Dec 2009 09

Play the radio 2

Hobbies Music

Electric Violin

So I had said previously that my musical talent ended pretty much at the ability to play the radio, and that I hated that..  I wrote that entry back in July of '08 and I still hate it..

I have been looking around for ideas of what to play and am still undecided.. I have a nice piano so my investment there at this point would be only time, but I am not interested in it -- it still doesn't inspire me..  I still like the idea of the Chapman stick but the cost is just unreasonable and frankly the alternative is not as pretty (yes that matters) not to mention they have horrible business tactics which I don't appreciate..

I thought about getting a guitar and may still do that as there's a ton of info out there for free as well as an awesome assortment of equipment.. So baring anything else.. I'll do that.. I can get a guitar on the cheap and I have 4 or 5 friends that have offered to loan me an instrument..

Having said that, of late a coworker of mine has gotten me interested in learning the violin or viola..   Plus I have done a lot of looking online and I have to admit they look fun..  The concept of an electric violin appeals to me.. hehe

I think I like the sound of the viola more than that of the violin but it seems to me that everything out there is aimed more at teaching you the violin, and then you convert that knowledge to the viola or the cello..  As I understand it the knowledge transfers quit easily and I wouldn't be surprised if way back in history "Violin" translates to "small Viola".. heh

What's really funny is I like the idea of an electric violin the most.. Primarily because I know its something that I could build..  I know.. whacky.. but I'm a damn good carpenter and frankly they don't look hard to build..  I have watched quite a few videos of them being made and to be honest, the only thing I need is the measurements..

Not sure how the sound is picked up though -- it appears to be a crystal in the bridge which makes sense, since unlike an electric guitar there are no metal strings.. Beyond that making sure strings are correctly isolated and that the measurements are sound it seems easy..

I'm not going to rush out of build one of course.. I mean if you can't play it what's the point..

I have purchased several books and am reading up on the violin though as I think it's something I'd like to start doing.. I have wasted enough of my life sans music, it's time to start picking something up..  I found a place here in town that rents very nice violins for as low as $20-$30 a month and they have a looong list of instructors..

I have told the wife of the plans and she seemed opened to it..  Good thing too as I'm sure for a while its going to sound like I'm torturing a cat to death..  I also have looked into various forms of "muffles" for violins so that I don't drive her completely insane..

More reading and video watching though to try to make sure it's what I want to do..

On a side note;  I have watched a lot of YouTube video's recently of people playing all manner of instruments and I'm just stunned and amazed at the varitey of talent there is out in the world..

Some of you are fantastic!  Some.. not so much.. heh..  Gotta take the good with the bad I suppose..

But it just amazes me the number of people who record themselves performing their art for others to watch and even critique.. (though to be honest you're better off just closing the "text comments" and never ever reading them again.. It's also stunning how completely rude people are considering folks are opening themselves up to constructive comments, not unhelpful bad-mouthing by someone who couldn't even perform to the level they are bashing.)

Kelly Iverson ("The Lady") and Mark Allen ("Doc Parsons") are a fantastic example of people who love what they do and do it for our enjoyment.. they also show nicely that a well played guitar sounds wonderful with a well played violin.. Thanks guys, well done.. links removed

Some of the instruments are .. uh.. odd.. to say the least.. For example, the following is a nyckelharpa and a hurdy gurdy duo -- Stick around for the whole thing: links removed

Wasn't that great?!  I mean two instruments that absolutely fill the space with sound.. I'm not sure another instrument would fit in there.. heh

I had never heard of a Nyckelharpa before but apparently it's a traditional Swedish instrument from the 14th century.. Very cool.. There are a lot of youtube videos of people playing them and they are neat..  The hurdy gurdy is I have heard before in person and you really can't appreciate it until you feel the buzz.. It's a wildly expressive instrument.. It's very cool that people not only still play these but are darn good at it..

There are a lot more examples too of folks willing to put themselves out there.. Kudos to you all.. Aint the internet cool.. =)

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