Learning Violin as an adult? 2020 update

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helloeveryone
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...2 Years Later

Post by helloeveryone »

investingdad wrote: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:47 pm Two years have passed since I first asked about whether an adult should try to learn a musical instrument with no music background at all.

So two years later and probably 900 hours of violin time, plus weekly lessons, here's what I've accomplished (same violin and bow):

Then
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yfd6R6 ... p=drivesdk

Now
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RKD6m1 ... p=drivesdk

After completing the three book String Builder series with my teacher, she's now moved me into Wohlfahrt etudes and lots of shifting exercises.

We shall see what Year 3 brings.
Sounds great! I’ve been taking guitar lessons 2.5 years now (30min once a week) and it’s been a ton of fun. Slow and steady wins the race! (the race being ongoing improvement and ability to learn things faster)

I’ve been messing around w trying to play along with a metronome and that’s challenging.
youngin87
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Re: Learning Instrument/Violin as an adult...2 Years Later

Post by youngin87 »

I started piano about 3 and half years ago. I upload videos occasionally to youtube for friends. My grand piano is the most expensive thing I've ever bought and is the thing I take the most care of after my dog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qIJCPnOKI8
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Instrument/Violin as an adult...2 Years Later

Post by investingdad »

I think I've probably crossed the 1000 hour threshold now as far as time spent learning/practicing the violin over the last 27 months.

I recorded myself playing Simple Gifts and I'm happy with the fairly clean string crossings. I also like the increasing confidence in bowing that I hear. Granted, a simple piece but easy pieces make it easier to focus on basics.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a2C9fR ... p=drivesdk
Bfwolf
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by Bfwolf »

I am really impressed with how much you've stuck with this and how much time you're dedicating to it.
mariezzz
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...One Year later!

Post by mariezzz »

Padlin wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:24 pm Tried the guitar when I was roughly 40, didn't take to it.

Retired at 57. Bought a Ukulele about 6 months later as I always wanted to learn an instrument. I play, if you can call it that, an hour or so most days, I like it a lot. Easy to make basic music, easy to teach your self via the internet and books. Small enough to take on vacations and pretty cheap to buy. Some areas have uke clubs where they play together weekly or some such, a lot of fun.

A Ukulele can be had for about $100 for a decent properly setup instrument.
George Harrison played ukelele!

I played viola as a child. Maybe in a few years I will return to it - still have the instrument (carefully stored).
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JupiterJones
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Re: Learning Instrument/Violin as an adult...2 Years Later

Post by JupiterJones »

investingdad wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:34 am I recorded myself playing Simple Gifts and I'm happy with the fairly clean string crossings. I also like the increasing confidence in bowing that I hear.
Intonation is also quite good!
Stay on target...
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JupiterJones
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...One Year later!

Post by JupiterJones »

mariezzz wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:36 pm George Harrison played ukelele!
And if that's not enough of a recommendation, this guy plays one too...

Image
Stay on target...
TSR
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by TSR »

I love these updates. Thanks.

One thought: given your enjoyment of playing with others, have you considered asking to learn some fiddle tunes? I ask because (as a guitar player myself) I know it's extremely easy to find people who would enjoy playing back-up on some fiddle tunes, whereas finding other violin players can be much more difficult. I have done this with one friend who was learning violin and I could really see the increase in confidence. It was a lot of fun too.
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Instrument/Violin as an adult...2 Years Later

Post by investingdad »

JupiterJones wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:33 am
investingdad wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:34 am I recorded myself playing Simple Gifts and I'm happy with the fairly clean string crossings. I also like the increasing confidence in bowing that I hear.
Intonation is also quite good!
Thank you. I always like pointing out that it's the same violin when I post these because I think that shows the change over time. In fairness, I now have a MUCH better bow (I went from composite bow to a wooden bow of indeterminate age and origin, it is quite old though) and where I'm playing now in the house has nice acoustics.

No vibrato in these recordings. I've slowly started working on it though. Will be awhile before I can work it into what I'm playing. But my instructor is happy with the mechanics, so maybe the Year 4 update?
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by Fallible »

I hear overall improvement, especially intonation. :thumbsup As you nail down the more technical aspects, do you find yourself concentrating more on tones?
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by investingdad »

Fallible wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:52 pm I hear overall improvement, especially intonation. :thumbsup As you nail down the more technical aspects, do you find yourself concentrating more on tones?
Absolutely. I rotate through a lot of different stuff (after completing the three String Builder books my teacher favors, we went right into the Wohlfahrt Etudes...I can easily see requiring several years or more to navigate all of those). But I have some easier stuff that I always pull out where I can focus completely on improving tone, smooth string crossings, coordinating bow directional changes to match left hand finger changes, using the whole bow, etc.

