Learning Violin as an adult? 7 years, new recording

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tetractys
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 7 years, new recording

Post by tetractys »

investingdad wrote: Wed Jan 10, 2024 11:22 am
tetractys wrote: Wed Jan 10, 2024 11:07 am
investingdad wrote: Wed Jan 10, 2024 7:59 amThanks, you mentioned a teacher…what do you play, or, maybe voice?
Recorders. I really like the history and the variety of instruments.
Interesting choice, how long have you been playing? I believe Bach wrote a number of concertos for recorder that are really nice.
I started recorder and studying music around ‘82. Yes JS wrote concertos and cantatas, and his son CPE wrote for recorder too.
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investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 7 years, new recording

Post by investingdad »

So I guess it’s now seven and a half years, no recording update on this post but an update on my capabilities growth.

I’ve been doing a string ensemble class for adults which has really helped my ability to play in a group. Some recent experience has shown that I can hear what others in a quartet are doing and mesh, the class has been a bit tricky because two of the quartet members are much lighter on playing experience. The young woman who is the other violinist is comparable to where I’m at and we can sync up our playing and match tempo with each other.

We also are doing two pieces with the equivalent adult band at the music school. I was extremely pleased to find that I had no nerves at all when we played together this week. That may not be true with an audience but when I first did the ensemble class a year and a half ago I was struggling with nerves with just a few people in the group. So huge growth here.

I will be tackling a community orchestra in the Fall and do expect some pain the first year, but the only way forward is to suck it up, learn, and then be able to contribute.

My technical skills have not changed too much and my ceiling may well be third position. But, when I take a step back and look objectively at what I’ve accomplished so far, what I’m now comfortable doing in a group musical setting, and the fact that I’m ok both taking lead on a quartet piece or following the lead while playing second part…I’m extremely pleased. I wasn’t sure if I’d get to this point and have miles to go before I consider myself reasonably capable, but happy with what I’m doing now.

Edit…

Also wanted to add that I’ve had considerable development in hearing a tune in my head and then using trial and error to play it. Last week I was warming up and stumbled into a measure of the Star Wars main theme. It took about five minutes until I was able to figure most of main theme first part out and then play it. Massive ear development here, pleased with that.
PoorPlumber
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 7 years, new recording

Post by PoorPlumber »

I read your beginning post and skipped to the end. One of, if not my favorite threads put on here.

If it hasn't been mentioned, there are studies showing that continuously attempting new things/skills as we age can help stave off dementia.

You're an inspiration to everyone to try.

Salute! Play on! :sharebeer
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investingdad
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Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

Post by investingdad »

YabbaDabbaDoody wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:31 pm The easiest instrument to play and easiest to sound good on is saxophone. Violin is way too difficult - and piano takes a while to learn, as well The fingering system is not hard, and you don't need super expensive equipment.

Get yourself an inexpensive alto sax (not Chinese made, intonation problems) and have at it.

Signed,
Retired Music Teacher
This person only posted once on BH but looking back, it’s disappointing that a retired music teacher would suggest that the instrument the student was interested in is too hard and to choose something else. Perhaps after a career of teaching it’s easy to be cynical, which I totally understand.

They were right about the violin being challenging (a better word than difficult), it is. And starting at 43 made it even more challenging, no question. But what a colossal mistake it would have been if I hadn’t stuck with my initial decision to give it a go.

If I were doing it again, MAYBE I’d consider the cello instead of violin, but probably not.
JayB
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Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

Post by JayB »

investingdad wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 8:54 am
YabbaDabbaDoody wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:31 pm The easiest instrument to play and easiest to sound good on is saxophone. Violin is way too difficult - and piano takes a while to learn, as well The fingering system is not hard, and you don't need super expensive equipment.

Get yourself an inexpensive alto sax (not Chinese made, intonation problems) and have at it.

Signed,
Retired Music Teacher
This person only posted once on BH but looking back, it’s disappointing that a retired music teacher would suggest that the instrument the student was interested in is too hard and to choose something else. Perhaps after a career of teaching it’s easy to be cynical, which I totally understand.

They were right about the violin being challenging (a better word than difficult), it is. And starting at 43 made it even more challenging, no question. But what a colossal mistake it would have been if I hadn’t stuck with my initial decision to give it a go.

If I were doing it again, MAYBE I’d consider the cello instead of violin, but probably not.
I've played a variety of instruments, including violin and cello. Learning cello is not necessarily easier than violin; in some ways it's more difficult. Besides, why pick an easy instrument, unless sounding good sooner is really important. It's better to pick an instrument that you really resonate with and one that provides a level of challenge that suits you, not somebody else.
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investingdad
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Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

Post by investingdad »

JayB wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 10:12 am
investingdad wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 8:54 am
YabbaDabbaDoody wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:31 pm The easiest instrument to play and easiest to sound good on is saxophone. Violin is way too difficult - and piano takes a while to learn, as well The fingering system is not hard, and you don't need super expensive equipment.

