Before I get some *sshole going on about how this is a guitar forum, I figure that there are probably a few guitarists like myself who have branched out and have experience.

So I have been playing guitar for ten years, piano for six, and have a solid understanding of music theory. My technique is pretty spot on for guitar, as I was taught by someone who made sure I played correctly, and I have quite a good ear for music.

I was looking online purely out of boredom and found a music store nearby advertising violins. To be honest, I thought they would be more expensive, and was surprised that I could actually afford one with my TAFE life budget. I have been thinking of buying one, as violin and cello are two instruments I have been keen to learn for a while. However, I have a few questions.

Is the technique similar to that of guitar (left hand I am mostly talking about), or comparable? If not I do plan on finding lessons online or books so I can learn to play properly. I learnt guitar for five years before I started having lessons, and until then I couldn't hold a pick properly, was using my left hand incorrectly, and had a horrible sense of rhythm. I know technique is important and I intend on learning correctly.

How much does it cost to keep playing. Eg with guitar I am spending money on strings, picks, capos etc, which is pretty cheap. I have three guitars I play most of the time, that get restrung every six months which sets me back about $60-$90 to restring all of them, and picks cost me approximately $5 every three-four months, as I keep losing them. I have only ever spent about $30 on capos in my time, though I could use a new one sometime soon. So pretty much I am saying the costs keeping and using a single guitar is about $75 per year. How much would the violin cost, with bows, strings etc?

How much of a good ear is required to play? Unlike guitar and piano that I currently play, the notes aren't marked. I can't go to the seventh fret to play a certain note on a violin. I gotta have a good ear for pitch. I can play or sing scales if given the starting note by ear, as well as intervals, and on guitar and piano identify keys and in turn chord progressions. Would that be enough knowledge of pitch to get by without a teacher?

Are there any health risks associated with incorrect technique? I read on one site that playing incorrectly can cause movement problems in the hands, and make simple tasks such as writing difficult? Or is that an old wives tale so that violin tutors get more business?

I'd say there's next to no similarities between the two instruments as far as technique goes, there's very little that's going to translate across from the guitar.
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No, the positioning of the violin is incredibly meticulous and requires some research, at best, to understand.

The way the boy is held, the motions. The similarities between a guitar and violin are as numerous as the similarities between a trumpet and flute.
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I started on violin, then went to guitar, so I'm a little backwards from you. I highly recommend starting with a "don't fret", it's like a sticker fret board. That way you learn where to position your fingers correctly.
Violin is one of the harder instruments to self teach. Unlike guitar, you can't get away with bad/wrong technique. I'd highly suggest to find a teacher and learn the basics (probably take a year or two). Cost wise, the strings and bow do last for quite a while but when they do need replacing, they're not too cheap. Violin strings do cost quite a bit more than guitar strings though I'm not sure if there are cheap ones available.
If you want to play the Violin you probably need a teacher, and also to be Asian, or at least Asian enough that you're willing to spend hours practicing the thing. Violins sound great when they're played by great players, but in the hands of average ones they're more like sonic torture.
I've been playing violin for about 11 years, and guitar for the last 6. There are slim few things that transfer over as far technique. Playing posture is important, where you place your feet whole sitting and standing to keep balanced, things like that. Musically, there are a few more similarities: phrasing, pitch, basic theory, etc.

Cost of playing is a little less than guitar. Strings cost (for a decent set) $30-40 USA. You'll only need to replace them about once a year. However, ALWAYS have extras. This is more important than having extra guitar strings, I can't stress this enough. Violins are more finicky than guitars. Don't drop them, leave them subject to fast climate change, humidity, stress or anything like that. You can get away with that with a guitar but not a violin. Maintenance will be a factor, unless you learn how to do it yourself like I do. You will need bow rosin ($5-15 for decent stuff) and that will last you a couple years. This should help: http://www.johnsonstring.com/choosing-string-instrument-bow-rosin.htm
If you are teaching yourself, then yes, a good ear is a prerequisite. When I first began, my teacher placed small strips of electrical tape on the finger board to show me where to place my fingers. This works great if the tape is in the right spot. Use a tuner to help with the placement.
Yes. I cannot stress this one enough. YES. Poor posture, or improper technique can and will cause you harm. Look up videos and pictures or try finding a teacher who can show you proper posture and take notes. The playing postures will seem awkward at first, and they might be a bit painful to start, but eventually, your muscles will stretch and the position will be natural.
When you start, don't be robotic and technical like some guitarists. Yes, violin is all about technique, but technique funneled through beauty and grace. Let all of your movements flow together in one single motion. This will require practice, but eventually after lots of frustration it'll come to you. Also, violin is harder than guitar, don't be discouraged when you don't progress as quickly.
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Violin has one of the most painful first years of learning out of any instrument I know. You owe it to yourself to spend more than bottom barrel prices when you start. Get a good rosin, invest in an at least semi-decent carbon fiber bow, get a violin thats at least two or so steps above the cheapest, and put good strings on it. This will prevent a huge amount of the torturous sounds that you are guaranteed to make as you start.

These sounds will go away, just bull right through them and remember that you need to play with great confidence no matter how bad you think it sounds. If you play timidly everything will sound horrifying.

The technique involved is almost entirely inequivalent except that you are already used to using your left hand fingers, and that you press with the fingertips (although even more so on the violin). Yes you can hurt yourself with poor posture. If you can get an instructor for even one month you are doing yourself a great service to your progress.

Good luck, the first year or so is rough but it's completely worth it, just don't give up.