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Michael G

Thank you Niels. Yes, I’ve thought about a mute. My teacher also recommended one. I sort of over-shot. Rather than spend a few dollars on a practice mute (which I will probably get at some point) I spent several hundred dollars on a used Yamaha Silent Violin from Reverb. I already own one of their Silent Guitars, so I knew the quality of these instruments before I bought it. (The Silent Guitar has a good enough tone that I often use it for recording projects.) I am quite happy with the Silent Violin (and I realize the privilege I have in being able to afford this – one of the advantages of being old and somewhat frugal over the years). The danger in the Silent Violin is that too much time with it results in loss of tone and feel on the real instrument. But it’s quite a good tool for working on rudimentary skill development like bow technique and intonation without having to injure the local cat population (or test the bonds of my marriage). Of course, the benefit of doing all this work on the real instrument is that you are always working on tone development at the same time as the other skills. But the trade off for me has been worth it. My frustration level has dropped way, way down now that I have the Silent Violin. It allows me to plug in and mix the audio of Jason’s lessons with my playing, and adjust the relative levels of these two signals in a pair of headphones. I try to make sure and play the real instrument every day – ideally more time on that than on the Silent Violin. But I admit that there have been a few days that I’ve only played the Silent Violin – partly just the excitement of a new instrument to explore.

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