Right place and time to find

August 27, 2007 at 09:32 PM · With so many instruments and so many ways of finding them do believe that finding "The" instrument is luck or even fate or do you just enjoy the search? This could also hold true for finding teachers and positions.

Replies (29)

August 28, 2007 at 04:12 AM · Perhaps a bit of both.

A violin I'd recently bought at a store in a town three hours from my house had wolf tones so bad on so many notes that it sounded like it was being played on a washing machine on the spin cycle (fun for some, perhaps, but NOT for an aspiring violinist). There was absolutely no fixing that wretched violin-shaped scrap of wood to make it produce anything more than headaches and disappointment. It HAD to go.

I had only a couple of weeks prior decided to take up the instrument, and I'd thus far had one bad experience after another. I was ready to give it up altogether. But, I figured I should stick with it at least for one more round, so I set out to get another instrument.

I went to several local music stores, and they all carried only student to intermediate models of violins. Most of the instruments they had in stock were either so god-awful crappy that I felt like I needed a tetanus shot just from looking at them, or they were so god-awful expensive that I felt like I needed Valium and tequila to get over the sticker shock. I can't even imagine what they'd've wanted for "professional" instruments. The price tags probably would've reached clear across the street from all the commas on them.

Finally, I went to a store in West Little Rock called Sigler Music Co., and I stumbled across a case lying on its side behind a bunch of guitars. At first, I thought it might be a ukulele or something (I probably would've even taken THAT up if that's what'd been inside the case), but when I opened it, it turned out to be a Romanian-made violin. I took it out of the case, rosined the bow, and started playing scales--the only thing I knew how to play at that point. Not a single wolf tone, and I could've sworn it wasn't just spitting out notes, but actually singing them to me. It sounded like it was elated to be held and played. The price on it was $400.00, marked down from $700.00 (though this might've just been a pricing tactic not unlike the ones I've seen online), so I bought it. When I had a friend who plays in an orchestra give it a try to tell me what he thought of it, he actually got upset with me. Not because it was a piece of crap, but because he thought it played and sounded better than his $3500.00 violin. "You got damned lucky," he told me.

Of course, even before I heard this news, I knew I liked it, because it just felt right on my shoulder, under my chin, under my fingers, in my hands, and, dare I say it, in my soul. I really did feel great affection for it, because it reminded me of my dog, Hashbrown, who was a nearly-dead stray puppy that just sort of fell into my lap a few years ago--something that was forgotten, lost in a pile of rubble...something that, when someone actually picked it up and held it, became an instant friend.

I've only been playing for a few months now, but I've managed to go through almost two years worth of material. I doubt very seriously that I'm any sort of prodigy. I attribute my making such headway to the relationship I've formed with my instrument. I think it just might know how much I like it, and it sings to me for caring for and about it. I know that sounds crazy as all getout, but I also know my finding this violin wasn't the result of an exhaustive search.

If it wasn't luck or fate that brought us together, then it was something else for which we've yet no words.

August 28, 2007 at 03:50 AM · "So many violins so little time."

That's a hard core violin aficionado. Luck, or fate, I don't know. They're similar in that they're beyond your control. We agree on that. Occam's razor might say it's luck, since fate would mean something was in control. Teachers and positions, basically the same. Lucky enough to be conceived, have certain parents, have your abilities developed a certain way. For every Leila J., there's a former potential Leila J. who works behind a cash register. I wonder who should get the admiration and who should get the compassion. I shouldn't have picked Leila, because I like her, which is why she came to mind. As I get older I get more and more cynical, believing I see more clearly. Right now I can enjoy what LJ produces, but I might eventually get so bad I prefer the other's humming with the radio. Dude, I'm grizzled. I don't know how much time I have left - I might spontaneously combust in some kind of cynical flame and burn to a cinder. All I'll leave behind are my metal fillings.

August 28, 2007 at 04:11 AM · You make your own luck by constant searching. He who seeks, finds. But you might not find what you think you're looking for.

Still, I'm well aware of the feeling, when picking up a strange instrument, that "This is one that speaks to me". In fact, having experienced that delight too many times has turned me into an instrument junkie; I'll take silly risks on ebay in hopes that the next one will light my fire one more time . . .

Well, age and wisdom don't necessarily go hand in hand. But so what? I'll have as good a time as I can, until they take me away.

August 28, 2007 at 05:45 AM · JIm,

"That's a hard core violin aficionado. Luck, or fate, I don't know. They're similar in that they're beyond your control. We agree on that. Occam's razor might say it's luck, since fate would mean something was in control. Teachers and positions, basically the same. Lucky enough to be conceived, have certain parents, have your abilities developed a certain way. For every Leila J., there's a former potential Leila J. who works behind a cash register. I wonder who should get the admiration and who should get the compassion. I shouldn't have picked Leila, because I like her, which is why she came to mind. As I get older I get more and more cynical, believing I see more clearly. Right now I can enjoy what LJ produces, but I might eventually get so bad I prefer the other's humming with the radio. Dude, I'm grizzled. I don't know how much time I have left - I might spontaneously combust in some kind of cynical flame and burn to a cinder. All I'll leave behind are my metal fillings."

