Accepted for an orchestra? Huh?

Greetings! It has been a long time.

My kid’s school district started a program to have the kids teach parents orchestra. Teaching gives excellent growth in learning. I asked to join thinking I’d be turned down but I am accepted to play the violin. What have I done? :laughing:

I have never played anything besides the guitar and I just started that last Christmas. I can’t read music but I do understand the note circle.

The one thing that I do have is ambition and Google. As Mozart is famous for saying, “fake it until you make it.”


Good luck with that! Someone once told me that the violin is the most difficult instrument to learn. After that it’s the French horn. :smiley:
I look forward to following your progress. :+1:

1 Like

Enjoy…I considered a violin or cello before settling on learning guitar. I’d played a viola way, way back in my middle school days. I could still see myself picking one up someday.

1 Like

At first, I read that you had to teach the kids violin without prior experience with the instrument :rofl: :rofl: That would have been so hard.

Luckily, it’s the other way around :slightly_smiling_face: good luck and have fun!

1 Like

yessum, I agree lol…


I’m so fascinated by violins because they have no frets! I wonder…How does a string instrument without frets work? Have fun in your new adventure!

@SILVIA Silvia, when you hold down a note on the guitar the length of the string is from the fret wire to the bridge, irrespective of where you finger is in the fret. It is the length of the string vibrating that creates the pitch of the note. In a fretless instrument you must hold the string down at exactly the right point on the neck so the length of the string vibrating is correct. If you get that wrong then the note will be sharp or flat.

This is what makes fretless instruments so difficult. I believe people may get started by applying markers, using suitable tape, to help learn how to do this. It truly is playing by ear.


Thanks for the clear explanation David, I kind of imagined that, nevertheless I kept on thinking that maybe no, it is too difficult! But…there’s a big BUT…the violin neck is very short and it has only 4 strings! I guess they don’t have all the octaves we find on a guitar.
It’s really so fascinating! Like you kind of learn how to make your instrument sing the same way you learn how to sing using your vocal chords, in a very instinctive way using ears!

1 Like

In my experience, intonation (i.e. playing the correct pitch on the fretless instrument) isn’t the hard part. You just listen and correct if necessary. The hard part is bowing with the correct pressure, speed, direction, and angle to make a beautiful sound instead of a horrific one…


I still have not played one but looked around. Yes, making good sound (not just whether in flat or sharp or even in the same note) is the hardest thing. As I have been told, most beginners sound really bad. Like they are holding up a cat instead of a violin. There is a learning curve just to do the bow correctly and not make a scratchy, awful sound.

Finding the spots without frets might be an issue as the spots still shrink as they move down the neck. I could currently probably do much work on a guitar without frets, though as I hardly even look anymore but I would probably have mixed results. My biggest issue is that I found out about neck and back issues. I will need to keep my practice light and with tons of breaks as I already have neck issues.

Truth be told, I was intimidated by the guitar and it has been one impossible thing followed by another, so I am ready to have that happen, if more slowly. I always look at things like “if another person as able-bodied as me can do it, so can I.”

1 Like

:laughing: Good Lord! If I was expected to teach, I already would’ve quit for the benefit of my students. :laughing: :rofl: :joy:

I have only held a violin once. I was a kid and it was right before I got turned down for music class. This has been a close to 50 year trip to get just this far :laughing:

Hi Richard,

to potentially lessen neck and back issues your violin should have a proper shoulder and chin rest. The first is even more important, as we were told by someone who recently restored my fiancee’s old violin. It will still be an unused and awkward position the first time of practice though. :sweat_smile: Hopefully it won’t cause too much pain, fingers crossed.

Good luck with it and enjoy the ride. Even though it’s hard, I guess this project will also be a fun one. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thank you for the tip anout the rest. I am going to rent one this evening, so I will ask them about that. hope my neck and back are cool. I plan on taking lots of breaks.

My goal as a guitarist was to play cowboy chords by a campfire and I have far exceeded that and am still blossoming. As far as the violin, I just hope to learn to read music and be helpful enough to participate as a band member and not sound like I have an angry feral cat in my violin case. Who knows, maybe I will do even better? I have faith in me.

1 Like

I have been at it for a while and progressed well. However, I learned that I can’t stand the noise it makes. Lol. This was great advice. Thank you!