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oldsubguy
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Just atarted 2 months ago. Played my first solo last night at church. Had a blast.

Am using a Scherl and Roth R301EH with a Glassner bow. Decided to get a wooden one though.

?: Should I be standing or sitting when I play?

Also, this instrument has "steel strings" Should I change to "Thomastik" or just wait a while>

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congrats oldbusguy, I hope everything went well. During a solo performance you should stand up. I don't know if you call that etiquette (I guess it could be termed that), but that is just the way it is. =) Steel strings have powerful projection, and such they are good beginners strings. If you are looking to upgrade to better strings, there are a whole host of strings to choose from, all depending on personal playing preferences and the sound your instrument generates. However, the Thomasik "Dominant" strings, are excellent, stable, and very popular strings. I would highly recommend them. I used them for a few years before moving on to others. Good luck with your endeavors and congrats!

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Congrats, hope you have a blast playing.

After trying a plethora of strings I settled with Helicore med. tension.

I swapped out the E for a Gold Thomastic E.

They tend to sound best, and stay in tune nicely on my instrument. You may want to try the Dominants also, but I find them a bit muddy after the "new" has worn off them.

Most of all have fun. Make sure you have a good teacher also. There are plenty of bad habits you can fall into and a good teacher can help you avoid them before they grow like weeds in your technique.

Good luck,

Don Crandall

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One note, before you put money into anything I suggest that you investigate the purchase of a good bow. The reason I say this is that so much of violin technique involves the bow that if you have a lousy one it will really inhibit your playing. The bow should respond intuitively to your hand. Crappy ones don't you have to force them to respond.

There are many things that can be adjusted to make an inexpensive violin play well, but a lousy bow is a lousy bow, is a lousy bow. They don't get any better with tweaking.

You are better served to educate yourself as to what makes constitues a good bow and save toward the purchase of one than to spend hundreds here and there on cheaper models. Go to a good repair/seller of string instruments in your area and ask questions and try out good quality bows. Take your time and do your homework. You will in time be able to make a good decision and get a bow which will allow you to develop well and will serve you well when you move to a better instrument.

Happy fiddlin

Don Crandall

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Welcome to the world of the violin, Oldsubguy. Let me first tell you that its never too late to start. I started when I was 18 (I'm now 24). I'm currently getting my Master's degree in Violin Performance at the University of Oklahoma (a pretty good music school) and I'm principal 2nd violin. I've also studied in Europe at the Academy of Music in Zagreb, and I've performed in many great concert halls (Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Hall in New York, etc.).

My point is not to brag, but to say that I'm a fairly late starter, but that didn't stop me from playing music all over the world. If you love the violin, no matter what genre you play, nothing can stop you from going as far as you want to go. I wish you the best of luck.

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Congratulations. I'm a beginner myself in my 60s and so is my son in his 30s. We have a ball. he has a strong musical background & is doing really well. I have none except love of music but am happy with my progress. I'm no help on recommending equipment as I'm still trying to learn about it myself but have found this site very helpful in discussions of exactly what you are asking so keep reading.

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Welcome to the board! I agree with Mr. Woof about getting a good bow.

I've been playing for about 17 years now, and I started out using Super Sensitive Red Label strings. I played on those for a long, long, long time before I discovered the joys of synthetic strings! I switched to Dominants, and after hanging out at this website for a while, I switched to Pirastro Tonicas. They're really good strings, and a lot of people use them.

Good luck & have fun playing!

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Thanks for all the suport and advice. I ordered a bow from ebay. Here is the page. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?V...item=1484580854

so we will see. I find that I just can't seem to get the "g" string down right like the others.Maybe because it the least used in the songs I play. The strings in their order of easyness/playability for me are: A/D/E/G. Is this the way for others or could I be doing something wrong? No teacher available. Still working on it. I WILL PREVAIL!

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quote:

Originally posted by oldsubguy:

Just atarted 2 months ago. Played my first solo last night at church. Had a blast.

Am using a Scherl and Roth R301EH with a Glassner bow. Decided to get a wooden one though.

Hey, cool. I play the same kind of fiddle and I really like it; for a "student-level" fiddle it is wonderfully lacking in all of the usual student-fiddle problems; the tone is solid, it stays in tune very well, and the pegs are perfectly fitted, too. Mine sounds as good, to my ear, as just about any fiddle I've ever tested for less than $3000!

I switched from the crappy Red Labels to Thomastik Dominants (which sounded better), then to D'addario Helicores (which sounded much better). On my fiddle, and for the Irish fiddle music I play, the Helicores work very well. However, I'm planning on trying Prim's when my Helicores wear out; a bunch of other fiddlers seem to like them.

