My "Exciting Thing"...

January 5, 2016, 3:48 PM · Hello, everybody! I hope you're having a great start to 2016. After all the fantastic things that I did musically in 2015, it's exciting to start again with a blank slate (like the sun shining on the morning January snow!) and see where music and life takes me next.

It's time for me to talk about the "exciting thing" I've mentioned in the last few posts. This afternoon I went to a violin shop close to Chicago to begin thinking about purchasing a new violin! It's been a very exciting prospect for me, as I'd been struggling off and on this autumn and winter on getting a good violin tone and everything on my current instrument. The shop owner said, when he took a look at my current violin, it was apparently crafted in an "interestingly Chinese" way, and gave a fair price on it. Hmm. (It was a particularly good violin that I picked out out of the three I chose back in December 2009, too.) Anyways, I was able to go in back and try out five different violins, one of which was a copy of a Stradivarius violin, which was a bit intriguing. However, while I did latch towards the Strad copy simply because it rang more and had much less "crunch" than the others, I never really was super-thrilled with any of them. My plan for now is to wait for (I think six?) weeks till I come back for Spring Break in late-February. A lot of them had a crunch that was possibly even worse than my violin, but my violin has been played on for several more years than these, so that's part of it. The shop's stock is going to change quite a bit, according to the shop-owner, so I will be able to head back there then and maybe I'll find an instrument I like better; I can even check out a few other shops around the area around that time too if I don't find something I fall in love with. I'm glad I'm waiting on this, because now while practicing and playing the violin I've had for so long now, I'll be able to spend time really working hard on developing the best tone I feel I can, rather than getting frustrated when I'm still getting to know a new instrument, since I think I've made more progress on my tone over break than throughout the autumn, and I've come up with several ideas of how to fix it. So yeah, while I haven't gotten my new violin quite yet, I'll still be able to work hard and continue to love the one I currently have, and hopefully begin to sound even better, and then come back in the spring even more prepared to pick out the new violin that I will continue my violin career with.

So, the reason I have come to this decision. It all really started as early as late July of this year, when I believe I talked about getting a new bridge on my violin, and then in August I posted an article on the "ring" of my violin, as compared to the rental I had had in July. I discussed with my teacher the possibility of getting a new instrument, and really didn't have time to do anything about it since college was starting. And while all during the autumn I was really quite off-and-on about this whole situation, in both how much I truly like this violin and how much I wanted to get a new one, since I've had so much attachment with it, just now over break I've been able to realize that it really is partly me, and that I can fix my violin's tone to be fantastic until I can get an upgrade. (I mean, I've compared my early 2012 video and my latest one on YouTube, and there's a world of difference!) My teacher did say that at some point I'd reach a limit as to what my current violin could do, and I think I'm going to need more time to really stretch the power of this instrument; I haven't reached my limit yet. So I can keep thinking about what kind of sound I really want, and go from there. Thus, I'm very happy continuing to play on the violin I've had for so long, since I'm very comfortable playing it in particular, and I can also in the back of my mind get excited for getting a new one. And if any of you reading have any advice for when I go back to try out more violins, let me know!

So yeah! I've spent more time practicing Ravel (I'm currently working on the Trio, just, again, my little for-fun side project) on violin than even composing, so... yeah. I can't wait to spend more time with my violin! That's it for now, so see you later!


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