Maddening things people say to you about your craft


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http://myminiapple.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/13-things-musicians-are-sick-of-hearing-at-the-holiday-dinner-table/:

 

 

 

After seeing this, it occurred to me that it wouldn't be difficult to come up with the dumb things people say to us about our craft and possible responses.  So, to start things off:

 

1.  Violin making?  I didn't know they did that any more!  (Recommended response: They don't.  They're delivered by a stork.)

2.  So is that your hobby or are you making a living at it? (Recommended response: It's not a hobby.  But I am not making a living at it either.)

 

Your turn(s).

 

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3.  Violinmaking?  Is that like making guitars?  (Recommended response:  No.  It's alot more like making fiddles.)

 

4.  Violinmaking?  Is that like making mandolins?  (Recommended response:  Yes, but the scroll is on the end of the violin's fingerboard and violins have cute little waists.)

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Do you make guitars?

 

Having a rather unusual profession with some interesting tales to tell and being quite sociable if correctly fueled, I quite often find myself volunteered as the ice breaking oddity at social gatherings....I hate to say it but the questions are all generally the same and my answers tend to come out the same every time as if rehearsed (which they are not). I have learned to live with this and feel thankful and extremely grateful for it.

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-What's the difference between the €100 Chinese violin and the one made by a luthier?

-Why should I pay €35 for re-hair a bow if I can buy a new one for €20?

-My daughter have a real stradivari, made in West Germany.

-Violin with one piece back means it was made by a luthier. Violin made with 2 pieces back means wasn't made by a luthier.

- etc, etc, etc...

 

All that happens to me. I could write a book about things that people ask.

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Having a rather unusual profession with some interesting tales to tell and being quite sociable if correctly fueled, I quite often find myself volunteered as the ice breaking oddity at social gatherings....I hate to say it but the questions are all generally the same and my answers tend to come out the same every time as if rehearsed (which they are not). I have learned to live with this and feel thankful and extremely grateful for it.

Indeed.

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5.  You took a whole week-long course on just bows?    (I was asked this.)

A guy showed up at a bow making class and really thought that he could return home and start a whole new and profitable profession.  All he could do after two weeks was one half of a re-hair.  Never saw him again.   :)

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Typical question: What wood is it made of ?

Response : The top is made of spruce blabidy bla bla maple bla bla ebony blabidy bla bla!!

Response to response : [complete blank facial expression] That's really interesting!!

That is the one I get !!  The other is "why are Stradivarius violins so good ?"  But most people I meet know me anyway.  Those questions have gone away.  The strange ones were from years ago.  Now I say,  "I make and repair musical instruments." 

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Do comments to nooby makers count?

 

1- "You spent how much on wood for that thing!?!?! For God's sake man you got majorly ripped off! My grandfather spends less than that much on an entire tree! I'll ask him to give you some scraps, he has better looking oak then what you used!!"

Response - there is none, I went totally blank.

 

2- "You spent HOW long whittling out that curvy top and bottom?! My grandfather can make hundreds of french doors AND set up more than a few houses with cherry parquet floors in half that amount of time! Jesus you're slow!"

Response - Again I went silent... "French" doors being more difficult to build than a violin/ parquet requiring more finesse than violin making took the words out of me.

 

3-  "You forgot to paint those tiger stripes on the front" 

Response - The only fake thing in this room is your boobs -_-

 

I have more along the same lines but they are from one individual only and he ridicules himself enough as it is for me to feel the need to further his embarrassment.

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Do you make guitars?

 

Having a rather unusual profession with some interesting tales to tell and being quite sociable if correctly fueled, I quite often find myself volunteered as the ice breaking oddity at social gatherings....I hate to say it but the questions are all generally the same and my answers tend to come out the same every time as if rehearsed (which they are not). I have learned to live with this and feel thankful and extremely grateful for it.

Yes, we can come across quite finely as interesting oddities.

But that doesn't mean we need to follow the script, to the extent that we get bored.

 

A frequent question, years ago, was, "How did you get into making violins?"

I got bored with the same old answer, so started telling a story about how I was drunk in a bar one night, opened a matchbook, and read the advertisement on the inside. It said, "Make violins for fun and profit. Attend the Specs Howard school of violinmaking arts".

 

That wasn't really the part of the ad that got me. The clincher was in small print at the bottom of the ad, which said, "Lotsa girls".

 

Really, how could one possibly be a better chick magnet than by being a violin maker?  :lol:

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