December 6, 2006

Bridging the Gap

Today I learned that a violin bridge costs about $6. I looked this up online not long after the bridge on my violin snapped. For those who may not know, I played violin from 5th grade until I graduated high school. And every year since, I’ve at least picked it up. I am always amazed when I do that I remember songs I played over a decade ago. Tonight was one of those nights. However, when I picked up my violin to tune it, the bridge, which had been holding up my strings since 1997, finally gave out. It snapped like a twig, and my hopes of playing a note or two any time in the near future vanished too.

Now I’m looking at bridges and thinking if I’m going to get a new bridge, I might as well restring my violin while I’m at it. And actually the pegs seem to slip more and more, so maybe I’ll swap those out too for a new set while I'm at it. But if I’m going to get new strings, I really should re-hair the bow because it doesn’t grab the strings all that well anymore either. So really this $6 piece of wood is now probably going to cost me about $200.

What was to be a small purchase is becoming an investment - an investement in something that I only use a few times a year, at best. I always told myself I didn’t want to become one of those people who said “I used to play the violin.” I did not like the sound of the past tense, but my violin playing is pretty much past tense these days. I guess it's time to consider if I want to bring it back to the present.

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