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Going to Start Learning...help
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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aruki
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November 23, 2012 - 4:56 pm
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Ok i'm thinking about violin at 23 and just want to ask a few questions to clear up some things i'm thinking of, and it is regarding the crappy subject of self learning. I'm aware self learning violin is looked down upon since there are so many habits and pitfalls you can fall into. Unfortunately for various reasons, I won't be able to get  lessons until maybe a year from now minimum, could be 3 years even, and when I do get them I probably will only be able to get 3 and never again. Because I happen to be starting Uni soon and what timing I thought of to start violin. So (this is not a money issue, it is a parental issue) questions below.

1/ If I have missed it, what are the reasons self learning is so bad, as I want to see all these issues and hopefully avoid or study beforehand how to eliminate them.

2/ If I was to take lessons online, eg from Ben Chan, Todd Ehle + looking around for hundreds more is it possible to self study, reason I ask this is their websites look soooo detailed, that it makes me think that their instruction videos would deal with all the habits, posture problems and pitfalls with self learning, if I am incorrect in thinking this please advise why.

3/ Books to buy when learn violin, although I would prefer online videos or links to resources that cover said information in books, as it is easily accessible. So why do we get those books when the videos and internet is so detailed, please advise.

4/ Would just like to know some daily simple excercise regimes to practice violin everyday, eg lets say you were really busy one day and had no time to extensively practice, what small practice would you do, so that it is still beneficial and you are still learning a bit everyday?

5/ Before I get the violin (and since I have no musical experience), which may take a few weeks, what should I start learning that I can do now? eg reading music, learning where notes are etc etc (almost like theory stuff that doesn't involve the actual instrument)

6/ This is only 1% chance, so don't consider it strongly, but do you think if I did the above self study for maybe 3 months, and was able to get a maximum of 3 lessons after would that be the most efficient time to get lessons? aka 3 months self study and the 3 lessons used to correct habits and pitfalls, as I think if the 3 lessons were done before the self study, it would be wasted, as I THINK I would be taught holding bow, notes etc, when most of those can be self learned, and it's the pitfalls and habits I should be correcting with lessons. Am I wrong in thinking this?

Thank you for your looking at my detailed questions that are quite long, i'm quite technical so I try to understand as much of something that I can so please bear with me.

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dionysia
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November 23, 2012 - 7:17 pm
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Hello aruki and welcome to the forum!!

birthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloonbirthday_balloon

I am not technical nor detailed. I am 100% a self-learner since I have neither the time nor the resources for lessons. I would suggest trying out the learning games on this website, especially the fingering game: http://fiddlerman.com/fiddle-l.....ring-game/ which can be done without yet owning a violin.

 

From my less-than-stellar learning style, I would say that if you want to teach yourself, you need to be dedicated and very self-motivated. The group projects on this site are the only things that drive me to practice when life is crazy. Posting videos on this site is a great way to get constructive criticism and advice as to problems with posture, bowing, intonation, etc. and it is FREE!thumbs-up

There are many schools of thought as to how to learn effectively. What works for you probably would not work for me. For instance, I don't have the patience to work through practice books, and simple exercises drive me nuts. Others swear by them, and quite honestly are progressing faster than I am. Fortunately, this is not a race. Consider how you learn best, and create your learning plan accordingly.

 

The most important thing to remember, in my opinion, is to relax and have fun!!

violin-1267

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 23, 2012 - 9:53 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Hey aruki,

No problem with self-learning, just a little more dedication is needed. Welcome to the forum and I'm sure you'll find what you need here to get on the right track.

What are you going to be majoring in?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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RosinedUp
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November 24, 2012 - 1:39 am
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Welcome, and thank you for posting.  I am guessing from your first post that people here like you already.

Somebody would have to know their goal before they can answer how they should learn.  It doesn't sound like you intend to be a professional violinist.  Do you want to play in a community orchestra or chamber group?  In front of friends and family?  Something else?

