links to beginner forums

January 23, 2019, 11:21 AM · You folks are waaaaaaay over me head about violins. Any links to forums helpful to beginners with stupid problems a teacher would never permit, like, "Why does my bow bounce on the strings?"

Replies (55)

January 23, 2019, 11:46 AM · HI Ken--"Why does my bow bounce on the strings?" is not at all a stupid question. I think you should ask your teacher about it, though, because it will be hard to diagnose without seeing you play. I played at an advanced level about 30 years ago, and then didn't touch the instrument until 6 months ago. When I started playing and taking lessons again, unwanted bouncing bow was a problem. My first teacher said it was due to not having used the muscles that will control it for a long time, and that it would go away on its own. It did go away, but it took at least 3 months.
January 23, 2019, 11:46 AM · Well, I've tried to join up 4 beginner forums. Can't make the software work. And you think strings are frustrating, try reasoning with a programmer!
January 23, 2019, 11:52 AM · Thank you, Ms. Marrow. I have no teacher being on the road all the time. For me, violin is a medical treatment after seeing a youngster on YouTube and what he could do with his hands. Perfect flexibility training to retain range of movement arthritis is trying to steal away. I'm quite relaxed and gentle with the bow. No problem putting a little strength to it. I'll give that a try next playtime.

Welcome back to strings. I hope you find what you seek.

January 23, 2019, 1:17 PM · These forums are very beginner friendly. Do not be intimidated. Weekly so-called "beginner" subject threads abound.

No one here is done learning, anyway, and there's very few members that feel "superior" to anyone.

January 23, 2019, 3:30 PM · You could join the closed group "Adult Starters - Violin/Fiddle" on Facebook. There are folks at many levels now - including everybody from rank beginners to students studying more advanced material, but professionals and teachers are not permitted. The group was started by members of V.com so that beginners could have an open forum with their peers. We would be happy to answer your questions and you may find a few friends on the road.

And just to clarify, V.com is a great place to be. The ASVF group in no way is meant to replace it. Consider it a supplement to the wonderful information exchange that happens here.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 4:09 PM · "These forums are very beginner friendly. Do not be intimidated."

I have to disagree. Now Violinist.com is a very, very interesting forum to read. I stealth visit everyday and often use the topic search for past threads. But I wouldn't say it is very friendly to the novice.

As a comparison look at fiddle talk (the correct address is www.fiddlerman.com/forum not www.fiddletalk.com or pianoworld.com/forum/beginner. On these threads you will find a community of beginners discussing their successes and failures, setting up challenges for each other such as a year of practice or 40 new pieces this year.

On Violinist.com, you find many, if not most of the participants are folks who were beginners as small children who seem to have long forgotten what it means to be a beginner on violin.

There is also a very large intimidation factor. Some folks on here, and more than the handful you would statistically expect on a internet forum, are snarky or dismissive in their responses. Now maybe they don't realize how they come across but there it is.

To recap - this is a really great forum and useful and interesting but it is definitely NOT beginner friendly.

Edited for spelling/grammar/logic


January 23, 2019, 4:45 PM · In my experience, most posters are not snarky or dismissive-the few that can occasionally be just tend to stick on your mind more.

The forum was much more "advanced-friendly" in the 2000s, as I remember it-you could be intimidated back then because "bigger names" would openly post here. There are many true pros and advanced amateurs here, but also plenty of teachers at all levels. Most of us are not dismissive of the beginner (and I also encourage the adult learner, which some still have a bit if bias against.) There has been plenty of great "beginning advice" given by very friendly posters... but I do not read every thread, so perhaps I may be missing something.

(I am not dismissive of popular music violin styles, but that is not my forte. That doesn't mean I am not beginner friendly, however, and I do not enjoy judging others for playing music other than classical. Elitism is not my thing, and I believe most in here share a similar view.)

Do not mean to be contrarian. Sorry some of us (or perhaps myself) give you a rather "beginner-unfriendly" impression of this forum.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 5:14 PM · I think it's beginner friendly. Sometimes the beginner questions are so out there that they can be hard to answer. Like 'How do I play the 3 note without getting my thumb squashed?' or 'I just started last week, how do I do vibrato?' or 'Which is the best $99 violin on Amazon?' Those questions aren't really going to yield friendly answers. The information you get on this forum is by far more reliable than any other source on the internet.

