My Weekend Adventure

I had the opportunity to meet another adult starter violinist. We found each other via the Violin/Fiddle Adult Starters group on Facebook. She has been playing about six years and is a member of a local string ensemble. We met on Saturday and had a delightful afternoon getting to know each other and visiting with her friend, Don Liester in his awesome studio.

Don is a local violin maker who makes really lovely instruments. He allowed me to play several of his violins and I fell absolutely in love with one. So much so, that he gave me the opportunity to take it home for a week’s test run. It’s a full-size instrument, and I have determined that it’s still too much of a stretch for me to play for any length of time. However, my teacher says that I could consider a 7/8ths violin now that my hand is better able for it.

In playing the borrowed violin, I discovered that the reason that I like it so much is that it sounds just like mine, only bigger. When I mentioned that to my teacher, he was quite intrigued. He is very interested to hear and play it on Friday. I know that he is simply going to love it! It would be fantastic if he bought it so that I could hear it more often. If I can’t have it, then it would be cool if he did. I really love this violin!

Don also makes 7/8ths size violins. My new acquaintance has one, and it is delightful. Because I love the full size one so much, I am considering commissioning a 7/8ths one from Don with the aim of sounding like the one I have out on trial. My husband thinks I’m daft for wanting to spend more money on a violin that sounds like what I have already. However, I think it will be difficult for me to be taken seriously on a small instrument with a small sound. A 7/8 would still be a compromise in sound, but would be much closer in output than the 3/4 I have.

Part of me thinks that I should consider something with a different sound quality altogether, but every time I try violins I gravitate to the sound I have. I wish I were experienced enough to know whether it is the right one for what I plan to do in the future. Is it sweet enough for chamber music? Is it colorful enough to play solo repertoire? Can it be heard in a hall, and blend with an orchestra? There are so many questions that I don’t have the answer to. In the end, does it matter? After all, I am the one who hears it 100% of the time. If I don’t love it, will I want to play it, regardless of whether it sounds fantastic in a space or situation I will probably never play in?

In other news, I told my teacher about the Facebook group and mentioned that it’s closed with no teachers or professionals allowed. His immediate reaction was a stunned, “You mean I can’t check it out?”. Yup, that’s right. It’s a good thing I like you, buddy. LOL!


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