I tried. I really tried on this one. But I have no idea what you just said.

Scott

August 28, 2007 at 05:50 PM · Well, for every one of you there's 200 people who understand it.

August 28, 2007 at 07:12 AM · Jim:

You are in need of psychological therapy BIG TIME...

Your responses are inappropriate to the nth degree!!

Relieve yourself---outside of this cherished website !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 28, 2007 at 07:41 AM · Joe, go get 50 IQ points and try again.

August 28, 2007 at 07:44 AM · Jim:

You are a leach who has managed to survive;by your comments you have categorized yourself as an ineffectual bit of debris whom others must tolerate.

Take your comments to a cardboard box,filled with rattlesnakes---just observe your outcome and report back in 100 years !!!!!!!

August 28, 2007 at 08:06 AM · LOL

August 28, 2007 at 08:14 AM · moi aussi !!!!!!!!

August 28, 2007 at 09:11 AM · Make that 75 points.

August 28, 2007 at 10:13 AM · j'en sais pas est je m'en fiche..

hissy snit--what u are as Pieter said...

crawl into your cave and remain there forever,for that is where you belong---with your brethren in your own special niche---forever !!!!!!!!!

excuse my french language,am just beginning to fully understand the complete ability of your incompetence...

by your own admission,you DO NOT EVEN OWN a violin !!!!!!!!

did you sell your violin to afford an outhouse ??????

your comments are entirely useless to this website__________KEEP OUT--by continuing,ye shall only disgrace yourself more towards the abyss you have created for yourself------now i'm headed towards the fridge to have a beer in honour of your demise to this site...

August 28, 2007 at 09:32 AM · "did you sell your violin to afford an outhouse ??????"

Got something against outhouses?

August 28, 2007 at 09:40 AM · no,only against a feeble mind !!!

August 28, 2007 at 09:56 AM · You're saying it's feeble-minded to sell a violin to buy an outhouse?

August 28, 2007 at 10:15 AM · don't you understand:

you are the outhouse !!!!!!!

August 28, 2007 at 10:39 AM · I'm an outhouse? Well you're a barn. A big old cow barn with lots of cows in it. Lots of them. And you have a chicken coop for a head. And...and horses for feet.

August 28, 2007 at 10:43 AM · you:

mal-content

neer do well

obtrusive meaningless obviate w/out purpose...

stifle yourself and hopefully enjoin equilibrium to this site with your abstinence thereof--my prayer.....

AMEN...........

August 28, 2007 at 11:03 AM · Them's pugilistic verbiage, you purlieus cerulean empyrean!

August 28, 2007 at 03:12 PM · Do I need to set you kids in a corner together and make you hug each other for an hour while forcing a smile and making absolutely no noise? My Irish grandmother used to make us quarrelling young'ns do that, and it certainly taught us self-restraint. I tell ya, they just don't make 'em like that anymore. :)

August 28, 2007 at 04:06 PM · Joe,

Jim doesn't have an outhouse. He already admitted in another thread:

"I compensate by going to the bathroom outside."

In his neck of the woods it's what's called "inculturation." Ask him what it means.

August 28, 2007 at 04:39 PM · Your toes are so twinkly you can't walk across the room to a dictionary.

August 28, 2007 at 05:20 PM · Sorry Jim,

Your word "inculturation" seems to have been left out of the Oxford English Dictionary. Those ignorant lexicographers! But then again, maybe you were inspired to coin it as you relieved yourself on your neighbor's prized kudzu. No wonder that stuff grows so fast!

Sincerely,

Twinkle-toes Candy Ass

August 28, 2007 at 05:51 PM · Don't try to make us think you twinkled your candy ass all the way to the dictionary. And it was her porch, not her petunias, tulip. The bitch.

August 28, 2007 at 05:49 PM · "The bitch."

Nice, Jim. You always know just how far to take it.

August 28, 2007 at 05:57 PM · She looks a lot like you in drag.

August 28, 2007 at 07:24 PM · Dare I say......

I enjoy Jim!

August 28, 2007 at 07:39 PM · While I'm not too keen on Jim's rather anti-gay rhetoric, I still find him oddly amusing. Flippant curmudgeons can make for some real entertainment. ;)

August 28, 2007 at 11:39 PM · Thank you, Larry, for the kind words. Of course what you are reading is not my personal thought, but rather a character which I call "the flippant curmudgeon." I must add that contrary to what you suppose, "twinkle" is by no means anti-gay. In fact it is anti-Suzuki, referring to an early installment in which the curmudgeon is defeated at an audition by a youthful exponent of that truly remarkable way of learning violin.

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