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Q. What’s the benefit of taking private lessons as compared to learning on my own or with the help of video lessons?

A. The main benefit of taking private lessons is feedback! A video or a disc are helpful tools and I’ve use them to learn. But a teacher can look at your playing and give you feedback about your playing. You can’t get that from a video.

Q. How often should you rosin the bow?

A. As often as it needs it… not very often. I usually put some on every performance, but not every practice or rehearsal. When not performing, I put some on only when I get a slick spot on the hair.

Q. How often should I Practice?

A. That’s easy. Whenever you want. Whenever you can. I practice 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there. Sometimes when I’m lucky, I get to practice an hour or two straight.

Q. How often should I change my strings?

A. I change mine about every six months. I think once a year is fine for students.

Q. What are the best strings to use?

A. There are two basic types of strings. Plastic and steel strings. I use Pirastro, Chromcor (steel). Many people I know use Dominant, Thomastik Infeld (plastic). There are so many brands out there and I’ve try lots of them. For students I recommend Super-Sensitive’s Red-Label (steel and cheap), but get better ones if you can.

Q. Do I have the right size violin?

A. Call Phil for a proper fit. (805) 701-2508

Q. Should I learn how to read music?

A. I say, yeah, use whatever means you can to learn. Reading music is just one of many tools you can use to learn to play music. Some fiddlers read music and some don’t.

Q. What about the carbon fiber bows?

A. Tried-um, Like-um, don’t use-um. I prefer a wood bow. If I were playing a carbon fiber violin, I’d be using a carbon fiber bow.

Q. Am I too old to start to learn?

A. NEVER, I just started learning how to create and edit HD video, how to create and edit this web site (How am I doing?) and started to learn ProTools, and I’m 55 years old! Let’s play some tunes!

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