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I want to play the violin but...

Technique and Practicing: I want to play the violin, but where do I start. I have a violin and some one that will teach me...

From Rosannah Bennett
Posted January 4, 2009 at 04:14 AM

I know nothing about violins, I have a violin and some one that is going to teach me...  (I don't know if the person teaching  me will be able to help me with this)

Do I need a shoulder rest?

How do I take care of my violin?  

How do I know when the violin is tuned right (guy at the music store didn't know )

Am I starting to late? (I'm 16) cuz it seams that most of the best violin players started when they were about 2-4years old?

What do I need to buy , or is most of the stuff you can buy extra?

From Emily Grossman
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 05:41 AM

Why do you want to play the violin?  The reasons are numerous.  You can have fun, make a beautiful sound, make music with others, and perhaps even make some money at it if you're diligent.  You can do all of these things at any age, so don't sweat it.  You're just starting this journey.  Don't start it with self-imposed limitations.

When's your first lesson?  Your teacher is going to be able to answer every question you have, plus a lot more than that.   

From Benjamin K
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 05:59 AM

Your teacher *should* be able to answer all these questions, if not, then perhaps you should look for a different teacher.

Meanwhile, short answers to your questions are ...

- At first a shoulder rest may be helpful because for a beginner it can be difficult to balance the instrument, later on it may not be required anymore at which time it is mostly a matter of personal preference.

- Also at first, an electronic tuner will be of help to tune the instrument, later on this should be avoided and you should learn to tune by ear. 

- Keep the violin in its case, always clean with a dry cloth, control the environment to avoid overtly dry or humid surroundings.

- No, it is never too late to start.

- You need to buy rosin for your bow. If you don't have a bow then you need to buy a bow. Further you will need to buy whatever books/scores your teacher will tell you to buy. From time to time you will need to replace the strings and have the bow rehaired.


From Tasha Miner
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Always check with your teacher before purchasing anything.  Assuming they are a good teacher, they will tell you what is good to get and what should be avoided in the long run.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 10:29 AM

It's never too late to start if you really want to play.  You should ask your teacher all the questions you asked here.

From Christina C.
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 06:52 PM

we need to back up a little... do you read music? 

From Rosannah Bennett
Posted on January 6, 2009 at 01:58 AM

I want to play so that someday I will be able to play wonderful music :)

Ok.. I will be starting lessons  Jan. 13 and will have a lesson every week, 

the person teaching me is a family friend that has never played teacher before, (my parents are paying for the lessons) she knows how to play, like hyms and such but needs more practice, I plan to learn the basics from her and if I like it,  then pay for a pro like college classes  :)

What I have right now is a violin, rosin, bow and the books -all of witch was given to my family in the hopes that one would learn to play the violin- all ready to be used 

Read music? not that great, I had a year of piano lessons but never got in to it that much- I didn't practice :)

Thank you all for the info :)

From Edward Ebel
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 03:00 PM

For what its worth, I started to play the guitar when I was 17.  Everyone said it was too late. I ignored them because I loved it so much.  When I was 24 I thought, "why not learn the violin?"  I had always been intrigued by the mystery of the instrument.  I came close to quitting after a year because I thought I was no good.  A good teacher changed my mind with praise and encouragement.  I am now 59 and have been playing 35 years.  I love it and can't imagine what my life would have been like without it.  You will one day play beautiful music.  The first step is to start!  Enjoy the struggle. When you need support, ask for it.  Find others who are at the same level and support each other.  You may not play center stage, but you will never regret playing at whatever level you reach.  Good luck!

From Sandy Herrault
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 04:31 PM

I'd say if you have a little time, watch some youtube videos and pay attention to how the violin is held.  You can see suzuki music being played on youtube, just go to fiddlercove.org and click on the tab on the left.  Also, look at any pictures of how the violin is properly held.  Everything starts with holding the violin correctly.  Just my opinion.  And... listen to all kinds of violin and fiddle playing.  Best of luck.

From Sue Bechler
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 06:52 PM

Your questions have come up her fairly regularly, so you could spend a little time reading back through old posts with suitable lead-lines about age, being a beginner, necessary supplies, etc. I have some qualms on your part about the person you say you will teach you initially. I don't get a sense from you that he/she is particularly skilled at a stringed instrument? An intermediate her/himself or self-taught, perhaps? Starting  without careful attention to commonly-accepted good posture, fingering, bowhold & bow use will not serve you well. You could learn to play after a fashion, but end up having to do lots of unlearning & re-learning if you want to look & sound like a classical player in a year or two. If your interest is fiddle music, the situation is somewhat different. You could PM me about that.... Sue  

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