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Carl Stross

Starting violin as an adult

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I started playing guitar at around 11. When I was about 19 I bought a violin. I'm 47 now and still play both. I can't read music that's what makes it hard. I just learned to play Paganini's Cantable by ear and it's hard becuase you have to listen to it over and over. I just picked the violin up again after 5 years. Not reading music is like being illiterate I can talk on the instrument but cannot read. But I just play for myself. There are thousands of youtube videos for instruction on how to hold the violin etc. Now if I could just figure out the double stops in Paganini's first violin concerto they are quite beyond me!

One advantage of the violin is you can carry around anywhere without any trouble.

It's easier to know which finger corresponds to each note, let say in first and third position. I can't play any Paganini but with a partition I would be able to go to the note and still can't read music in the sense that I have difficulties to tell if it's a B or a D immediately. But I know which finger to use, and unless you want to be part of a professional orchestra, it's not that important

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It's easier to know which finger corresponds to each note, let say in first and third position. I can't play any Paganini but with a partition I would be able to go to the note and still can't read music in the sense that I have difficulties to tell if it's a B or a D immediately. But I know which finger to use, and unless you want to be part of a professional orchestra, it's not that important

I can't really play Paganini either. The Cantable I'm still working on if you listen to it, it is not hard by Paganini's standards. It's a tune with no double stops but some very fast runs towards the end that I'm still trying to master. I have the Paganini CD from Gil Shaham (just Violin/Guitar) and have been learning it off of that. I downloaded the sheet music but it's greek to me. But by learning the song and studying the sheet music perhaps I can start learning to read. I also downloaded Paganini's first concerto (Public domain) and that's a whole lotta Greek! I just picked the fiddle up again after 5 years so I'm pleased with my progress.

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I can't really play Paganini either. The Cantable I'm still working on if you listen to it, it is not hard by Paganini's standards. It's a tune with no double stops but some very fast runs towards the end that I'm still trying to master. I have the Paganini CD from Gil Shaham (just Violin/Guitar) and have been learning it off of that. I downloaded the sheet music but it's greek to me. But by learning the song and studying the sheet music perhaps I can start learning to read. I also downloaded Paganini's first concerto (Public domain) and that's a whole lotta Greek! I just picked the fiddle up again after 5 years so I'm pleased with my progress.

Don't you worry : in a couple of months you'll be flying through these things.

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I started the violin when I was passed my 80th birthday. Have been playing the piano for more than 75 years. Did make the mistake of starting without a teacher. When a professional violinist evaluated me, I was told that I was holding both hands incorrectly. Got a teacher, who had a tuff time with corrections. Am still playing, age 94. Who cares how well I play, I enjoy it, that is all that counts. I play about 250 simple pieces. Find that I can hear the song when I just look at the printed page. Could not do that before with over 75 years of piano. Have written some simple music, on sale at Barnes and Noble.

Ben Podgor

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Having played both instruments (violin and cello) I would say, yes, cello is a little easier and more basic. Not saying it isn't hard. But I am inclined to think that violin is a wee bit harder. You usually go a bit faster, shifting is harder on such a small fingerboard, and usually you are playing melody. A lot of cello music (if in an orchestra) is composed of predominately quarter notes (at least, at my level, haha!)Just my two pence! Hope it helps!

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