Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Wanting to begin


Roj Avon
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I'm a 28 year old who took band back in Jr. High.(woodwinds) but never kept up with it. I have always wanted to play the violin and now have the time and opportunity to take lessons but I've been told that I'm too old to start taking violin.

I'm really hoping for some encouragement because this is something that I've always wanted to do. I'm just starting out in this process so I'm looking for everything from an instrument to an instructor.

If you know of any assistance or good music shops in the Arlington, Texas area I'd love to hear about them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many of the people who post here at the Maestronet Fingerboard have started to play as adults, sometimes twice your age.

Look at it this way: For those who started at age 4 - 9, violin playing is a "first language," for those who start later, it is a "second language." Many people do very very well with a second language.

One of my e-mail acquaintances who started violin at age 16 was playing paid gigs at 19. You know that anything a 16 year old can do, a 28 year old can do.

Although I started violin at age 4, many of the refinemints in my playing were made in my 30s including changed bow hold and improved vibrato technique.

I have no doubt that if you have the ability to learn new finger movements, you will do well.

I'm sure other people can suggest major reliable violin dealers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that you should visit. I would stay away from a full-service music store because they often have less knowledge, smaller selection, and charge full price. The larger violin specialty shops will probably charge prices comparable to the major mail-order houses like Shar and Southwest Strings, etc. My suggestion would be to associate yourself with a teacher who will then help you select equipment.

Have a ball!

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please excuse me. I have been laughing for 10 minutes straight ever since I read your posting. "28 - Too old to learn to play the violin?" Oh gosh - that is funny! Only vanity stops me from telling you how old I was when I first took up the violin. Wanted to play one so bad when I was 10 I could almost taste it - but poverty prevented it. YEARS later - I started taking lessons. Six years later - I am enjoying it so much I can hardly tell you. AND I STILL CAN DO IT! Oh please - go to it! Do it! You will never regret it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

: Hello,

: I'm a 28 year old who took band back in Jr. High.(woodwinds) but never kept up with it. I have always wanted to play the violin and now have the time and opportunity to take lessons but I've been told that I'm too old to start taking violin.

I'm thrilled to see this thread, and my question is, will I be able to play really well? Will I be able to play orchestral literature (I can read the viola part already but my hands don't cooperate. I'm practicing 30-45 minutes without fail, also seeking a teacher. I'm overjoyed that all you string folks think you can succeed even as an old guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello!

I started when I was 22, am now 29 and have been

playing in orchestras for the last five years.(non-prof.) I started the "old Dog" chain!

I just want to tell you that it is very important

NOT to get a teacher who openly or secretly thinks

that it is "too late". Be sure to ask!

And as far as it beeing "too late" - it depends

more on your natural apititude and the height

of your motivation than your age! If you

are willing to work hard, have a good ear

and flexible fingers, than you can learn

to play reasonably well - just don't compare

yourself to the guys on the CD

I heard anyways that the psychological studies

about the right age to learn are overrated - they should only be applied to hearing, seeing, language.

Good luck!

Melinda

: Hello,

: I'm a 28 year old who took band back in Jr. High.(woodwinds) but never kept up with it. I have always wanted to play the violin and now have the time and opportunity to take lessons but I've been told that I'm too old to start taking violin.

: I'm really hoping for some encouragement because this is something that I've always wanted to do. I'm just starting out in this process so I'm looking for everything from an instrument to an instructor.

: If you know of any assistance or good music shops in the Arlington, Texas area I'd love to hear about them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

: : Hello,

: : I'm a 28 year old who took band back in Jr. High.(woodwinds) but never kept up with it. I have always wanted to play the violin and now have the time and opportunity to take lessons but I've been told that I'm too old to start taking violin.

: I'm thrilled to see this thread, and my question is, will I be able to play really well? Will I be able to play orchestral literature (I can read the viola part already but my hands don't cooperate. I'm practicing 30-45 minutes without fail, also seeking a teacher. I'm overjoyed that all you string folks think you can succeed even as an old guy.

------------------------------------------------------

I started at the age of 52 and have only been playing for 1.75 years. I went to play with an orchestra last week, played West Side Story, Mozart's "Impressario" and L'Arlesienne (sp) Suite. Although I played 9th violin, last chair, I found I was suprisingly able to keep up with the music. So I feel that I should be able to reach a goal of producing quality playing, even at my advanced years. Keep practicing.

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't thank everyone enough for posting so many supportive responses. So here's my update...

