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    Hi, I am in my first year of AS levels, just about to finish and I am considering taking up the violin. I play the piano, to diploma level, and used to play the clarinet but I didnt like the breath control involved. I have a few questions about the violin

    Is it silly to be wanting to learn at this late stage? How hard is the instrument? Are there any cheap ways to get an instrument and lessons to see if I like it KMS maybe? How cheap are lessons with an average teacher. I am guessing that playing the piano will help a bit in reading music and left hand agility but I dont know. Is the violin and piano compatable instrumnets?
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    Silly ? No.
    Cheap ? Hire a violin, or ask your teacher if you can borrow one, for a few weeks.
    As for price, it depends where you live. It costs £20 an hour in London, just the same for all instruments, so probably whatever you pay for the piano.
    And...if you're diploma level at piano, you should probably have a vague idea of instruments "working" together.
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    Violin is different from the piano in that it's not just about hitting the right key, you have to get your finger in exactly the right place, vibrating in just the right way to get a pure tone (though you won't start by doing vibrato). As you are already an accomplished musician, the reading music and understanding the shape of pieces wouldn't be too hard; it's just learning how to pitch the notes, and bowing techniques and everything. However, it will be considerably easier for you than for a non-musician to pick it up.

    Lessons generally cost the same as any other instrumental lessons, and as for instruments, prices start at around £100 for a really crappy factory made import, to millions for a Strad or similar. I am not sure about hiring.

    I play the piano and cello, so they're certainly not incompatible!
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    (Original post by Womble548)
    Hi, I am in my first year of AS levels, just about to finish and I am considering taking up the violin. I play the piano, to diploma level, and used to play the clarinet but I didnt like the breath control involved. I have a few questions about the violin

    Is it silly to be wanting to learn at this late stage? How hard is the instrument? Are there any cheap ways to get an instrument and lessons to see if I like it KMS maybe? How cheap are lessons with an average teacher. I am guessing that playing the piano will help a bit in reading music and left hand agility but I dont know. Is the violin and piano compatable instrumnets?
    No of course it's not silly! If you want to learn it and have the time you learn it. I'm in my last year of GCSEs and I'm only just learning the cello, and am finding I am learning pretty fast. Mind you, I am used to learning instruments by now haha.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, and make sure you have a teacher who you get on with, my brother plays the violin and hated it until he found a teacher who he got on really well with.
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    Thanks for the VERY quick replies, Ive looked on the kent music school website and found you can hire for £17 pound a term. They will probably be 'crappy'. These will be good enough for a beginner though?

    I might try to have a little go on someone's I know to see how it feels. My piano teacher works at kent centre for young instrumentalits so he may have some info for me.
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    Also, what are some of the war-horses for the violin. I would like to listen to some pieces that show what it can do. Equivelent to things like rach 2, chopin etudes, liszt sonata etc
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    (Original post by Womble548)
    Thanks for the VERY quick replies, Ive looked on the kent music school website and found you can hire for £17 pound a term. They will probably be 'crappy'. These will be good enough for a beginner though?

    I might try to have a little go on someone's I know to see how it feels. My piano teacher works at kent centre for young instrumentalits so he may have some info for me.
    My sister hired a viola for a few pounds a term, it was 'crappy' but had a really good sound because it was so old. String instruments are the better they generally sound.
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    (Original post by Womble548)
    Also, what are some of the war-horses for the violin. I would like to listen to some pieces that show what it can do. Equivelent to things like rach 2, chopin etudes, liszt sonata etc
    Gotta be Bruch violin concerto in G minor. Or the Mendelssohn one. If you like squeaky modernish stuff, listen to "The Lark Ascending" by Vaughan Williams (which, indicentally, I truly hate). If baroque stuff is more your thing, listen to Bach's double violin concerto - not fantastically difficult, about grade 7ish mostly, but sounds cool.
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    What style does the violin mostly play/ has the most music for? For the piano I generally only play romantic and a little classical. I am VERY picky about any other tyles and dont tend to play musch from them. Any Chopiny/rachmaninoffy/liszty (do these terms exist?) pieces for violin.

    I'm going to 'aquire' these pieces from somewhere, thankyou
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    Whether the violin and piano are compatible instruments, there are similarities like the left hand agility you mentioned, but really the right hand holding the bow dominates because that's what controls the sound. It might be easy for you, as a pianist to use your left hand but first you will still have to get comfortable with holding the violin, having loose hands, wrists, fingers and being in control. So disciplining your body is something else common with the piano. The single most important thing when you begin to learn is to master a good grip of the bow.

    You could hire violins as a beginner, but don't be put off by the hideous screeching. It's not your playing - well, it is, but most cheap violins are not that good. You should try playing better violins once in a while, ones you know make a sound; you could ask one of your violinist friends to help you out choosing a reasonable cheap violin.

    When it comes to the exhibition pieces for violin, Paganini's caprices comes to mind. (Liszt wrote many of his pieces, including the grand etudes after him). Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov (chromatic), Mozart violin concertos (singing quality and tone), Bach fugues from violin sonatas 1&2, preludio from partita 3, Sarsate Carmen Fantasy, Tchaikovsky concerto and so on.. and on..

    and good luck
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    Lots of advice so far, thankyou.

    I think I will start by hiring. I am doing my diploma in July and would not like to start befpre then becuase it may be a distraction. On the Kent Music School site, it sys that you can hire per term, I guess that means that the earliest I will be able to hire will be spetember? Also, most music teachers dont teach during the holiday do they ?

    Is it bad to self teach yourself for a few months before getting a teacher? That may be the case if i hire from a shop
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    (Original post by Womble548)
    Is it bad to self teach yourself for a few months before getting a teacher? That may be the case if i hire from a shop
    You might get into bad habits etc, which would take even longer to "unlearn" them
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    Looked around at prices? Is it worth renting when you can get violins from £50-70 + ???
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    (Original post by Womble548)
    Looked around at prices? Is it worth renting when you can get violins from £50-70 + ???
    Try comparing a Taiwanese keyboard from Walthamstow market to a Steinway Grand Piano. But...worse. The difference in quality with stringed instruments is very marked.

    As for pieces, you'll be playing the usual classical and romantic stuff, but you can get arrangements of earlier baroque pieces.

    And, of course, listen to Paganini's Caprices if you've never heard them. They're the ultimate violin virtuoso pieces.
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    How long roughly does it take to be adequate at the violin? around grade 5 perhaps? Also what level/grade are violinists in university orchetras. The piano is a lonely instrument
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    Paganini's Caprices and the theme tune from Schindler's List by John Williams are good contrasting ones.
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    (Original post by Womble548)
    How long roughly does it take to be adequate at the violin? around grade 5 perhaps? Also what level/grade are violinists in university orchetras. The piano is a lonely instrument
    Depends on the uni. The main orchestras here will not look at you unless you are grade 8 plus, although there are some college orchestras that will.

    I know people who have got to Grade 5 + in under 2 years, but then I know people who've taken 6 years to get there. Hopefully you will be near the shorter end of the spectrum, already being musical.
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    Thankyou, I'm gonna try to get to grade 4-5 before i leave school
 
 
 
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