You know you are a violin geek when......

November 9, 2007 at 06:07 AM · I was taking my daughter to the doctor, when in the parking lot we heard a firetruck or ambulance in the background. She told me that the sound reminded her of a Lipizer (sp) vibrato exercise she had been doing.. she was waiting for the dotted eighth followed by 16th note and triplets etc.

We have all had something like that happen. What makes you a violin/string/music geek?

Replies (100)

November 9, 2007 at 06:16 PM · We stay near the train tracks. Once, a few montsh ago, a train whistle blew, my 4 yr old took out his violin and played the exact note.

But now, he tells me - mommy, it is actually a double stop!

November 9, 2007 at 06:22 PM · LyeYen, I love your 4 year old! When I was 17, and my brother 15 (he's a guitarist and I was still playing the violin) a sirene went by. Our grand mother asked, "What was that?" Both of us replied, "B flat!" And we were right!

November 9, 2007 at 07:41 PM · when you practice a piece in your head -- and it's out of tune.

November 9, 2007 at 08:05 PM · My cockatiel sang one of his narcissistic 'love songs' to his mirror (he tolerates the real, live female) and I played it on the piano (well, I have to keep my violin high up out of reach of my boisterous-interested-in-everything then 3 yr old.

How about you notice any image anywhere that resembles a violin ... and hearing the sound anywhere causes you to turn around searching for the source.

November 9, 2007 at 08:30 PM · you are in anothers house...a piece comes up on the imagine playing the piece on your violin--especially finger placements upon the strings...someone asks you a question and you don't hear the question because you are 'playing'...

November 9, 2007 at 09:05 PM · When I travel, especially when I don't have my violin, I'm immediately drawn to others who DO have violins with them...feeling a pang in my heart wishing I could be playing. I get the urge to say, "I PLAY THE VIOLIN TOO!!" hah.

November 9, 2007 at 09:13 PM · When I dicover that I am using my bow hold on my toothbrush.

November 9, 2007 at 09:17 PM · I practice my bow hold all the time on pens - every pen I can get my hands on. I move it perfectly. It stays in my hand. I can flex my fingers.

Then I take hold of the bow and it all goes to pot!

Fingers 2 and 3 slide upwards till just the pads touch the wood. They really don't like the frog.


November 9, 2007 at 09:35 PM · Bill, I do that all the time! I realized that it can harm your playing though. This may sound crazy, but a loose bow hold on your toothbrush will not get you enough grip, so you will tighten it. After a month of doing this, my personal bow hold grip tightened considerably. So, I am now fixing it.

So I guess you are a music geek when you fix your bow hold because of the way you hold your toothbrush.

The Perlmaniac is now signing off,

Brian Hong

November 9, 2007 at 09:51 PM · You have absolutely no idea what happened in the first act of Rosenkavalier because the director thought of putting the orchestra onstage and you spent the entire time watching the concertmaster.

You attract stares on public transit by practicing your concerto on the pole you're holding onto while standing.

Even when you're going to listen to a concert, you find yourself entering through the stage door.

You determine right and left by putting your hands into playing position.

(Yes, I've done them all. And more...)

November 10, 2007 at 01:58 AM · You are walking home from a grocery store and freak out because your violin case is not on your shoulder.

November 10, 2007 at 02:04 AM · go shopping at the grocery store with your violin.

November 10, 2007 at 02:21 AM · I just about died when I read Emily Grossman's! I take my Violin too work with me and practice durring my break time. Being that I don't drive I have to stop at the Grocery store on the way home...violin in tow!

Practicing your bow hold with the Chop sticks durring the Bufete lunch at Hunan Restraunt, and wondering why you have food and everyone else has empty plates!

Using the chop sticks (one as the bow the other my violin) and look at everyone staring and ask, "What?"

November 10, 2007 at 02:52 AM · On the plane, you put your violin on your lap and your toddler in the overhead.