That last recording is about my current ceiling of skill when playing an easy piece.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by JupiterJones »

Saw this article today. Reminded me of this thread:

http://stringsmagazine.com/8-adult-amat ... p-playing/
Stay on target...
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by investingdad »

JupiterJones wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:30 pm Saw this article today. Reminded me of this thread:

http://stringsmagazine.com/8-adult-amat ... p-playing/
Thank you for posting this. I totally identified with a lot of those folks and what they had to say.
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by investingdad »

Not much new in my musical journey other than plenty of practice, lessons, and etudes.


I did record myself playing this short piece as I thought it sounded nice and I enjoyed the change in speed.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rdcnvA ... p=drivesdk
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by Fallible »

investingdad wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 10:45 am Not much new in my musical journey other than plenty of practice, lessons, and etudes.


I did record myself playing this short piece as I thought it sounded nice and I enjoyed the change in speed.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rdcnvA ... p=drivesdk
Sounds good, as if you were having a good time playing this. What's the name of it?
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by investingdad »

Fallible wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 8:36 pm
investingdad wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 10:45 am Not much new in my musical journey other than plenty of practice, lessons, and etudes.


I did record myself playing this short piece as I thought it sounded nice and I enjoyed the change in speed.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rdcnvA ... p=drivesdk
Sounds good, as if you were having a good time playing this. What's the name of it?
I think it's just an except from a larger work. Composer was Kabalevsky, titled Ride Ride.
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 2.5 year audio

Post by investingdad »

Two and a half years of learning to play the violin, I have progressed thusly and can now play a simple tune:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d51ZyZ ... p=drivesdk

Since my first few posts on this, I continue with weekly lessons and an hour a day of playing.
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 2.5 year audio

Post by Sandtrap »

investingdad wrote: Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:20 am Two and a half years of learning to play the violin, I have progressed thusly and can now play a simple tune:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d51ZyZ ... p=drivesdk

Since my first few posts on this, I continue with weekly lessons and an hour a day of playing.
Thanks for sharing an update.
Your perseverance is commendable.
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad »

It's December, so I'm posting my 3 year follow up to the original thread I started in December 2016 asking for input on whether I should learn violin as an adult.

Time flies!

Not much new... still weekly lessons, still play an hour a day. Spending most of my "learning" time in Wohlfahrt etudes.

An updated recording of the Wedding March:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1idZCb9 ... p=drivesdk

I'm now playing on an antique, French violin I acquired a short time ago.

I was tipped off about a nearby amateur orchestra that accepts all comers of any skill level, so I may start playing in a group setting very shortly.
FoolMeOnce
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by FoolMeOnce »

Good for you!
TSR
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by TSR »

investingdad wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:03 am It's December, so I'm posting my 3 year follow up to the original thread I started in December 2016 asking for input on whether I should learn violin as an adult.

Time flies!

Not much new... still weekly lessons, still play an hour a day. Spending most of my "learning" time in Wohlfahrt etudes.

An updated recording of the Wedding March:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1idZCb9 ... p=drivesdk

I'm now playing on an antique, French violin I acquired a short time ago.

I was tipped off about a nearby amateur orchestra that accepts all comers of any skill level, so I may start playing in a group setting very shortly.
I always enjoy your updates. Can you say more about the transition between the old instrument and the new one?
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad »

TSR wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:15 am
investingdad wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:03 am It's December, so I'm posting my 3 year follow up to the original thread I started in December 2016 asking for input on whether I should learn violin as an adult.

Time flies!

Not much new... still weekly lessons, still play an hour a day. Spending most of my "learning" time in Wohlfahrt etudes.

An updated recording of the Wedding March:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1idZCb9 ... p=drivesdk

I'm now playing on an antique, French violin I acquired a short time ago.

I was tipped off about a nearby amateur orchestra that accepts all comers of any skill level, so I may start playing in a group setting very shortly.
I always enjoy your updates. Can you say more about the transition between the old instrument and the new one?
Sure, it took awhile to find one I liked. I started trialing different violins about two years ago. About six weeks ago I took another three out but I never bothered to play two of them because I couldn't put the one down. It sounded like my student violin in some ways, only full and rich. Many notes have beautiful overtones that my old violin doesn't.

The learning curve was zero, it felt just right as soon as I played it. It's much louder and more resonant. It's a French instrument...made sometime between 1880 and 1920. I was able to get independent opinions confirming it's origins and workshop. Upper end of my price range at 10k but worth it.
EnjoyIt
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by EnjoyIt »

investingdad wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:03 am It's December, so I'm posting my 3 year follow up to the original thread I started in December 2016 asking for input on whether I should learn violin as an adult.

