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What do you learn in Violin School?


GerardM
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7 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

Gerard, While you cup is empty (chinese proverb reference), have a look at the various violin making schools photos of what students are making. Probably through facebook or instagram. The attention to detail and quality that some of these students can produce under instruction can be quite humbling, or inspirational, depending on your frame of mind. 

Thanks Jim I will check it out.

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5 minutes ago, GerardM said:

Thanks Jim I will check it out. My frame of minds a bit battered and bruised at the moment. But as they say you can’t keep a good dog down.  

 

 Violin making can be an enjoyable hobby even tho one never makes the pros.

Golf is a challenge and fun, never mind Tiger.  Enjoy the journey!

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8 hours ago, not telling said:

Well, with money not being an issue the only real suffering you'll encounter is the truth. If you've already made 10 instruments you clearly can work hard. The part where you're struggling with puzzling out whether school would be of any use is worrisome. If you don't know the answer to that after somehow making 10 violins on your own, then why waste your fabulous wealth on something like that? But you can worry about the rest of that later.  Why would you hesitate for a second if you want this? I keep thinking you're punking these forums right now. How old are you? 

Punkiing. Yes

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50 minutes ago, GerardM said:

Thanks Jim I will check it out.

Also, check this other recent Pegbox thread in which another learning violin maker put up pictures of his or her work, towards the bottom of the first page:

How to take my violin making career to the next level? - Page 2 - The Pegbox - Maestronet Forums

I think if you compare his or her work to yours, the benefit of receiving instruction will be evident.

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4 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Also, check this other recent Pegbox thread in which another learning violin maker put up pictures of his or her work, towards the bottom of the first page:

How to take my violin making career to the next level? - Page 2 - The Pegbox - Maestronet Forums

I think if you compare his or her work to yours, the benefit of receiving instruction will be evident.

That's me!  

Just want to add my two cents, for whatever it's worth.  

In this profession, we tend to be very snobby about workmanship, and for good reason.  However, this doesn't mean amateur-made instruments are always without value.  Gerard, I present to you my viola (my main player, not one I made)

20210401_002128.thumb.jpg.e65baa82249e341209f8748099e3d9ad.jpg

 

20210401_002254.thumb.jpg.c7eea61d2f891c69f57be3cbd6b781bc.jpg

 

20210401_002209.thumb.jpg.31e8f41521ce86a6df3d4b79d2c1e4ef.jpg

You may notice that your workmanship, criticized though it may be, is superior in many ways to what you see on my viola.  You'll have to take my word for it, but this is the best-sounding viola I've ever played.  I've played principal viola in two orchestras and 2nd chair at the all-state music festival using this instrument.  When I finished making my own viola, I had the option to keep it for myself.  I loved the sound, and my master said it sounded like a world-class viola.  I chose to sell it and keep the one I've been using.  

Arching and graduations are crucial, but can be copied pretty easily from Strad posters and the like.  Whether you choose to attend school or not, please do keep us posted!  

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7 hours ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

That's me!  

Just want to add my two cents, for whatever it's worth.  

In this profession, we tend to be very snobby about workmanship, and for good reason.  However, this doesn't mean amateur-made instruments are always without value.  Gerard, I present to you my viola (my main player, not one I made)

20210401_002128.thumb.jpg.e65baa82249e341209f8748099e3d9ad.jpg

 

20210401_002254.thumb.jpg.c7eea61d2f891c69f57be3cbd6b781bc.jpg

 

20210401_002209.thumb.jpg.31e8f41521ce86a6df3d4b79d2c1e4ef.jpg

You may notice that your workmanship, criticized though it may be, is superior in many ways to what you see on my viola.  You'll have to take my word for it, but this is the best-sounding viola I've ever played.  I've played principal viola in two orchestras and 2nd chair at the all-state music festival using this instrument.  When I finished making my own viola, I had the option to keep it for myself.  I loved the sound, and my master said it sounded like a world-class viola.  I chose to sell it and keep the one I've been using.  

Arching and graduations are crucial, but can be copied pretty easily from Strad posters and the like.  Whether you choose to attend school or not, please do keep us posted!  

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I was stupid to post pictures of work I considered crap and crash bang wallop. However I can produce work of a professional quality as you will see in the future. I’m taking a brake from my shed for a while to recharge my batteries. I will be back with a vengeance. Once again thank you very much for taking the time to post your kind words of encouragement. Stay safe regards G

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Hey @GerardM,

I am glad that you posted your "crash bang wallop" fiddles! They are better than anything I could ever build.

But do keep us informed of your decisions and your work. You could start a "GerardM's Bench" thread here.

And I do encourage you go to violin-making school. I say that as a 64 year-old who has been playing violin since I was 9 and started taking lessons again 5 years ago. In any worthwhile artistic endeavor, there is always something new to learn from masters and always good to study and revisit the basics.

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

Hey @GerardM,

I am glad that you posted your "crash bang wallop" fiddles! They are better than anything I could ever build.

