I bought a decent cheap-o violin for $20. (1 Viewer)


Feb 16, 2012
im in Louisville Kentucky
I bought a decent cheap-o violin/fiddle for $20. (I got it from a store called Bargain Hunt. They got like 30 stores across the southeast. If you find one I recommend see what random junk they have in-stock.). It's one of the beginner ones, but its 4/4 size and pretty solid. it came with a case and everything.. i think its one of the types that often go for a little under $100.. enough of where I got it.

I have always been the type of person who can pick up any instrument and play it pretty well within a half hour. Not with these. I never as much as touched one before I got it.. I had a twenty and now I have a fiddle. It's honestly one of the hardest things I've tried to learn. I should really practice more with it, but these things are loud, and not knowing the proper methods of playing one yet ive annoyed people at 2 houses i hang out at... lol.

I will get the hang of it.. I just can't find people who will jam with me because they can't stand the sound it makes when I fuck up. I think the trick is going to be to find some good busking folkpunk bands on youtube and just crank up the volume.. If I can't find friends to jam with I always got technology at my side.

once i know what im doing maybe i'll carry it around and jam with some of you other travelin' musicians, but for now im sticking to carrying my little guitar everywhere i go(once i make it back to nyc to grab it).

I got a fiddle. really hard to learn. friends suck so i'll jam with youtube and someday maybe you.


^The sound of salted wounds^
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!


Mar 25, 2011
The Deep South
That's great man! I've wanted to learn violin for the longest time but I'm not that musically inclined. Good luck with it, it sounds like you've got the drive :)

Kim Chee

I deleted myself
Sweet! Now, there has got to be a way to muffle that thing until you get good at it.

I might be able to play a mouth harp or a bum jug within a half hour of picking it up. Lucky you in the music department.


Jan 25, 2014
Violin takes a longer time to learn, but it sounds amazing once you do. I would invest time to work on the really basic things, like hand position on the bow and stuff. It really sucks when you've been playing for five or six years and realize you've been holding your bow the wrong way the whole time.


Mar 13, 2011
the desert
i will give you a little advice based on how i got started, hope it helps:

at first you should completely separate your left and right hand practice, which is to say roughly, fretting and bowing. if you played guitar or uke or something before this that will help because you can hold the instrument like that and sort of visualize where the frets would be, to practice fingering. (although if you get to do it really well you can actually play MORE in tune than chromatic instruments...) you may even want to put little pieces of tape on the fingerboard where the fifth and fourth are (which you can check with a tuner or whatever). play scales for a while. it's easiest to play in open or 'cross tuning' (a common thing in appalachian music) which is GDgd or AEae because then you only have two strings to learn to finger (and it helps with double stops, more on that under bowing...), and just play the scales based on those notes. like literally just hold it like a guitar and sit there and pluck it. it's much harder to tell how far apart your fingers are when you're holding it under your chin (i.e. in bowing position).

bowing is a completely different thing and i actually started just by holding it in my lap with the head facing away from me and practiced drawing the bow across slowly and evenly and getting an even tone. then when i started holding it up, i just practiced bowing without worrying about the left hand, just playing notes on open strings and moving from one string to the next. there is a whole trick to getting your wrist and hand to move the right way so that you keep the pressure and motion of the bow even. if you think about it (and if you hold the bow the right way - you may want to choke up on it, lengthwise, for a while though) you have to gradually press down more and more with your ring and pinky fingers as you go up, because you're putting more of the bow and thus more weight over the string it's resting on; vice versa, push down with index and middle fingers as you come to the end of the bow.

anyway, eventually you can put it together, and play scales and then tunes. it's a great instrument, very challenging and very rewarding!
Last edited:


Mar 13, 2011
the desert
oh yeah and also about bowing...

most common rookie mistake is holding the bow like a fucking sword and kind of rotating it relative to the strings....no no no... watch yourself in a mirror and make sure you are going straight! also your fingers + thumb should make kinda like a tunnel, not out straight...your hand in general should be very relaxed... bowing wrong is actually a good way to get repetitive motion injury.

double stops or drones or whatever you want to call it - playing two strings at once - tends to sound pretty awesome in the proper keys, doesn't usually sound too weird if you accidentally hit the wrong string, and makes it easier to tell whether you are intoning ('fretting' or fingering) properly (by giving a correct note to compare to).

play the scales as notes of regular length first then start throwing in patterns like the basic appalachian dah-diddy-dah thing or whatever and that's a pretty good transition into actually playing tunes.

if you tilt the bow you're playing with fewer strings so you can play quieter. in general you want to keep the bow a fairly steady distance from the bridge but if you can control it, you can actually use it to adjust the tone, if it's closer to the bridge you have to play louder (more pressure) but it's 'brighter' (more high harmonics).


Professional knob twiddler and sound anarchist
Apr 18, 2013
Pick up Carl Flesch's violin method. Should be easy to find in the books section of most decent music stores. Everything you need to know to start playing violin is written in that intro and through the book. Wonderful to work with, it's german school rather than russian but the advantage of German school is that it gives you options. OPTIONS ARE IMPORTANT FOR JAMMING AND IMPROVISING :p

Also just get a book of beginners songs. Even if it's twinkle fucking twinkle and little indians...that's where everyone starts. Suzuki Vol 1 is great for that. You'll learn notes and rhythm. It won't take too long if you just keep working at it. There's volumes of online material for whatever style you're going for. Avoid youtube...call me old school but I just don't believe you can understand the mechanics of playing fiddle from any old shmo from internets.

Get some good strings for your fiddle. I reccomend Thomastik Infeld Dominants if you're just starting out. They've got a decent tone and they aren't killer expensive either. Also, though it may not be an issue as much with your violin as, judging by the price, the top is probably made with ply rather than solid spruce. Get a case humidifier if you're gonna be in really dry/cold environments or travelling a lot. Equally, if the air is too humid you can get those dry packs you find in shoeboxes or jerky to keep the air drier.

If wood dries out too much or goes through too many expansions/contractions in a short time, it can crack. On the flip side, too much humidity can make it hard to move your tuning pegs and for your fiddle to stay in tune. Plywood/laminate violins are super tough though. Perfect for the knocks bumps and elements of the road.

But yeah! Congratulations :) I hope learning will bring you as much joy as it has to my life. Been playing for 17 years now and been going to school for it for the past three years. There's always still so much to learn aha

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $100.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

Beautiful day to be alive and listen to the birds chirp, remembering to be grateful for what we have and not worry about what we have not.
Healthy in PDX. Back here after years to keep track of those bugging out and to check in on those still on the road.
Just found out my neighbor died. One day I'm helping him change his starter, the next he's gone. Just walked around inside his house. That would be the first time I have smelled death. The eeriest though was that the UPS guy still left him a package. PS He was a big John Wayne fan!! RIP Rick!
SIX10 wrote on Cussock's profile.
whatz your avatar from?? looks sick
Twin cities folks, anybody looking to go out, maintain a respectable distance, and explore something this Friday night?
Committed phone memory to two of these guys albums just last night, after not listening to them for years. Found out today that one of em died just two days prior.
They fathered ebm in 1981 -the same genre of industrial that NIN brought to the mainstream over 10 years later.

Dude thinks he's gonna "make a deal" with the virus.

It's like a virtual pact with *Satan*.👹 Maybe if he sacrifices all the helpless ones to the thing, the devil will just let him be? Let him keep his status, his presidency, his supporters?

Members online