March 2006

Great news !

March 23, 2006 18:41

Woot !

I took the bow down to the "Bow Specialist" today. He took a look at...showed me what needed to be done and gave a cost for repairs...which totaled about $300.00. I called the owner and she is willing to pay the cost to have it repaired ! Hooorah !

I was told that the bow is most likely a copy, not original (all the metal work on it is silver...good thing I still had the button !!...and the wood is pernambuco)...and dang if I can remember the maker who's name is stamped down near the frog...(I meant to write that down on the bill....#%$^&*@!!!) Oh well, a very well known maker. The bow itself would be worth about $2500.00....but with the hairline cracks up at the tip that brings it down to about a thousand. Which is fine by me ! I'm grateful that the owner was willing to pay to have it fixed..what a lovely lady she is...and the bow isn't worth so much that she would likely want to sell it.

I have the violin at the luthier's...the bow at the bow maker's shop and in about 2 weeks I aught to have both of them back home ! God is good ! :)

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a bow makes all the difference in world !

March 20, 2006 10:48

Wow....this extra bow I had sitting around really stinks !! I never used it so never took a good look at it before......but it's warped off to the side and .......

you know....I have been amazed at the sounds I have been able to get out of that cheesy ebay special violin I've been using while that nice old violin has been set aside for repairs.....it's that BOW I've been using ! (lol...and all this time I thought it was ME !)

Wow....having never used any other bow in my short 3.5 year career...I had NO idea what a difference a bow can make ! I've had to set the "nice" bow aside.....there are some hairline cracks up at the tip and it was suggested that I not use it until I get it repaired...which I have obediently decided to do. I took a good look at the cracks with the bow tightened and I can certainly see the danger !

But man.....I tried practicing today....and I just can't do it with that lousy bow ! Frustration mounts...I have a whole morning/afternoon till 3 to get some practicing in and I just CAN'T ! I was soooo tempted to get out the "good" bow...till I took a good look at it....man....I hope my teacher has another sitting around that she can spare.....and I do so hope the owner decides to get that nice old bow repaired.....and let me continue using it. I'm afraid she's going to find out it's worth alot and then sell it on me ! :-(

What a spoiled rotten brat I am ! lol

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trip to the luthier with the ole saxon

March 18, 2006 20:25

Ok....visited the luthier today. She had a good look at the neck and she says she thinks she can fix it without taking the top off...which could save me a bundle if it's so !

Funny, but the price she quoted me for the job, just....by coincidence.."??"....happens to be the exact amount I've managed to save up for this job to this point ! hhmmm...interesting...

I left the violin with her and will be contacting the owner to see what she would like me to do..

I also found out the bow that I have is one which is probably wasted on me...to tell the truth. She told me who she believes the maker is...but being an ignorant slob about such things...I can't remember the name she gave me..even though I made a note in my head to remember. I think the name started with an "S" and they were copied quite a bit back in the 20's. She suggested I take it to someone who specializes in bows as it needs a bit of work. Great.....something else to save for...

Either way, this violin and bow are of a quality that I could NEVER have afforded to purchase, I'm sure ! What a gift ! I do hope I can measure up at some point and do these beauties justice !

Here's a couple of pics of this lovely old gentleman...german made I found out today. It has a very high arched back which gives it a wonderfully deep mellow tone. (ignore that chin rest, the original broke and that was all I had on hand)

Some pics of the bow as well...some of you may be able to place the maker...

I appologize for taking up so much room with the pics. I tried to get the two of the violin next to each other...but I guess you can't do that...tried thumbnails too, they didn't work either... ?


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The elusive vibrato........

March 16, 2006 11:57

Just how long does it take to get a hang of this anyway !

Years, I suppose, for some of us...me anyway. I've spent a good part of the day so far, just working on that. I've been wrangling around with it off and on now for months and months..it's time to get serious !

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I love our sessions !

March 15, 2006 09:22

Well, the session last night went GREAT ! Had lots of fun fiddling with the group, and the folks having dinner seemed to enjoy it as well....at least I hope they did !

We played some ole time favorite Irish tunes mixed with some of the faster fiddling stuff...which I have a very hard time keeping up with sometimes. Chuck's idea about "slow" is much different when we're performing, than when it's just the bunch of us meeting at someone's house. Chuck is our "leader".....a real sweet fella. He leads us along on the fiddle and his wife acompanies on guitar.

