Glad to have you here. We need all the action we can get here.
I have seen adult players learn from even up in the 70’s and 80’s. Your determination will get you far. As you already realize from playing a little guitar and piano, learning a musical instrument is not completely easy. I imagine you have it in your blood since you dad plays just about all instruments.
Hope we can help you stay motivated and point you in the right direction if you have any questions.
Looking forward to your posts.
Not sure where to start, so I guess I’ll just jump in. I’m 52 (53 next month) married with a son in grade school and a daughter starting college. I work on a cattle ranch in Montana, but along the way I’ve also done a little science fiction and Kids writing, and I’ve been playing guitar and bass in Rock and Country bands since I was in high school. I tried to learn fiddle when my daughter was a baby, got a cheap violin, actually took a couple lessons and discovered how bad I was at it. The dog howled, the baby cried and my wife would mutter curses from the other room when I practiced! I eventually gave up.
Flash ahead to this Christmas. My wife gave me an electric viola and man, I am loving this thing! Not only can I practice without driving everybody crazy, it sounds so cool through my guitar pedals. Of course, the learning curve is pretty steep, but the challenge is half the fun, right? I’m struggling with intonation, of course, but the fingering isn’t too bad since I’ve played mandolin and mandolla for ages. My biggest problem so far is that I can’t read music, but I’m going to give it another go. And even if I never learn to sight read, I can play by ear.
Thanks for letting me join this forum and thanks for keeping a great website like this one. Since I live miles and miles from any teachers it’s going to be pretty much books and videos to learn with and Fiddleman/Violaman is among th ebest sits I’ve stumbled across.
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a perfect solution. Which electric viola did your wife find you? That was a genius move on her part.
The lower strings are a bonus too right? I have a boss octave pedal that I use with my electric fiddle from time to time and that thing is killer….
Everyone struggles with intonation and not just at first. The trick is to hear what you are doing wrong and not let yourself get away with it during the serious boring practice. When you play, jam and perform, you just do your best and hope that the practice has paid off enough for others not to suffer too much.
Glad to have you here.
Hi folks – OK – so I’m not a new member either – I’ve been lurking around here for over a year and a half but never introduced myself. Several folks here will know me already from the FiddlerMan forum – I’m more into playing fiddle, and use the same nick there, which I joined somewhat over two years ago.
So – what makes me a member of the viola forum ? Well two things –
(1) As a fiddler, I now have 4 fiddles (yes I seem to be acquiring another one almost every 6 months – and I’m thinking about the next…. LOL) – but – the point is that one of them, a 1980’s Chinese Skylark was to all intents and purposes “dead” above G on the E-string. Yes – I messed with the setup, bridge, sound post, different strings – but it’s a non-starter. Soooo…. that poor old 4/4 violin has now been re-strung as a viola. It may not have the depth and “grunt” of a full-body viola – but it works better than it did as a violin ! It has a sweet “bassy” response, and I now quite like it !
(2) In my fiddle journey, I’ve discovered that I quite like producing “viola” backing tracks – effectively an octave down to the fiddle (or with minor alterations if the melody wants to go below C3 ) – these are usually simply scored up in MuseScore with two voices – the melody line (in alto clef, but not necessarily a viola synth – sometimes just piano), and a simple bass-line – either piano or clarinet, and I’m finding them quite useful on my own fiddle ( and at times viola ) journey…
So – anything I do put-together for my own “backing / play-along” purposes that’s in the viola register I’ll be happy to share here (along with sheet, which just falls out of MuseScore anyway)
Always happy to score-up a play-along track if it’s a tune I might also be interested in playing myself – so just ask – I may say “no” if I’m too busy or not interested in the piece myself ! ( These play-alongs will usually be fairly simplified but more than enough to get you started – it’s up to you to add your own embellishments / interpretation )
I added these two yesterday –
There’ll be more to come – happy playing everybody !