Time flies!

Not much new... still weekly lessons, still play an hour a day. Spending most of my "learning" time in Wohlfahrt etudes.

An updated recording of the Wedding March:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1idZCb9 ... p=drivesdk

I'm now playing on an antique, French violin I acquired a short time ago.

I was tipped off about a nearby amateur orchestra that accepts all comers of any skill level, so I may start playing in a group setting very shortly.
This is my first time catching this thread. Congrats on trying to learn an instrument in your 40s. I too just started taking music lessons. I am learning guitar. I don't have the time as you do so I think this will take me much longer to maybe get some proficiency, but I am excited and hopeful. I really should practice more.

With a family, and work taking up so much of your day, how do you schedule in practice time? How is the spouse taking you disappearing for 1 hour every day to play?
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad »

I typically practice for 30 or 40 minutes after getting home from work. My wife doesn't get home until later and I usually have dinner ready by that point. Kids are 14 and 12 and doing their own thing.

I then practice another half hour at night while kids are practicing their own instruments and showering before bed.

The half hour lesson is the one time a week I'm actually out of the house. I don't have other hobbies or interests that take me away from family and I don't go out with friends on my own, etc.

I don't watch tv, either.
TSR
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by TSR »

investingdad wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:27 am Sure, it took awhile to find one I liked. I started trialing different violins about two years ago. About six weeks ago I took another three out but I never bothered to play two of them because I couldn't put the one down. It sounded like my student violin in some ways, only full and rich. Many notes have beautiful overtones that my old violin doesn't.

The learning curve was zero, it felt just right as soon as I played it. It's much louder and more resonant. It's a French instrument...made sometime between 1880 and 1920. I was able to get independent opinions confirming it's origins and workshop. Upper end of my price range at 10k but worth it.
Ah interesting. I'm a guitar/piano guy myself, and at least with guitar the biggest improvement in purchasing a high quality instrument is in playability (the sound is often much better too, but it's not as huge a difference as playability). I hear you to be saying your new violin had the benefit of almost identical playability just with a marked increase in tone output. I'm imagining that you started off with a pretty good student instrument though, so probably not something you were fighting against in the first place. Thanks for the updates.
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by Fiddle-Bow »

Congratulations on your 3 years. Don't forget to upgrade your bow. A good rule is that the bow should be 1/3 the value of the violin.
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad »

Fiddle-Bow wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:48 pm Congratulations on your 3 years. Don't forget to upgrade your bow. A good rule is that the bow should be 1/3 the value of the violin.
Yeppers. I actually upgraded my bow first. I came across it about a year ago, it's also an antique and well worn. Huge, huge upgrade versus the composite bow I had and immediate positive impact on my playing. Very well balanced and responsive.
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by Gardener »

Very motivating thread.

Thanks Investingdad.
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by TallBoy29er »

I have really enjoyed this thread. I'm thinking about trying to learn the bagpipes. It would be a journey. Thanks for this.
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by protagonist »

Hey, investingdad....great to see that you are still playing.

I started playing sax a bit over 10 years ago, when I was in my mid-50s. Wednesday I have a gig with my Latin ensemble and Sunday I have a gig with my jazz ensemble. I play at two jam sessions a week. I am telling you this to offer encouragement....keep playing!!

(I imagine that the learning curve for classical violin is quite shallow compared to that for saxophone, so kudos for your determination!!

Good luck!
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad »

Thanks. I'm nothing if not determined, though I wasn't sure how this would turn out when I started.

I've made a lot of recordings, mostly because it became obvious that progress is very incremental. I'll go months feeling like I've accomplished little, record myself, listen to something from six months prior, and it becomes immediately obvious that I've been "levelling up" the whole time. Something I thought wasn't bad at the time suddenly sounds greatly inferior to the current recording.

Then 3 years have elapsed and you forget this is how it started...
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yfd6R6 ... p=drivesdk
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by Fallible »

investingdad wrote: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:28 am Thanks. I'm nothing if not determined, though I wasn't sure how this would turn out when I started. ,,,
We who have read about your efforts and listened to your skills so nicely develop over the years already know how "determined" you are. Looking forward to your next update. :beer
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
Jags4186
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by Jags4186 »

investingdad wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:03 am It's December, so I'm posting my 3 year follow up to the original thread I started in December 2016 asking for input on whether I should learn violin as an adult.

Time flies!

Not much new... still weekly lessons, still play an hour a day. Spending most of my "learning" time in Wohlfahrt etudes.