I spent ALL DAY on that fiddle yesturday....to be ready for last night. From about 9am to 3pm, when I finally had to put it down. I was getting sore. I only took a few breathers to grab a bite and clean a fish tank...lol.

Is this normal ??? For someone to spend so much time at this ? I mean, I would do this EVERY day if I could..... I can understand if you're a professional..and it's what you do for a living. But I'm just a hack...and I don't plan on making a living at this....lol....I SOOO couldn't !!!

Anyway, it's a love I never knew I had until recently. I had no idea there was a little musician in me crying to get out....kept it locked up for so long....maybe it's just grabbing some lost time ! :-D

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Love those Irish fiddle tunes !

March 13, 2006 18:33

Ah...my fiddle group will be playing in a local restaurant tomorrow night. Doing some traditional Irish tunes for the folks to sing along to. Should be fun! We've been playing there every second Tues. of each month...and the crowds have been getting larger ! I'm looking forward to it....been sawing away all day and have noticed that my tone is sounding rather nice these days.....even on that 50$ ebay special !

A friend may be bringing a friend who's blind and plays the fiddle. I told her to tell him to bring his instrument and join in. I hope he shows !

I'll be taking the ole saxon to a luthier on Sat. Hopefully the cost won't be astronomical and I'll be able to afford it. Otherwise, I don't know what I'll do !

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Gosh ! I'm having fun !!! :-D

March 13, 2006 05:10

I've been playing for 3 1/2 years now and loving every minute of it ! I can easily spend 2...3...hours...ALL DAY...on this instrument, if I didn't have a family to look after as well...lol. I also have 21 fish tanks to care for..my OTHER hobby...it's a good darn thing I'm working part-time on an "as need" basis at the local elementary school...and I have a wonderful husband who tolerates these obses....er...."interests" of mine. He's a good guy..lol...but he does have his limits, so I do occasionally have to go to my room, fiddle in hand....and close the door....lol !

When I'm not called into work...I spend all day, off and on, working on my skills. I'll play for 2 hours, stop to vacume the floor, or do the laundry or...clean a fish tank...run an errand....or any number of the many other necessities of running a home.....then, go right back to the fiddle and do some more. In the afternoons/evenings when everyone is home....I find myself wanting very much to go back and do even more....but....*sigh*....I do have a husband and 3 kids that need attention too...they've been sooooo patient with me....God bless em !

I try not to think back 20 years ago when the idea to play first entered my head..."if only" is such a waste of time. I've got lots of catching up to do and may never be as proficient as I could have been if I had started back then....but....HEY ! I'm playin....and Lord willing....I'll be good enough that folks can actually enjoy listening to it ! Haha !

My heart's desire is to play some wonderfully sweet, God honoring, heart lifting praise and worship music for anyone who wants to hear. I figure, He's the one who led me to this, He must have a purpose. I'm doing my part and spending all the time I can on it....if He's willing, He'll bless it. That's all I can ask......Praise God !

For now, I've joined up with a fiddle group in a nearby town. We get together once a week and play together and learn from each other. It's great for helping me to learn to play by ear and also for keeping on top of the music ! Boy, you can't be lazy with this group or you get left behind ! It's a bit frustrating at times, when I have trouble keeping up...but I do enjoy it. Just being with others who have the same interest and the opportunity to learn from those who have been at it alot longer than I..is great !

I've gotten alot of compliments on my wrist movement...even from an 80 something year old fella who's been playing for over 70 years...that was VERY encouraging ! My teacher tells me that I have a very good tone developing....for all my inadequacies, I'm pretty bold with that bow....I've almost got the hang of it after close to 4 years now....lol.... if I could just get that dang vibrato !!! GGGRRRRRR!!!!! I'm having the hardest time with that !

Oh, a minor bump in the road....my hearing is going on me....so far it only hinders a little when I'm playing with others. But it may be an inherited degenerative thing going on that will only get worse....bummer....so I have even more reasons for getting on this as quickly as possible ! Funny, how the fella who had that old violin was deaf....an now I may very well be down the road....and my hearing issue came up about the same time I picked up my first violin....
WELL...it's all in HIS hands ! I'm not going to worry or complain about it....I just want to play !!! :-D

(ooooo....these posts just keep getting longer !)

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AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! NO !

March 12, 2006 18:54

So....I had the violin for about..oh.....3 or 4 months. I'm LOVIN it ! The pegs are really hard to move, but once it's in tune, that baby doesn't BUDGE !! I'm scratching my way through the scales, struggling with holding the bow (AND the violin) properly and loving every minute of it.

