Hi everyone, this is my 1st post on here so please be gentle with me. I have a few questions but first a little back story about me.
I played the violin briefly as a young child. Always wanted to learn again. Apart from knowing the bow needs to be unwound after playing, plz take me as having not remembered anything else.
I started playing during uk covid lockdown on an extremely cheap violin picked up on marketplace for £20. Im learning using the online violin tutor from youtube called Allison.
Im getting on ok practicing 1-4 finger placements and simple songs, bowing and trying to keep relaxed. I quickly realized 1. Im going to not give this up, and 2. I needed to upgrade my screetchy violin. So ive just picked up a stentor conservatoire secong hand. Its got tonica strings on it. I love its sound already but am finding that when playing this new one i feel like ive never played. Its uncomfortable, the chin rest is on the side more than the previous one. Im aware this new ones bridge is more arched so thats throwing me off a bit. Should or can i take it to a luthier and ask him to fit it to me ie chin rests and shoulder supprt or is this not something they would do. Im also having issues tunning. I tune it, using app on my phone, get it to the sweet spot, practice then notice its out of tune already after 10 or 20 mins. Are there any tips for keeping it in tune. And lastly i practice about 1-2hours daily, every day. How often does my bow need rosin, playing this amount.
Sorry this is a long post but boy it is difficult teaching yourself during a pandemic and i have so many questions that i cant ask a tutor. Thankyou to anyone who reads this and replies.
Thanks Tony it does help. I wish i could get out to have some lessons too, but i am having to isolate quite strictly for the next few months as im a support bubble with my sons family as one of my grandchildren was taken to hosp for asthma, unfortunatly the hospital made a catastrophic mistake and overdosed her (25 × what she should of had) on an iv drug, which caused cardiac arrest resusitation and multiple organ failure. It was touch and go for a few weeks but shes improving daily now, this has left her extremely vulnerable and im childminding my sons other 2 children while shes recovering. Shes only 4 and im certain her age has been on her side in recovering. So this leaves me unable to have a face to face lesson at this time. Im worried about picking up bad habits that wont get picked up, do you have any suggestions on common mistakes i should watch out for?
Justine - would it be possible for you to hire a violin teacher via Zoom or Skype? While in-person is ideal, for many of us right now this just isn't an option. If you can do it, finding a teacher who specializes in adult students (it matters) and can start working with you remotely would be far better than YouTube videos. The advantage to this is the teacher doesn't need to be local which does broaden your pool choose from.
Catherine and Tony thats a great idea, i will be getting on with that today.
Justine. I have a Stentor Conservatoire II. You can be happy with its action and the curvature of the bridge. If you don't have a shoulder rest, get one - I like the Hidersine Maesbury or one of the Ammoon copies of it on Amazon. Shifting the chinrest is a job you should be able to do yourself, but it requires a special tool, or an appropriate nail or screwdriver or similar, but don't scratch your violin. As with all such things, Youtube will have plenty of examples of how to. Since you are in the UK, you should be aware of thestringzone.co.uk and Cardiff Violins, among others.
If the chin rest on the old violin was better for you, take it off and put it on your new violin. (?)
Justine - as was previously mentioned, transfer the chinrest from the previous violin to this one.
I am pretty much in your same situation. Started seriously around March when the COVID situation started to peak. Self-taught with the essential elements method for about 5-6 months until I was able to find a teacher.
Just an update all, i have managed to swap the chin rest over from my other violin. Its better but not perfection i will keep tinkering with chin rests and shoulder rests till i find it perfect. Im extremly extremely careful to be learning as correctly as i can but in no way am i going to cut down my practice time. I have a mirror to check positioning, and start off with a good hour of scales, C,F,A,Bb majors, G major and minor D major and minor, Then i practice bowing exercises for at least half an hour ect.... i only get round to songs for the last half hour and am extremely strict on intonation. Ive come a long way in a short time and am thoroughly enjoying myself. Thanks to all who have had positive encouragement to give. We in the uk are in another lockdown with this new variant of covid really sweeping through our nation. I am so glad i have this hobby to keep me mentally occupied. Keep safe everyone.
I too rock a conservatoire (I). I changed out my chinrest to a Flesch-type made by a local luthier as the side position was uncomfortable. He also gave it a setup which changed the playability (adjustments included bridge position for scale length, bridge feet, sound post, string heights, and tuning pegs).
Great advice/post from @Stephen Brivati (aka Buri) who has been a good contributor to these forums for many many years, thanks Buri.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.