It's not particularly friendly to delusion, though. The 'I want to be a professional musician' posts are super triggering here.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 8:39 PM · Ms. Cynthia Q.,

All of that classical vs pop is not real in this forum. Only a few members are so inclined, and they rarely comment against the non classical artists. Ms. Niles herself is not a classical-elitist snob. In fact I remember many members being neutral, if not outright defending a popular non-classical violinist a few months ago. It's really a diminutive minority in these forums that "look down" on non classical musicians.

I have zero TRUE knowledge of non classical styles, so I don't even join those threads. That doesn't mean I am a classical snob myself, and I am very critical of that attitude in real life, finding it turns off most people from beautiful music. I may have commented as much before.

This "classical vs pop", in my opinion, is mostly a made up fight, based on old biases on "opposite" sides.

I can even remember poster names who have defended these pop artists, whether it's fiddlers or pop violinists. I think you may have read info with preconceived ideas about this forum. "It's just classical snobs." You would be surprised; very few classical musicians enjoy being that sort of person, and I don't really see it a lot around here (thankfully-when it's seen it's quickly shot down by other forum members!)

Finally, that I don't listen to certain violinists doesn't make me a snob. I don't even listen to all classical violinists. One can have a personal musical taste without looking down on others.

This is indeed a mostly classical forum, but that doesn't make it unfriendly, in my strong opinion. It's a false dichotomy that needs not be perpetrated forever.

My apologies for dissenting with you. It's always fine to agree to disagree.

Best,

A

PS: Ms. Niles is not the type of person who would "kick you out" for your views-she's a very open minded violinist that respects all sort of musicians out there.

Edited: January 24, 2019, 12:52 AM · If you are a thick-skinned beginner, violinist.com is OK.

On other forums you ask the best car for $5,000 and someone will tell you their Lamborghini is great. You just learn to laugh at that kind of crap.

Edited: January 24, 2019, 12:54 AM · Maybe the few posters who feel this forum is snobby are just oversensitive? I feel that this forum is very straightforward, but not "snobby" at any higher of a percentage than in any other hobby forum. I can see that it is perceived as rude to be overly straightforward, but I also think many of the regular posters here just don't have the time to sugar-coat their responses, especially when answering a question that has been asked hundreds of times before.

However, it is true that beginners probably need some sort of sub-forum to discuss their issues. It probably wouldn't be an awful idea for violinist.com to have a subsection like "beginner problems" where beginners could post without feeling like they're being judged.

Just keep in mind that by posting on a beginner-only board, you are only going to get responses from other beginners, and it's likely that they don't really knwobthe answer, either.

We might be straightforward, but it's a shame the only thing that's taken out of all the free expert advice offered here is "they should have been nicer about it."

I guess it's a case of those who want to have their cake and eat it, too.

January 24, 2019, 2:05 AM · I believe that violinist.com is friendly to beginners. But I also believe that it is quite a serious forum. I like serious. Maybe some find "serious" intimidating.

V.com welcomes and is very friendly to beginners, but like a serious teacher, expects a commitment and serious approach to the violin. In the violin world, serious violin studies mean mostly classical studies, even if the player engages other styles.

You are right that there is an uncomfortable streak of snobbism: Only the most expensive is good enough (strings, instruments, cases) and famous amateurs are flayed alive, but you will find the same attitude in any professional forum about the topic of interest. From professional chefs about their equipment to sportsmen.

January 24, 2019, 4:32 AM · If you feel this forum snobby and for professionals, you don't know any of programmers (especially system and advanced). You can be seriously judged and accused by just a little lack of effectivity on one parenthesis in the code and used as an example of stupidity. I am a beginner and feel free to ask, few people are strict, but forums are about asking the opinions and everyone has one, isn't it? I feel very good here.
January 24, 2019, 8:44 AM · I've never thought of this as a particularly snobby forum. I've seen worse in my short time alive - but I think you're being overly sensitive if you're really getting offended about stuff on here (unless it's Krackovich, which is just a sorry case). I mean, welcome to the internet. No intentions of being rude.
January 24, 2019, 9:03 AM · It depends on what you ask about.

Most questions are answered quite thoughtfully and sincerely.

Some questions are difficult to answer without seeing what the issue is, and a video or picture of the issue may be requested.