I think maybe the hardest thing about self learning is knowing which points are most important.  You can find very detailed information, but in your practice you may not know what to emphasize and when.  A good teacher interacting with you and giving you feedback would be a remedy for that. 

Violin books and videos coexisting is about like books and videos on other subjects coexisting.

The most striking thing about your post is the idea that you can have three lessons in your life and no more.  Not to insult you or anything, but it seems bizarre.  Are you saying you can have neither online lessons or in-person lessons?  It makes me think that you are not going to have time to practice anyway.

You can get considerable help here just by posting a video of your practice, in the forum under the critique category.

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aruki
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November 24, 2012 - 5:44 am
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My goal is not to be professional, my goal is to simply master (play some songs well) a skill, and this is the skill I chose. I would use as a simple hobby to relax myself (once mastered), to play every now and then, and maybe, just maybe if I was asked to play something at a wedding or occasion, I could do that reasonably well.

 

Since this is the internet and i'm pretty anonymous I guess I can share my situation. When I was young I only played games and never developed skills, so for some reason i'm getting overloaded now where I want to learn everything yet also at this age other things like work and uni come in and it's harder. This hated overload is also one reason why i'm becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none, which I hate, I want a mastered skill.

 

The actual reason I cannot take lessons is not of money or time, but as i'm starting uni my parents don't want me to pay more money on top of that for lessons, yet I can afford it. So at this age of 23 i'm calculating, I don't want to finish uni and then start learning a skill that could possibly take 5 years to master (in my sense of mastering). Cause then i'd be 28 then should look at settling in a job, getting married etc etc and that is NOT the time to get more expenses.

 

I want to rush as much as I can as soon as possible.

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Mad_Wed
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November 24, 2012 - 12:03 pm
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Hi, Aruki!

I think that learning with a teacher is a big advantage (at least for me). You can learn faster with a teacher. But if You are a persistent person and have such goals as You deacribed, then You definitelly can be self-tought, as many people here on the forums =)

If You avoid of getting some bad habits - then just post here your practice videos - if there's something possibly wrong, folks here will helpYou, don't doubt, LOL! =)

Welcome to the forums!birthday_balloon

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Brightcrown
Bangkok, Thailand
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November 24, 2012 - 12:48 pm
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Hi Aruki,

I suggest you take your 3 lessons first. It's hard to start clueless and you will not have the time to do research while in Uni.

Personally, I would think, at the minimum, to take classes at least for 3 months for fast learners. You can go on your own after. Fiddlerman here helps very much after you've got all your basics down with classes.

I am on Suzuki. I started like you thinking I could learn on my own and watched a lot of Todd Ehle. It took a lot of effort and Time and still got no real direction.

I finally decided that if I wanted to fast track my learning, I will have to take classes.

So I did and am very happy with my progress. I chose Suzuki for its philosophy and structured progression in learning violin skills. I enjoy playing along with the Suzuki CDs too.

I am now in the middle of Suzuki Book 2 and fiddling with Humoresque on Book 3. This is my 5th month since I started classes. I must say that if I stayed home and try to figure everything out on my own, I would have dropped off.

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aruki
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November 25, 2012 - 6:16 am
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I have not looked through all Todds videos yet, but does it cover where to put your fingers to get what notes??? or should I get stickers and read a chart?

And another question, could I get a list of some sort of what you believe is the first things you should learn as a beginner...i'm aware I wouldn't have to ask this question if I had a teacher but bear with me.

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Mad_Wed
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November 25, 2012 - 12:34 pm
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aruki said
I have not looked through all Todds videos yet, but does it cover where to put your fingers to get what notes??? or should I get stickers and read a chart?

My teacher always told me to LISTEN what i play. She didn't show me where the notes on the fingerboard are - if i was wrong, she just singed the right note (LOL that's a spectacular ability, which i dream of) and i corrected. At that point You can use some programs, which can play the sheet music for You or a keyboard (many progs has digital keybords, i used Fruty Loops for those purposes). As about stickers - i didn't try them. Once i asked my teacher about them either, and she said that if i will watch my fingers, then should hire somebody to listen to them, LOL!rofl Maybe she is wrong about it, i don't know, because i've heard from other persons that the tapes are really helpful dunno Anyway it's your call. You can try both ways. Also as i know, some of this forum members use tuner to see how close they are to the note and correct if needed according to it.

