Okay, the Secret Project.

A few weeks ago, a friend from Livejournal posted about Cold Antler Farm and Jenna Woginrich and I promptly read her entire blog. I posted then that finally I had found someone with a day job, more animals than me, with similar interests--the list goes on and on and on. (Jenna would love Burlington.)

And then, I saw this post. And I thought, hmm. Okay... maybe this is the kick I need to get music into my life again. A summer to learn how to play the fiddle? Practicing at least fifteen minutes a day? If I did that, then maybe I could then do yoga fifteen minutes a day, too. (Haven't achieved that quite yet.)

I once owned two violins. One was a full-size student model I picked up at a fleamarket and the other was a smaller size (I'm thinking 1/2 side) Czech Stradivarius copy that I bought somewhere for fairly cheap. The student violin came with a case and a broken bow; my ex bought me a bow for it for my birthday. (I still have that, actually, and am using it now.)

I fully intended to learn how to play, but at the time, I also owned a beautiful bowl-backed mandolin (a tater bug, although this one was too lovely to call that, really), four harps, a clarinet, a bunch of tin whistles and/or flutes, a keyboard, a few zithers, and the list goes on. I'm sure you get the idea. I had no clue how to tune a violin, much less try to play it.

The violin was sold in the Great Ebay Purge before my wedding. (I think. That was a while ago, and I don't really remember.) The antique violin also went the way of the first one, and I forgot my urge to play anything for the next few years, especially after I sold my little wire-strung harp. (I sold the mandolin, too. I still regret that.)

So anyway, to make a long story short, and since I partially explained in my Burlington post below, I was thinking about trying to learn how to play an instrument that would get my left hand used to doing something, and then transitioning to the harp, because I was having trouble with the accompaniment. I have the same issue while playing the piano. I can play any tune at all, but I can't play accompaniment. That's a little annoying at times.

Off I went to ebay, where I found that if I wanted a really cheap violin, they were there to be had. So because I knew this first violin wasn't something I'd worry about (it's not a great instrument, only a good enough one, after all) I decided to get a blue one. And it cost a whopping $18.00, not the $50 I'd chosen as my budget. (I did, however, bid on a couple of older violins; I got outbid on one I wish I would have won, and I'm still watching a couple and contemplating something a bit more 'real.'

The violin came Friday afternoon, and since I didn't get home until late, I didn't do much but check to make sure it arrived in one piece that night. It was Saturday before I actually got it out, tuned it (I have a really nice tuner that I swear wasn't as expensive as they are now when I bought it years ago), and proceeded to realize that I had no clue how to hold a bow, much less make any noise.

At first, I used the bow the violin came from. I got better rosin today, though, and used my bow this evening. It sounded much better just because of that. I have new strings on order.

I played on Saturday, skipped Sunday, and played yesterday and today. I think I'm getting the idea of it, at least the 'D' scale so far. The book is also very informative, so I'm hoping that will help. I'm still squeaking and squawking something fierce, though, which is to be expected. It's not as difficult as I thought it would be--I'm sure the fact that I am a soprano helps, because I'm playing melody here, not accompaniment. And I know a lot of tunes already.

But even after three days, I can see myself doing this for a while yet. I didn't want to post right away, just in case I gave up, but since I haven't, and I'm still having fun, I figured I would post about it now.

So that's my Secret Project. Just be thankful that, unlike my neighbors, whom I'm certain can hear me via my front door's transom windows, you don't have to listen to me just yet. :)

My second Secret Project, of course, will be to learn to play my guitar. I bought strings for it today, so restringing will be in order soon.


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