Questions about "I started at 10 years old, will I grow up to be a professional?" are roundly panned, as it is an unanswerable question to begin with.

But, never......EVER......ask about if you should use a shoulder rest or not! All bets are off if you do!

Edited: January 24, 2019, 10:28 AM · Hi Ken!

First, about v.com being snobby. Sometimes it can seem that way. Sometimes it almost seems like folks post questions that they know will elicit heated debates. Sometimes a few people act like jerks. Sometimes a person will post a question, and get a response, and reject the response wholesale for reasons that seem arbitrary. We're all human, and for better of for worse, creative endeavors like violin playing do tend to attract individuals whose personalities might be, shall we say, diverse. To her credit, the site editor, Laurie, is pretty hands-off and allows the community to keep emerging nastiness in check.

One of the comments newbies will doubtlessly hear is "ask your teacher" which I personally find annoying because, even if you had a teacher, you would already have asked them, and you're just coming here for a second opinion or maybe a broader range of explanations. Or maybe you're hoping for a little hint that will allow you to try and solve the problem by yourself before you ask your teacher and use half your lesson on that topic. And if you don't have a teacher, the most likely reason is because you live in rural Kazakhstan where there aren't any violin teachers, or because you can't afford private lessons, or you don't have enough time to devote to the violin to make regular lessons worthwhile. If all we ever did was ask our teachers, why would we even need internet forums at all?

Now on to your question. Please see the following links for previous threads on bouncing bow. I think you will find that the responses have not been snobby (but, yes, "ask your teacher" will appear). What you should also know is that the responses come from people ranging from fellow beginners to intermediate amateurs to conservatory-trained veterans of performance and teaching.

https://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/14771/
https://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/21825/
https://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/22418/
https://www.violinist.com/discussion/thread.cfm?page=1693

January 24, 2019, 11:17 AM · Ken, your profile you describe yourself as "Old Male", so we have that in common :) I agree that the https://fiddlerman.com/ is a more comfortable forum to ask beginner questions on. I've been very supported there as an adult beginner, but, although the other participants will comment and support your attempts at playing if you post a video in the "critique" forum, you won't really get any helpful criticism if that's what you're seeking.

I feel because much of the population of v.com is involved in teaching or professions pursuits, the criticism you might get here will be more useful. But, you can't be overly sensitive to negative criticism either.

I hang out in both forums, but being a closet introvert, I tend to post more frequently at fiddlerman.com.

Above all, enjoy playing the best you can.

January 24, 2019, 11:20 AM · Hmmm--I thought "ask your teacher" was appropriate advice here, since the OP indicated he thought his question was "too stupid" to ask a teacher--which it is not.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 11:46 AM · "Ask your teacher" is almost certainly great advice. I just feel it's also rather obvious to the point of being condescending. Like those drug ads on TV: "Tell your doctor if you have liver cancer," or "Don't take Advil if you're allergic to Advil."

I've seen threads where it's "ask your teacher" like ten times until the OP finally says, "I can't afford lessons," which I can only imagine is tremendously humiliating. And then, even that's not good enough! People will tell him to dig through his sofa cushions until he finds enough to pay some grad student for a cut-rate lesson or two. And living in rural Kazakhstan isn't sufficient excuse either -- they should be getting lessons through Skype. We've all seen this.

Edited: January 24, 2019, 1:24 PM · Since November two tin cans joined by string would be better than the Skype service I've been getting.

Sofa diving isn't a bad idea - we once did that in digs and found about £7.50 and 13 cigarette lighters down the back of a three-piece suite.

January 24, 2019, 1:35 PM · Sheesh, my apologies for stirring up this mess. I'm not criticizing anyone. I do not feel anyone is acting over the top or snobby, at least any more than normal on the internet. Please stop. I'm used to experts in various disciplines, and yes, sometimes you run into some who try to buy in to the 2% Harley lifestyle or shoots his own BMW panniers to look like he's actually been further than the local Starbucks. Treat them like a 5-year old with an attitude problem, just turn and walk away. Then, my son is an artist and considered one of the best in the world as evidenced by his finished product. yet I've seen him work with an elementary kid about good technique with a pneumatic random orbital sander. The rest of us fit somewhere in between.

I don't even comprehend the language used to discuss some topics on this forum. WAY OVER MY HEAD, but if I keep trying maybe I will communicate effectively about such topics some day. Anywho, I now have several other sources to try for us preschool level learners. Thanks for answering my question, those who did.

