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  1. I have read, reviewed, and contributed to many threads regarding the choosing and purchase of a violin and bow. I am neither a professional violinist nor a luthier, but I know enough to get by. I have, at often times, broken my own rules and went against the advice of many. In the end, my own personal and general rule has always been to go with what sounds best and what plays best. Disregard names, brands, provenance, age, price until you narrow down your field of options. There is always the factor of whether an instrument or bow has limitations as to personal growth and future potential, but you also don't want to buy a Ferarri before you learn to drive. The ultimate return on investment should be based upon how much you play on, enjoy, and learn with/from your tools. You'd be surprised at the result. Here is a great YouTube on choosing a violin bow, which I find quite applicable to choosing a violin. In fact, this video is a companion video to choosing a violin.
  2. I did not know that! Thank you for the information!
  3. Take into consideration violins prior to when chin rests became a thing. Other than the order of strings, was there anything else that would dictate a violin was meant for right or left handed players? I just thought about this and it got me wondering. Aside from our notion of logic, based upon science, that tone frequencies are ordered low to high, how does the string order placement dictate left or right handed intent? Jimmy Hendrix played left handed but on a right handed guitar. He did not change the order of strings. Does not seem to have made any difference in how I hear his music.
  4. I don't think I have ever been charged more than $15 USD for the bridge itself. But I see how the "scam" part of it applies.
  5. Looks Star Wars insprired...
  6. Ok. Thank you. I was thinking that might be the case. As I understand it, as long as the bridge is maple or some other suitable wood, it is ultimately recarved by the luthier to fit the individual violin anyways. Your reply is most appreciated!
  7. I have never really paid attention to bridges because I have always let my luthier, who I trust, to take care of selection, carving, fitting, etc. Does it matter whether the bridge is "authentic"? Serious question.
  8. In the spirit of robust dialogue: 1. Can one hand accomplish something more easily because it is biologically dominant or because that is what we are trained to do? For instance, I am right handed. But I was taught to wipe with my left hand and eat with my right. My kids think its weird. Actually, its weird that I discuss wiping with my kids in the first place. 2. Is the reason we strum and pick with the right hand really because of dominance? I know plenty of left handed people who strum and pick right handed or bow right handed. Plenty. Most of them are better than me at both guitar and violin. 3. I really think that differing opinions are good for discussion. Why are you wasting time with this? That is a question that only you can answer.
  9. I agree with this. When you are starting out, is there is a preconcieved conception that the violin is set up for right handed players, then maybe there may be an effect on left handed players on a psychological level. But when teaching violin to beginners, I never think to ask about, or assert disadvantages of, right hand or left hand dominance.
  10. I was just going to ask about this. Even if the soundpost and bass bar position doesn't matter much, wouldn't the fingerboard, particularly the nut, and the bridge matter? Aren't the grooves designed to accomodate the width of the strings in a particular order?
  11. Honestly, if the fractional sized violin can produce sound, any violin will do for now. Look on Craigslist or other public market forums as suggested above. $200 is the standard price from my experience. The good news is, you can always resell to another person in your position because grade school kids getting into public school orchestra programs are not hard to find. As it pertains to renting, I hope I do not offend any dealers here, but renting a fractional sized violin for a beginner seems somewhat wasteful to me. I don't know what the going rate is, but let's say its $20 a month. A beginner will likely use the violin at least a few months before deciding violin is not for him/her/they/it/other. In that sense, yes, for about $100, you can rent a violin for 5 months. But what if the student sticks with it? You can buy a used cheap and playable fractional violin for anywhere between $100 and $200. I know this because I tell the parents of my beginner students this advice and they get violins in this price range. When they give up or need to upgrade, they turn around and sell those violins for almost the same price they bought them for. When I started out, my teacher did not require an actual violin for the first month. Instead, I used an empty cereal box with a ruler taped to it to simulate the neck and body of a real violin. You don't need a Strad or Guarneri to learn Hot Cross Buns.
  12. Right. I have seen and heard many fiddlers and pit musicians that simply do not have the underlying conservatory approach training and technique and still manage to produce wonderful tone and possess great musicianship. Unfortunately, I do not have the formal training that I desire so I am waiting for the wisdom and experience to kick in.
  13. This may be if I were a collector. I am looking for bows and violins to play. That being said, if I go to an estate sale or some pawn shop, I am looking at one to three items, at best. At auction, I am trying out many bows and making the decision based upon what I like, not what is available. Anyways, I am on the hunt for one more violin and one more bow, but this discussion has been refreshing and many good comments to ween me off of the auction trail for awhile. Besides, I have a big European vacation planned for next autumn and need to spend there...hopefully not at the auction houses there though!
  14. So true! As a lifelong student, I am constantly striving to accomplish these types of musical segues. My teachers keep telling me "etudes"! All day, every day! So I practice etudes and see improvement, but I often wonder how much of this is skill and how much is simply raw talent? There are professionals out there, recording artist caliber, who have gone on record saying that they did not do much in terms of etudes when they were younger because they learned the Suzuki method or what not. Only after they transitioned to a conservatory did they focus on etudes. Is it raw talent? Is it years of wisdom and experience? What ever it is, please give me some!
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