Hi, new violinist (from mandolin) here

July 25, 2019, 10:09 PM · Hi guys, I'm a new violinist, or soon to be.

By way of introduction:

I was a classical trumpet player long ago, sat in community orchestras. Then moved to modern instruments (drums, bass guitar, and recently mandolin). My mando chops were getting to where I could start playing some of the lower-intermediate violin literature (stuff I used to play on trumpet, often a Rafael Mendez arrangement). I was able to play Czardas ok, not quite up to tempo, but it wasn't terrible either.

Vibrato (and expression) was the missing element, so I tried a 4 string electric mandolin which can do various forms of vibrato, but then I thought I should just get a real violin. I don't know how much mandolin playing will help with violin, I expect only a little, but I'll take what I can get.

So after some research I ordered two violins, a silent electric Yamaha SV104 (for the neighbors sake), and an upper-level student model Yamaha AV7 (for more serious practice), and a codabow prodigy. I am hoping these are good enough to last for a bit and not hold me back too much.

A pile of method books has already arrived, and the violins will arrive tomorrow, so the first screetch will be then. :-)

I am a gear-head/technician, so new strings and Wittners are almost certainly in the picture. On mando, high tuning ratios are standard, and powered string winders are common. I was surprised that 1:8 is the highest ratio in a geared-peg tuner. Mandos use 1:14 to 1:18, and guitars are more commonly 1:24. 1:18 is the sweet spot for mandos IMHO. I'll install them Wittners myself for sure, and probably want to learn to do a setup at some point too.

I am also someone who likes to spend long hours practicing, so likely a good fit there. Although getting over the hump to where you enjoy your own playing is the hard thing IMHO. It was 2 years on mando before the breakthroughs really began, I expect violin to be similar or even slower.

Lastly, I am looking for a teacher, maybe someday I can get into a community orchestra, or play Czardas like it was meant to be played. :-)

Anyway, this forum seems like a pretty serious crowd, so I'll keep my beginner posts to a minimum, but I am loving what I read, writing down all the literature references as they go by.

Ok, that's it, back to our regularly scheduled excellent violin stuff. :-)

Replies (2)

July 26, 2019, 7:06 AM · Hi Kurt: Seems like you have had a lot of adventurous fun with music making already. I love your enthusiasm! Can't wait to hear how you find violin playing. It may be the bowing that is the most problematic new thing.

My journey was to add mandolin to rest my painful shoulder from holding up the violin and have an easy fingering transition. If you have been playing chords up the neck of your mandolin, you may find violin very linear - for lack of a better term. You will have inherently more freedom to shift up the violin neck and find a sense of freedom from frets. Please let us know how this new venture goes. I am curious to know what you find challenging or easy.

Thanks for joining in the forum.

July 26, 2019, 8:01 AM · Welcome! I am a returning beginner to the violin as of 9 months ago. This forum is great and they have been most kind with my rather basic questions. It helps greatly to have a teacher and hope you are able to find someone local, especially one who specializes in teaching adults.

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