Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Learning violin as an adult?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    577
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Learning violin as an adult?

    I've always wanted to learn either the violin or cello, and I thought of the two, the violin might be both the cheaper and easiest to deal with when I needed to move it places. I'm wondering how difficult it is to learn the instrument as an adult? I am an avid and lifelong pianist, and I can play a little guitar. How expensive is a starter instrument? I would just want something that sounds ok, and plays well.

  2. Likes senza sordino liked this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member senza sordino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,426
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I started as an adult, but that was twenty years ago. It's hard to asses a violin without being able to play well, so buying an instrument as a beginner is difficult. A violin seller could give you a Stradivari to try, but as a beginner it'll sound pretty rough. So will a $200 instrument. Perhaps try a rent to own first.

    I suggest you get yourself a teacher. A good teacher will show you the basics without any sloppy habits. A good tone takes time and good technique. It takes no time at all to make a good sound on a piano, it takes much longer on the violin. Don't let that fact stop you though. And a good teacher can help assess any violin you hope to buy.

    It's difficult to answer "how difficult is learning the violin?" Each instrument has its difficulties. You can immediately make a piano sound great with one finger, but to play with all ten takes time. With a violin you will usually only need to make one note sound at a time, but it's all about tone and intonation, vibrato and the quality of sound.

    The nice thing about violin is that you can probably find some amateur orchestras to play with. There is nothing more thrilling than sitting in an orchestra playing a full symphony. Pianists or guitar players don't get to do that.

  4. Likes Capeditiea, pmlevine, hpowders liked this post
  5. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    577
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Will my meager guitar skills transfer at all?

  6. #4
    Senior Member Pugg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    39,996
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Manok View Post
    I've always wanted to learn either the violin or cello, and I thought of the two, the violin might be both the cheaper and easiest to deal with when I needed to move it places. I'm wondering how difficult it is to learn the instrument as an adult? I am an avid and lifelong pianist, and I can play a little guitar. How expensive is a starter instrument? I would just want something that sounds ok, and plays well.
    If I may be so bold, does adult mean like 20 ties or 50ties ( in years)
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    577
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    30s. I don’t intend on being a concert master. I just want to see how things really work on the violin. Maybe with luck I may be good enough to play with someone one day.

  8. #6
    Senior Member senza sordino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,426
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I was 32 when I started. A year later I started playing with an amateur orchestra. I sat at the back of the second violins. I got lost many times, but I hung in there. I practiced a lot. I took two exams: grade 4 and grade 6. I have no intention of doing more exams. When I started I never thought I'd be a soloist or concertmaster, my goals were realistic.

    I think your guitar skills can help. Just having finger dexterity on a finger board and hand shape can help. As a piano player you already know what a scale is supposed to sound like.

    20 years later, I'm still learning. I go through phases of a lot of practice and little practice. Life gets in the way sometimes. I've played some fantastic music in an orchestra. Three years ago I was a concertmaster for a beginner group of adult string players. I've even been learning some concerti with a teacher knowing full well I'll never perform these in front of an orchestra and audience. And I play many of the solo violin pieces written by Bach.

    Perhaps if I had started 45 years ago I'd now be a professional. Possibly. But we'll never know. That doesn't stop me from playing now. The prospect of what could have been doesn't prevent me from doing what I can do now.
    Last edited by senza sordino; Feb-25-2018 at 17:51.

  9. Likes hpowders, Ingélou liked this post
  10. #7
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sharon, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,547
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Manok View Post
    I've always wanted to learn either the violin or cello, and I thought of the two, the violin might be both the cheaper and easiest to deal with when I needed to move it places. I'm wondering how difficult it is to learn the instrument as an adult? I am an avid and lifelong pianist, and I can play a little guitar. How expensive is a starter instrument? I would just want something that sounds ok, and plays well.
    A violin is definitely cheaper than a cello. And another thing to consider is that you won't be in your 30's forever. I'm a 60 year old cellist with arthritic knees, and on more than one occasion over the past few years, shlepping my instrument up a flight of stairs, I've regretted that my parents didn't have me learn the violin or viola rather than the cello.