Get yourself an inexpensive alto sax (not Chinese made, intonation problems) and have at it.

Signed,
Retired Music Teacher
This person only posted once on BH but looking back, it’s disappointing that a retired music teacher would suggest that the instrument the student was interested in is too hard and to choose something else. Perhaps after a career of teaching it’s easy to be cynical, which I totally understand.

They were right about the violin being challenging (a better word than difficult), it is. And starting at 43 made it even more challenging, no question. But what a colossal mistake it would have been if I hadn’t stuck with my initial decision to give it a go.

If I were doing it again, MAYBE I’d consider the cello instead of violin, but probably not.
I've played a variety of instruments, including violin and cello. Learning cello is not necessarily easier than violin; in some ways it's more difficult. Besides, why pick an easy instrument, unless sounding good sooner is really important. It's better to pick an instrument that you really resonate with and one that provides a level of challenge that suits you, not somebody else.
I did snag an Amazon cheapo cello about a year after I started the violin. I had fun messing with it for about two weeks and then went back to my violin. If I had started on it maybe I would have felt differently, it is a wonderfully deep tone for sure.

But the violin just feels natural now when under my chin, it was the right choice.
TSR
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 7 years, new recording

Post by TSR »

investingdad wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:36 am So I guess it’s now seven and a half years, no recording update on this post but an update on my capabilities growth.

I’ve been doing a string ensemble class for adults which has really helped my ability to play in a group. Some recent experience has shown that I can hear what others in a quartet are doing and mesh, the class has been a bit tricky because two of the quartet members are much lighter on playing experience. The young woman who is the other violinist is comparable to where I’m at and we can sync up our playing and match tempo with each other.

We also are doing two pieces with the equivalent adult band at the music school. I was extremely pleased to find that I had no nerves at all when we played together this week. That may not be true with an audience but when I first did the ensemble class a year and a half ago I was struggling with nerves with just a few people in the group. So huge growth here.

I will be tackling a community orchestra in the Fall and do expect some pain the first year, but the only way forward is to suck it up, learn, and then be able to contribute.

My technical skills have not changed too much and my ceiling may well be third position. But, when I take a step back and look objectively at what I’ve accomplished so far, what I’m now comfortable doing in a group musical setting, and the fact that I’m ok both taking lead on a quartet piece or following the lead while playing second part…I’m extremely pleased. I wasn’t sure if I’d get to this point and have miles to go before I consider myself reasonably capable, but happy with what I’m doing now.

Edit…

Also wanted to add that I’ve had considerable development in hearing a tune in my head and then using trial and error to play it. Last week I was warming up and stumbled into a measure of the Star Wars main theme. It took about five minutes until I was able to figure most of main theme first part out and then play it. Massive ear development here, pleased with that.
Always glad to see your updates. I'm a few years younger than you, but only a few. As someone who plays a lot of music but has started to suffer from some wrist pain, I'd be curious to hear any updates you've had in the tendonitis-management journey as well -- seemed like you mentioned that a few years into it but haven't since. Hopeful that it's dropped out of the picture, but I'd love to hear of any techniques you may have developed.
Topic Author
investingdad
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Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 7 years, new recording

Post by investingdad »

TSR wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 10:56 am
investingdad wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:36 am So I guess it’s now seven and a half years, no recording update on this post but an update on my capabilities growth.

I’ve been doing a string ensemble class for adults which has really helped my ability to play in a group. Some recent experience has shown that I can hear what others in a quartet are doing and mesh, the class has been a bit tricky because two of the quartet members are much lighter on playing experience. The young woman who is the other violinist is comparable to where I’m at and we can sync up our playing and match tempo with each other.

We also are doing two pieces with the equivalent adult band at the music school. I was extremely pleased to find that I had no nerves at all when we played together this week. That may not be true with an audience but when I first did the ensemble class a year and a half ago I was struggling with nerves with just a few people in the group. So huge growth here.

I will be tackling a community orchestra in the Fall and do expect some pain the first year, but the only way forward is to suck it up, learn, and then be able to contribute.

My technical skills have not changed too much and my ceiling may well be third position. But, when I take a step back and look objectively at what I’ve accomplished so far, what I’m now comfortable doing in a group musical setting, and the fact that I’m ok both taking lead on a quartet piece or following the lead while playing second part…I’m extremely pleased. I wasn’t sure if I’d get to this point and have miles to go before I consider myself reasonably capable, but happy with what I’m doing now.