Mr. Deck, I will be taking every lesson I can get. My boys do business with several people who make really good livings in Nashville. Plus, I know a few from life's paths. There are a couple professional musicians who have already offered lessons and planned visits to the shop when I'll be home, and they will be bringing their fiddles to show me how. I've been invited to give a few others a call when doing an overnight near their homes and/or studios to arrange lessons when I can. No, I don't have a teacher, but I have friends who are world famous performers willing to work with me. Such blessings.

By the way, there are selections in most all genres I like and selections I don't much care for. For instance, the rap influence on country lately turns my stomach.

On the other hand, playing the cannons (12 gauge shotgun blanks fired into an empty steel 55 gallon drum) for my daughter's high school band's 1812 arrangement was great fun.

Skype? In a semi? President Trump doesn't have that much money, but I see your point.

Time to get on the road.

Edited: January 24, 2019, 2:18 PM · My previous comments weren't directed at you, Ken, but at some of the other posters. Just FYI.


Also, very important (coming from someone who has taught literally hundreds of beginners, especially adult ones):

"why does my bow bounce" is one of the most important questions a teacher can answer with a brand-new student. It's certainly not a stupid question. I can only imagine that a high-level player who doesn't really teach beginners would find that question stupid. The key is to find a teacher who actually has experience with beginners.

January 24, 2019, 2:28 PM · This forum certainly leans heavily classical, even though many people who post and read here also play other styles. (Most pros play at least some non-classical. It expands the ways in which you can make money.)

Fiddlers have numerous forums on the Internet, so I wouldn't expect to see many of them here if they don't play any classical at all.

Beginners are a difficult issue for any forum. If they're present in too great a quantity, they chase off the professionals. (The earlier days of v.com seem to have attracted far more pros, by the way.) But there are plenty of resources for beginners as well, that are more dedicated to gentle support -- Facebook in particular has far more of this.

All Internet forums pretty much require thick skins. In general, people here are pretty helpful, though not every post will be so.

January 24, 2019, 2:29 PM · I also agree with Erik. There shouldn't be questions that are too stupid to ask your teacher. The whole point of having a teacher is so your questions -- no matter how stupid you think they are -- can be answered.

A teacher who acts contemptuous when you ask a question should be dumped in favor of someone more helpful.

January 24, 2019, 2:32 PM · If you don't know what a word means, feel free to ask. All of us have had our fair shares of not knowing terminology, no worries.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 3:37 PM · Well,

In the danger of ruffling even more feathers.....

1. Violinist.com is a great forum. It is just not a beginner friendly forum. and THAT IS OKAY... not everything needs or should be all things to all people.

2. It is good to have a place where experienced folk can gather and talk and argue about issues important to them. And it is useful as a non-experienced person in this subject to sit quietly and just listen....

2. It is a classical music oriented forum... and that is okay too. I recommend The Session for those more interested in folk forms of fiddle.

I suppose it comes down to how you define user-friendly. Some define user-friendly A) as a place where you can get answers to beginner technical questions; or B) A place where you can commiserate with those in a similar place to you on the path; and C) some, seem to consider a site beginner friendly if it doesn't have a audition gatekeeper determining if you are advanced enough to join at all!

Again it is perfectly fine for this to be a forum that is not beginner friendly. But to paraphrase another poster - when someone asks about a 5000 car and the replies are my lambergini....

On a related but slightly different topic mentioned above.
I really like Paul's answer about the problem with numerous "Ask your teacher" replies.

Truly violin is one of those few crafts that really, really benefit from one-on-one teaching. I am a beginner - been playing a little over a year with some breaks for long work travel (I can be gone 5-6 weeks at a time). I will never be a professional violinist/nor do I wish to be.
I am however so committed to learning correct classical technique that I drive 2 1/2 hours each way every week Im am not on travel, for an hour lesson.

Two and 1/2 hours each way, is the closest classically oriented instructor of violin to where I live (and I live in the United States). Many folks have neither the time or monetary resources to do what I do, nor may they be as interested in learning a classically oriented approach.

I have asked two questions here - one recently, very nicely answered by Lydia. I have, I think, a good teacher but sometimes I'm just not understanding her solution to my problem. She is a very kinesthetic, I am very analytical.

