First attempt at violin making that came out really well?
Have you or someone you're aware of had really good results the first time out making a violin - or any orchestral stringed instrument - primarily thinking of making one from scratch by hand, but you can reference results starting with a kit if that's your experience.
By good results I mean an instrument you could in good conscience charge decent money for that an advanced college or conservatory player or pro would find to be a perfectly usable instrument?
Or is it extremely unlikely to make a really outstanding instrument without first making a pile of not so outstanding ones? I've watched a number of videos and have an appreciation that it's an extremely laborious, precision endeavor.
Never tried it myself. But my luthier told me, his 7th violin was the first violin good enough to sell. And it was only after an apprenticeship with an excellent luthier. He told me because I play that violin now:)
The learning curve in violin making is very slow. I started making instruments when I was 13 years old, I am 56 now, I got really satisfied with my violas just about 10 years ago.
A personal friend of mine, a mechanical engineer, Charles Woods, started making violins in 1987, shortly before his 50th birthday. He was taking violin lessons from a teenage girl and didn't like the way he was playing so he decided to try making violins. His first violin was not bad and he gave it to his young teacher.
Right now I'm working on instrument #30, and started making them 12 years ago (and tinkering with them for decades before that). I think it takes 10 - 20 instruments before you get to where things start to make sense... depending on skill level and training.
I once asked my piano tuner how you learn to tune pianos. He said, "By tuning 100 pianos."
I've seen some OK "first fiddles", but these were all from people who had major prior training or experience in the trade, or had someone who was already very good micromanaging every detail of the process, in person.
(Burgess): "It's a little like playing the violin. One probably isn't going to sound very good on their first attempt. ;-)"
I have friends and apprentices who have made first violins that: 1-sounded very good, 2-looked very good. I haven't seen a number 1 that was both. A sculptor friend who I "taught"(rather, I guided him-he should have been teaching me to sculpt better!) made a first violin that had a scroll that was to die for. The violin sounded terrible.