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LearningMusician Chat >> General Site Chat >> Questions for a musical audience on the violin....      
 
Viewing 1-7 of 7 total messages      

Zach Muench

July 6, 2009 - 12:32 PMReply to this message
I've been looking around for a while now for a forum with dedicated, professional members and upon seeing this site - I decided this was the place to post. The questions below will all be pertaining to the violin and related musical pieces that I find myself confused about as I enter the world of strings (I was once a wind enthusiast). First however, I would like to give some information about why I am asking these questions! I recently became interested in the violin/fiddle after hearing Mairead Nesbitt (I think that is how you spell it...) of the Celtic Woman perform and I immediately decided that was something I would like to pursue. Now I realize (most likely) I will never EVER be as good as her nor study at any of the schools she studied at - but yet, I would still like to learn a little. My dream is to learn how to play the violin/fiddle and someday be able to do even the most basic Celtic jigs and tunes. So with that said, here comes the questions!

1. Are the terms violin and fiddle interchangeable? Does it just depend on the style of music being played at the time?
2. How much of a leap is it from learning to play the classical violin and then progressing to Celtic music? Or is it best to just straight out go for the fiddle if that is what I want to learn?
3. How drastic are the differences in reading music between the violin and say something like a clarinet or the saxophone? (Two instruments I played...)
4. Is Celtic music something you are taught in? Much like you are either educated in the classical violin, bluegrass fiddle, Scottish fiddle...?

Any other insight you guys may be able to give would be GREATLY appreciated! Again, thank you for your time looking through my questions!
 

Unknown User

July 13, 2009 - 6:19 PMReply to this message
Hi Zach. Congratulations on being interested in violin/fiddle! I teach both (lol).
To answer your questions:
1. The terms violin and fiddle refer to the same instrument. The difference is in the style of playing.
2. I would recommend you start learning the basics in a classical method - even Suzuki. You can always branch out from there.
3. Violin music is written in the treble clef exclusively, and sounds in concert pitch. For example, A/440 sounds like "A", not Bb.
4. Celtic is another style of playing, just like bluegrass or traditional fiddle.

My advice is to start with the classical style to learn the basics of violin playing. It will be easier to move to an "alternative" style after you learn the basics. Good luck! ALSO - please do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy a violin-shaped-object off the internet (i.e. eBay) unless you know something about violins. There are plenty of reputable violin retailers who also have websites and they also offer warrantees and even return policies. Please write me if you would like some specific recommendations.

------------------
On July 6, 2009 - 12:32 PM, Zach Muench wrote :
> I've been looking around for a while now for a forum with dedicated, professional members and upon seeing this site - I decided this was the place to post. The questions below will all be pertaining to the violin and related musical pieces that I find myself confused about as I enter the world of strings (I was once a wind enthusiast). First however, I would like to give some information about why I am asking these questions! I recently became interested in the violin/fiddle after hearing Mairead Nesbitt (I think that is how you spell it...) of the Celtic Woman perform and I immediately decided that was something I would like to pursue. Now I realize (most likely) I will never EVER be as good as her nor study at any of the schools she studied at - but yet, I would still like to learn a little. My dream is to learn how to play the violin/fiddle and someday be able to do even the most basic Celtic jigs and tunes. So with that said, here comes the questions!
>
> 1. Are the terms violin and fiddle interchangeable? Does it just depend on the style of music being played at the time?
> 2. How much of a leap is it from learning to play the classical violin and then progressing to Celtic music? Or is it best to just straight out go for the fiddle if that is what I want to learn?
> 3. How drastic are the differences in reading music between the violin and say something like a clarinet or the saxophone? (Two instruments I played...)
> 4. Is Celtic music something you are taught in? Much like you are either educated in the classical violin, bluegrass fiddle, Scottish fiddle...?
>
> Any other insight you guys may be able to give would be GREATLY appreciated! Again, thank you for your time looking through my questions!
>
 

Peggy Nogle-Mott

Offering violin lessons, fiddle lessons, and chamber music coaching lessons in Yelm, Washington

July 28, 2009 - 8:58 AMReply to this message
A "violin-shaped object"!! I love that description. :0D I was one of the lucky ones who did buy my fiddle online, but I knew the maker I wanted, what to look for, and checked it out thoroughly including receiving it on approval only. I bought my bow, a 1900 +/- Justin Poirson, from Shar's nice collection and have been very happy with it. I was sent four bows on approval and chose my bow from among them.

Good luck, Zach!