So I asked my question here to get some other ideas about what was going on and how to solve it. It was hard to ask because I know this is not a beginner friendly forum - so I diligently scoured the archives to make sure there was not already an answer - and I debated on whether this was one of those unanswerable beginner questions that would only be embarrassing to ask on this not so beginner friendly forum.

On the note of posts very helpful to beginners - what ever happened to Buri's blogs? They no longer appear when searching under his name?

EDIT: In thinking about my post there is another matter of definition to bring up. There seems to be differing definitions to what is a beginner and that will definitely change ones perspective on whether this forum is beginner friendly.

January 24, 2019, 3:21 PM · I never said there are questions that are too stupid to ask your teacher. But also some folks take lessons relatively infrequently and might like a few pointers on small things in between. Again, I would ask what the purpose of a forum like this would be if the only people we consulted with about violin playing were our own individual private teachers!

Also, after a while you come to know your teacher's limitations -- and every teacher has them! If the question you want to ask is in your teacher's blind spot then you come here. (Yes I know "bouncing bow" shouldn't be in their blind spot.)

January 24, 2019, 3:32 PM · As a returning beginner, I've found this forum to be both serious and useful. I do not consider this form to be unfriendly to beginners at all. I do scour the archives before asking a question, and while I've only posted a couple of times, I try to be very specific about my questions. I am also mostly interested in classical music, though there is some traditional folk music I could see myself exploring at some point - but classical music will always be my first love.

I'm a member of both Adult Violin Learners and Adult Starters - Violin and Fiddle on Facebook - and I post things there that I would never post here - but there is nothing wrong with that.

Edited: January 25, 2019, 12:26 PM · One of the reasons I come here is because, like someone else mentioned, to join a beginner forum is mainly beginners. I want to learn from experienced players. I am a member of a fiddler forum but haven't been there much because frankly it's a bunch of retired people just shooting the breeze most of the time or working on a folk song that has only a private interpretation. As beginners we need specifics. I am three years into violin and an still very much in beginner territory. Yes I have come a long way, but I have a long way to go yet.I appreciate the helpful advice from the members here. I often contribute to posts that aren't overly technical concerning the instrument itself.

I would like to see more players here stepping up like Lydia has and actually show us a video from time to time. Plenty comment here on how to do something but I don't see very many actually doing it. When a new player posts a video they get ripped to shreds by many the very people who never post a video, so post a video and let us hear you play.


I am a firm believer that the techniques learned in classical music are the best carry over to anything else, so even though I'm not a strictly classical music buff I tend to try and learn those techniques and add others to them. Like many other subjects, classical music is too huge to comment on it as a whole. I like much of it. I don't like all of it. I'm not going to only listen to it. I believe in variety.


January 25, 2019, 10:18 AM · One beginner forum that may be useful to the OP, with loads of detailed beginner how-to videos and also chat and posting opportunities is Beth Blackerby's Violin Lab. Beth often responds in the chats and responds to videos people upload.https://violinlab.com I agree with others who have suggested its not an either or but there is a great deal that can be learned on violinist.com across levels and other things best gleaned and discussed in a beginner oriented forum.
January 25, 2019, 11:15 AM · Honestly, every single violin forum with experienced players tends to draw, "Ask your teacher" and "You're going to have serious problems with a cheap VSO" responses, because these are essentially core truths.

One of the alternatives to "ask your teacher" is often "please post a video". Anita, for instance, has gotten a ton of really great advice on her video thread recently, and I received similarly great input on a video thread that I posted a while back. I also remember a mom asking for advice about her son's progress, and got great feedback that allowed her to open a very useful conversation with her son's teacher that resulted in a big change of direction.

Most players who post on those threads are good at giving appropriate advice -- i.e. not overwhelming a beginner with too much feedback, and in general being appropriately critical depending on the player's level of advancement.

January 25, 2019, 1:26 PM · @Karen Egee, Thanks for posting this.

I remember seeing Beth Blackerby's videos on Youtube. I had no idea she has an educational website. It looks like maybe a nice alternative way to learn a few things, though she seems to be sticking fairly closely to the Suzuki method. I joined it anyway...can't hurt.

Lots of websites have a basic Q&A section for beginners with all of the answers to the most commonly asked questions. That might sort through all of the rubble. Of course, someone will still occasionally ask the questions here because they don't want to read the Q&A.