But do keep us informed of your decisions and your work. You could start a "GerardM's Bench" thread here.

And I do encourage you go to violin-making school. I say that as a 64 year-old who has been playing violin since I was 9 and started taking lessons again 5 years ago. In any worthwhile artistic endeavor, there is always something new to learn from masters and always good to study and revisit the basics.

Meany thanks George I will be back you can bet on that. 

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When making a violin, if it is to be any good, it is vital to know what a violin looks like. Only if you have in your head, exactly what it should look like when you’re finished before you even start, will it look like you meant it, rather than looking like the sum of somebody stumbling from some heinous accident to the next. Euphemisms like “dog eared”, “crash-bang-wallop” or “crap” will neither cut the mustard, nor look “Italian”

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1 minute ago, jacobsaunders said:

When making a violin, if it is to be any good, it is vital to know what a violin looks like. Only if you have in your head, exactly what it should look like when you’re finished before you even start, will it look like you meant it, rather than looking like the sum of somebody stumbling from some heinous accident to the next. Euphemisms like “dog eared”, “crash-bang-wallop” or “crap” will neither cut the mustard, nor look “Italian”

Thanks for the advice Jacob I will certainly be fully focused on the next one.  Take care stay safe avoid the covid.

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I couldn't resist reading this whole thread, especially when I saw 138 replies in just three days!  Sadly, I am left just imaging what the OP's workmanship is like since the pics were removed.  Nonetheless, I appreciate all your perspectives on violin training options and skill development.  

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6 hours ago, GerardM said:

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I was stupid to post pictures of work I considered crap and crash bang wallop. However I can produce work of a professional quality as you will see in the future. I’m taking a brake from my shed for a while to recharge my batteries. I will be back with a vengeance. Once again thank you very much for taking the time to post your kind words of encouragement. Stay safe regards G

I was about to apologize for any traces of churlishness on my part. But seriously? Has this entire discussion been to your mind as a fart wafting away in the wind? Why do you think you can produce a professional quality violin without the kind of intense study and focus that is required of everyone else who wants to do that?

You have said that the violin is just another piece of furniture to you, but you have said you have a real fascination with the violin.

You have said "As you can see, I can already produce a great-looking violin" (this was a proposition we were forced to accept a fortiori to understand the thought process behind your original question), but you said later that you have always known that your best violin thus far is crap. 

It is difficult to understand you. 

You can easily pay for school. You haven't mentioned anything else that's stopping you from doing whatever you want to do. But I guess I am not sure what you could get out of school either. Good luck deciding what you should do, seriously. Most people don't like change...but going to school would be not just a huge way to change your life but the biggest step you could take to follow your dreams.

Sounds cheesy, but true.

So anyway, I hope you figure out what you want and do it. Also, it'll be more entertaining than reality tv if you post about your journey. So I hope you will do that too.

 

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13 minutes ago, not telling said:

I was about to apologize for any traces of churlishness on my part. But seriously? Has this entire discussion been to your mind as a fart wafting away in the wind? Why do you think you can produce a professional quality violin without the kind of intense study and focus that is required of everyone else who wants to do that?

You have said that the violin is just another piece of furniture to you, but you have said you have a real fascination with the violin.

You have said "As you can see, I can already produce a great-looking violin" (this was a proposition we were forced to accept a fortiori to understand the thought process behind your original question), but you have said later that you know your best violin thus far is crap. 

It is difficult to understand you. 

You can easily pay for school. You haven't mentioned anything else that's stopping you from doing whatever you want to do. But I guess I am not sure what you could get out of school either. Good luck deciding what you should do, seriously. Most people don't like change...but going to school would be not just a huge way to change your life but the biggest step you could take to follow your dreams.

Sounds cheesy, but true.

So anyway, I hope you figure out what you want and do it. Also, it'll be more entertaining than reality tv if you post about your journey. So I hope you will do that too.

 

Not sure how to respond to all your questions, I’m  sure I came across as a smart arse, if so please accept my sincere apologies for that. I arrived here with the wrong attitude and got slapped down for it which was the right thing to do. However it’s a lesson learned. I will be back at a later date. Take care of yourselves regards G

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1 hour ago, Jluthier said:

I couldn't resist reading this whole thread, especially when I saw 138 replies in just three days!  Sadly, I am left just imaging what the OP's workmanship is like since the pics were removed.  Nonetheless, I appreciate all your perspectives on violin training options and skill development.  

Have a laugh at my expense.

4C9B1D7B-4769-478E-BC7F-4E5EA9B11ED2.jpeg

12D1CB1E-F3D0-4E85-BE43-B8C27FFE54EA.jpeg

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3 hours ago, GerardM said:

Not sure how to respond to all your questions, I’m  sure I came across as a smart arse, if so please accept my sincere apologies for that. I arrived here with the wrong attitude and got slapped down for it which was the right thing to do. However it’s a lesson learned. I will be back at a later date. Take care of yourselves regards G

Okay now I actually am gonna say I'm sorry. I don't think it's anyone's intention to slap you down. I see no one actually answered your question about what's covered in violin making School. It depends on the school, but there's a lot of history and a lot of theory.