Edit…

Also wanted to add that I’ve had considerable development in hearing a tune in my head and then using trial and error to play it. Last week I was warming up and stumbled into a measure of the Star Wars main theme. It took about five minutes until I was able to figure most of main theme first part out and then play it. Massive ear development here, pleased with that.
Always glad to see your updates. I'm a few years younger than you, but only a few. As someone who plays a lot of music but has started to suffer from some wrist pain, I'd be curious to hear any updates you've had in the tendonitis-management journey as well -- seemed like you mentioned that a few years into it but haven't since. Hopeful that it's dropped out of the picture, but I'd love to hear of any techniques you may have developed.
You remember correctly, yes. I was 43 when I started this thread and am turning 51 this summer (yikes!).

About three or four months in I was experiencing a lot of tendinitis in my left wrist, to the point where I was getting tingling in my little finger. I tried anti inflammatory meds, natural remedies (black pepper and turmeric capsules…which actually seemed to help), and ice.

That went on for maybe three or four months and then gradually settled down. What changed? No idea. Maybe better technique, maybe development in those very weak finger and wrist muscles, or…? But I can happily report that problem went away. Now I do notice that if I play in the morning my left hand gets a bit tingly, so there must be circulation physics happening in morning but not later.

Also, after six or so years my little finger (4th finger in violin speak) FINALLY gained some extension without discomfort. It’s not great but it’s better than when I started. Both my third and fourth fingers of my left hand now move quickly and freely without dragging the others along, so clearly a lot of strength buildup there which certainly helps.

So overall the early discomfort faded away to the point where I’m feeling good overall while playing.
TSR
Posts: 1262
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:08 am

Re: Learning Violin as an adult? 7 years, new recording

Post by TSR »

investingdad wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 11:08 am
TSR wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 10:56 am
investingdad wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:36 am So I guess it’s now seven and a half years, no recording update on this post but an update on my capabilities growth.

I’ve been doing a string ensemble class for adults which has really helped my ability to play in a group. Some recent experience has shown that I can hear what others in a quartet are doing and mesh, the class has been a bit tricky because two of the quartet members are much lighter on playing experience. The young woman who is the other violinist is comparable to where I’m at and we can sync up our playing and match tempo with each other.

We also are doing two pieces with the equivalent adult band at the music school. I was extremely pleased to find that I had no nerves at all when we played together this week. That may not be true with an audience but when I first did the ensemble class a year and a half ago I was struggling with nerves with just a few people in the group. So huge growth here.

I will be tackling a community orchestra in the Fall and do expect some pain the first year, but the only way forward is to suck it up, learn, and then be able to contribute.

My technical skills have not changed too much and my ceiling may well be third position. But, when I take a step back and look objectively at what I’ve accomplished so far, what I’m now comfortable doing in a group musical setting, and the fact that I’m ok both taking lead on a quartet piece or following the lead while playing second part…I’m extremely pleased. I wasn’t sure if I’d get to this point and have miles to go before I consider myself reasonably capable, but happy with what I’m doing now.

Edit…

Also wanted to add that I’ve had considerable development in hearing a tune in my head and then using trial and error to play it. Last week I was warming up and stumbled into a measure of the Star Wars main theme. It took about five minutes until I was able to figure most of main theme first part out and then play it. Massive ear development here, pleased with that.
Always glad to see your updates. I'm a few years younger than you, but only a few. As someone who plays a lot of music but has started to suffer from some wrist pain, I'd be curious to hear any updates you've had in the tendonitis-management journey as well -- seemed like you mentioned that a few years into it but haven't since. Hopeful that it's dropped out of the picture, but I'd love to hear of any techniques you may have developed.
You remember correctly, yes. I was 43 when I started this thread and am turning 51 this summer (yikes!).

About three or four months in I was experiencing a lot of tendinitis in my left wrist, to the point where I was getting tingling in my little finger. I tried anti inflammatory meds, natural remedies (black pepper and turmeric capsules…which actually seemed to help), and ice.

That went on for maybe three or four months and then gradually settled down. What changed? No idea. Maybe better technique, maybe development in those very weak finger and wrist muscles, or…? But I can happily report that problem went away. Now I do notice that if I play in the morning my left hand gets a bit tingly, so there must be circulation physics happening in morning but not later.

Also, after six or so years my little finger (4th finger in violin speak) FINALLY gained some extension without discomfort. It’s not great but it’s better than when I started. Both my third and fourth fingers of my left hand now move quickly and freely without dragging the others along, so clearly a lot of strength buildup there which certainly helps.

So overall the early discomfort faded away to the point where I’m feeling good overall while playing.
That's a great result. I'm really glad to hear it!
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