Hello! New guy here.

November 25, 2018, 1:02 PM · I am 53 years old, and decided I want to learn the violin.

So, here I am. Looking forward to my 4th lesson Monday, and excited to hear and learn from many of you.

Replies (17)

November 25, 2018, 1:17 PM · Welcome aboard! Listen to you teacher and do your best to follow instructions.

Some people recommend recording your lessons so you can hear the instructions clearly again if necessary. It also allows you to hear your own playing in that atmosphere.

Some also record their practice to hear how they are doing. My own feelings about that are mixed. How much practice time do you lose to rehearing your mistakes? Choice is yours. One thing is sure, the new digital recording devices do not degrade violin sound the way they did back in my ancient days.

Good luck to you.

Edited: November 25, 2018, 1:33 PM · The best student spends the least time playing and the most time thinking! The importance of analysis cannot be understated.

Anyways. As an adult beginner, the most vital thing is to have fun, which I'm sure you will realise comes at the small fee of your soul and eternal servitude to the almighty stringed box.

November 25, 2018, 1:55 PM · Cotton, that may be so, but I find that everything I know about playing my instruments is useless unless I'm warmed up or just teaching and not playing.
November 25, 2018, 2:06 PM · Greetings Chuck Roberts!
November 25, 2018, 3:31 PM · I mean after you've done your scales, of course. My fingers are leaden when I first pick up the fiddle, too, and I'm not even close to your (let's call it) level of wisdom.
November 25, 2018, 3:45 PM · Welcome Chuck,

We "Late Starters" bring maturity to the process but our age can work against us on some aspects of playing.

Make sure you communicate your goals to your teacher.

Enjoy the process of learning.

Enjoy the daily playing even if it is called "practice."

If you want to play in front of others, do so. If you don't want to, then don't.

Make sure you have fun.

Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.

November 25, 2018, 4:51 PM · Thank you all for the welcome, and encouragement.
November 25, 2018, 5:29 PM · Hi, Chuck!
I suggest - listen to your favorite violinists and emulate their sound and movement. Exaggerate. Give your music life. Even if it's only a scale. Otherwise you'll get bored.

You know why they call violin the hardest instrument? It's no harder to play well than any other instrument, but the first step (making it sound like anything) takes years. No other instrument is so freakishly unforgiving and downright ungrateful as the damn fiddle...

November 25, 2018, 6:33 PM · Hi Chuck

Welcome to the violin and the violin community. I have definitely benefited from the advice and opinions of the violinists here, both professional and amateur, and hope you do as well. I too am a late (sixty) (re)starter, and will be most interested to hear of your triumphs and tribulations with the violin. Don’t neglect to tell your story of why the violin, and why now at 53.

November 26, 2018, 4:45 PM · Consolation to late starters.

I studied violin since I was a kid but quit when I was 20. I did not even pick up the instrument for 20 years.
When I was 40, I started playing again with a local band / quartet. Currently I play 100 to 120 appearances a year - all solo material (some classic, some jazz, pop, standards, ethno... you name it).

So it can be done. But it takes just as much practice as it did a quarter of a century ago.

November 27, 2018, 12:40 PM · One of the best things you can do is to recall what Beethoven said: "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable." Good luck and have fun!
November 28, 2018, 8:01 AM · The most important decision you will have to make as an adult beginner: should you use a shoulder rest or not?

If in doubt, you can always start a discussion asking for opinions....we LOVE talking shoulder rests (or not) around here...



Edited: November 29, 2018, 6:53 AM · The decisions you make as an adult beginner especially regarding setup, posture, hand positions, etc., will hopefully and properly be made for you by your teacher.
Edited: November 30, 2018, 10:18 PM · Hi, Chuck! I was a late learner also. Now that I'm on my second teacher after a 3-year hiatus (my first teacher died and I switched to viola), there are two things I learned that I'd like to pass down which can be said in one sentence: don't try to cut corners. Be patient and do what your teacher says to do, even though it may feel awkward at first. (But painful is a different thing--don't play through pain.) I would have been so much better by now if I had followed this advice. Awkwardness disappears surprisingly quickly if you stick with it. Impatience only creates bad habits that have to be broken later if you want to progress. I'm also sorry to say that I should have known better at my age.

Best wishes for many happy, rewarding years of playing!

December 26, 2018, 9:37 AM · Hi Chuck! I am new here as well, returning to the violin since stopping in my early teens from the violin - am 59. Have had 2 lessons and am so very glad that I've chosen to do this. Thankfully I've a very patient teacher!

One then is sure, at our age we have learned the importance of patience and taking one step at a time - no matter how much we may want to race ahead. Let's root for each other!

December 26, 2018, 10:38 AM · Welcome, Chuck, and "listen to your elders" here (says this senior beginner :-)

The only trick is figuring out which advice to listen to since the tenor here is playfully 'we agree to disagree'.

More seriously, the info available here is a treasure.
Less seriously, I hope you have a lot of self discipline or a budget to try all of the strings, chinrests and shoulder rests reading posts on this forum are going to get you curious about.

Edited: December 26, 2018, 11:01 AM · Welcome to the violin Chuck. I started at 50, and joined a community orchestra 5 years later. If you are motivated and stick to a disciplined and constant routine (@ min 1hr/day practice) you shall progress steadily and enjoy it tremendously. However, I have seen many adult beginners fail to stick with it because they wouldn't/couldn't practice enough to go beyond a relatively low plateau and got discouraged by their lack of progress. Whether child or adult this is a demanding instrument to learn and does require a certain degree of dedication, but the returns are equally gratifying. Enjoy the ride!

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