But i believe that my hearing improved since i've started to learn to play violin, i guess fingerboard without tapes helped.

And another question, could I get a list of some sort of what you believe is the first things you should learn as a beginner...i'm aware I wouldn't have to ask this question if I had a teacher but bear with me.

I would suggest those (at least i started with those... and still trying to improve =)):

1) Posture. Confident and relaxed. (Head+Violin+Body position).

2) Bow hold. Rounded fingers without strait joints.

3) Straight bowing (parallel to the bridge).

4) Long bow strokes, producing even and confident sound.

5) Trying very-very hard to remember all of the previous when starting to learn a piece =) rofl(that one is the hardest).

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ratvn
Kent, Washington USA
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November 25, 2012 - 4:27 pm
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Mad_Wed said

As about stickers - i didn't try them. Once i asked my teacher about them either, and she said that if i will watch my fingers, then should hire somebody to listen to them, LOL

 


Naska, I love your teacher answer...LOL. Wish I have a teacher like yours.

 

@aruki: Mad_Wed suggestions are very good. I use tuner for ear training and correcting pitch, but keep in mind that it's slow in picking up playing pitches unless the note is sustained long enough.

Fiddlerman has lots of vids for starting in violin learning that you could look and it should answer some of your questions.

Good luck.

 

 

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aruki
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November 25, 2012 - 9:28 pm
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See all this advice is good for me, despite going to self learn.

 

My plan currently, is

Study the finger charts and how to read music (easy)

- Go through Fiddlerman's videos

- Use Ben Chan's videos to see how to avoid injury and clean violin

- Use Todd's videos

- Practice each string seperately, like where notes are etc until mastered, then move to next one. Scales etc

-Will ask around more after I finish the above which would take awhile, as I wouldn't move from each video until mastered

 

and I won't use stickers, after Mad_Wed said Listen to the notes, it all makes sense to me now. That's why it's all so technical for me, I have to know why something is done, which makes me rigid and hard to improvise.

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RosinedUp
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November 26, 2012 - 2:49 am
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aruki said 

-Will ask around more after I finish the above which would take awhile, as I wouldn't move from each video until mastered

You understand the importance of learning in sequence, which is good.  But I don't know that Fiddlerman has designed his videos strictly that way.  I think you can treat some of them as overviews or introductions or orientations.  Many of the techniques should be practiced concurrently, I think. Some of them can take a long time to master, so you should look at them and remember the techniques, and practice them as you go, but mastering each one in sequence is going to be too slow.  Your approach seems very rigid, too rigid, I think.  That can succeed if you go under a strict master.  But I don't think that is the way FM's videos are supposed to be used.  That is what it looks like to me anyway.  Hopefully FM will comment here about this issue.

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aruki
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November 26, 2012 - 4:52 am
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Oh I had a feeling this would happen....my definition of mastering is not mastering...it's more like commiting to memory, of course each step will take ages to be mastered...I will generally commit each to memory and be able to do them without awkwardness, but as I keep going I would want to practice them all together

 

Oh but please tell me what you consider is rigid about my approach and possible remedies....I need to consider everyones opinion and silence any potential problems beforehand.

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Fiddlerman
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November 26, 2012 - 5:10 am
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Don't know if I posted this link here before but here it is again:
http://fiddlerman.com/fiddle-l.....o-i-start/
What RosinedUp means is that my videos are sometimes a little advanced for the true beginner and I've been told that I am too fast. I am very spontaneous and when I make videos I often just turn the recorder on without having any idea in advance what I will say.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Brightcrown
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November 26, 2012 - 7:56 am
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Aruki,

Seriously, START with stickers! You need to know EXACTLY where the notes are and WHAT they sound like without having a teacher. Not every one has good hearing.

