:27 am
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My motivation came from a sense of loss, borne of two regrets. My paternal grandmother offered to teach me to play the piano when I was in short trousers, and I declined. I also regret not taking more care over my guitar playing over the years, and just noodled around with the odd rock song instead of knuckling-down and learning the back-bone skills.

After 43 years of 'playing' guitar, I felt sure my command of the fretboard was actually degrading; I had entered the school of guitar whose most famous exponent was Dave Lister (qv "Red Dwarf") and looked for an alternative. I had become weary of amateur radio, a hobby of even greater time-frame, and all thoughts turned to the old violin I'd bought out of curiosity at a jumble sale for £0.50 a few years back. I researched how best to repair it and gave it my best shot, and the rest is recorded on Fiddlerman over the last five months.

I still have my guitars. I picked one up last weekend, and although I struggled to find some of my favourite riffs and tunes, I had a better time playing scales so perhaps there's extra benefit from taking music seriously at last. Who knows, perhaps I could finally learn to play the guitar properly at last?

I feel very comfortable with my violins now. The initial anxiety has dissipated, and I'm feeling like I could commit my days to it: I cannot wait to retire!

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Gordon Shumway
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There are quite a lot of amateur orchestras in Worthing, @Peter, for future reference: -

http://amateurorchestras.org.u.....outhea.htm

Andrew

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Peter
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Gordon Shumway said
There are quite a lot of amateur orchestras in Worthing, Peter, for future reference: -

http://amateurorchestras.org.u.....outhea.htm

  

Yes, indeed; and one superb semi-professional outfit, the WPO: Worthing Philharmonic

I have hopes of sitting (and playing) in a local ensemble one day. I'll never be a soloist because my sacro-iliac joints no longer allow me to stand for very long.wink

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Gordon Shumway
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I have zero desire to be a soloist. Did enough of that to last a lifetime on the piano in the 70s. Masochism.

Andrew

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Peter
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My last performance as a soloist was humiliating.

I was to pipe the Still and Carry On at a matelot's funeral; I had picked up the wrong boatswain's call, and treated the congregation of shipmates to an eight-second hiss. The thing was untuned, straight out of the Acme Whistles' factory gate.

The shipmates haven't asked me to pipe since.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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GregW
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Gordon Shumway said
After the 30-year hiatus, I tried classical guitar, but couldn't grow the fingernails and hated its solitariness, and preferred the uke and its sociability. Took up the violin to accompany Western Swing numbers at the uke group, but realised the group was moribund and amateur orchestras needed violins. Also the arthritis (left side hand and foot) now makes uke-playing painful, whereas the violin is painless, mostly, at the moment.

  

Gordon are you a Bob Wills fan by any chance?

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Gordon Shumway
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GregW said

Gordon are you a Bob Wills fan by any chance? 

I know of Bob Wills. I like them all. I have 10 discs in three different but overlapping compilation box sets, so they all blend together a bit. My friend Rufus will tell you the biographies of every Western Swing star. (one of them murdered his wife. I forget which one that was!)

Peter said
I had picked up the wrong boatswain's call...The thing was untuned, straight out of the Acme Whistles' factory gate. 

I love acme whistles and calls. I've got 8 or 9. I waited a year to find a train horn at a reasonable price (reduced from £70 to £40). I still don't have their slide whistle, though. I've known about them since the 70s - a friend was a percussionist, and we visited Southampton where a music shop was having a closing down sale and he bagged a lot of cheap fun percussion things. You can't beat a good duck call. That would have gone down less well than a faulty bosun's whistle.

Andrew

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GregW
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Gordon Shumway said

GregW said

Gordon are you a Bob Wills fan by any chance? 

I know of Bob Wills. I like them all. I have 10 discs in three different but overlapping compilation box sets, so they all blend together a bit. My friend Rufus will tell you the biographies of every Western Swing star. (one of them murdered his wife. I forget which one that was!)

Peter said

I had picked up the wrong boatswain's call...The thing was untuned, straight out of the Acme Whistles' factory gate. 

I love acme whistles and calls. I've got 8 or 9. I waited a year to find a train horn at a reasonable price (reduced from £70 to £40). I still don't have their slide whistle, though. I've known about them since the 70s - a friend was a percussionist, and we visited Southampton where a music shop was having a closing down sale and he bagged a lot of cheap fun percussion things. You can't beat a good duck call. That would have gone down less well than a faulty bosun's whistle.

  

Did not know that.. Spade Cooley...thank you google

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Peter
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Gordon Shumway said

 

 

Peter said

I had picked up the wrong boatswain's call...The thing was untuned, straight out of the Acme Whistles' factory gate. 

I love acme whistles and calls. I've got 8 or 9. ... ... You can't beat a good duck call. That would have gone down less well than a faulty bosun's whistle.

  

Acme calls are the ones most pipers use, unless they have one of the (highly collectable) vintage calls. They need to have the hole widened and the edge made sharp before a decent range and output can be had. The RN no longer use them apart from ceremonial, but I remember rising early one morning on HMS Bristol, and hearing and seeing a guy on the flight deck of a 22 across the harbour pipe "Lash Up and Stow".

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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GregW
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Peter what is the call youre referring to?  Do you have youtube link?

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Peter
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GregW said
Peter what is the call youre referring to?  Do you have youtube link?

  

Here's a picture or two to whet your appetite, I'll go search for YT links:

P1050263.JPGImage EnlargerP1040454.JPGImage Enlarger

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Peter
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Courtesy of the Royal Navy:

Call the hands on HMS Bulwark

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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