Primavera 200 - notes
I'm currently starting on my journey playing the violin, it's something I've always wanted to do and finally I've plucked up the courage to do it. My problem is that the lessons I'm following on YouTube have given me the measurements as to where the notes are located. But that doesn't seem to fit my Primavera 200 (recommended by different reviewers and music shops). I even bought one of those stickers which identify where the notes are, not to use it but just to simply check it against the violin. That seemed to follow the YouTube teacher's guide. However, for me those 1st finger notes of A F B Fsharp are closer to the nut (so instead of 36mm they're about 22mm from the nut). The bridge is lined up with the F holes, so that seems fine. So, I suppose I'm asking are violins not all the same? Also should I not worry about this? I play piano and classical guitar and it never entered my mind that all violins might not be the same - certainly not mentioned during the YouTube lessons.
My other issue related to this then is that those notes A flat, E flat, B flat and F are really close to the nut and I'm struggling to get them accurately. Should I not worry about this? Are they notes for more advanced players? Years ahead?
Sorry if all these are very basic questions but they are really bothering me. It's hard enough to play without me worrying if there's something wrong with the violin or I'm not putting my finger in the place I'm being told to.
I think all violins vary in size even if its minute. May also be to do if your instrument is tuned
A half inch difference at the first step isn't minute. I wonder what the length is from nut to bridge.
For a note to be that far out of tune, so close to the upper nut, due to wrong bridge placement, would require a difference in bridge position of about three inches to account for a half inch error near the upper nut. So that probably doesn't explain Barbara's issue adequately.
I just took my violin, put my finger on the A on the G string and measured the distance to the nut. Doing this it occurred to me that the discrepancy may be due to from where on the finger you measure. The 36 mm is from the nut to the "bridge side" of the finger. It replicates pretty precisely on my instrument. If you however measure the distance between the nut and the "nut side" of the finger you may get 22 mm depending on the diameter of your finger and the angle of your finger against the fingerboard (vertical or leaning).
Albrecht, I think that's the solution. Occam's razor.
Barbara, almost certainly your nut is too high. This is a common problem with cheap violins.
Thank you for your comments ?? I'm not sure what is the best thing to do. The violin cost £215 which I thought was the price for a good student violin but maybe not. I've only had it a fortnight do if I had to I could return it for a different one. Haven't decided. Really hope I can learn by ear but worry that as I'm not confident in the sound of a particular note, I'll end up constantly moving around and never getting anywhere. I am thinking of getting a teacher to help me through these early stages. Must admit the whole experience has made me anxious about playing, always worrying my intonation is way off. Thanks again for your help.
INTONATION is primary. Get a correctly set up violin. My teacher recommended I get a Peterson Strobo-plus tuner to guide me while practicing. I don't see how else you can do it, without perfect pitch!
Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I think a teacher would be a great help at this stage and help you avoid pitfalls that come with learning a new instrument.
Barbara, if my diagnosis is correct, I suggest you return it for a better one, but the ease, or otherwise, of that may depend on where you bought it. If they are a good shop, they will appreciate the problem. It may have been better to rent a violin before getting a teacher, if you can get that option.
Thanks. I should be okay in returning it, they have a 30 day return guarantee. It's a shame as I really valued the shop's opinion. It was a violin they recommended.
Use your tuner to help you get familiar with locating your notes. I'm sure you have a tuner of some kind, to tune your violin? I hope you are able to get a better set-up!!! Best of luck to you... Violin is hard enough to learn without a crippled instrument.
I don't really understand the problem. Since you are already a musician and familiar with the piano and guitar you should be able to replicate (say) a 2 octave G major scale on an in-tune violin to closely match the pitches of the scale on a piano.
Thank you for the detailed reply, Andrew, and in particular your mention of the Suzuki method. I'm a complete novice to the violin, so I'm often directed by YouTube recommendations. However, I researched the Suzuki method there and find a 30 day course. The big thing for me is I've just been working on Day 5 with the A string. I'm following the tutor, trying to match my sound with hers. I'm not always spot on but I can tell - I'm learning by ear!?? I'm even ignoring the dots and am considering removing them from my violin. Feel so much happier, less stressed, and have ordered the book to learn the pieces too. I am going to try to find a teacher of my own but in the meantime discovering this method has brightened my day. Thank you.
Please get a teacher...at least for the first six to twelve months. It is so hard to unlearn bad habits such as holding the bow or the violin incorrectly. Unfortunately, the violin is not a self-teaching instrument. Buy a chromatic tuner to check your intonation and practice in front of a full length mirror if you can.
Violin really requires a teacher- there are so many things to learn and so many that can go wrong. The valuable thing a teacher does is give you feedback on what you're actually doing when you play, and what you need to practice to fix it. Youtube's entertaining, but I wouldn't trust it to learn how to play violin. Playing piano or guitar doesn't have much carryover to violin, unfortunately. Also, a teacher can give you some good independent (hopefully) advice on an instrument.
Thank you. I've contacted my local music school who deliver private lessons for adults. I'm just waiting for a regular time slot so hopefully I'll be able to start within the week. Thank you for the advice. It's so easy to follow YouTube but after what you've said, the worry of bad habits, has made me rethink my approach. I do want to take playing the violin seriously and hopefully a teacher, a good teacher, will help. Thanks.
Yes, it's a good idea, Barbara - posture alone is surprisingly intricate. If your teacher is good, they will be poking you here there and everywhere with their bow or a finger getting you to change your stance, lol! (I guess you might prefer a female teacher if you think that would be too intrusive)
aren't teachers all online because of Covid??