Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

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

Post by helloeveryone » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:58 am

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 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:32 pm

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 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:34 am

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 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:08 pm

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 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:36 pm

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 » 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!
Stay on target...

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JupiterJones
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...One Year later!

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:35 am

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 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:03 am

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 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:49 pm

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 » 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?
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by investingdad » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:49 pm

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 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:30 pm

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 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:37 pm

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 » 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

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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by Fallible » 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?
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult...1000 hours in...

Post by investingdad » Wed May 29, 2019 5:59 am

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 » 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.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 2.5 year audio

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:37 am

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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Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad » 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.

FoolMeOnce
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by FoolMeOnce » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:09 am

Good for you!

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

Post by TSR » 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?

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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:27 am

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 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:29 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.
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?

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

Post by investingdad » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:45 am

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 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:29 pm

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 » 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.

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

Post by investingdad » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:55 pm

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.

Gardener
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by Gardener » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:31 pm

Very motivating thread.

Thanks Investingdad.

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

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:58 pm

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 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:13 am

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 » 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 "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 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:39 pm

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
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by Jags4186 » 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!

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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult, 3 years later!

Post by investingdad » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:37 pm

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 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:14 pm

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

yosh99
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!

Post by yosh99 » 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

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

Post by investingdad » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:31 pm

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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