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About LizzyNorth

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  1. Thanks all! Good to know I'm not alone in scaring the neighbourhood pets. And people. Renee, I am taking comfort from your post! It will all work out. The person who asked about strings, I had Dominants on my old instrument (with Goldbrokat E) and have Visions on my new one, it was very well set up be the shop so I've left any experimentation until they need replacing. Different strings will not make me Rachel Podger overnight! Sadly. Thanks for the responses, I'm sure I'll be hanging around here a bit, lots to learn! Lizzy
  2. Dear all, You may (but probably don't) remember me as the helpless returner attempting to upgrade. I bought a late 19th century French, which was unlike any of the others in my price bracket. Well, it's love. I adore my instrument and, very helpfully, my new teacher agreed that it's a great violin. She also says it looks beautiful, which it does. As you can see, I'm truly smitten. The problem is that I'm also truly terrible! This new muse magnifies my every flaw. My bow hold is wrong, my tone production is wrong, vibrato too tight. Ah, the joys. My very wonderful teacher tells me that I've made 'very, very good' progress in the three weeks she's been teaching me, so there's hope, isn't there?! Please tell me that there is. Even if you're lying... Anyway, I'm sticking with it now, practicing hard and listening to my teacher. It'll all be fine. What were your early experiences with lessons, all you returners (or adult starters)out there? Thanks for all your excellent advice on my last thread, by the way. It enabled me to find something fabulous. Lizzy
  3. I am enjoying! Thanks all, and thanks for the welcome. I'm happy to be here too, Renee. Sorry about the missing accent. New 'phone, can't use it. So, it seems that my new instrument is fussy about little things like intonation. I recorded myself today and almost gave up the idea of playing altogether. However, as I've spent money now I did the sensible thing instead and looked up the number of a local teacher with an excellent reputation and begged for help. Thankfully, she has room for me. So I start lessons again, huzzah. This should be fun. Lizzy
  4. Well, thank you all for reading and taking the time to respond. There's clearly a wealth of knowledge kicking around on here. So, my Czech Strad... Well, when I say 'cheap' I mean really cheap. Not 'cheap as chips', beacuse at least, in that arrangement, you get chips. I mean getting three soggy peas in the bottom of a second-hand cone. I love that instrument and I will never part with it, but that is purely sentimental. Basically, it appears to be fashioned from an old IKEA box and held together with Pritt Stick, Blu-Tak and prayer. It makes quite a nice noise, but only in first position, which is a problem. I did have it looked at and set up (the bridge is lovely), with no great success. I think my previous teacher's face on seeing what I'd done without her input said all I needed to know. Though she did concede that it was not completely terrible. For information, I have a bow that I'm happy with for my current level of playing - its an Arcos pernambuco and I really enjoy playing with it. So, since submitting this post (and prior to its approval) I have been very busy. I have toured some shops and played a pretty decent range of instruments under and over my (very strictly adhered to) price limit. Interestingly, I had set up to follow some of your suggestions in the first place. Good to know I'm not a complete fool. I played many, including some not very expensive and some over-budget, just to get an idea. It was fascinating and I liked many of them, so I made a shortlist. It was not the case that I liked all of the most expensive ones. I loved the overbudget ones (typical) but I also loved some that were within my budget. I had advice from a teacher who played some of my favourite instruments for me and gave a totally unbiased opinion on each as she wasn't in any way affiliated so had no reason to sway me. I also asked a professional to play me some Bach on my two favourites, which happened to be in the same shop. He delighted in making me jealous of his talent. But he did help me choose one to try. When he'd played he asked me some questions about what I wanted and made his own observations about the tone and playability of both. They were very well set up, from a shop with an excellent reputation. Reader, I married him. No, I didn't. But I did bring home a violin to try. It was not what I expected to like. I had expected to go for something mellow and undemanding, that's not what I've brought home at all. It is a Caussin school violin. It has a slightly dark but 'edgy' sound but it's very clear and focused in tone (that's probably oxymoronic -I am trying to use vocabulary that I don't really have. I think I might be doing the musical equivalent of asking for a croissant in English, very loudly). It is very responsive and I don't think I can get the best out of it yet. The pro certainly could. The teacher told me it was her favourite too. It was quite under-budget, but reminded me of playing the over-budget instruments. So far, having played it at home, I still love it. I have probably done something stupid... please throw things at will... (Not at Will L though, he's given me good advice) I apologise for the length of this post. Lizzy
  5. So, having re-discovered my violin in my thirties I have decided to upgrade as I play on a cheap Czechoslovakian pretend-Strad. My instinct is to go to a reputable local shop (there are several near me) and try what they have, is this the best idea? I have set aside £3000. What can I expect, realistically? My playing level is... er... not quite what I want it to be. I'm currently playing Bach Partita II, Handel sonatas, Biber's Passacaglia, that sort of thing. However, I don't want to go fully baroque as that would limit my orchestra-joining options. I have looked at websites but, not knowing this world well means that I am unsure what is good and what is not, though I can hear what I like. I have a music degree, but not as a violinist so, although I should be able to make a reasonable assessment of sound, I'm not entirely confident when it comes to the nuts and bolts, as it were. Is there anything I should watch out for? I apologise if this post is not quite the 'done thing' for a newcomer - but as I couldn't find anything to prohibit silly questions, I thought I'd give it a go. Best wishes, Lizzy