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Thread: Self Taught Violin

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    Default Self Taught Violin

    I am a college student with basically no music experience. I cant read music, have never played an instrument, but I would like to start. However, college seems to be the worst place to be to try to pick up something new as there are no classes for beginners. Yes, that is correct, I am at PSU with 40,000+ students and there are NO music classes available for beginners unless I go off campus and pay $900 for 18 1 hour lessons. Add a cheap violin on top of that I am am looking at starting costs of over $1000 which I cannot afford. I really want to get started while Im in college as I have to time to practice which I am afraid may not be the case after graduation when I have the money.

    While you hear about self taught pianists all the time, that seems as though it would be substantially easier to self teach than the violin due to the fact that the keys are what they are and you do not have to try to guess where to place your fingers to get the right note. Maybe this is just from my novice perceptive, but the violin seems more of an art than the the piano.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated

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    Senior Member SalieriIsInnocent's Avatar
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    I am learning online. I bought a 50 dollar violin on ebay. I would recommend shelling out at least 200$ though. I have learned a lot in a short amount of time. You only pay 1 time and you get to keep every lesson for as long as you want.

    http://www.violinmasterpro.com/

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoth View Post
    I am a college student with basically no music experience. I cant read music, have never played an instrument, but I would like to start. However, college seems to be the worst place to be to try to pick up something new as there are no classes for beginners. Yes, that is correct, I am at PSU with 40,000+ students and there are NO music classes available for beginners unless I go off campus and pay $900 for 18 1 hour lessons. Add a cheap violin on top of that I am am looking at starting costs of over $1000 which I cannot afford. I really want to get started while Im in college as I have to time to practice which I am afraid may not be the case after graduation when I have the money.

    While you hear about self taught pianists all the time, that seems as though it would be substantially easier to self teach than the violin due to the fact that the keys are what they are and you do not have to try to guess where to place your fingers to get the right note. Maybe this is just from my novice perceptive, but the violin seems more of an art than the the piano.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated
    Why would you want to take group lessons for an instrument in a class anyway? You'll get no personal attention and the class will move too quickly. There have got to be private instructors in your area who would be willing to teach you at reasonable prices. Try Craigslist.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    I figure I will want to spend somewhere in the $2-400 on my first violin setup.

    Is that online course working out well for you? Are you going into it with no prior experience?

    I must have been unclear, by class I meant individual lesson. Those prices are for private lessons. PSU offers private lessons but does not teach beginners which I found shocking--and to think they are constantly telling us to try new things. Craigslist only brings up someone in Harrisburg which is not very helpful. I even contacted the music department asking for various programs and they only had that one suggestion.

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoth View Post
    I figure I will want to spend somewhere in the $2-400 on my first violin setup.

    Is that online course working out well for you? Are you going into it with no prior experience?

    I must have been unclear, by class I meant individual lesson. Those prices are for private lessons. PSU offers private lessons but does not teach beginners which I found shocking--and to think they are constantly telling us to try new things. Craigslist only brings up someone in Harrisburg which is not very helpful. I even contacted the music department asking for various programs and they only had that one suggestion.
    Well, I guess if you live in an area sparse in musicians and good prices, you're kinda stuck!
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Senior Member SalieriIsInnocent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoth View Post
    I figure I will want to spend somewhere in the $2-400 on my first violin setup.

    Is that online course working out well for you? Are you going into it with no prior experience?

    I must have been unclear, by class I meant individual lesson. Those prices are for private lessons. PSU offers private lessons but does not teach beginners which I found shocking--and to think they are constantly telling us to try new things. Craigslist only brings up someone in Harrisburg which is not very helpful. I even contacted the music department asking for various programs and they only had that one suggestion.
    They are very helpful. My problem is that my fingers are to used to being on hard guitar strings that I can be rough with. The violin takes a much lighter touch. I popped a string during my first practice. But I have learned a whole lot. I can already play a few songs.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Wow thats surprising!

    I played the Bass guitar, I could just ram and slap the strings as hard as I like. Now my violin teacher tells me I should pluck the strings harder and that I should press harder on fingerboard and that I shouldnt worry about being light and things breaking.

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    Wow thats surprising!

    I played the Bass guitar, I could just ram and slap the strings as hard as I like. Now my violin teacher tells me I should pluck the strings harder and that I should press harder on fingerboard and that I shouldnt worry about being light and things breaking.
    Well, Salieri did say he spent $50 dollars for it on eBay. One has to assume it's not as well put together as other violins. I mean, after all, how would you ever play any of the more violent violin concerti with such an instrument that has a penchant for snapping apart? The instrument should be able to take the abuse!
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Senior Member SalieriIsInnocent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post
    Well, Salieri did say he spent $50 dollars for it on eBay. One has to assume it's not as well put together as other violins. I mean, after all, how would you ever play any of the more violent violin concerti with such an instrument that has a penchant for snapping apart? The instrument should be able to take the abuse!
    I broke a string on my first lesson. My violin isn't very good. It has a decent sound but it isn't well made.

    I guess I had it coming. But I went through the same trials with guitar. I went through 4 guitars until my 5th one which is awesome.

    I was lucky with trumpet because it was a Conn from a pawn shop. My coronet was my dads.

    But I will say one thing that really hurts your wallet with a violin, the strings. They are so expensive and you don't want the cheap ones because they break when you put them on.

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    Junior Member Barry's Avatar
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    Ive been playing for 13 months now. Im self taught via books and internet. Im 46 years old and I wish I'd started sooner. My reading skills are improving and hope by next year to play with a community orchestra

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    Barry, could you specify some books and sites which you have found to be helpful?

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Ah that makes sense..

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    Junior Member Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoth View Post
    Barry, could you specify some books and sites which you have found to be helpful?
    Theres a lot of great sites I use. Heres a few :

    http://www.violinonline.com/techniqueexercises.htm

    http://www.8notes.com/

    http://www.oleviolin.com/violin/eng/

    As for books, "Discover the lead" classical has been a good one. It comes with a play along CD.

    Hal Leonards Violin play a long ,classical,volume 3 is a great one also, but tougher than the Discover the lead book.

    If you cannot find these after doing a search, let me know and I'll find the links.


    On the subject of cheap violins, My first one was a $50 amazon special. I learned to adjust soundposts and cut bridges on that one and still own it. Within 45 days I went out and bought an SV-150 cremona. I played it up until august this year , then I purchased an Otto Jos. Klier (German made) and my wife took over the Cremona and now Im teaching her.

    The cheap $50 violin is still nice for taking outside and Ive got it sounding fair enough that I plan to do some Christmas busking with it.
    Last edited by Barry; Oct-22-2009 at 20:10.

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    Senior Member Lukecash12's Avatar
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    Great instrument. I'm sure you love it. Do you play the Cello or Viola too? Or do you prefer to keep your practice time and budget into one instrument (if it isn't impolite of me to ask so)?
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

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    Junior Member Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    Great instrument. I'm sure you love it. Do you play the Cello or Viola too? Or do you prefer to keep your practice time and budget into one instrument (if it isn't impolite of me to ask so)?
    No cello, I am thinking of taking up viola, but I want to wait until my treble clef reading is strong before trying alto. I play guitar also (over 30 years)

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