November 10, 2007 at 04:31 AM · You get peeved watching Sesame Street because the silly puppets who are playing in a quartet in the background are all holding their instruments on the wrong side of their little foam rubbber bodies. Come on Sesame a little research!

November 10, 2007 at 04:35 AM · When you don't think there is anything wrong with shopping with your violin.


November 10, 2007 at 12:33 PM · I find myself air-bowing in the car listening to the radio.

November 10, 2007 at 04:19 PM · When you practice vibrato on the steering wheel.

November 10, 2007 at 04:24 PM · This is more for classical musicians in general, but driving with the volume up high on your favorite symphony / chamber work / etc and the windows down.

Interesting especially at stop lights where someone pulls up to you with their windows down and their rap up.

November 10, 2007 at 11:23 PM · Maeve - i've done that with the tchaikovsky concerto - i was just rehearsing it, and put it on in my car with windows down. Couple of players around me I think had a look and thought "Oh... My... God..." - but then halfway down the road, I discovered to my horror that the CD had a scratch :( so I switched it over to a ska band and started playing that loudly... just as a player from the orchestra passed me again... I would've loved to hear their reaction from hearing classical up loud, to suddenly hearing hard-core ska

November 11, 2007 at 01:00 AM · When you start MAKING violins!

November 11, 2007 at 01:03 AM · when you are this close |-| from going Kungfoo on each an every person who calls my vioin a banjo!!!!i hat that too much

or when u listen to something an u begin screaming at the top of ur lungs when each an every note that is wrong is still being played cause the person doesnt care or relise it...



November 11, 2007 at 11:43 PM · ...when the Christmas tree is totally loaded with violin ornaments. Also, when most of the other Christmas decorations feature violins. (Insert smiley face here).

November 12, 2007 at 01:27 AM · ...when you got blisters on both hands, band aids won't stick and you duck-tape them and play on!

November 12, 2007 at 01:28 AM · When every five minutes, you find yourself thinking "OOOOHHH my God I have to practice!" Like right now...

November 12, 2007 at 01:44 AM · Practicing fingerings while on the treadmill at the gym, anyone?

November 12, 2007 at 11:57 AM · you check out almost daily when you don't even play the violin. to top that, even post on it. truly bizzare! :)

November 12, 2007 at 12:17 PM · So glad you do, Al! I enjoy your refreshing perspective. Its the best thing in the world for self-absorbed, obsessive violinists (guilty as charged) to interact with "other people"! ;-)


November 12, 2007 at 01:21 PM · When you watch someone playing the guitar and think to yourself, "It would sound a lot better if they used a bow."

November 12, 2007 at 02:35 PM · mr russel, you apparently have high tolerance:):):)

the other geeky thing is that during golf when instructing my kid, i often slip by addressing her right arm as the bow arm, a manifestation of the inner struggle or confabulation? :)

November 12, 2007 at 02:48 PM · Sneak an ipod into Math class, and listen to Beethoven's Violin Concerto.

November 12, 2007 at 04:16 PM · I'm thinking of having my wedding ring cut off! Seriously. Why? Because it won't come off.

Because if a robber wanted to steal it and threatened to cut off my finger to get it, I still wouldn't be able to get it off. So I'm thinking of getting one I can remove. Rather lose a ring than my finger.

November 12, 2007 at 04:23 PM · C'mon Al, when are you going to start learning?

You know you want to!!!!!

I second David. You write some great posts! is 100 times better than watching TV for relaxation. Good info and always good for a laugh!



November 13, 2007 at 06:29 AM · When I got married I had a plain gold band made to wear on my right hand. My husband had inherited an engagement ring and had a band made to match it. I wear the bling now, does that make me a remformed geek? I take the rings off to play...

November 13, 2007 at 03:54 AM · Yeah - I actually do the fingering routine while walking.

Repairing and making are the signs that you are truly hooked.

“Another sound post thread? Oh man, I can’t resist!”

November 13, 2007 at 07:23 AM · I just read Max and Lye's earlier post, and grinned soooo broadly.

....when you blog incessantly about the smallest details as if you had hooked up with "America's Next Top Model"--and live it.

November 13, 2007 at 01:10 PM · When you name your dog, "Rosin."

November 13, 2007 at 01:28 PM · When you would almost rather look at violin posters rather the ones of the fair sex.

November 13, 2007 at 04:53 PM · Now find a hound-dog pup: this Rosin thing will happen!. No--on the other hand, it's going to be Bow, in respect of it's beautiful singin.

November 13, 2007 at 06:58 PM · These are great!! My daughter does the toothbrush thing too.

I forgot about this thread.

Keep them coming :)

November 13, 2007 at 08:28 PM · When you name your dog "Fritz" (as in Kreisler).

November 13, 2007 at 08:33 PM · >On the plane, you put your violin on your lap and your toddler in the overhead.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! : )

>You get peeved watching Sesame Street because the silly puppets who are playing in a quartet in the background are all holding their instruments on the wrong side of their little foam rubbber bodies.

Even more ha ha ha ha ha ha! : )

November 13, 2007 at 09:05 PM · Terez,

You are a HOOT!!!!!

Tears down cheeks ha ha ha ha ha!

November 13, 2007 at 09:14 PM · How about 'I can just practice for 20 minutes while the rice is cooking/10 minutes till the potatoes are done'

Then they're done and you still haven't started on the meat/salad, so you do them while the potatoes cool down a touch.

Then you have to add milk, butter to them, heat em up and mash em so they're the same temperature as the rest of the dinner.

But you got your etude practiced a bit!

Oh and cups with violins on them are breeding in your cupboards faster than you can accidentally break them whilst washing up. Other precious things just get smashed and decline in numbers.

November 13, 2007 at 09:21 PM · Well, Fritz will have to be the cat or parrot--'bow' will have to be a hound dog for me!. Absolutely.

And just think about it. When cats are in season, do they not jump octaves more variably in a Kreislerian spirit with their singing?

Ya gotta realize though, I haven't given up hope winning the t-shirt for naming the Kokopelli guy.

November 13, 2007 at 11:02 PM · When everyone you ever dated was your standpartner. Yeah... or when you won't date someone because they play trumpet or some other unacceptable instrument.

Also, when you lovingly refer to the truly hideous mark on your neck as your "violin bite"...

November 14, 2007 at 01:38 PM · I don't know how to tell you this, but we have had many dogs over the years, and we did name one of them "Rosin." Also, one of our dogs currently we named "Jascha" (honest!). It's not an insult to Heifetz, it's a compliment to the dog. Like Heifetz, our Jascha makes beautiful bow-wow changes. Listening to him howl makes you want to take out a new leash on life.

:) Sandy

November 14, 2007 at 02:22 PM · A previous accompanist of mine had a dog named Bartok (and a female dog at that.) Scandalous!

November 14, 2007 at 02:29 PM · Mara: It may seem scandalous, but here's the real poop (and I'm giving you a real scoop) - The dog is the most noble of animals. It is loyal to a fault. It can sit up, roll over, crawl, fetch, prance, and beg, just like a well-trained orchestra player. Doesn't that make it an honor to name one's dog after a famous musician?

November 14, 2007 at 05:01 PM · >Terez, you are a HOOT!!!!!

Bernadette, which I could claim the Sesame Street humor as my own (the image still has me laughing, days later!) but we'll have to give Thomas Gardner credit for that one. (And Catherine M. credit for the baby in the overhead, which, given my son's grumpiness today, and the fact that in less than a week we'll be on a transatlantic flight together, sounds like a really good idea.)

And as for the études and potatoes bit, hey, were you spying on me in my kitchen last wknd?! : ) It's all such a juggling act, isn't it? I might suggest, though, no études on the cook-for-twenty day!

November 14, 2007 at 04:58 PM · >When you don't think there is anything wrong with shopping with your violin.

