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  1. Banzai, I highly recommend the Eastman 605. I bought one recently, and they are very nice for the price. They can be had for approx. $1500 with case and throwaway bow. I have a Scott Cao STV-900 also, which is also in your range if you can find one. They are the bottom of the California made workshop violins. The Cao is louder, more brilliant, very easy mechanically to play, but must be handled carefully or it can get a little harsh. Played well, it is great. You just have to pay attention, if you know what I mean. The Eastman is fuller, rounder, more lush, just lovely sounding, and I can relax my technique with it and it still sounds great. Still plenty loud, just not as loud as the Cao. I like them both! As a fiddle, I would go with the Eastman.
  2. I played as a child, for 5 yrs in the orchestra and private lessons for 3 of those years. I started up again, at the ripe age of 48, using a local teacher who used the Suzuki method. I went through book 5 with her, when it became apparent to both of us I think, that I was moving beyond her teaching abilities. The problem is I live in an area without other teachers available. I am looking for some instructional aids, particularly DVD's, to help me improve. Any advice for me?
  3. quote: Originally posted by: kathyk Just out of curiousity I looked for this violin at our (big ol') Wal-mart last night, but I didn't see any. There were some guitars and drum sticks up at the front of the store, is that the general area where you found the violin at your WalMart? Yes, it was up front with the other instruments, just inside the entrance by the optical center. Maybe their opticians double as luthiers!
  4. Just to be clear, I am only speaking about a violin I bought at, um, ... Wal-Mart. I have not seen any of the Target violins. I did check their web site, and those violins do not resemble what I got at Wal-Mart. Just because it costs $99 does not mean it is similar in any way. The label in mine says Recital and it says REV-1 in small print. The box says Sagamusic is the source, although I cannot find the exact combination of qualities of this violin on their website. I am certain the fingerboard is real ebony, not some synthesized product mentioned on their cheapest fiddles. I do know that WalMart can spec whatever they want in any product and it is usually complied with, just due to the volume. I will also say that the bridge on mine is nicely cut, although unbranded. I would love to hear from anyone else who checks them out to see what their thoughts are, and if they saw a similar violin to mine.
  5. Yes, the setup was not good. But the basic construction seems nicer than an old German fiddle I keep around here for my regular beater. The f-holes are nicely done, and symetrical. The pegs were of course a problem, and needed some serious twisting to get them in far enough to hold the strings in tune. It does have steel strings which add to the fiddle sound. I originally assumed I would put on Dominants or similar but I've decided to keep it more "fiddly". I have to say after playing it for several hours last night, I am even more impressed. The bow redefines for me just how bad a bow can be, but the violin is amazing for the money. I would have guessed it to cost more like $1000. Very loud and resonant. The top is very thin. The tuners on the tailpiece are pretty rough. The finish is beautiful. I will say that of the two in the store, this one had a FAR nicer back, cosmetically, than the other one. But it seemed to be similarly well constructed, and also very lightweight. The other one had more of a burled look.
  6. I was wondering into my local Wal-Mart today looking for storage containers, when I saw the usual display of instruments. Usually it is guitars, some percussion, a drum set or two, and a couple of trumpets. But today, they had two violins. My 5 and 7 yr old daughters like to saw on my regular violins, so I thought I would check out getting them a WalMart cheapie for themselves. Unfortunately, they only had two 4/4 full size instruments. Curiosity got the best of me, and I just had to see what Wal-Mart was offering for $99 including a violin, wooden bow with MOP, Kun style rest, rosin, tuning pitch pipe, and How-to-play DVD in a leather case, and a very lightweight case. Ebony fingerboard and pegs. When I first opened the case, prepared to Mock in a very snooty manner, I gasped instead. Instead of the thick, plasticy coating I expected to find, was a very light, nicely applied and antiqued varnish, similar to my Eastman 605. And then I picked it up, and noticed it was very lightweight. Hmmm, so far so good. I turned it over, knowing the back would be as plain as a barn door. Surprise again. It was beautiful. I had to buy the darn thing! Is it as nice as my Cao STV 900? No. But it is more of a fiddle. It sounds full and rich, but not overly so. The neck is slightly wider than my preference, but hey, it was $99!!! I can take it camping, use it as a paddle, but most importantly, it really sounds pretty nice. I am just shocked by what my money bought. Yes, I understand the Chinese labor situation. But does not buying their goods help their situation? I don't know. I just post this if anyone is looking for a cheapie second fiddle, or maybe if their dog ate their regular violin. Here are the pics. http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/...?.dir=/d436re2&.src=ph
  7. Thanks. What is the material guide for third position? I have always just tried to hit the point my third finger was. A point of reference would be great.
  8. I played violin as a child, from grades 4-8, and was pretty good for my age. I have been getting back into it, and trying to unlearn a bad habit. Specifically, I am curious about the left hand position. I typically hold the instrument with the knuckle on the palm, just below the index finger, contacting the neck when in first position, forming a bit of a V ship with the thumb. Is this correct, our should there be no knuckle contact? I saw a video on an instructional website which showed no contact there. The instrument is held by my chinrest without much or any arm support. I am not gripping it tightly at all. I am just curious about this knuckle contact. I am working on vibrato and it may be impeding it. Any thoughts are welcome, and thanks.
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