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About GPB

  • Birthday 02/27/1956

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  1. Indeed not all old violins sound great. I have heard and played a few modern violins that are very nice indeed. I must confess however that my tastes in fine violins is still changing even after 45 years
  2. I had this issue when I was young. Everyone in my building would turn on the washing machines as soon as I started my scales. Then I noticed that the fire dept accross the street would turn on it siren as well. I ended up moving to a log cabin in the mountains for two years. I found a fan however in the form of a frog that would come to my porch every night for my concert. If your looking for something less extreme an electric violin (gasp) with head phones fits the bill.
  3. Down the road and many upgrades later you will still find it useful to have a carbon bow. Weather conditions and travel or working with students or even playing in bars are better served with a durable bow. The wood bows in the price range is all over the place in terms of quality. There are some very good bows and some very bad ones. If you can't test the wood bow first, carbon IMO will improve the odds of getting an acceptable bow. Also, when you do have a chance to go to a violin shop please try some bows even if your not yet in the market. Doing so will give an understanding of the bows that will work best for you and please, use your violin as different bows effects the sound of each violin in different ways. Good luck
  4. I have used gut both wound and plain. IMO the are more subtle in voicing the sound. With the violin setup for them they can produce many more colors and dynamics but they do wear and need constant retuning in most climates. The plain gut should IMO be tried at least once by all. Its a very unique sensation
  5. I was self taught for 25 years before I had my first lesson. I never even knew another violinist! I was found by my teacher to be very advanced in some aspects and wanting in others. On the plus side I had good tone and intonation. Bowing however was never the same way twice. No need when playing alone I guess. After three years with a teacher I was able to be more consistant in my skills so the 25 years were not for nothing however I will always wonder how much farther I would have progressed with quality teaching from the start. I would suggest that at a minimum a teacher when starting will help avoid time wasting mistakes and as you progress to positions and advance fingering a teacher will keep you on track.
  6. Its a question of were to play. By the fire with some good wine and friends. Forget "trying" to sound Gypsy. Live the life, the sound will find you
  7. GPB

    rib repair

    I am repairing a violin that the rib has cracked on the g string side or the upper part at the junction of the corner block. The linings stop at the corner block at the point of the crack. Should I remove the corner block and make one larger so as to support the area of the break? Should I replace the rib? Any ideas are welcome. This is not a well made violin and I am just trying to save it from the trash bin. Thanks
  8. I like to spend some time before each session playing on open strings in different ways. Not just soft or loud but maybe angry or sad. Doing this on an open string may seem silly but it has been a great help for me. FYI 40 is a great age to start playing the violin, best of luck.
  9. The real question is not the strings IMO. I understand that you are still learning and please do not take this wrong but the problem is learning to play with good tone. This violin will help you if you work with it. I felt the same way on my violin 20 years ago. Now I am still playing that same violin and it now sounds mellow but still projects very well. The change is how I play it. This skill will come with time and in the future you will find your loud violin to be an asset. For training to play with good tone I recomend NOT playing with a mute, learn to play softly with good tone. Practice solo playing as much as possable, playing in a group makes it harder to perfect tone (it does however improve many other aspects). Play long notes, use a full bow, find how the bow sound when you play close to the bridge and close to the fingerboard. Note how this changes on different strings as well as when you climb the fingerboard. One other thing to keep in mind is that your violin sound different under your ear then from just a few feet away. If you can have a good player play your violin for you you will gain more confidence in its tone. A good violin player can make some pretty lame violins sound wonderful. Good luck
  10. I played for 20 years having never had a teacher. I started leasons at that point and my teacher found that my form was not that bad but I did have some habits that needed improving. For the next year I sounded worse but after retraining I was a much better violinist then before. Just grit your teeth and trust your teacher. Be willing to go back to fundimentals and good luck
  11. IMO you should find the help of someone with a good ear. The sound you hear from your violin/bow will not likly be what is heard by others. Bow noise under the ear may or may not project. Some bows tend to focus the sound. This is good if you own a "mellow" violin. Other bows project a softer sound that is useful if you have a harsh sounding fiddle. The type of music you play can also effect your bow choice. I prefer a soft stick for 18th century music and a stiff stick for 19th century mostly. You also may wish to try the bow you are considering in a large hall if available as some bows help more than othes with projection
  12. I have not kept up with auction or retail prices for a few years now. I am thinking of selling a bow or two and perhaps buying a new one. Can anyone tell me how E. Sartory bows have faired? Hill bows? Just looking for general info, I understand that they will have to be appraised. Thanks
  13. Avoid labels, listen. Take your time and the right violin will find you when your ready. I am the proud owner of a 1800 French violin that is my voice. It came to me needing some work (approx $500)but as I paid $50 for it (yep ) I felt it a good deal. It has now, some 10 years later, been appraised at $6,000 but I would not sell it for twice that.
  14. I had the same results with Eva's untill I tried the Starks. I'm still on the same set now for over 12 months. I use to buy new strings every 2 months, tried every brand I could find and assumed that it was something I would have to live with. They may or may not sound good on your violin but for me its "the" string. Good luck
  15. I was in a shop last week in Nagshead NC. In an Art shop I found a violin painted by Grandma Moses. No setup pegs, bridge etc. but with some small flowers painted on the back. Price $1000. Thats to much for a wall hanger but with some work it might be made playable. I will confess that it was kind of cool in a fiddle sort of way.
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