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Very interested in playing violin...


jillianelizabeth
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Hey...

I am new to this forum, my name is Jillian and I'm 13 years old. I have a background of nine years of playing piano and three years of playing the flute for the school band. I am really interested in learning how to play the violin. It looks as if I'm getting one for Christmas. I need some help deciding on how much my parents should invest in one, where I should get it, what kind I should get and if I should get lessons or teach myself? Thank you so much for the info, I really appreciate it!

Jillian Elizabeth

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Hi Jillian,

I think that's terrific that you are 13 yrs. old and interested in learning violin. Your background in piano and in flute should be a hugh plus in reading music and playing in an orchestra when you have some technique.

It is a wonderful instrument! I know many other forum members would support me in saying that you should definitely not try to teach yourself. Learning to use the bow is so important and needs careful guidance from a qualified teacher. Be sure to find the best teacher you can afford in your area. (Ask any friends you have who play violin well who their teachers are).

As to an instrument, I would recommend you and your parents go to a qualified string store (not a general music shop dealing in band instruments and some strings, but one which deals purely in strings). Ask them to show you some good student violins in a price range your parents can afford. It's often a good idea at first to rent an instrument, but be sure you get a good one. Your teacher may also be able to help you. Ask the salesperson to play (or have your teacher do this) any instrument you like, and choose the one whose sound is best. A new instrument may be fine for flute, but may or may not be the best choice for a violin. Be sure the shop will allow you to trade up to a better quality instrument when you are ready to take the next level. I assume as a 13 year old you are big enough for a 4/4 violin, but if you aren't very tall, have your teacher recommend a size.

E-bay also has many violins for sale, but be careful, as many are not very good. And you don't have the advantage of seeing the instrument and hearing its sound first, before you buy. Plus it's best to have a business relationship with a violin shop, in case you need some repair.

Chinese violins vary from excellent to not so good. Scott Cao, who is a Chinese American maker/shop in CA., makes fine copies of well-known instruments. They are well-made and have a lovely sound. Some of these sell for, oh, maybe $700. - 1200. Check out his name on the Internet.

Don't forget the bow! There are many fine student bows.

Some are made of wood (pernambuco is best, but less expensive bows use brazil wood) and some of a carbon fiber.

I wouldn't buy the cheapest, as the bow is often more important than the violin. I have both wooden and carbon fiber bows, and like each for different reasons.

And of course, a case, and rosin. Many shops will sell a package deal - violin, bow, case, rosin - for a more reasonable price. But if the bow is not very good, you could probably ask them to replace it with a better one for just a little more money.

I'm sure some other members will add to my thoughts to give you and your parents some good information. Best of luck to you in your study of violin - I also started as a pianist at age 5, and a clarinetist in band in jr/sr. high school, but my real love is violin. It is a fantastic instrument, and I hope you enjoy it as much as the rest of us do!

Have a great time!

Josie

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Hi! It is best to develop a relationship with a local violin shop, but if you don't have a good one in your area, and the ones near where I am sell "VSO's" violin shaped objects - look at Stringworks online - they rent violins, and have good info too. I would recommend renting for now. If you are interested in buying - George Behary Loxahatchee Strings online has the BEST deals. He can give you a heads-up on the general sound of a particular violin model from Cao (excellent recommendation)or his Tarisio models (Angel violins) are awesome! Also, check out their sites for what a violin should look like - so you can avoid VSO's!!! Make sure the fittings are ebony or boxwood, and turn well, without slipping too much.

I second getting a good bow, if you can. Get a humidifier for the case, if you live in a dry area, even if not! Dampits are cheap. Get good rosin - Hill, Pirastro.

I wouldn't invest much in a violin now, till you decide what you like!!

Definitely get lessons - it makes a big difference - you're lucky to be 13 - getting lessons as an adult is difficult, as many will not teach adults!

BTW, check out violinmasterclass.com !!! Andrea

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I have only one piece of advice: DO NOT TRY TO TEACH YOURSELF. GET A TEACHER. You are likely to develop bad habits that will slow your progress and be difficult to break if you try to teach yourself. In addition, the teacher can help you with the other issues.

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Hi Jillian,

That's neat you are interested in learning the violin. I just saw a violin up for sale on ebay that looks like a gem and is made well but in the long run, it seems like it would last you awhile as far as the quality is concerned. Anyway, you might see what others have to say about the following violin: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...676176&rd=1.. It's one of Carlo Micelli's Master Art Violins. I'd love to own this but don't have the money. Even if the fiddle goes up to $500 or more, I bet this violin would be of better quality than most violins you get in the shops for around $500. Now beware, a teacher might want you to get a violin at a certain shop because a teacher gets kickbacks from the shops most of the time. Hope I don't sound too negative here but I just think you should know about the unfair practices of instrument dealers.

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Hey

Thanks so much for all your help! I will look up the references on the internet. Most likely I'm getting the violin at the same pawn shop I got my two flutes and guitar at (they're awesome there, trust me). My friend also says her bass guitar teacher has some violins and she'll ask about them...most likely I'll take lessons from the same studio I've taken piano at for nine years. Again, thank you all! Really appreciate your feedback!

Jillian

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