Just last night I left my violin in the trunk while I went into the store and then nearby to grab a sandwich, and I felt sooooo guilty; I swear I could hear it crying (the violin, not the sandwich). I hurried back to the car, opened the trunk to check on it and found myself stroking the outside of the case. Not sure whether I was comforting myself or the violin. : /

November 14, 2007 at 06:09 PM · "And as for the études and potatoes bit, hey, were you spying on me in my kitchen last wknd?! : ) It's all such a juggling act, isn't it? I might suggest, though, no études on the cook-for-twenty day!"

The really SAD thing is half a dozen ladies will probably be trying to crown into my kitchen asking "Anything I can do?" I don't think more than 3 can really work there comfortably and there won't be room to swing a cat let alone a bow! Darn it!

So for the past few days I've been cojutating on how/when/where I can sneak off to when everyone's half asleep with full bellies to play my heart out. Porch maybe? (Good acoustics) Though people might be filtering out and it's extremely cold out. My violin hates cold draughts, goes out of tune in a sec. You get the idea ...

November 14, 2007 at 06:15 PM · "Also, when you lovingly refer to the truly hideous mark on your neck as your "violin bite"..."

Oh rubbish, Howard. It's NOT hideous!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 14, 2007 at 06:34 PM · You know you're a violin geek when the first thing you do when getting home after work is come to this thread to read the latest updates!

November 14, 2007 at 06:48 PM · Guilty as charged.

I know I said I'd practice first.

I had a lesson today. Oh dear, on the downward spiral already....

November 14, 2007 at 07:41 PM · Hey bernadette-

You have a puppy, it's a pug and you name it Puginini!

November 14, 2007 at 07:42 PM · You get home from running errands, your latest violin peice has been on your mind and you realise that you left the cat and dog at the dentist to get braces and the kids at the vet to get fixed!

November 15, 2007 at 03:43 AM · I hear ya Sander. My last hound was a terribly terribly misbehaving male..... He was so beautiful, a light tan color with huge ears (like mine ;), and I swear I'd just as soon get him singing as listen to music sometimes.

November 15, 2007 at 07:28 PM · Er, different take altogether Royce. You WON'T have a dog/cat/rabbit etc because they're all too time consuming and you want to give every available minute to playing your violin!

I have cockatiels. They can cope with a smidgeon of neglect. There's always some grain in there under all the husks. The hint is when they start eating the wooden ladder and guilt pangs bring you into the real world.

Plus they're in a cage! They just sing.

A dog/cat wouldn't leave you alone if they wanted attention.

November 15, 2007 at 08:10 PM · You are so right girl!!! You're a violin geek when you have pets like yours, Fish?

November 23, 2007 at 07:03 AM · hmmm let's see...

1. My dog's name is Bela

2. My Guinea pig's name is Chopin

3. My violin's name is Jascha

4. I corrected my friend once for saying "bumblebee" and told her it was more like a bumble "d"....yeah perfect pitch is fun

5. I asked my teacher about my college auditions in 7th grade (and almost gave him a heart attack)

6. I identify with random noises as parts of either specek bow exercises or shrediack (sp?) finger exercises

7. I can identify almost anything by Tchaikovsky, Novak, or Dvorak by less than 10 notes

8. I can speak russian, but I speak it better when I sing it to Tchaikovsky symphonies....

9. My metronome is named Fritz, my other metronomes are named tock, Gorecki, and Antonin

10. Finally, I try to identify random sounds' (microwave beeping, sirens, snoring, insects, car horns) pitches and worse, what chord they best fit into.

Yes...that's right...I'm obsessed :)

November 23, 2007 at 09:40 PM · Never mind, Alexandra, it doesn't hurt. Does it?

November 23, 2007 at 11:11 PM · ...when you wear an old-fashioned necktie made in Corea but with Strads printed on it and you almost agree to have Shlomo Mintz put his autograph on it as his manager Mrs. Christa Morneweg suggests. His handwriting went on his 24 Caprices 1982 CD...

Hansjürgen,fr.near Frankfurt

November 24, 2007 at 01:37 AM · I got the tree up today, and out of curiosity I counted the violin ornaments: 36, plus 11 other types of music ornaments (piano, treble clefs, etc). It seems that one violin-playing angel ornament insists on bowing with her left hand...