Through the internet I got in contact with a teacher who gives lessons at a music store about a mile away from my house. She is very willing to take on an adult beginner so I think my first hurtle is out of the way.

Now onward towards finding an instrument....

Again I need advice. I have a budget of about $500 for my first violin. I know from the research I've done already that I don't want one of the cheaper "student" violins. I am aware than rental is an option but I really feel that I'll be more likely to stick with it if I make the investment in an instrument.

Actually the way I found this newsgroup was that my search engine pulled up a post here about a buying a first instrument. That post said that German instruments from the earlier part of the century and pre-WWII instruments could be found around my price range and were recommended.

What about new instruments. Assuming I am unable to locate a quality older instrument in my price range what should I look for in an instrument, what should I stay away from and what makers are best.

Online I've located an Otto Ernst Fischer? Standard on the Shar Products website for $485 for the outfit. Is this a good starter kit?

Help!!!!!

Thanks for all you great folks have done to assist and advise me already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am 26 and was also in band and played piano in my teens. I too want to learn the violin and have found a teacher and got a violin and my first lesson is next week.

I bought my violin off of Ebay. It is a brand new, full size Cremona violin. If you are interested, go to www.ebay.com and search for new violins. I bought mine from Jeviolins.aol.com. You can search for him and seen what auctions he has going on. This is how he makes his living by selling violins. The prices vary because it depends on who is bidding at the time. I won my bid at $98.00!!!!! with case and bow included but the same violin package he had on anothe auction got up to $350 so it just depends on who bids on that particutlar auction. Just a suggestion if you haven't found a violin yet.

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The advice I gave you earlier - get your teacher involved in the selection of your instrument - still stands.

If you buy by "mail" from a reputable company like SHAR, they will allow you approval return privileges. However, this makes it difficult to compare different instruments to each other. If you shop in your local area, you can compare instruments at the shops and then take one home . Then you might compare that favorite with one delivered by UPS.

Unfortunately you are in no position yet to determine what might be acceptable instruments - but a teacher would be. You want to be sure that your teacher is not in a position to get a commission from any purchase you make.

As far as buying a factory fiddle, such as the one you name, be advised of Jay Ifshin's recent statement in a STRINGS magazine article about "factory violins." The essense of what he said is that of a given group of "factory" instruments, 10% will be quite good, 50% will be OK, and the rest "are going to be awful."

The logical question then, is can you rely on a reputable dealer like SHAR. Realize that they are a big operation and they cannot hand select every student instrument that is shipped to them - but they must try to sell every instrument. I am sure that any instrument you get from them for under $500 (including case and bow) will probably be playable, but it may have only "Ifshin" 10% chance of being motivating to play on and 50% of being acceptable. There is no guarantee that it will be a sound you can fall in love, which can be important.

On the other hand, if you can try a number of instruments, you may well find an instrument that satisfies you very well. I have read very good things at this bulletin board about the instruments sold by Scott Cao in San Jose, CA (which are also wholesaled to shops all over the country). My own experiences with Ifshin's "Jay-Haide" line have also been good, but some people find some of those instruments too nasal sounding to the player's ears. This is why you have to be in a position to try a number of instruments at the same time, and at your stage- to hear them played well by someone else that you can trust. Some of the older german student instruments that were imported from Germany or Czecholovakia into the US sold for $50 to $75 50 to 60 years ago have turned out to be quite enjoyable to play on after all these years, but you can't count on it without trying the instrument.

Realize that any sound you hear from a violin in a shop is not the sound you will hear at home. The bare floors, walls and ceiling and the glass cases all reflect sound in a most wonderful way.

You do not need an instrument that projects well at this stage in your career, but you must have one that please your ears when you play it and that is responsive to various fingerings and bowings that you will be learning over the following years.

It is quite likely that you will start using an instrument with 4 fine tuners, since learning to tune by ear and tuning the three lower strings by turning the pegs is rather difficult. I have found that the metal Wittner or Thomastic tailpieces with built in fine tuners do a very good job of improving the sound of many violins, and in many cases using the Helicore (steel "rope" core) strings also enhances the sound. For more beautiful appearance, the Pusch tailpieces are made to look like boxwood or rosewood, as well as ebony, but I find them harder to install, harder to change strings. there is an all-composite tailpiece that can sometimes be obtained from Sephanie Wolfe at Music City Strings, and it seems to have very good features.

