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cpsinkule

How far can I get at this age?

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I'm currently 24 years old. I've played violin casually when I was in middle school, but I am practically a beginner. I have always loved violin and had to give it up for school. At this point in my life I find that I have ample time to spare to practice at least 4-5 hours a day and am finally able to afford a decent quality violin to own. My goal has always been to play Bach's unaccompanied violin pieces, but I realize these are by far master level artworks. Is it possible for someone of my age to be able to competently play these pieces before I am 6 feet under?

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For a complete beginner, I would say no.  But, depending on when you started, how far you got, and how much you retained, IMO you'd have a good chance.  Good luck.

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Keep going, you should be able to play at least some of the movements well.  There is a lot of time left after 24 years, and I can think of many players that started late and play very well.

 

But also keep in mind that many working professional violinists cant play all of Bach at a respectable performance level.

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Go for it.

I also started as a child, and then only started taking 'real' lessons as an adult. My goal is to see how far/competent I can get. I am enjoying the journey, I am less concerned about the end result. If you don't don't enjoy the process...and are fixated on an end goal that you may not quite get to, you may be disappointed or think you failed.

There is no failing - at the end of it, you will be able to play better than when you started. That is an accomplishment.

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I'm currently 24 years old. I've played violin casually when I was in middle school, but I am practically a beginner. I have always loved violin and had to give it up for school. At this point in my life I find that I have ample time to spare to practice at least 4-5 hours a day and am finally able to afford a decent quality violin to own. My goal has always been to play Bach's unaccompanied violin pieces, but I realize these are by far master level artworks. Is it possible for someone of my age to be able to competently play these pieces before I am 6 feet under?

 

It's not impossible but I'd say it is very improbable. Let's suppose you have well shaped hands and excellent ear - how much consistent, day in day out, practice time will you manage over the next 4-6 years or so ? If you don't need to work, stay home and basically do nothing else i.e. you can practice the usual eight hours a day, you have a fighting chance. 

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I'm currently 24 years old. ... am practically a beginner. ...Is it possible for someone of my age to be able to competently play these pieces before I am 6 feet under?

Yep, no problemo.  Seriously, yes if you can stick to it for ten years instead of ten days.  Especially these days with so many resources available. Personally I think the beginning as an infant hype is a lot like the Stradivarius hype.  All you need to do is sound acceptable and plenty of people will love you and all that takes is playing in tune, in rhythm, with a good sound. 

 

I will offer that it will help if you learn to sing (with your mouth that is...),  also, pay extreme attention to intonation while practicing because it's easy to get used to your own bad intonation and it will sound fine to you, but unfortunately it won't sound fine to anybody else.  Imagine the next pitch in your head before you play the note.  Have a mental picture of whole steps and half steps around where your fingers are, both up and down and across.  Learn to spot tension forming and what to do about it.  Record yourself a lot on a phone app.  Listen for problems and learn what you need to do to fix what you hear. 

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Fabio Biondi never picked up a violin until the tender age of 11.  Considering the learning curve required to get him from there to one of the best Baroque musicians on the planet, I'd find that encouraging.  And with several hours a day and a great teacher, you definitely could play some Baroque masterworks within the next couple decades.  No problem.  You need a great teacher who also believes you can do it, that is a given.  Hopefully with a personality like Anthony Hopkins' character in "The Edge", a teacher who will make you repeat fun mantras such as "What one man can do, another can do".  Starting violin at your age with the goal of mastering Bach is kind of like killing a grizzly bear with your bare hands, if you think about it.

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I'd say there's a lot of value to learning and playing the Bach S & P's even if you never get them to performance-worthy level.  I've been working on movements with no goal of performing them, simply because I so enjoy playing them.  And I've found that my technique and intonation has improved in the process.

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It is never too late.  I played the violin in high school orchestra, stopped it for 30 years, and went back to it with the goal of playing Beethoven's "Spring Sonata".  I found the perfect teacher at a local college, who took me on as a private pupil, despite my less than intensive practicing.  After a few years I was playing the Spring Sonata, and she moved me on to the Bach S and P's, which I love partly because no piano is required.  I still work with them on my own, and probably will for as long as my fingers can move.

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I'm currently 24 years old....

Is it possible for someone of my age to be able to competently play these pieces before I am 6 feet under?

No.

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I'm currently 24 years old. I've played violin casually when I was in middle school, but I am practically a beginner. I have always loved violin and had to give it up for school. At this point in my life I find that I have ample time to spare to practice at least 4-5 hours a day and am finally able to afford a decent quality violin to own. My goal has always been to play Bach's unaccompanied violin pieces, but I realize these are by far master level artworks. Is it possible for someone of my age to be able to competently play these pieces before I am 6 feet under?

 

 I can sympathize with you, but playing Bach's S & P (Sonatas and Partitas) is very, very ambitious. It's the most technically challenging oeuvre and I can think of only one violinist (he passed away in 1988) who did most justice to its performance. 

 

 If you want to play the violin as a hobby, then I'd say that's good. If you want to go into a professional career, I'd say it's highly improbable. You need very good teachers who can work on your weaknesses and many will not be willing to do that, given your age.

 

 I wish I could be of help since it seems that you love music a lot.

 

 You could start by looking up Kurt Sassmannshaus and his videos. Try not to leave any of his lectures behind because they are invaluable.

