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My first violin


Walter van der Hee

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I think there are more than one road to Rome. As long as you can build one better than the last one, why not just keep going.

If you look at your violin carefully and do some comparisons with others you know what should do next time.

Even an ordinary commercial violin has some quality to brag about. One no name violin of mine has a under coat

of yellow which looks like gold at night lighting. The top coat red varnish mix with yellow underneath creates such a color.

It is waiting for you to discover. I bought the violin many years ago, no one told me so. At day time it is red and night it is gold.

Beautiful. It is magic.

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Walter, Nice job. As everyone else said if you're thinking of making another after the first, you are hooked. You can use the Plowden poster to get a nice del Gesu mold that will work for all of his violins. The blocks are shown, and the ribs too, so it will be easy. As far as arching goes I don't see why you couldn't put any kind of arching you want on it. Del Gesu did! At least the outline would be good! Even at that, he changed the corners and c bout area just by changing the blocks, or altering the overhang. Strad is the model for perfection. Del Gesu just did it. You just did it as well. Welcome to violin making.

Ken

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Congratulations Walter,

The more I look at your violin the more charming it becomes. To start from no place and produce what you did shows great talent, in my opinion, so you should most certainly make more!

You've probably noticed that everyone who posts their work here is unique and comes to the craft from different directions and experiences. There's nothing more exciting to me than to see someone who all of a sudden has an uncontrollable urge to make a violin AND ACTUALLY DOES IT. Considering how hard it is to just get all the stuff together to build one, it's a major achievement, and it gives me hope for humankind.

For the sake of improvement on the next I would recommend you pay attention to the neck and the shapes as the neck goes into the pegbox and neck-heel. A lot of things are just style on a violin, but the areas touched by the player are critical.

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Congratulations Walter,

The more I look at your violin the more charming it becomes. To start from no place and produce what you did shows great talent, in my opinion, so you should most certainly make more!

You've probably noticed that everyone who posts their work here is unique and comes to the craft from different directions and experiences. There's nothing more exciting to me than to see someone who all of a sudden has an uncontrollable urge to make a violin AND ACTUALLY DOES IT. Considering how hard it is to just get all the stuff together to build one, it's a major achievement, and it gives me hope for humankind.

For the sake of improvement on the next I would recommend you pay attention to the neck and the shapes as the neck goes into the pegbox and neck-heel. A lot of things are just style on a violin, but the areas touched by the player are critical.

Nice words Will, thanks.

Well spotted about the neck shapes! it was on my list of things to improve.

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True also, but I want to be sure to be on the road to Rome.

++++++++++++++++++++

A violin shape is like the shape of a beautiful lady's body. One look at it you know it is right.

Who care the measurements? All nonsense to me, I bought a violin because I like the look of it. Usually

when it looks right it sounds right. The front is up a bit, the middle is narrow, The waist should not too wide etc.

in short, well proportion. Magic.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not really wanting to revive an old thread, but there's a little update for those who are interested.

I had a violin player over at my place last night willing to test my first violin.

She adored the G and D string she said, had doubts about the E; could be the string or maybe the sound post should move a bit to the east.

Neck was a little flat she said, biggest issue was the bridge, it wasn't round enough, so if you hear little mistakes in the video, it's all my fault, not hers :)

Oh yeah, and I am rubbish at filming, but anyway, here she plays a praeludium by Fritz Kreisler.

Have a nice day,

Walter.

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Bravo Walter,

and thanks for sharing. I'm going to mention something that doesn't seem to get mentioned, or I don't remember seeing it discussed.

A fine violin is more than just tone. It allows a player to move the bow freely and to get good tone or musical subtleties without having to press the fingers down too hard or do various odd things in order to get an adequate result. I'm sure those who deal in the science of it could give plenty of terms, but as a player the essence is that a fine violin, as opposed to a mediocre or bad one, responds totally to anything the player wants to do. To some extent a player can work with a violin that isn't functioning perfectly, but they do so at a price that can even injure the player. I believe many players aren't even aware of this for several reasons, one of which is that they have never played on a first rate violin long enough to see how it improves their playing; and they wonder why they are getting pains in their fingers or elbows.

My first full awareness of this came when I was having so much trouble with my violin that I was about to dash it against a wall. I was playing with very flat fingers and very restricted bow, just to get anything out of the violin, and didn't even realize how bad my position had gotten. A Carl Becker violin was sent to me on approval. Within three days my position and entire style of playing was freed up and relaxed, and it wasn't from thinking or intentionally trying to change anything. I concluded, and still believe this: A fine, well functioning violin will actually teach the player (only up to a point, of course).

On the video, and the violinist mentioned it to you, the bridge isn't quite right, and at the beginning she is having trouble not touching other strings. Also, the use of the bow doesn't seem free or flowing. And I don't think that is the fault of the violinist. She plays beautifully. But the violin is ONLY allowing her to play in a certain way. Assuming I'm right, I am not enough of an expert to suggest solutions or changes, except to note that a player can easily feel restricted just by being afraid they are going to accidentally scrape another string, and that's easy to fix. Tonally I like your violin.

BTW most people I know believe the post may have to be changed several times in the first year, as the violin goes through its growing pains.

Edit: I looked and listened again, and liked the violin even more. I noticed the violinist seems to be able to keep a nice loose vibrato going. So maybe any perceived restriction is only because of the bridge.

I hope you will post another video every once in a while so we can see how the violin is changing with adjustments and time and playing. I think it would be helpful.

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I missed this thread when it first came out. Your first violin is worlds ahead of my first one. It would be a shame if you didn't build another one. Beware, it becomes addictive, ask me how I know.

The issues you have with the violin are probably just setup issues. Watch your first violin closely for the first year and you can learn a lot about how a violin moves and distorts and settles into a stable shape. It may assist you with subsequent instruments.

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I missed this thread when it first came out. Your first violin is worlds ahead of my first one. It would be a shame if you didn't build another one. Beware, it becomes addictive, ask me how I know.

The issues you have with the violin are probably just setup issues. Watch your first violin closely for the first year and you can learn a lot about how a violin moves and distorts and settles into a stable shape. It may assist you with subsequent instruments.

Thanks Peter. Yeah I will build more, just started working on my second and yes it is very addictive! :)

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