Owning more than one instruments of a kind...
Some comments in a parallel discussion
made me wonder what may be the reasons why some of us own multiple instruments, while others stick to the truth that only one violin can be played at a time.
Far from being a collector, I currently own three acoustic violins, and each one serves a specific purpose:
- my good one, that I use at home, in lessons, and occasionally on stage
- then another one that was cheap and beaten up but "good enough" after some repair work and new setup which I leave at my parents in law, since we often spend the weekend or part of the holidays at their place and I don't want to bother with bringing my instrument there all the time.
- Nr. 3 is a Bohemian trade fiddle which I got from a garage sale for next to nothing. It shall serve me for training my tinkering skills...
And then there's a silent violin for nighttime or hotel practice sessions.
Plus, two violas:
- again, my good one, again my main instrument, and usually "my voice" when playing in public which is 90% as a violist, and
- a really ugly looking piece of wood I got for cheap. I bought it to leave at my office and use in lunch breaks or during night shifts (noone would ever think about taking it away... The case, maybe - but never the instrument!), but soon gave it on loan to somebody in need of a proper viola. And since I don't have the heart to ask it back, I'm seriously considering looking for "Nr.3"...
Besides that I have to admit that I'm really endangered to become more of a collector, everytime I meet a nice violin that's unplayed. But yet it wasn't stronger than me. Let's see for how long...
What are your reasons for owning two or more instruments? Outdoor gigs, teaching, what else?
My reasons are that switching instruments once in a while is wealthy, and gives new perspectives and fights boredom.
I was always looking for something better and my old ones cost me nothing or so little.
I once had two really good violins, that did not work, it was always more a comparing than a playing.
Great answer, Andrew Victor !! :D
I would like to have a second violin so that I'm not taking my Topa to jazz jams.... But I'd rather spend the same money on effects pedals and other gizmos too.
Don't even get me started!!...........
I have an electric violin that I use for silent practice, and fantasise about people wanting to hear me play it one day. I’m not god enough to need to upgrade my current acoustic violin, ( and I’d feel disloyal to Irma) , but I can see how under the right circumstances accumulation could become addictive.
I have 5 violins. Two dirt cheap Chinese jobs (one given to me, and the other strung with Helicores for country music), a Stentor, a Gewa and a Hidersine electric. I take my Gewa to string orchestra, but I might take my Stentor instead, as the crowds milling about make everything unsafe and one has manipulation skills to learn. In theory the Chinese ones are for me to learn minor luthier skills on. I'll upgrade further one day, and the Stentor can be the country fiddle, and the Chinese jobs will probably go to a charity shop.
I have a nice violin I practice on and perform with. Then, a beater I use when teaching school ensembles that I don't panic about if a student bumps into it--and I am totally comfortable loaning to an advanced student when they forget theirs. Then, an electric for performances that are better served using amplification.
Look out Nuuska, it's a drug. My current pharmacopoeia consists of 4 old violins and 2 contemporary violas, all of which make a nice noise (over the last few years several others have come and gone because they sounded wooden, shrieky, hollow etc) and give me a buzz like a good glass of wine or a cask-conditioned beer. I tend to use each of them for a week or two, then switch. It isn't good for the intonation but with each change I tend to hear familiar pieces of music afresh. Also when multitracking myself it's intriguing to discover the different ways in which instruments blend
Next to my regular violin I have two old german or french fiddles that I leave at the places where I teach, so I don't have to carry one all the time.
Because truly fine violins are beautiful works of visual art.
I have 6 violins. My main one, which I play in home settings and occasionally in church, is (1) a Frederich Wyss. They call it a Guarneri pattern, but they don't say which Guarneri so I take that with a grain of salt. All I know is that it was the most appealing of the half-dozen or so violins in its general price range that I tried.
Snake rattles are common in country and bluegrass instruments (it gives them mojo). It's very common in mandolins, I'm told. There's plenty about it on bluegrass forums.
I have two violins and for a day I had three. I am the steward of my late mother's violin. I keep the instrument in good condition, change the strings, play it on a regular basis, and simply enjoy the sound. However, if and when one of the grandchildren shows an interest in violin, and is ready for a 4/4 violin, they can have it. I also have a violin I recently bought and enjoy playing daily. I had a third - my "old" violin - but I donated it to the Bravo Youth Orchestra here in Portland. I'd rather have someone playing it than let it sit in a closet.
My "reasons" started as: first instrument was a starter, and I deserve an upgrade. True, for that first violin, a Lark. Then the reason became, the money will just rot in the bank. Now, seven instruments later, I see the cost of insurance is going up... and yet, with a Digitech Jam Man, I can play with myself on all my investments! Current "reason": It IS fun.
I have 4 violins and 2 violas, none of them expensive or excellent quality. They have different strengths and weaknesses. The two violas are a fat 16" and a more playable 15 1/2 ". For the violins, #1 is my "Tchaikovsky" violin, loud, but hard to play. #2 has good low notes, it is the "Mozart" violin or the orchestra second violin. #3 has good high notes, it is the orchestra first violin. #4 has a Baggs bridge added on, Helicore strings, easy to play, sounds good under a microphone. With a synthetic varnish, I can use it outside, even in the rain(!) I do most of my practicing, rehearsing, and teaching with #3.
I have two violins and two VSOs. One VSO is the half-sized that I started on 50+ years ago. I recently had it upgraded for the next generation (its still a good starter instrument). The other is a violin I was conned into buying un a market in New Orleans years ago. Its a lion-head Bavarian without any corner blocks. A bit of historic value, and the carving is kinda neat but you can't play it.
Do what you want to do, unless it would result in being killed by your spouse or potential heirs.
Elise, what happened to the Newton violin?
Before 2018, I was sure that I was going to be living in Canada for a long period of time, until I left, I ended up buying the following:
Each old violin is an art of mystery, which I can't resist...
If I hadn't gotten into teaching, I'd probably have only my childhood/adolescent full size violin and not have ended up with everything used by siblings, who no longer play.
... again some thoughts that returned to my mind while joining another thread...