January 25, 2019, 2:44 PM · The only issue with Beth's educational website is that, as far as I know, it requires a subscription fee to access her videos. What she has put on YouTube is a tiny sampling -- the tip of the iceberg.
January 25, 2019, 4:08 PM · Timothy said: "I would like to see more players here stepping up like Lydia has and actually show us a video from time to time."

I agree whole-heartedly. There's nothing more humbling than actually taking a video and having to put it on the internet. We tend to be in denial about our actual sound, as evidenced by the fact that most people won't even listen to recordings of themselves, let alone post them for an entire violin community to critique.

I probably got several hundred dollars worth of lesson-value last time I posted a critique video here. Only reason I haven't done it more often is because I've been too lazy to practice enough to validate another "lesson."

January 25, 2019, 6:05 PM · I'll try and post a video sometime... probably with a cardboard box on my head.
But in all seriousness, why not. I have a decent audio recorder and a phone, it's just that I'll probably be too lazy to sync up the audio and video, so it might just be audio.
January 27, 2019, 11:13 AM · Is it possible to play violin with a box on one's head?

Well, I payed $300 for my car, stuffed an old battery in it, and it runs fine 8 years later. My first violin kit cost 3 times that. Shows where my priorities are. Funny thing is, my car sits among 42 motorcycles. Some are actually quite musically inclined. For instance, Victor has vibrato down pat, since he is 441cc of thumper with no balancers of any kind. If you gave me a Lambo I would not know how to drive it, so I'd sell it and buy myself a better violin. The old Olds runs just fine.

Anywho, stuck up north in a truck that won't stay running when parked and a broken HVAC system the company doesn't want to pay $10,000 to replace. Therefore, no heat when parked, so no violin. 9*F. Thank you for the myriad beginner sources listed above. Might be too cold to play, but I've been told computers love excessive air conditioning--dry and cold.

All the YouTube links are eating up my bandwidth as I play them multiple times. Dain bramage makes focus difficult. I've been looking for lessons on CD for free repeats, but sets are rather expensive. Any violin learning recommendations based on experience making or viewing such sets?

And no, I don't have time to invest hours clicking links. I admit to working 70 hours every week because that is all the federal government allows, then try to sneak in some violin practice. Also, mobile bandwidth is quite expensive. Therefore, don't think for a second I'm being lazy. Be thankful--If I didn't bring it, you'd be starving, naked, and would not have a violin, or pretty much anything else.

Peace and joy, I'm off to the beginner forums for adults.

January 27, 2019, 12:01 PM · I'm looking forward to it, Nina. Which piece are you going to post?
January 27, 2019, 6:08 PM · Nina, I'm waiting for your video as well.
January 27, 2019, 9:48 PM · These forums are beginner friendly-ha! All one has to do is go to other internet sites to find the refugees from this one. And some of the posters defending violinist.com are among the culprits, although I'll admit that not all of them have responded here.

Doesn't mean as Ginger Flaherty says, that violinist.com is not useful for certain purposes. I had it all the time. But I can't imagine why one of any level would ever post a video here, or ask certain types of questions.

January 27, 2019, 10:03 PM · I've been meaning to post video some time as well. My problem, though, is that I've been playing with on-and-off injuries for the last 10 months, so lately I've been practicing very little outside of orchestra rehearsals. I'm planning to stop playing completely for at least a month and a half after my next concert in order to allow a full recovery, instead of jumping back in as soon as I've recovered enough to play a little bit. So no video until April at the earliest.
Edited: January 27, 2019, 10:39 PM · Mr. Hsieh, prayers for rapid and effective healing.

Thanks for the help and encouragement, folks. Found a solution for bouncing bow, hit a warmer spot tonight, played 1st 2 pages of an instruction book 5 times each, definite improvement each day of practice. Made it about halfway down the 3rd page but started to hurt, so stopped.

Anywho, www.violinonline.com ? Seems a plethora of well presented information for a beginner, including a paper on distance learning. Opinions?

Ms. Roco, I'm anxious to see your video, but running out of bandwidth, so I'll have to wait a couple weeks.

Ms. Moyer, I've signed on at Adult Starters - Violin/Fiddle and anxiously awaiting acceptance notification. Thanks for pointing my in that direction.