Peggy

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On July 13, 2009 - 6:19 PM, Susanne Vergeldt wrote :
> Hi Zach. Congratulations on being interested in violin/fiddle! I teach both (lol).
> To answer your questions:
> 1. The terms violin and fiddle refer to the same instrument. The difference is in the style of playing.
> 2. I would recommend you start learning the basics in a classical method - even Suzuki. You can always branch out from there.
> 3. Violin music is written in the treble clef exclusively, and sounds in concert pitch. For example, A/440 sounds like "A", not Bb.
> 4. Celtic is another style of playing, just like bluegrass or traditional fiddle.
>
> My advice is to start with the classical style to learn the basics of violin playing. It will be easier to move to an "alternative" style after you learn the basics. Good luck! ALSO - please do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy a violin-shaped-object off the internet (i.e. eBay) unless you know something about violins. There are plenty of reputable violin retailers who also have websites and they also offer warrantees and even return policies. Please write me if you would like some specific recommendations.
>
> ------------------
> On July 6, 2009 - 12:32 PM, Zach Muench wrote :
> > I've been looking around for a while now for a forum with dedicated, professional members and upon seeing this site - I decided this was the place to post. The questions below will all be pertaining to the violin and related musical pieces that I find myself confused about as I enter the world of strings (I was once a wind enthusiast). First however, I would like to give some information about why I am asking these questions! I recently became interested in the violin/fiddle after hearing Mairead Nesbitt (I think that is how you spell it...) of the Celtic Woman perform and I immediately decided that was something I would like to pursue. Now I realize (most likely) I will never EVER be as good as her nor study at any of the schools she studied at - but yet, I would still like to learn a little. My dream is to learn how to play the violin/fiddle and someday be able to do even the most basic Celtic jigs and tunes. So with that said, here comes the questions!
> >
> > 1. Are the terms violin and fiddle interchangeable? Does it just depend on the style of music being played at the time?
> > 2. How much of a leap is it from learning to play the classical violin and then progressing to Celtic music? Or is it best to just straight out go for the fiddle if that is what I want to learn?
> > 3. How drastic are the differences in reading music between the violin and say something like a clarinet or the saxophone? (Two instruments I played...)
> > 4. Is Celtic music something you are taught in? Much like you are either educated in the classical violin, bluegrass fiddle, Scottish fiddle...?
> >
> > Any other insight you guys may be able to give would be GREATLY appreciated! Again, thank you for your time looking through my questions!
> >
 

Zach Muench

July 29, 2009 - 2:48 PMReply to this message
Thank you for the responses guys! I'm looking into purchasing a violin now... is there anything I should look for? According to the sizing chart I believe I would need the largest size. But I do not know what else to look for beyond that. Thanks again!
 

Michael Connolly

Offering fiddle lessons, mandolin lessons, and guitar lessons in Seattle, Washington

July 31, 2009 - 10:43 AMReply to this message
This is just my opinion, but the best thing you could do at this stage would be to defer the purchase of an instrument a little longer. EVen if you aren't planning on taking lessons on a continual basis, locate a good teacher in your area (this site is a great starting point) and ask for a recommendation of a local _violin shop_ (not just a generic music store) which will rent you an instrument. Renting a reasonable quality instrument should cost you between $20 and $50 a month, and that would be an instrument worth something on the order of $400-$800. This is going to give you much more of a "fighting chance" in learning to play than the oft-mentioned "violin shaped objects." If you are buying anywhere outside of a violin shop, you are more likely to be purchasing a VSO than an actually playable instrument.

After even a few months of playing (and ideally, lessons -- it is a difficult instrument to learn in isolation) you'll have a much better idea of your preferences and what you should be looking for in an instrument.

Hope this helps!

Michael

------------------
On July 29, 2009 - 2:48 PM, Zach Muench wrote :
> Thank you for the responses guys! I'm looking into purchasing a violin now... is there anything I should look for? According to the sizing chart I believe I would need the largest size. But I do not know what else to look for beyond that. Thanks again!
 

Michael Connolly

Offering fiddle lessons, mandolin lessons, and guitar lessons in Seattle, Washington

July 31, 2009 - 10:48 AMReply to this message
One final thought: I teach Irish traditional music as well as bluegrass, and one major part of learning either is developing a strong mental model of the sound you should be shooting for. Unless, like the people who developed these musical styles, you are surrounded by this type of music day in and day out, you could likely benefit from a little more immersion to help absorb the sonic ideals of each style. The tone, ornaments, and phrasing of Irish, Scottish, bluegrass, old-time, and classical violin are each unique, and while you can be shown in a lesson how to produce these different techniques, sounding "correct" in these different styles depends on a history of listening to that kind of music.

So, if you're interested in Irish or Scottish fiddle ("Celtic" being more of a vague umbrella term), look up some well-respected players in each genre and start listening! Listen to as much music as you can and you will start to hear what makes these styles similar and different. Then, whether you start with a classical instructor (I agree that the Suzuki method would be a good choice, as it emphasizes ear training) or a fiddle teacher, you'll have a much better defined mental image of where it is you're headed.

Best,

Michael
 

Zach Muench

September 19, 2009 - 3:30 PMReply to this message
Thank you so much! I am currently taking lessons from an orchestra teacher who worked at a local high school. I just rented a violin and decided I would worry about specifics later - it wouldn't be in my best interest to purchase a fiddle and then realize my ears were bigger then my stomach (if that cliche makes any sense).
 
LearningMusician Chat >> General Site Chat >> Questions for a musical audience on the violin....      
Viewing 1-7 of 7 total messages