An updated recording of the Wedding March:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1idZCb9 ... p=drivesdk

I'm now playing on an antique, French violin I acquired a short time ago.

I was tipped off about a nearby amateur orchestra that accepts all comers of any skill level, so I may start playing in a group setting very shortly.
Any day now and you’ll be playing Paganini’s God Save the King! https://youtu.be/GflrUhvIWU4

Well maybe not but I am impressed with your progress and sticking with it. Congrats!
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad »

Jags4186 wrote: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:03 pm
investingdad wrote: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:03 am It's December, so I'm posting my 3 year follow up to the original thread I started in December 2016 asking for input on whether I should learn violin as an adult.

Time flies!

Not much new... still weekly lessons, still play an hour a day. Spending most of my "learning" time in Wohlfahrt etudes.

An updated recording of the Wedding March:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1idZCb9 ... p=drivesdk

I'm now playing on an antique, French violin I acquired a short time ago.

I was tipped off about a nearby amateur orchestra that accepts all comers of any skill level, so I may start playing in a group setting very shortly.
Any day now and you’ll be playing Paganini’s God Save the King! https://youtu.be/GflrUhvIWU4

Well maybe not but I am impressed with your progress and sticking with it. Congrats!
Paganini? Bah. Or, rather, Bach...

https://youtu.be/PZoaEmxrsZQ

Hillary is awesome and has a mesmerizing sound. I think she's using Paganini's violin. This is one of my favorites
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by Jazztonight »

investingdad wrote: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:28 am Thanks. I'm nothing if not determined, though I wasn't sure how this would turn out when I started.

I've made a lot of recordings, mostly because it became obvious that progress is very incremental. I'll go months feeling like I've accomplished little, record myself, listen to something from six months prior, and it becomes immediately obvious that I've been "leveling up" the whole time...
Bravo! And yes, the progress is very incremental. I've been through this several times with different instruments, and it is primarily your self-motivation that keeps you going, especially through the plateaus. (If this sort of thing were easy, everyone would do it!)

Your tone continues to improve, and this on one of the most difficult instruments to master. Thirty to sixty minutes of practice a day, with the guidance of a good teacher, makes all the difference.

One year ago I took up the trombone, another bear of an instrument, and have also put in about an hour a day. Because this is my first brass instrument, the learning curve is steep; but because it's not my first instrument, I've had the experience of knowing just how slow this process is, and how patient you must be.

Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to many here, and that's saying a lot!
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by yosh99 »

Good for three years. Are you taking lessons? Learning is very hard, and it reminds me of this YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhjgfgM1jzw
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad »

yosh99 wrote: Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:42 pm Good for three years. Are you taking lessons? Learning is very hard, and it reminds me of this YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhjgfgM1jzw
Twoset violin is awesome.
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 2020 Update

Post by investingdad »

I hadn't posted anything to this thread in 2020.

I've been playing 3 years and 8 months at this point.

Here's an excerpt from a student concertina I've been working on. It gets squirrelly at the end because I'm shifting up to third position.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10enQVL ... p=drivesdk
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 2020 update

Post by quantAndHold »

Congratulations, you're doing great!

I come from a musical background. Music school grad and professional flute player before I changed careers and went into software. A few years back I took up the guitar. Took lessons and practiced every day for a full year. At which point I was so frustrated with the slow progress that I practically broke the thing in half one day. Kudos to you for sticking with it.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 2020 Update

Post by retiredjg »

investingdad wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:57 pm I hadn't posted anything to this thread in 2020.

I've been playing 3 years and 8 months at this point.

Here's an excerpt from a student concertina I've been working on. It gets squirrelly at the end because I'm shifting up to third position.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10enQVL ... p=drivesdk
I know nothing of violin, but I enjoyed it. :happy

Good for you!
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 2020 update

Post by Dottie57 »

You sound great - even in the “squirrelly” parts!
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 2020 update

Post by rotorhead »

Congratulations investingdad on your accomplishment. Your dedication to the effort is admirable.

I haven't read the whole thread here; but your account reminds me of a story I read quite some years ago written by a man who decided to do similar thing. I can't remember if the instrument was the violin or not.

Anyway, he was participant with a large group of like-minded adults, in pursuit of their musical dream. Time passed, and they all learned to play somewhat; and a concert was scheduled for their debut performance. I remember very well his comment about the invited family members and friends "having the grim look of a bunch of sailors being mustered to witness a favorite comrade being administered punishment before the mast" as they marched into the concert hall.

The mental image of that has stuck with me as I too, sometime have the notion to take up a musical instrument.

Congratulations again.
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