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so you're all saying there's a chance?  B)

 

Not really... :)  Some of us are trying to be nice. What I would suggest : try acquire the skill to do something less challenging but not so easy to be insignificant. A Haendel Sonata - the third, for example. By that time you will have a decent idea how much you can practice and how good are you at not forgetting what you learned - that's a BIG problem with adults. Things just tend not to stay with them. I met a few good orchestra players who started late but still not 24 y/o late. Around 18-19. But they were coming from a well known other instrument - lots of teething stuff needed no attention. They could play some things from the S&P quite charming. The simple "some". :) Not the Chaconne. One can play some fancy stuff while knowing some violin and putting in a lot of hours. One needs to know ALL violin to play the S&P. 

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To think you can do it on your own is the most profound arrogance and ignorance, sorry to say.  You need time to practice, read, listen to music, and  an athletic element, along with the intellectual and aesthetic. 

 

I don't see it that way but I may be an exception to the "you need a teacher or two rule".  If he/she applies themselves they can get to where they want to be.....,  you just have to want it bad enough.    

 

I've never had a violin lesson ever - I see no need for myself to have them.  cpsinkule should try to get a real good instrument to give him a fair chance at getting somewheres playing wise.......... if he/she is serious about it, rereading my first post #9 is of the  utmost importance......... if he/she has not found any sheet music to start relearning how to read music as of today then Carl and others may be right.  It's highly improbable at age 24 to get anywhere with the violin.  I don't mind being proved wrong and in this case it will be of no exception.       

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 I can sympathize with you, but playing Bach's S & P (Sonatas and Partitas) is very, very ambitious. It's the most technically challenging oeuvre and I can think of only one violinist (he passed away in 1988) who did most justice to its performance. 

 

 

What about Nathan Milstein? I saw him perform the second Partita in 1985 (age 81), and his performance had the audience talking to themselves.

 

(And I love Szeryng's renditions.)

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There's 100% certainty.  But you have to get away from the goofus wussies in this thread and on the internet in general who still can't tie their own little pink shoes.  "Internet must die" should be your motto.  Except for 5% of the material on youtube, which is actually pretty useful.

 

 Bill, honestly... You can't take any responsibility if his life goes wrong. I call that being consequentially dishonest/deceptive. Or irresponsible, if that's what you want.

 

 If your standards are ok for you, fine. Play on for your friends, but don't act like you are qualified to give opinions out of groundless optimism. Unless, of course, you want to prove us wrong with your performance.

 

 

 By the way, I am getting fed up with your mud-slinging. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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There's 100% certainty.  But you have to get away from the goofus wussies in this thread and on the internet in general who still can't tie their own little pink shoes.  "Internet must die" should be your motto.  Except for 5% of the material on youtube, which is actually pretty useful.

 

No, there isn't. There may be some chance but no certainty. How can you possibly and responsibly guarantee such a thing towards a person you know nothing about ? Have you considered that the "goofus wussies" might actually have seen these sort of attempts before ??? Can you come up with a single example of "I started at 24 and played the S&P after ..some years" ????? Is it not more beneficial to present an honest picture to the OP and maybe ( as I tried ) suggest he attempts a lesser goal, which will show him what can or can not be achieved ? 

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Eat on.  If you play at all, which I doubt, you play like a four year old.  Did you ever have a violin lesson?  Can you put notes together better than you do words? :)  Do you think you can narcissistically tell people what they can't do without suffering the wrath of genuine, real people? Pfffft!

 

 Well, I think you take things too personally. I speak what I hear. You take them as 'offenses' when they are not. If you take non-emotional debates such as these as emotional 'duels', then I don't think you should be here.

 

 Also... opinions and views should be expressed without the fear of 'offending' someone. Do we all need to say 'oh, you're so good... everyone's so good..' when they are not? That'd be untruthful and would hurt the person in question in the long run. As it is, you jump at every opportunity to make fun of someone and that's not exactly mature.

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 Bill, honestly... You can't take any responsibility if his life goes wrong. I call that being consequentially dishonest/deceptive. Or irresponsible, if that's what you want.

 

 If your standards are ok for you, fine. Play on for your friends, but don't act like you are qualified to give opinions out of groundless optimism. Unless, of course, you want to prove us wrong with your performance.

 

 

 By the way, I am getting fed up with your mud-slinging. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

 

2nd all that. I'm afraid interactions with Bill are becoming a waste of time. 

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I'm currently 24 years old. I've played violin casually when I was in middle school, but I am practically a beginner. I have always loved violin and had to give it up for school. At this point in my life I find that I have ample time to spare to practice at least 4-5 hours a day and am finally able to afford a decent quality violin to own. My goal has always been to play Bach's unaccompanied violin pieces, but I realize these are by far master level artworks. Is it possible for someone of my age to be able to competently play these pieces before I am 6 feet under?

 

Not one chance. I sugest you listen to some of the professionals here and not to whoever internet persona Bill Merkel is.

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I'm going to side with Bill for the time being.  One reason being is that I was sort of in the o.p.'s shoes at one time with the difference being I made it to college level before my kids were born to his only having middle school violin experience.  He/she must relearn how to read music - it's the first step.  Will he struggle to relearn what can be likened to learning a foreign language?  Yes he will but he will also realize during the process that the mind is capable of more than what he thought possible - it takes work to get there in an undisturbed by others atmosphere - yes, be reclusive for a few years.  

 

Me personally, if I follow Bill's opinion about the Mendelsohn being next in line after the #9 DeBeriot and actually get somewhere with it I may just become a fan of Bill's comments.

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