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Oh the Joys of Violin Searching!

January 1, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Since this is my first time really looking for a violin of my own (I have been fortunate enough to have a violin on loan to me until now), I thought I'd at least keep notes for the future. I also thought it might help others to learn from my mistakes!
Currently I am looking at a violin made by Rachel Bontemps (New York) and a violin made by Geoffrey Ovington (New York). I already sent one violin back, and have a few more hopefully on the way. I love trying out all these new violins - it makes practicing all the more fun! But I also find it difficult because each one is so different. Playing one way on one violin totally doesn't work on the other one!
I'd say the first thing I learned is borrow or buy a really good bow to try the violins with. It makes the world of a difference. The second thing I found helpful is to play with one violin for a week. Then another a different week - or any set period of time. I found that lets me get used to the instrument; thus I can really play my best and get the best from the instrument.
I'd love feedback and help - I always can learn more!
So until next time, Happy New Year!

From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on January 3, 2012 at 6:18 AM
Elizabeth, happy searching. I went through this last year and thought about my process compared to yours. My only advice to offer is that if you're trying only one violin at a time, make sure you don't get tired of the search and lose sight of what your ideal violin is. You must live where there aren't any nearby luthiers, right? Because being able to try out a lot at once helps you clarify what you're looking for, and trying out locally means you can retry something later on if you feel like it. Interesting statement you made about the bow. I hope you were able to borrow rather than buy one? Because there's no guarantee that any particular bow, no matter how good, is the right one for the instrument you end up with. (Nevertheless, some v.commies have stated that they fell in love with a bow and bought the violin to match.)
From Elizabeth Kilpatrick
Posted on January 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM
Thank you for your encouragement! Your right; the only local luthier would be Geoffrey Ovington. My teacher has been helping me out with getting me violins.
And no, I didn't have to buy a good bow. Some one lent me one!

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