Life

A Cycle of Violins

The title is my feeble attempt at making Violins sound like Violence. It’s been done before and I’m trying it here. Plus, Sex and Violins had already been used.

Sometime this past spring, while I was asking myself some hard questions like, What’s It All About and What’s Up With My Neighbours, I realized that I didn’t know how to ride a motorcycle.

It was so obvious.

I knew so little about them in fact, that I started reading. Soon I was dreaming about Harleys and Hondas and it wasn’t long before I was getting quotes for riding lessons and planning my schedule around when I could take them. I rented Easy Rider and The Wild One. I re-read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I love that book.

I talked to colleagues and friends who had bikes. They shared their experiences with me. Motorcycles are simply romantic and there’s no denying it.

Then my dad gave me a violin.

It had belonged to my grandfather (not my great-grandfather), although he didn’t play it. The violin hung on a wall in his antique store for years before my father inherited it. Since then, it sat in its case for decades, tucked away in a closet at my parents house, without strings. My parents had once brought it to a Luthier who said it would cost around $500 to repair, which didn’t seem worth it.

So I looked into it and bought some strings, and some tuners, and for about $25, I was pretty sure I had a functional violin. I signed up for lessons.

I also forgot about the motorcycle.

My teacher, a talented Russian woman, tried it out it and said that it has wonderful tone. I can’t tell you what piece she played on it, but it was full of both sorrow and joy. When she was finished, she said, “Your violin. It is effortless. It plays itself.”

It took everything in my power to resist the temptation to say, “In Soviet Russia, violin plays you”.

After three lessons, I’m getting pretty good at Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.

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  • That’s some funny stuff. I almost with you had said that to your teacher. It would have made Yakov Smirnoff proud.

  • This is awesome, chicks love guys who can play the violin; it’s much cooler than having a motorcycle. And I know how to play Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star too! It took me 10 mins to learn it. But I’m sure it’s perfectly normal that it can take three lessons.

  • Oh my God, Mike! You playing a violin makes me swoon. Really! Violins rock! Tuba’s not so much. I hate motorcycles. People get injured riding motorcycles. I don’t want you even near one.

  • Oh, and this is such a tight little piece of writing. Really really nice!

  • Aw. What a lovely story, Mike And a violin — yes, much better choice. And I bet it made your dad happy, too.

  • Man. All those year of boxing and playing electric guitar and all you really had to do was pick up the violin to make all these ladies swoon.
    Hmm… I’m going to go post something about my ability to play the slide-whistle. That’ll do it!

  • Anonymous

    A few years back my wife bought me a guitar. Better late than never, right? I got up to 3 chords…then took up golf.

  • You got it in 10 mins because you’re a genius, and I’m not being sarcastic. So far I got the notes right, just that my technique sucks.

  • Yep. My parents were impressed to see the violin in a working state. Me too for that matter!

  • Thank you Linda πŸ˜€

  • Ok, the motorcycle is completely off. When I’m proficient enough, I’ll use my newfound violin powers to attract women like the pied piper of 4 strings πŸ˜‰

    Ah, who am I kidding? I don’t need a violin to do that!

  • Welcome Kevinzing! I was hoping someone would get the Russian Reversal reference, and you were right on it!

  • Chicks totally dig the slide whistle, and that is not a euphemism. Maybe it is.

  • Well, it’s like the Beatles said, All You Need Is 3 Chords. I’m almost sure they said that.

  • love the violin.. most classical pieces that i’ve fallen in love with have a lot of violin in them. good luck with the strings!!

  • Thanks Roschelle! My knowledge of classical music is actually quite limited, but I do know that I love me some nice violin concertos.

  • No, Darling Mike, you don’t. You get women just by “being” Mike.

  • I’m no genius, I can’t play anything on a violin. I remembered how to play Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star long enough to play it once and I was drunk while I did it. I have no idea what Zelma was thinking when she let me try her violin when we both were drunk, it’s a miracle I didn’t break it in half.

  • You know me so well πŸ™‚

  • OMG! When you can ‘officially’ play “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” on the violin, you know I am going to suggest, ask, beg, and plead for you post a video blog!

    πŸ™‚

  • Ok! I’ll do it! And now that I’ve said it on the Internet, there’s no going back on it!

  • YES!!!!!!

  • Mikewj

    Maybe it’s a Stradivarius and now you’re rich and can quit your job and devote all your free time to learning Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on your new, less valuable violin.

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