Edited: January 27, 2019, 11:18 PM · Ginger F., I am a returning beginner. There was also a significant amount of commuting to lessons during my first year of returning. I do see your perspectives.

Perhaps because my most significant teacher (east European from the old school)during my teenager years was one who didn’t believe in excessive handholding, I happen to think this forum is quite friendly to beginners. In fact, the downside is that we don’t have enough professionals who are sufficiently critical.

January 28, 2019, 4:51 AM · I am just a non-classical beginner, and I think violinist.com has become a lot more beginner-friendly in recent years. Some of the most scornful posters that I know of have been largely inactive for a long time. But there are this sort of people in almost every forum that I am aware of.

This website represents a remarkable body of knowledge if one knows how to tap into it.

Another lesson I took from this thread: you may anger someone incredibly by critiquing their pop idols.

Edited: January 29, 2019, 9:30 AM · I apologize, I can sound a little snarky online sometimes.I know we have some excellent players here and many aspiring players who want to improve.

Videos are nice. People are busy. The pros don't need to prove anything to anyone. I like to see a video every now and then. I think it helps me connect better with the player.It isn't necessary.I understand not everyone has the time or interest in such.I appreciate it when we get to see a video.

One thing I have noticed about things posted online is that you can't take it all seriously. There is some nepotism in pockets here and there.
You sort of need to take the advice with a grain of salt.Most people won't admit this and let me qualify by saying I don't see it here, but on other web sites if you happen to be a site owner and post something it will be liked immediately by everyone and will receive the most comments.
I recently entered a contest and a few of the entrants were also site mods. They received some of the highest ranks in the contest.
Also, personality trumps ability. If a person is well liked on a site, they have an edge. There can be two identical songs posted and the one with the liked person will go further.In contrast, if you aren't liked you can have wonderful material and be totally ignored.It all boils down to what a person thinks of their self. You learn to grow a thick skin and to take web comments as only someone else's opinion.
The important thing is that you don't stop being who you are because someone on the web was rude, dismissive or overly judgmental.
In looking deeper, there is a myriad of reasons why someone might not be very nice online. Some people are overly critical of everything, these are the people who send their food back three times to the cook (and who probably have their food spit in).Some people have a lot of baggage that simply makes them unhappy people going into anything. You could be Joshua Bell and they would find a problem with you.Some people have predisposed notions that carry over to others in their behavior.Some people get a feeling of power online because they can look like an expert to others.Makes them feel important to themselves. Some people really are trying to help and get satisfaction from it.In order to help they sometimes have to be blunt. I am one to respect this approach because it leaves no illusions. I tend to be blunt as this post probably shows. It's ok to use tact, just don't hide the problem with it.

I am that friend who will tell you that you have hair growing out of your ear.We can be helpful sometimes:)


Edited: January 28, 2019, 11:11 AM · Ken - I believe so.
Hold the violin like normal, then put the box on your head. The box should ideally have air holes and also be big enough to fit on your head, and small enough not to be on top of the part of the strings that you're playing on.
And Erik - probably either Winter's last movement by Vivaldi or maybe Sibelius 2nd movement.
Yeah, probably Winter. I'm going to set a time frame to motivate myself to get this done. I need to get this done by February 5th, or else I won't practice for a week, which means I'm screwed for my lesson (yes, that's my punishment to myself).
January 28, 2019, 3:04 PM · If people don't want to get identified in their video, simple solutions:
1. wear a soft mask that cover face in full, or
2. set the camera angle to shoot only from neck down, or
3. turn your back on the camera, or
4. blur face with video editing app

plus maybe make sure every other detail on the video look generic (for instance, if having a mole/scar on the arm, wear long sleeves).

Can't imagine wearing a box on your head, but this thing would be entertaining to watch.

January 28, 2019, 8:27 PM · "We tend to be in denial about our actual sound, as evidenced by the fact that most people won't even listen to recordings of themselves, let alone post them for an entire violin community to critique."

That doesn't sound like denial, it sounds like knowing full well.

I know I'm awful. Why on earth do I need other people to tell me so??

January 28, 2019, 10:30 PM · Because sometimes you get awesome feedback regarding how to get better. I've found every video I've posted has gotten critique that has helped me improve.
Edited: January 29, 2019, 10:14 AM · @Matt Lawrence, I was thinking maybe a batman costume.