It really depends on what you play, but before spending big bucks on a wood bow, check out the Glasser Composite and Glasser Carbon Fibre -- they're much cheaper (about $100 and $200 respectively) and I found that the CF sounded and performed better than any wood bows less than about $500.

It's perfectly acceptible to play standing or sitting, so long as your posture is good.

Enjoy!

Len

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Dominants are great "student" strings...quite powerful, stable, and overall just very good strings. From here you go for strings that are more suited to the individual instrument and personal preferences.

Thomasik Infeld RED

Thomasik Infeld BLUE

Both OUTSTANDING strings overall. Definitely better than the Dominants. I especially like the RED gold-plated E. It gives crystal clear quality in the extremely high positions.

Pirastro Evah Pirazzi's

Compared to Infeld's, I would say Pirastro's best strings. Bottom line: outstanding.

There are many others like helicores, gut strings (which HKV can fill you in on) and many others..but this gives you a start...hope this helps.

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DEB: I played "How firm a foundation" and "Whosoever will". I am practicing with our piano player so that she and I can play together later though. Wow! is it different with accompaniment! Cadence, depth, everything. I am a "mechanical player" right now but am working on getting some expression too. Right now it is hard for my mind/arm to do anything but 1 note up then 1 note down. I'm working on it though. Sometime i can do it if they don't "crossover" from 1 string to the next. Our church is small and they just like hearing something new. This is great because I can play for them and they love it even though I'm not that good yet.

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quote:

Originally posted by oldsubguy:

Thanks for all the suport and advice. I ordered a bow from ebay. Here is the page.

so we will see. I find that I just can't seem to get the "g" string down right like the others.Maybe because it the least used in the songs I play. The strings in their order of easyness/playability for me are: A/D/E/G. Is this the way for others or could I be doing something wrong? No teacher available. Still working on it. I WILL PREVAIL!

Try bringing your elbow more to the center of your chest. This will allow your hand to move more easily over to the G string. It feels awkward at first, and if you have a big chest like I do it can be hard, but the end result is worth it. Your fingers will come down much more squarely on the strings giving you greater control. Contorting oneself into the proper position to play the violin feels very unnatural at first.

There are ten dozen things that you need to think about to keep the hands in the right position (left and right). Again a good teacher can help you work on these till they become automatic and you are only focusing on making music not worrying about hand placement on the bow or the fingerboard. As soon as you can get a teacher please avail yourself to one.

Also, if your kind pianist friend will oblige you, have him or her play a two octave G Scale with you using open strings. This is a good way for you to begin to realize how important blocking your hand and placement is for consistantly good intonation. Once you feel comfortable with this then try an A scale, then Bb. The piano will not be as forgiving and make you think about where your fingers have to go to be in tune.

You obviously have a love for the instrument, good luck in your studies.

Regards,

Don Crandall

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Thanks for the tips. got a teacher today. We are going for at least 4 lessons and then we'll see. also had some Thomastik dominants put on in lieu of the D'addario preludes(steel).

Wow, I don't bounce anymore with them and the new pernambuco bow! The bow is also a "sweeter" sound than the glasser horsehair and I find that I'm able to play some more notes than 1 during an up or down stroke.

SWEETNESS....HAVING FUN NEAR SEATTLE...

DAVE

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Re playing standing or sitting - practice both. It's easier to maintain a good posture when standing, therefore easier to stay comfortable and relaxed, and easier to play. Unfortunately, much of your playing outside of your practice time will likely be done sitting, whether in an orchestra or chamber group or jam session.

Good luck.

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quote:

Originally posted by oldsubguy:

Thanks for the tips. got a teacher today. We are going for at least 4 lessons and then we'll see. also had some Thomastik dominants put on in lieu of the D'addario preludes(steel).

Wow, I don't bounce anymore with them and the new pernambuco bow! The bow is also a "sweeter" sound than the glasser horsehair and I find that I'm able to play some more notes than 1 during an up or down stroke.

SWEETNESS....HAVING FUN NEAR SEATTLE...

DAVE

Congrats, hope you have a good teacher who will help you build a good foundation technique. Those D'Adario preludes are only fit for tying up trash bags. I tried them once then took them off and threw them away. When you do eventually change your current strings take the strings which are coming off, coil them up, and put them into the bags the new strings come in. That way if you break a string you have a pre-stretched out string to replace it with. Also by putting the old string in the new bag you know what string it is!

To get rid of the curly bit at the end of a used string, so that you can feed it throught the hole in the peg, snip it off with plain old nail clippers. These do this nicely and crimp the string so it won't come unwound.

There are some good composite bows out there, but the ones I have tried have been less than satisfactory. I prefer my pernambuco stick also. Your teacher will eventually have you bouncing that stick again, but in a controlled manner.

Have fun learning to sing through the instrument.

Regards,

Don Crandall

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