Going between two violins
Is it ok to have violins at two locations and go between both for practice?
The reason I ask is I am keeping one complete setup in my closet at work for my weekly lessons and one complete setup at home. Neither of the two are the same. I have only done this for one week. So far I seem to be ok taking concepts learned to my better violin at home.I needed to order an additional shoulder rest which hasn't come in yet so I just play that violin with no rest.
This helps get around last minute practice changes and keeping the violin in the car.
One added benefit is if I'm stuck at work waiting to pick up my wife I can play it there for awhile.
Does anyone else here do anything similar and how has that worked for you?
It's not unusual for children to have "school" violins (cheap rentals that can be damaged without too much guilt) and "home" violins (much more expensive instruments that would cause heartbreak if damaged).
I'm sure you'll be okay with that. The basics are the same, and as long as neither of them is a VSO... I don't have any problems with switching between my own and my son's violin. The main challenge for me would rather be the difference in bows, but one can also get used to that. (I own 5 at the moment, 4 of them being played regularly, and each of them teaches me a different lesson...)
I think it would be best if they had the same SR/CR arrangement.
If it doesn't bother you, it's almost certainly fine. It may depend on your technique, but I've found that my own technique is mostly helped, not hurt, by trying things out on another instrument or bow, even with a somewhat contrasting setup.
In any case, less complicated than going between two lovers...
I keep a violin at my work, and another at home. I think the benefits of being able to play some while on a short break a couple times a day are very helpful. Both violins play very differently, my home one is my main one. Its sound quality is much better especially in the higher registers. Overall, I have learned to adapt. As musicians we need to be able to adapt to different situations and instruments from time to time.
It is certainly okay to have two different instruments even if they have somewhat different setup, but the important thing is to be deliberate in your practice so that you learn from these differences rather than being hindered by them. For example, when practicing on a single instrument it is often beneficial for beginners to practice a passage with difficult fingering on different strings, this forces the student to make small adjustments that can highlight weaknesses in technique to resolve them. The same applies with different instruments.
Thank you for the advice.
Can't you just bring your primary violin to work on the days you have lessons? It's a terrible shame to practice all week on one instrument and then go into your lesson with a violin you basically haven't played on at all.
I played on 2 and then 3 different violins for about 25 years depending on music being played, ensemble, and venue. I think they had the same string length but there were sufficient differences in instrument shape that I needed slightly different shoulder rest settings (I used a shoulder rest during those years) and the instruments had different tonal qualities and responded differently to bow speed and "weight." At that time I only had two bows and my choice of bow depended more on music being played than any other factor. All my violins have always had identical chinrests.
Andrew, I feel it's a very different situation when we're talking about a beginner. It's relatively easy for an advanced player to adapt to the quirks of different violins at a moment's notice. But beginners often require hours or even days to adjust to a different violin, or any other small changes that might occur (different shoulder rest, different bow, etc...).
I also regularly play on two quite different violins, with quite different bows. I have no problem with it. in his original post Timothy seems to imply he has no real problems either. I think he was mainly asking if he was alone in this regard. you are not alone :-)
Q: "Is it ok to have violins at two locations and go between both for practice? ....Does anyone else here do anything similar and how has that worked for you?"
Now I don't feel alone in what I'm doing. It is interesting to read the different ways people manage to find small amounts of time to play.
Here is a Tarisio story about Henryk Szyering who had a whole stack of violins at his disposal.