#6163 Reply

Three Chord Monte

Hey, Brad, I can sympathize with you.

I’m relatively new to violin but I’ve been a pretty serious guitar player for years. I’m sixty-six and have noticed the fingers on my left hand are stiff and take quite a bit of warming up. I recently saw a video of a guitar player, can’t remember exactly who it was…but it was a famous player, who is experiencing the same situation and he even runs warm water over his hands. I’ve never worried too much about warming up and stretching my hands and fingers but now I’m being much more conscious of it. Once my hand is warmed up it seems fine. Don’t know if taking extra care to warm up your muscles and joints will make a difference for you but I guess it’s worth a try.

Once my hand is warmed up it seems fine.

Not the same problem that you’re dealing with but I suppose they both come from the same source…dealing with aging. Whoever said, “Getting old isn’t for sissies,” knew what they were talking about.

Actually, I’m really fortunate to be blessed with relatively good health and I’m enjoying this stage of my life more than any other. I stay as busy as I’ve ever been but it’s doing things I want to do. I’ve been performing off and on professionally as a singer/songwriter type guitarist for more than forty years. Now I’m also learning to play violin, mandolin, octave mandolin, tenor banjo, tenor guitar, dobro and piano. I’ve even built a guitar and two mandolins.

Interesting story about how I got started working on fiddle, mandolin, octave mandolin, tenor banjo and tenor guitar. My father-in-law who is ninety-two inherited a 1923 Paramount Tenor Banjo some ago and I’ve had my eye on it for several of years. He recently gave it to me and when I started working on it I realized that it’s tuned to perfect fifths only at a different pitch than the violin (it’s tuned C, G, D, A). The tenor guitar is tuned exactly the same as the tenor banjo. And then the mandolin is tuned exactly the same as the violin and the octave mandolin is tuned the same as the mandolin only an octave lower. So basically I’m learning five instruments that all have the same fingerboard. In essence I’m learning five instruments for the price of one…though each one is different in technique.

As long as I can continue learning I think I’ll be happy. When I can no longer do that I’ll know I’m getting old.