I started without and found it troublesome. This means extra time to learn where to correctly put your fingers. So use stickers to fast forward your learning.

I improved with stickers, especially for the 4th finger positions. And it also helps when you are learning to shift to other playing positions on the fingerboard.

When you sound good, you will be encouraged.

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Picklefish
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November 26, 2012 - 9:38 am
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http://www.officedepot.com/a/p.....ack-Crepe/

 

I use graphic art crepe tape. The adhesive is similar to postitnote strength, reposistionalbe and leaves no residue.

To tape or not to tape is a question that is often brought up and there are definately opinions pro and con. To me my opinion has evolved over time a bit, to wit;

If you feel like it will help you, use it.

snake1I put the crepe tape across the fingerboard at the finger 1 and finger 3 posistions. I use a tuner to locate these posistions. There are more precise ways but for me, in my opinion, more complicated and less direct.

Pros- you can learn through muscle memory the finger spacing needed for all notes in the first posistion. You still need to hear the in tune note so you can fine tune your fingering in relation to the tapes. I dont tape finger 2 because it is either next to finger 1 or finger 3 so no need.

Cons- as was said before you could allow yourself to be dependant on the tapes and not develop your ear. Tapes get you close but are not reliable for playing in tune. For this you need to spend as much time as it takes with an in tune source to sort out all the notes.

Jumping into playing songs without taking the time to develop your ability to play in tune, bowing ability etc means you are going to fail, be confused why and potentially stop playing. That enjoyment you achieve is short lived.

Slow down, learn the basics and set the foundation. You can learn the notes without the tapes and there is benefit from that, my brain doesnt work that way.

That being said, if you can do it another way and are successful, share with the rest of us. lol Good luck.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Mad_Wed
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November 26, 2012 - 3:30 pm
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aruki said
...and I won't use stickers, after Mad_Wed said Listen to the notes, it all makes sense to me now. That's why it's all so technical for me, I have to know why something is done, which makes me rigid and hard to improvise.

Haa-haaa!rofl Please, don't follow any advices blindly =) Everybody learns different way.. I said that i didn't try tapes of stuff like that. I didn't try even tuner - but i'm going to - i think it's fun. I just described how it works for me. So i don't know in fact how i would or wouldn't improve by using stickers dunno So i suggest again that You might want to try different ways to figure out what is the best for You =)

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aruki
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November 26, 2012 - 9:23 pm
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I feel like i'm spamming replies, so I hope it's not annoying for everyone. I also won't just follow any advices, I am processing each entry, but in replying it may seem like i'm just picking one.

 

Well I have a way in my head that combines marking and listening, I understand both reasons for stickers or not. Stickers to know exactly where, listening so you don't rely on visual aids. I will use listening, but memorise distance and how far the actual notes are on the fret board. It wouldn't stand out as much as visual aids, yet it is a visual aid itself...and I guess I will use a tuner to make sure the note is perfect.

 

I feel like i'm on the right track to starting. But I guess one of the reasons it's harder to self learn is because I have to research my own "syllabus" sorta, and then start, where as teachers already know what order of stuff to teach.

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Picklefish
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Fiddlermans website has all the self help videos you need to get started, and keep going for that matter. They are free too. Plenty to keep you busy until you have your lessons. Then, record your progress and post the vids so we can help guide you. Participate in group progress to challenge yourself and play with others. A book will give you all the same information so I think it would be a waste for you.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Mad_Wed
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aruki said
....I feel like i'm on the right track to starting. But I guess one of the reasons it's harder to self learn is because I have to research my own "syllabus" sorta, and then start, where as teachers already know what order of stuff to teach.

As You'll start to learn - You'll learn basic things first. Usually it's quite understandable, what are those things that one have to work on first and pay attention for. So it's OK. You can find your ways of learning easily. 

For example - my teacher for me is a guide. Most of work i do at home anyway. You can use this site as a guide!!

So i'd suggest - start->correct->continue->correct->etc... =)

cheerleader

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