November 25, 2007 at 08:31 PM · You practically want to pop a champagne cork because you didn't chop any fingers preparing a meal for 20+


Thank you God!

It would only have been a minor annoyance prior to taking up violin. Now it would be a major catastrophe.

November 25, 2007 at 09:28 PM · LoL Bernadette!. Agreed.

November 26, 2007 at 12:04 AM · When you iPod/iTunes has a Smart Playlist with rule "Grouping contains Violin".

November 26, 2007 at 02:11 AM · When you bring your violin to your dental appointment.

November 26, 2007 at 03:44 PM · When you tell yourself "just one more violin" and you know you are lying to yourself....again....for the 14th time this year..........

November 26, 2007 at 03:56 PM · When you begin charging the 16 year who now has a part time job rent so you can hire the 14 year old to do the laundry and dishes so you can have more time to play the violin!

November 26, 2007 at 04:31 PM · You ask someone at the table, durring dinner, if they want tarter sause with their fiddle sticks!

November 26, 2007 at 07:10 PM · You know you’re a violin geek when:

10. You know what brand and type of strings are on another’s violin by sight.

9. You know who Viotti, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, and Ysaye are.

8. Your outdoors-loving friends are disappointed when they go “bow” hunting with you.

7. You know that Cremona isn’t the name of a non-dairy creamer for your coffee.

6. You own more than 15 violin performance or instructional DVD’s and videos.

5. You made up your own variations to Kreutzer, Rode, or Dont (Op. 35) etudes.

4. You have learned at least one work composed by Viotti, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, and Ysaye.

3. You know all the viola jokes.

2. You live out of your violin case.

1. You can spell Viotti, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, and Ysaye correctly.

November 26, 2007 at 10:45 PM · You left off the diaeresis on Ysaÿe, Edwin. :)

I'm just picking on you because I HAVEN'T yet learned a work by any of those composers, which I guess makes me only a violin geek wannabe.

November 27, 2007 at 01:00 AM · You're a violin geek when:

You're passing a wig shop and you over hear the sales clerk ask a customer, "What hair would you like, Natural or artificial?" Then you lean over and say, "Take the natural, it holds the rosin more evenly!"

You see a sign in a Victoria Secrets that says, "G-Strings"; Pointing at the sign You ask the clerk, "Do you have any in Dominants or Pirastro with a gold 'E'?"

November 27, 2007 at 01:29 AM · Greetings,

I like the Dominant ones myself,



November 27, 2007 at 02:20 AM · You know you’re a violin geek when:

10. You know what brand and type of strings are on another’s violin by sight. Yup, well, for most of the major brands

9. You know who Viotti, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, and Ysaye are. Oh yea, I know them.

8. Your outdoors-loving friends are disappointed when they go “bow” hunting with you. I don't actually have any outdoors-loving friends who would get that, but I have been to a car park at 6pm at night to try out bows...

7. You know that Cremona isn’t the name of a non-dairy creamer for your coffee. I didn't even know Cremona was a name of a non-dairy creamer

6. You own more than 15 violin performance or instructional DVD’s and videos. Unfortunately, I fail at this point, but I am building my collection

5. You made up your own variations to Kreutzer, Rode, or Dont (Op. 35) etudes. Must confess to having done this

4. You have learned at least one work composed by Viotti, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, and Ysaye. Yes, I've learnt Legende by Wieniawski

3. You know all the viola jokes. Know them, and Use them at every opportune moment

2. You live out of your violin case. Never a truer word spoken

1. You can spell Viotti, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, and Ysaÿe correctly. Can, and even get the dots right...

I think I qualify?

November 27, 2007 at 02:34 AM · I don't know if this was already said, but...

When you throw a huge party and ask people to bring gifts every year on the date you began playing violin. And actually have the nerve to call it an "Anniversary Celebration!"

