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  #16  
Old 11-19-2018, 10:21 AM
catt catt is offline
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I'm sure my instrument selection is in the "all laminated guitar" category of violins, but hopefully I can get a few decent Celtic melodies out of it
Decent violins are all around - craigslist. After you gain some experience with how to assess an instrument, it's very easy to find a good student instrument.

In the beginning, it's all about ergonomics; your silent fiddle is adequate for learning the rudiments. I suggest a good tutor.
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  #17  
Old 11-19-2018, 08:26 PM
bkepler bkepler is offline
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As an orchestra teacher, there's a joke that the "silent Cecilio" is the best sounding one they make. A good set-up will make them playable and from what I've read, fiddlershop uses their personal set-up as a point of pride. Like others have said, upgrade the bow. Don't even wait to see if you need to. You don't know how bad that bow is until you play on something even halfway decent. Everyone needs a leg up with violin and as a guitarist, the bow is going to be 80% of your struggle. I'll also agree with upgrading strings. Steel-core strings will make that piezo pickup pretty strident. Mellow the tone with Alphayue strings for less than $20. They're relatively new to the market and are my go-to for student instruments now.
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  #18  
Old 11-19-2018, 09:26 PM
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So what is it with bows? There's a sweet spot between slip and grip that gives you the best of both?
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2018, 04:54 AM
bkepler bkepler is offline
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So what is it with bows? There's a sweet spot between slip and grip that gives you the best of both?


It has so much to do with the camber, flex, weight, and balance of the bow. Sure, there are issues with inferior hair resisting rosin, but the major problems I've found are in the construction of the rest of the bow.

Most of these cheap bows are way too flexible. When you tighten the hair, the camber disappears, at best. It may even be that you look like you're heading down to the archery range. The other thing with too-flexible bows is that they'll bounce all over the place as you try to draw the bow smoothly across the string, resulting in "chatter."

I've seen plenty of bows where the hair was either cut too long or it has stretched and you can't tighten the bow enough to make a ribbon of hair to work with.

A lot of the bows are too light (weight=wood=$) but are poorly balanced so as to feel heavy in your hand. This imbalance will lead to tension in your bow hold (A piece of advice, be a nerd about your bow hold. It can always improve and it will improve your playing, drastically). You want the bow to have some weight to it, but feel like nothing in your hand. That's why when buying any step-up bow, it's weight will be listed. When I chose my Glasser Carbon weave bow, I played 6 of them in different weights. I'm not suggesting you do that, but just illustrating what the cheap ones are missing.

Finally, what you were onto is that the inferior bow hair doesn't give the option for a "sweet spot between slip and grip." You'll determine the amount of "grip" by the type of rosin you use. If the hair doesn't take it, there's not a lot you can do.

I know it seems like a lot, but really if you just buy a decent $40-$70 fiberglass/carbon bow, it's all sorted out and you don't have to worry about those things. Shar Music is a reputable company that caters to students. They have some options that are more refined than the ubiquitous Glasser fiberglass bow but aren't full carbon fiber weave either.
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  #20  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:32 PM
Tnfiddler Tnfiddler is offline
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You're wanting to learn an instrument that is much harder than guitar and takes major dedication to get to where you'll feel you are a good player. I've always said that "there are fiddle owners, there are fiddle holders and then there are fiddle players!" Get ready to put some serious work in. I'd advise taking lessons from a classical trained violinist so you learn correct posture and CORRECT bow hand position! Ask me how I know!! I play a Marco Raposo bow and it's fantastic, but it's way ahead of what you want to spend before you figure out if this is going to be a long-term instrument.
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  #21  
Old 12-01-2018, 11:14 AM
jparis51 jparis51 is offline
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I'm thinking about this for myself for Christmas. It's on my bucket list.

It comes with headphones which is good. I don't want my wife to kill me in my sleep,

Anyone care to advise?
My wife bought a Cecilio electric (silent) cello last year and we were very happy with the sound and quality relative to the cost.
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  #22  
Old 12-01-2018, 03:24 PM
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My wife bought a Cecilio electric (silent) cello last year and we were very happy with the sound and quality relative to the cost.
I think I'm going to give it a shot. It's like a bucket list kind of thing.
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Soundcloud:
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Serenity (an original - Martin D-16GT version):



Avalon L2-20C, Gibson J-45, Guild D-55, Guild D-120ce, Larrivee OM-05, Martin D-16GT, (plus 1 more here )

and Alvarez, Seagull, Washburn guitars.
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