I'm completely new here. About a week and a half ago I didn't even imagine I'd ever be playing a violin, it kinda happened by accident.
An online music shop I often frequent had some major discounts for 4 hours so I was looking at all their products and trying to figure out if there's anything interesting there.. I stumbled across some really cheap violins and figured why not give it a shot since I was always curious what it's like to play on a fretless instrument... Oh by the way I do sing and play some guitar / ukulele to accompany that (so pretty much only chords) and I also got a digital piano in January and been learning that ever since (also accompaniment), so we can probably say I have some slight musical background..
So I ordered a Stagg acoustic violin.. sunburst color.. looked fine on the picture... there's a video on youtube by Stagg of a guy playing on it (supposedly...) and it seemed okay.
Now usually what I do is whenever I order something 'special' for myself I kinda psych myself up and try to learn as much as I can about it before it arrives (who needs manuals anyway...). So I went on youtube and checked out all the violin channels, watched videos of how they're built.. tutorial videos.. etc..
By the time my violin arrived I already knew two things.. 1: that I bought a toy and not a musical instrument... 2: that I really like violins and would probably enjoy learning it.
Needless to say the violin IS horrible indeed, plastic tuning pegs that either slip or stick, nylon hair on the bow, bridge curve slightly flat at the top so when you barely get up to the G note on the D string all G D and A strings are flat in one plane making it almost impossible to hit that string separately unless you're bowing way back at the bridge and a rosin that sticks more to the solid steel strings than the nylon hair bow.
This made me want to order a new violin straight up so I was looking at the Stentor Conservatoire and I did place the order, but it turns out my dad also likes violins so he called me saying that he contacted some people and got me a deal for a handmade master violin which in turn made me cancel my order.. However when he said 'master violin' I didn't realize that what he meant was actually a violin made by a master maker who has his separate workshop at the instrument factory so it will take up to 2 months for it to be made.. which means in order to have something decent to practice with till that's ready I'm going to attempt to bring this Stagg to life with some new strings, new bow.. rosin.. etc once they arrive
Along my journey I also ended up on Fiddlerman's channel and needless to say I really liked what I saw there so after an extensive comment exchange on his Eleanor Rigby tutorial video.. I'm here
You're probably waiting for that video already so... here's me accidentally playing the beginning part of the American anthem (I played 3 random notes and it reminded me of this so I figured out the rest by ear, hence the 'accidentally' part ) and I actually uploaded it just to tease an American friend from the gaming community I'm helping them to manage (he always forgets to send me the reports, but last night he did so it was kinda funny thanking him like that).
Disclaimer: I know it's bad, but keep in mind that on the video I'm only 2 days into learning the violin so I'm assuming it will get better and the instrument is still with the factory setup since my new strings and bow didn't arrive yet so I'm struggling to compensate for its shortcomings Also I instantly noticed the sawing motion and tried to fix it, but it turns out it was 'automatic' because I'm sitting down and trying to avoid hitting my leg with the bow.. as soon as I stood up and played in front of the mirror it went away.. Oh and also the rubber bands are there, because I used them to mount a fancy dishwashing sponge as a shoulder rest, which helped a lot (it has a fluffy fabric outside so it grips well on my tshirt)
Thanks for reading and here's the video:
Welcome @Ferenc Simon !
Way to go, as they say !
None of the reticent-beginner stuff - straight in there and pick out a tune, well done !
I'd agree, while you're awaiting a "proper" violin, sure, there are some things you can do to improve the playability of the instrument. Strings will help as you say, but don't go overboard on cost (suggest the FiddlerMan strings, or Dominants). Yea, a bow with real hair works wonders too ! And if you're a practical sort of fellow, I'm pretty sure even your first attempt at fashioning a replacement bridge from a blank would improve things as well.....
All the best with your new-found interest !
I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh -
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)
Yes, I ordered a set of pirastro tonica strings, they seemed to be recommended by people for beginner instruments as well but cost about as half as much as the dominants here. I also ordered a proper shoulder rest instead of the sponge
What I didn't mention is that I also added a bridge to my order which I'll attempt to file down to the correct angles. I could also try to deepen the groves on this one for the G and A slightly, since they weren't pre-cut so it's only as much as the strings cut into it and there's still enough room before having a dangerously low action on the strings so we'll see how it goes. Just wanted to have a backup bridge before messing with it.
Anyway thanks and yea, so far I'm really enjoying it!
Wow you're off to a banging start! Don't be afraid to use the critique video site as you're learning to stop any pesky bad habits from forming but considering you're two days in and playing a song good enough we can actually know what song your playing I'd say you're gonna be somewhat of a natural!!
Fiddlerman has some great videos oh how to hold the violin and how to consistently find the right notes that really helped me when i was starting out. Great first song! I look forward to seeing more videos!!
Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!
~General George S. Patton
Personally I think he deserves a critique badge @Fiddlerman he isn't on the critique thread but it is a video so we can see what he has accomplished in 2 days! Ha ha I am the reticent beginner, with my old violin tutor's standards drummed into me. Basics basics basics! I was never allowed to hair off to stuff that was ahead of me!
"Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one".- Albert Einstein