And you don't need to be sorry for being a smart-ass or whatever, not to me anyway. I think part of what is boggling my mind is that you seem to not have asked for help from anyone even though you've been a member of this forum for a long time. I would like to think that you at least would have received honest feedback and suggestions. I am sure that if you ask different questions in the future you will get useful answers. It's true that forum posts can get misconstrued easily, and as you re-read what has been said here I hope you don't believe anyone was trying to be cruel.  But you said you were upset by the reaction you got and then I posted that last post anyway. That wasn't cool. So I'm sorry if it was too much, or if this is.

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2 minutes ago, not telling said:

Okay now I actually am gonna say I'm sorry. I don't think it's anyone's intention to slap you down. I see no one actually answered your question about what's covered in violin making School. It depends on the school, but there's a lot of history and a lot of theory. But my husband  has said that the only thing he learned at Red Wing was how to sharpen knives. At first when he said that I didn't understand what he meant either. That's actually a compliment to the teaching and high standards of Lizbeth Butler, who is no longer there. (Red Wing is a violin repair long course, not a violin making School btw)

And you don't need to be sorry for being a smart-ass or whatever, not to me anyway. I think part of what is boggling my mind is that you seem to not have asked for help from anyone even though you've been a member of this forum for a long time. I would like to think that you at least would have received honest feedback and suggestions. I am sure that if you ask different questions in the future you will get useful answers. It's true that forum posts can get misconstrued easily, and as you re-read what has been said here I hope you don't believe anyone was trying to be cruel.  But you said you were upset by the reaction you got and then I posted that last post anyway. That wasn't cool. So I'm sorry if it was too much, or if this is.

No worries when people make a comment in the written word it’s not the same as when it’s spoken. When spoken you’ll pick up on if it’s meant  kindly, sarcastically, nastily, etc etc. I used to remark about these celebrities getting into Twitter storms over comments made, and I’d remark about how silly to get involved in such things. A then ha ha I did the same thing, as I interpreted some of the feedback as caustic and sarcastic when it was not the case. I did not think to ask for help because I became caught in a spiral of crash bang wallop. Head down flailing around with gouges like a whirling dervish, I can laugh at myself now. Anyway enough said. I will be back regards G

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20 minutes ago, not telling said:

Okay now I actually am gonna say I'm sorry. I don't think it's anyone's intention to slap you down. I see no one actually answered your question about what's covered in violin making School. It depends on the school, but there's a lot of history and a lot of theory. But my husband  has said that the only thing he learned at Red Wing was how to sharpen knives. At first when he said that I didn't understand what he meant either. That's actually a compliment to the teaching and high standards of Lizbeth Butler, who is no longer there. (Red Wing is a violin repair long course, not a violin making School btw)

And you don't need to be sorry for being a smart-ass or whatever, not to me anyway. I think part of what is boggling my mind is that you seem to not have asked for help from anyone even though you've been a member of this forum for a long time. I would like to think that you at least would have received honest feedback and suggestions. I am sure that if you ask different questions in the future you will get useful answers. It's true that forum posts can get misconstrued easily, and as you re-read what has been said here I hope you don't believe anyone was trying to be cruel.  But you said you were upset by the reaction you got and then I posted that last post anyway. That wasn't cool. So I'm sorry if it was too much, or if this is.

John Reed taught archtop construction when I was there in 2009, we were allowed to pick between A style mando/violin/guitar.  

It was an optional course to second year guitar students, or violin students.   I think the curriculum is a bit different now.  Probably not as intense as a three year school, but over a decade later, I'm glad I went there and took John's class.

 

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i went through all of this topic gerardm and of all of the participants i counted 16 makers of violins and if i'm not mistaken only five, possibly six were school trained - the rest just kicked around a lot of dust until things came together for themselves, myself included.

mr. holmes and jmayberry are with the 5-6 pro trained in my book but i'm not really sure how they really learned to make a violin so i gave them the benefit of the doubt.

the others i didn't include are just pretty housewives, musicians, teachers or real good repairmen that simply have no need or time to make a new fiddle.

your work needs a little fine tuning, something doable within your next few builds.  a good way to judge your own work is to start at 100 and subtract a point for each mistake or some that's just not quite right.  Take it easy on yourself by allowing a score of 90 at first - as you get better try to stay at 95 or better - very hard to do.

 

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2 hours ago, Matthew Hannafin said:

John Reed taught archtop construction when I was there in 2009, we were allowed to pick between A style mando/violin/guitar.  

It was an optional course to second year guitar students, or violin students.   I think the curriculum is a bit different now.  Probably not as intense as a three year school, but over a decade later, I'm glad I went there and took John's class.

 

Yeah, John Reed. That's the guy. I think that was his nickname. The guy.

 

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