I have been bold enough to post video on myself. If you want to see it I think I have links. I don't like to do it but I figure people are already plenty used to ugly in the world. A little more ugly isn't likely to make much of a difference.My wife thinks I look handsome. She's probably the only one. I realize posting a video of violin technique isn't a fashion show as many videos posted on Youtube have shown.It does take some fortitude to post a video ugly or not. I might be politically incorrect there. Is it beauty challenged? I don't think Perlman won any awards on that end,but boy could he play that violin.I know a gentleman who does accurate impersonations of a well known and very handsome country artist.That comes with some issues too. Mainly the women won't leave you alone according to him. I am glad I don't have that problem.I might have felt different about that when I was 20.

January 29, 2019, 8:41 PM · @Timothy, if you have a video why not showing it. It isn’t perfect but it’s better than the sort of kids who promised uploading a video several times, in different threads, but haven’t as of now.

V.com has a negative reaction towards the players who think they play a lot better than they really are, or those setting impractical goals. But other than that, this forum is supportive of players willing to learn and take suggestions.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It’s not a politically correct statement, it’s a factually correct statement.

Edited: January 31, 2019, 2:33 PM · "Hold the violin like normal, then put the box on your head. The box should ideally have air holes and also be big enough to fit on your head, and small enough not to be on top of the part of the strings that you're playing on."

Excellent! No wonder things sounded scratchy.

Well, y'all ran off with my thread. haahaahaa violin.com is not unfriendly to anyone in general, as far as I have seen so far. Kind of tough justifying all the time lost reading through all the opinions that have absolutely nothing to do with the OP's original requests, but that's the internet for you. I've actually only been able to practice 5-6 times so far, time is usually precious, maybe next time I visit the grandkids I'll have their mother make a video. Worse you've ever seen, guaranteed. Ought to be good for a laugh, if it doesn't make you barf.

Anything I do you see that might be right came from this forum, except baby wipes are not to be used on string instruments. Mine probably wouldn't be harmed since it is carbon fiber, but not going to chance it. Thanks for all the help. Sincerely.

Anywho, I've tried to register on a half dozen beginner adult forums on 3 continents and nothing goes through. Sure would be nice if I could buy some videos showing how to do things right and common errors to avoid.

I've let a couple college orchestra students and their professor fiddle with mine, and now all 3 are looking to buy composite as a back up instrument. That way they can hit paying gigs (weddings, dances, celebrations, etc., especially outdoors) in bad weather and keep their wooden violins protected. As the professor agreed, composite is better than no violin at all. Besides, 98% of people, according to the professor, can't tell the difference between one and the other.

Now that I've found out the exact storage a wooden violin needs (stable 60-70^F, 40-60% humidity) I'm a happy camper. I have several 50+ year old model radio control airplanes with balsa parts that require exactly the same conditions, which I have in an insulated storage shed in an insulated warehouse with double climate control systems hooked up to 2 different electrical systems. Perfect weather inside for storing a wooden violin. Or two.

January 31, 2019, 2:37 PM · Ken I've learned that if you want to keep your thread focused, you have to return a couple of times a day to "groom" it.
January 31, 2019, 11:43 PM · We were all beginners at some time. Many of us remember starting. Some brilliant prodigies learned the fundamentals so early, before the permanent memory circuits clicked on, that they don't remember ever playing badly. To remind myself how hard it is, I sometimes switch hands; violin in the right hand, bow in the left hand, and I instantly become a day 0 beginner.
February 1, 2019, 8:41 PM · I'd love to have a left handed violin. Bad wreck 3 years ago left dozens of fractures, both hands. Need to balance therapeutic aspects of the violin. Docs splinted left thumb, right thumb was broken. Quite painful pressing the strings. Getting stronger, though! Plus, I'm left handed.
February 1, 2019, 8:41 PM · @Matt Lawrence said,
"@Timothy, if you have a video why not showing it. It isn’t perfect but it’s better than the sort of kids who promised uploading a video several times, in different threads, but haven’t as of now."

My videos have been not on the violin so I didn't think pertinent to this site, but I'll post if you want.I made one or two on the violin. I picked out at least 5 things I should not have done, so I deleted it from my YouTube. If I can get a surrounding that's better I'll do another one.
My studio is in transition. It looks like transition to the dump but it isn't. It's really organized mayhem. I don't think people would understand. In order to clean it I need to move something which would immediately clutter something else.


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