The major potential problem with all of these tailpieces these days is that they come with plastic "tailguts" that can continue stretching for months- maybe forever making it impossible to keep the instrument in tune for any significant length of time (my experience and verified by Al Stancel). The original tailgut of this design was made of Nylon and developed and patented by the "Sacconi Company," which still makes them - and they are still available retail. But these more stable tailguts are a little more expensive and are therefor often not included with the relatively inexpensive tailpieces, but for you, an extra dollar or so is not going to be a problem.

As far as selecting a bow is concerned, I stand by my old recommendation of the Glasser Composite bow, which can be had from SHAR or any of the other discount shops for about $80. (The CF Durros seem to be very similar to the Glassers, but at about 3x the price.) Anything less than that will not likely be balanced properly and will not bounce right, etc. But don't expect the articulation from the Glasser to equal that of bows costing 10 times more, but you may not even be able to feel such a difference for years or decades. Bows like Musicary offer some improved articulation, Codabows, the best of the hybrids from the Finkel shop, Spicattos all offer better articulation, but this is not something to be concerned with at this time. Do not start your career with a Glasser Fiberglass bow (especially not one with synthetic hair) although they are not really bad, they will not enable you to easily sense or perform all the many things that a bow must eventually do for you.

I summary, even if you decide to buy a "mail order violin" be sure you are in a position to compare it with a number of others, either directly, or by comparison with the winner of an "elimination tournament" as I have suggested.

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also started playing the violin when I was old (well, actually 32). Anyways, the story is not about me. There was a woman that I met that started playing the violin when she was more than 50 (played only the piano before). Four years later she was already playing in an orchestra, and now she travels the world playing with this orchestra and a string quartet. So, yes, you can start old, and actually become quite good at it.

However, if you don't want encouragment, Leopold Auer claims that if you didn't start when you were less than 10, your chances of playing the violin are nil. I guess he was wrong, huh?

Best,

Acacio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

: If you buy by "mail" from a reputable company like SHAR, they will allow you approval return privileges. However, this makes it difficult to compare different instruments to each other. If you shop in your local area, you can compare instruments at the shops and then take one home . Then you might compare that favorite with one delivered by UPS.

I bought from a shop in another state that was recommended to me, and they sent me two violins to compare. You might request that. It's a small matter to return the one you don't want.

Brad

PS: I'm 40 and started two years ago. I continue to play well enough to please myself. I also REALLY have to recommend the Intellitouch tuner I just bought for $45 over the net. It's much better than the other chromatic tuner I have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

: Hello,

: I'm a 28 year old who took band back in Jr. High.(woodwinds) but never kept up with it. I have always wanted to play the violin and now have the time and opportunity to take lessons but I've been told that I'm too old to start taking violin.

I started in February of '98, three weeks after my 45th birthday. I continue madly in love with my violin, have gotten to the level of "Traumerei" and Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria"-not strictly virtuoso stuff, but real music that keeps me challenged, engaged, stimulated. Have sat in with a community orchestra without totally disgracing myself. My beloved violin, Tigerlily is sitting here on my desk at work because one co-worker plays fiddle, another flute, others guitar, and we're going to get together on break and have fun scratching away. All in all, very much a life-enriching experience. When they tell you you're too old to start, throw your head back and laugh loudly and lustily, then grab your fiddle and live! Best of Luck!

(Tigerlily sends her love to you all.)

-James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

: : Hello,

: : I'm a 28 year old who took band back in Jr. High.(woodwinds) but never kept up with it. I have always wanted to play the violin and now have the time and opportunity to take lessons but I've been told that I'm too old to start taking violin.

: I started in February of '98, three weeks after my 45th birthday. I continue madly in love with my violin, have gotten to the level of "Traumerei" and Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria"-not strictly virtuoso stuff, but real music that keeps me challenged, engaged, stimulated. Have sat in with a community orchestra without totally disgracing myself. My beloved violin, Tigerlily is sitting here on my desk at work because one co-worker plays fiddle, another flute, others guitar, and we're going to get together on break and have fun scratching away. All in all, very much a life-enriching experience. When they tell you you're too old to start, throw your head back and laugh loudly and lustily, then grab your fiddle and live! Best of Luck!

: (Tigerlily sends her love to you all.)

: -James

I'm with you James! I'm 36 and just had my third lesson this week. Oh boy! What fun!! My 8-year-old daughter has played violin for two years. She thinks it's "cool" that her mom is learning, too. Life is too short to live with regrets. When I'm 80 I don't want to be saying, "If only I had done this..." Live your dreams. You only get one chance!

Rosie :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...