Sooooo, I'm sitting at my piano (my son's actually, he plays, I don't)...trying to learn how to tune this wonderful thing........when it happens !

I don't know how....I was trying to be careful turning the "A" peg just a bit..it's very tight...when the next thing I know...the violin is laying on the floor in two pieces !!!! *GAAAHHH !!!!!*

I just sat there staring at it.....with my mouth hanging open.....I have no idea how it happened...all I know is that the scroll just slightly tapped the edge of the piano on the way down....that's all it took....the neck was completely seperated from the body...with only the strings holding it together.........man.......
I cried.

I didn't make a phone call, I went to see my friend. She was incredibly gracious. "Eileen, it's a piece of wood", she says. Of course, I knew better...it wasn't just a piece of wood.....I went about trying to find someone to fix it.

What the heck did I know about violins, My friend didn't know much about them either. I found a fella nearby who fixes guitars..so I call and ask if he works on violins. "Sure, bring it over"...........and a week and 50$ later I had it back in one piece....(just wait, I know what your thinking..and....you're RIGHT !!)

Well, I went happily back to playing that violin for another year and a change in teachers. One day, my teacher looks at the neck and says.. "Something's not right here" She was right. I had felt something different about it for a while, but figured, what the heck do I know, it's fine. Well, It seems the gap between the fingerboard and the top of the body was.....shrinking.....it was still apparently firmly attached, but something...not good...was going on here... We took a good look at the neck...

The guy who fixed it....all he did was slap a bit of carpenter's glue on it and put it back together !! I never even looked ! I was just sooo happy to have it back in one piece by someone I thought knew what he was doing (yeah I know....NOW).......I never even looked (not that I would even KNOW what I was looking at) I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did !

Soooo, the violin is in a case, strings loosened....waiting for me to save up enough to get it PROPERLY fixed....by a LUTHIER !!!

Now I'm playing on an ebay 50$ special........trying to decide if I should use my meager savings to get something a little better, until I can get the saxon fixed.......man, I miss that violin !!

Happily, I'm a bit wiser for the experience....and Fran and I are still friends BTW...she's a lovely lady !

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The violin

March 12, 2006 18:02

Well......the violin was old....so was the guy who had played it !!

It had belonged to my friend's old uncle, who had lived to be 103 years old. His mom had given him the violin when he graduated back at the turn of the century. He played professionally in NYC for a time, until he was called into service in WWl. During the war he lost a good portion of his hearing and so could no longer play professionally, but could still play very well. He played this old violin to a ripe old age, even after loosing about all of his hearing....he passed in 1991. Since then this old violin has layed in it's case collecting dust...and my friend wanted to find someone who would play it. I volunteered ! :-D

I tried to buy it from her but she wouldn't sell. She's very attached to it...family heirloom and all. We took it to Charles Magby in Ct. to get it appraised. Turns out it's a 250 year old saxon violin made somewhere in France. The top is not original to the rest of the violin and there is no label inside telling who the maker was. It has a beautifully hand carved one piece back with a high arch. It isn't worth much monetarily, but it's in pretty good shape and has a WONDERFUL melow clear even tone. (I had a few folk who know how to play, run it through it's paces for me....they were all VERY pleased with it...especially on the "G" )

So, I had a violin....and signed up for lessons ! I don't know how to read a note of music, have no background in it at ALL ! I can't even sing....lol... I'm 39 years old...and I'm going to play the violin...........AHHAAHHAAAA !
Yeah, I thought it was pretty funny too !

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Violin.....at 39 ? Yeah, right !

March 12, 2006 17:36

I started the violin about 3 1/2 years ago, at the age of 39. I vaguely remember watching someone play on a fiddle when I was about 20 or so, thinking "WOW ! I'd love to be able to do THAT !". But, never even considered the possibility that I actually could...shrugged it off then went through 20 years of living before I had a wonderful instrument practically dropped in my lap !

I had a friend come out of the clear blue and ask me if I wanted a violin. This gave me pause, my interest was peeked....I answered..."Well...sure, but I can't play..so I guess not". Then I promptly forgot about it until a week later. I read a flyer that came home from school with one of my kids. It seems that one of the teachers was going to start giving violin lessons !!!!

I immediately called my friend back and asked if she was still interested in selling that violin......and so it started !

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