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Thread: Hello - advice requested

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    Default Hello - advice requested

    Hello all,

    I am pleased to be a new addition to the forum community. Please forgive any typos as I am writing.on my phone.

    Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a relatively young professional - late twenties. I have absolutely zero experience playing an instrument. I have never played an instrument and have no idea how to read music. I can dedicate 30 minutes a night to learning and several hours a day on weekends in addition to a weekly one hour lesson. I do not have grand aspirations but would like to become proficient eventually.

    For the past several months, I have been serious considering learning to play.an instrument and I am seeking your advice in that regard.

    The first consideration seems to be which instrument to learn. I am interested in learning either the violin or the piano. Is one instrument better suited to a total beginner? We do have a forty year old piano in the home which we inherited but it has not been used in at least thirty years.

    I live in Maryland and work in northern Virginia and there seems to be a wealth of instructors in the area. If anybody is from the area, do you have any instructors which you can recommend? Any stores which you recommend where I can go try some instruments out?

    Please let me know if you have any questions or require any additional information. i promise to reply promptly.

    Thank you!

    -David

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    Senior Member Taneyev's Avatar
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    I don't play any instrument neither, but as an old listener I strongly recommend you the piano. Violin (as any other string) should be learned very early if you want to get something. Besides. you have a piano already (first thing is make it cleaned and tuned by a professional)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odnoposoff View Post
    I don't play any instrument neither, but as an old listener I strongly recommend you the piano. Violin (as any other string) should be learned very early if you want to get something. Besides. you have a piano already (first thing is make it cleaned and tuned by a professional)
    Thank you. Why should stringed instruments be started early, whereas piano can be picked up later in life?

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delliott View Post
    Thank you. Why should stringed instruments be started early, whereas piano can be picked up later in life?
    Neighbors tend to tolerate children assaulting their hearing; adults not so much. the violin/viola/cello can make some godawful sounds, and they tend to keep doing it for a long time during the learning process. The piano, not so much.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    Neighbors tend to tolerate children assaulting their hearing; adults not so much. the violin/viola/cello can make some godawful sounds, and they tend to keep doing it for a long time during the learning process. The piano, not so much.
    Excellent point.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    You'll also be pleased with your results faster on piano. As soon as you start using two hands, it can start sounding very nice even if you are playing simple tunes.

    Piano is also ideal if you are just starting to learn music theory and notation along with your playing. It's very visual.

    You've had a piano in your home for thirty years and never once thought to play it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunasong View Post
    You'll also be pleased with your results faster on piano. As soon as you start using two hands, it can start sounding very nice even if you are playing simple tunes.

    Piano is also ideal if you are just starting to learn music theory and notation along with your playing. It's very visual.

    You've had a piano in your home for thirty years and never once thought to play it?
    Well, the piano has not been used in thirty years and it is about forty years old. However, I've only been in this home for nine years. Does that make it any better?

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    I also recommend you go for the piano rather than the violin. String instruments require a very automatic set of movements and postures in your physical memory and this is very hard to do at an older age.
    "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody." - Rousseau

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    I also recommend you go for the piano rather than the violin. String instruments require a very automatic set of movements and postures in your physical memory and this is very hard to do at an older age.
    It took a friend of mine at least 15 years to make the transition from good guitarist (learned as a teenager) to good bluegrass fiddler, a ton of practice, many less-than-pleasant sounds. He got there maybe 5 years ago. Now he is 75 years old and feeble, can't fiddle for more than ~15 minutes at a time.

    Personally, I feel that's too long to suffer for the return he has gotten - but musicians are funny that way.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    I think string instruments are not as great an idea as the piano as they seem more prone to cause joint discomfort (and burns on your fingers)
    I can't play Debussy étude

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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    I also recommend you go for the piano rather than the violin. String instruments require a very automatic set of movements and postures in your physical memory and this is very hard to do at an older age.
    Thank you for your input. That makes a good deal of sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    It took a friend of mine at least 15 years to make the transition from good guitarist (learned as a teenager) to good bluegrass fiddler, a ton of practice, many less-than-pleasant sounds. He got there maybe 5 years ago. Now he is 75 years old and feeble, can't fiddle for more than ~15 minutes at a time.

    Personally, I feel that's too long to suffer for the return he has gotten - but musicians are funny that way.
    I'm sorry to hear that your friend is unable to play as much as he would like now. I wish him all the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasa View Post
    I think string instruments are not as great an idea as the piano as they seem more prone to cause joint discomfort (and burns on your fingers)
    I had no idea! Thank you for the heads up.

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    Thank you all for your input. I'll definitely go ahead and begin with the piano. Now, to find somebody in the area who does cleanups / tuning.

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    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
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    You've made a good decision! You're intending to get the piano overhauled (essential) and to have regular lessons (essential). You say "I can dedicate 30 minutes a night to learning and several hours a day on weekends in addition to a weekly one hour lesson", so I calculate that at, say, 7 hours a week. So you'll be aware of real progress after a couple of months and have got somewhere worthwhile after six. Just note that, as with all things, you'll hit plateaus and seem to be putting in a lot of effort for not much progress at times. Just keep in mind the bigger picture and the fact that, like Mr 72's friend, there is pleasure to be got from playing at whatever level, and in noticing how one improves week on week.

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