November 27, 2007 at 05:48 AM · 5. You made up your own variations to Kreutzer, Rode, or Dont (Op. 35) etudes.

You make etudes from orchestral/solo pieces: Moldau (shifting study), Bach Suite #4 Prelude (string crossings), etc.. :) Guilty as charged.

November 27, 2007 at 11:14 AM · When you love being a violinist so much that you feel glad you can be a geek about it.

November 27, 2007 at 03:40 PM · When you compile all the comments from, "You Know You're A Violin Geek When" into a book and sell it on Ebay for $14.95.

This one's a play off of Jasmines: When the list of things to get you as a gift all come from The Shar Music Catalog.

When you give rosin and or mutes as stocking stuffers and only you are the violinist!

November 27, 2007 at 05:16 PM · My son tells me the pitch of the bathroom ventilater.

November 27, 2007 at 10:26 PM · When you no longer wear a watch due to its interference when you play in the higher positions.

When one important factor before purchasing clothes is whether or not the sleeves limit your bow arm.


November 29, 2007 at 03:55 AM · More of a music geek in general, but:

You know Einstein was wrong because E = F flat

November 29, 2007 at 04:24 AM · EINSTEIN WAS NOT WRONG! DANG! ;)

November 29, 2007 at 03:53 PM · Where could I get e T-Shirt of Einstien sticking his tounge out and behind him is a black board 'with' "E= F flat."?

November 29, 2007 at 04:03 PM · What makes me a music geek? The fact that when the microwave goes off while the piano tuner is tuning that piano and I actually notice the pitches are only a semi-tone apart. Another thing that makes people music geeks - flirting with other musicians by hanging out to read scores. Seriously! How many people just sit and read scores with their friends and still have those people remain friends.

I do tend to notice things a lot more though and I have a really hard time just listening to music as a whole, my brain starts to separate everything into an analysis as it unfolds in front of me and that can sometimes be irritating!

November 29, 2007 at 06:46 PM · Flirting over a music score. And I thought internet dating was sad....

November 30, 2007 at 10:24 PM · When you watch sesame street to see if anyone like Yo-Yo Ma is going to be on.

November 30, 2007 at 10:32 PM · When you have an ambition to set up and play all your violins before you die.

November 30, 2007 at 11:21 PM · When you imagine yourself playing the violin at your own funeral !

December 1, 2007 at 07:21 AM · Heck, we're already dressed for a funeral!

December 1, 2007 at 07:51 AM · I'll be play'n the Procession.

December 1, 2007 at 11:51 AM · When you can't go for more than 24 hours without opening your violin case just to smell it.

December 1, 2007 at 02:16 PM · I guess I can add that you are a violin geek when you find yourself listening to elevator music and play "identfy the performer". You are a super geek if you go to find out for sure who is playing from the store or mall center that is playing the music.

December 1, 2007 at 03:51 PM · You know you're a violin geek when: You notice that you're headbanging to anything from Mozart to muzack.

December 1, 2007 at 04:17 PM · When you sit in the parking lot of the grocery store (in your car) trying to identify the piece that NPR performance today is playing because you know that you have played it in the orchestra... meanwhile people are looking in your vehicle to see if you are ok.

I can't believe this thread has almost ended. Here, I thought nobody reads what I write.

These are really good!

December 1, 2007 at 06:38 PM · when the piece you have just played by ear is scarily similiar to the actual notes in the music

December 1, 2007 at 07:28 PM · As you are "fingering" a fast passage on the dinner table at a restaurant, everyone looks at you and thinks you have ADD.

December 1, 2007 at 08:28 PM · Your children roll their eyes and call you a music nerd because you've told them to be really quiet, you just want to hear the next bit playing on the car CD. ("Why do you need to hear it again, you listen to it like 10 times over every morning..."). Mwhahaha, the torture only gets worse when we set out for horse competitions - 7 hours of driving and no where for them to run to.

December 1, 2007 at 08:40 PM · >Flirting over a music score. And I thought internet dating was sad....

Don't judge us!

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