    You might also consider the viola. There may not be quite as much solo music to play, but you'll be in huge demand for community orchestras. And it's a lot lighter than a cello :-).

  11. #8
    Senior Member Pugg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    39,996
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Manok View Post
    30s. I don’t intend on being a concert master. I just want to see how things really work on the violin. Maybe with luck I may be good enough to play with someone one day.
    Quote Originally Posted by senza sordino View Post
    I was 32 when I started. A year later I started playing with an amateur orchestra. I sat at the back of the second violins. I got lost many times, but I hung in there. I practiced a lot. I took two exams: grade 4 and grade 6. I have no intention of doing more exams. When I started I never thought I'd be a soloist or concertmaster, my goals were realistic.

    I think your guitar skills can help. Just having finger dexterity on a finger board and hand shape can help. As a piano player you already know what a scale is supposed to sound like.

    20 years later, I'm still learning. I go through phases of a lot of practice and little practice. Life gets in the way sometimes. I've played some fantastic music in an orchestra. Three years ago I was a concertmaster for a beginner group of adult string players. I've even been learning some concerti with a teacher knowing full well I'll never perform these in front of an orchestra and audience. And I play many of the solo violin pieces written by Bach.

    Perhaps if I had started 45 years ago I'd now be a professional. Possibly. But we'll never know. That doesn't stop me from playing now. The prospect of what could have been doesn't prevent me from doing what I can do now.
    Well you see, senza sordino sums it al up, go for it otherwise you regret it for the rest of your live.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

  12. Likes Ingélou liked this post
  13. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It is never too late to learn anything. You will only get out what you put in but don't expect to become a virtuoso starting as an adult. It has been done but it is not likely.

  14. Likes Krummhorn liked this post
  15. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    19
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    So, it is fairly possible to learn the violin as an adult. what you need is a good ear and the motivation.

    A starter violin (cheap) should not be more than 100 EUR.

  16. #11
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    2,684
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    I'd rather see those with a talent already established on one instrument take it to the next level rather than start over on a new one — I think it's ultimately more fulfilling and satisfying. But if one is starting over on a new one, some of one's ability is transferable in rhythm, sound, melody, and so on. But I would never in a million years recommend that someone be self-taught starting out: wrong technic or habits can sometimes take a lifetime to correct and a good teacher can help one avoid that... I mean, for those who are serious about learning a new instrument and getting it right the first time. Check with schools or universities for possible teachers, or perhaps where instruments can be rented or bought to find someone who's affordable and compatible. It's never too late to develop one's musical ability and perhaps surprise oneself. Never trying can leave one wondering what might have been.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Aug-29-2018 at 11:31.
    "That's all Folks!"

  17. Likes Ingélou liked this post
  18. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think it is trickier to achieve good intonation the smaller the instrument. One other thing to think about is the size of your fingers and body in general: not trying to stereotype here, but a sane match between physique and instrument makes sense if comfort and long-term freedom from injury are to be avoided.

    LH skills are transferable to some extent, and for a right-handed pianist string playing will further improve the technique of what is usually the less skilled hand.

  19. #13
    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Hønefoss, Norway
    Posts
    2,294
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default


    Just watched this and thought somebody else might like it.

  20. Likes Zofia liked this post
  21. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Deutschland
    Posts
    280
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kjetil Heggelund View Post

    Just watched this and thought somebody else might like it.
    Thank you and sorry to derail but I love her Vaughan Williams.

Similar Threads

  1. Learning Piano as an Adult Beginner
    By 76Trombones in forum Beginners
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Feb-11-2017, 19:47
  2. Replies: 9
    Last Post: May-15-2014, 11:07
  3. Learning the violin
    By playpiano in forum Musicians
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Jul-13-2013, 23:40
  4. Replies: 23
    Last Post: May-02-2013, 13:33
  5. Learning Violin without a teacher
    By Sofronitsky in forum Beginners
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Sep-21-2011, 23:59

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •