So: I came late to violin, 7-going-on-8 years ago, after playing several other instruments for [mumble] years (read: most of my life). Right now I invest most of my practice time on violin. My public playing is in decidedly informal environments and divided pretty evenly between violin and mandolin, with diversions into guitar, banjo, keyboard, bass, or any of several other noisemakers, as appropriate. Mostly I’m the “everything but guitar guy” in a loosely knit situation that could be described fairly as more than a jam but less than a band. Mainly we
mutilate perform acoustic covers of relatively well-known country, rock, and folk material. From a technical standpoint my approach is more violin than fiddle. Geographically I’m rather isolated, so at this point most of what I learn comes from books (thank you, Simon Fischer!), YouTube, and informal sessions with anyone who’ll hold still long enough for me to pick their brain during brief excursions Stateside (I live in a fairly remote part of the Bahamas. Also, I use too many parentheses.)
I’ve listened at least casually to classical music all my life (THANK YOU, Mom!) and have utmost respect for people who play it seriously. I’d love to have a go at it myself, though the absolute pinnacle of my classical ambition would be second violin in a serious amateur ensemble. Any actual pursuit of such a goal will at least have to wait a couple of years until I’ve returned to the States more permanently. In the meantime I’m truly tempted by the ABRSM curriculum, just to give my practice more formal structure and focus.
Finally, a tangent: Week after next, if everything goes according to schedule, I’ll be spending several days in Marshall, Michigan. That's just about an hour west of Ann Arbor, which I understand is a major violin-related center in the US. Would it be worth a day trip? If so, I’d very much appreciate any advice on particular places to check out there.
Thanks to everyone here for everything you do! I hope to make a positive contribution myself.
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