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Tab

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I have a 3/4 Suzuki that is too small for me and I am looking into getting another violin. Any recommendations on what to get? Intermediate violins? I saw an Eastman for sale, Oxford, and an antique made in Germany. Not sure what I should get, but the Oxford is new and in my price range. I do not know what is the best-sounding brand. I have 3/4 and grew out of it by the time I had stopped playing, so I do need a 4/4. I do love the sound of my Suzuki. I played a Glaesel and didn't like the sound as well as my Suzuki.
 
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StarRidgeAcres

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Hi Tab,

I'm not a violinist, but I do have a degree in Music Performance (classical) from a conservatory. So, I was around a lot of violinist growing up, and throughout and beyond college. Overwhelmingly what I heard, unlike most brass or woodwind instruments, stringed instruments are much less about the "maker" or "brand" and more about the quality of the workmanship and what "sound" you are striving for. Are you more interested in a round, mellow, dark tone? Or maybe something brighter? Only you can answer that. The folks I new, from advanced students to professionals, would always try as many differnt ones as they could. They asked their friends and teachers, looked around for ones offered privately for sale and then would go and try them.

Are there any large music stores in your area? Sometimes they will get a few in, on a trial basis, for you to play and see what you think. Also, being careful of course, I would bet that craigslist, ebay, etc., may have quality used ones for sale. When I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't going to play any longer, I sold my clarinets on ebay. That was about 15 years ago, but it was a positive experience. I had three to sell and they were bought by 3 different people, 2 in the states, one abroad. They just had me send them recordings of me playing them so they could hear the quality and color of the tone. The technique was up to them!lol

Good luck in your search!
 

Lizzie

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It is interesting Parmela, how different individual instruments can sound. Many years ago, when I was purchasing a piano, the shop owner just let me play to my heart's content, all afternoon, while trying out all his different pianos. There were several extremely expensive pianos, which didn't sound nearly as good as the used one I finally purchased. The new ones often had a rather harsh sound, whereas the older ones sounded much more friendly and mellow. I was alone in the shop for quite a long time, until a gentleman came in, who was also looking for a piano. He said he didn't play much, but was just wanting a grand piano for his home, which sounded nice. He asked me if I would mind playing for him, while he listened to each. He finally chose one and purchased it. That gentleman, was Lee J. Cobb. I didn't even know who he was at the time. He died just a few years after our strange little meeting.

Now, I actually have an 1869, Victorian square grand, which I adore. My daughter bought it for me as a Christmas present, one year. She is a grand old lady who doesn't always play well and is a beggar to tune, but I love her anyway. (The piano - not my daughter)

Lizzie
 
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NoddalottaFarm

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I'm glad you posted this and I hope it gets more replies! I have had a Roland Digital Piano for about 14 years, and only my niece plays it when she visits. I even got free lessons for 6 months when I bought it, and never used them. Today I kick myself for not taking advantage of that. I decided piano isn't want I want, so I have been looking at selling it and getting a violin. I have ZERO music ability, and Zero knowledge of violins. I've looked at pawn shops (which I learned have used violins for about the same price as new ones) and have been watching Craig's List too, but I just didn't know enough about violins to get one. Our "local" music store has them for $650, but I didn't really want to spend that much on something that would probably sit around like the piano. I was looking for a cheap violin until I decided if it was what I wanted to play...not like the piano. Jumped into that one!
 
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StarRidgeAcres

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Here's the tough part about buying one "just to see if you like playing" in that if you get a dud, you may decide you don't like playing when really if you'd had a nicer one you may have truly enjoyed it.

I played for 20 years. During that time I needed an "A" clarinet, which is a key, not a nod to its quality. I bought an older one from the local paper. I hated it! It was SO difficult to play, even for me and I'd been playing for years at that point. If that had been the first clarinet I picked up, I never would have played. And that would have been sad because I got so many travel and other experiences because of playing in orchestras that I never would have gotten otherwise. I would have missed out on meeting famous people (musicians), playing on a recording with the St. Louis Symphony, playing on the stage (hundreds of times) at Powell Hall, traveling to perform with various other orchestras that needed subs, etc. All because of music!

Fun thread.
 

Tab

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Thank you all! Do you notice that whether the instrument is handmade or mass produced there is still a "break in" period when it is new? That the broken in instrument will sometimes sound better, even if it isn't handmade? Maybe that is the case with my Suzuki versus the Glaesel? I am looking at one on craigslist. I'm hoping that if now is not the time, it will be the time in the near future!
 

susanne

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Parmela, I never realized you were a fellow woodwind player! My second major in college was music, and I've played both jazz and classical saxophone for many years on a semi-pro basis. I SO agree with you about the quality of the instrument greatly affecting your enjoyment of playing -- and, of course, with reed instruments you have the added wild card of how good your reed is. I've picked up saxophones that made me feel as if I couldn't play...especially school horns that students were expected to learn on. To any parents of young musicians: make certain to have someone knowledgeable (not the school music teacher) check out your child's instrument so they can have a decent chance.

Jazz saxophonists playing in big bands are expected to also be proficient on flute and clarinet. I'm a decent enough flutist, but I am horrid on clarinet and when possible use my soprano sax instead. I felt a bit better when Pete Christlieb, an outstanding tenor saxophonist (known in pop music for solos with Steely Dan) told me that he can just look at a clarinet and it squeaks.

In my next life I plan to play cello...

.
 
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Helicopter

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Funny you should post this topic. I saw a 3/4 size violin in the music shop window last week and wondered idly if it would be the right size for me.It was super cheap so was probably rubbish. I learnt the violin for 2 years back in the late 60s when I was at Teachers College. I was BAD but there were some who were worse (truly). I sometimes have a yen to have another go at it. Probably make the dogs howl and the donkeys honk but that would be a bonus, wouldn't it?
 

Tab

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Music is truly one of the greatest blessings in life! I hope you really get back into it and that we both are able to improve!
The scroll is supposed to fit comfortably in the palm of an outstretched arm. I'm a hand too long for my 3/4. I am short all over haha.
 

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