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Steep Learning Curve!!
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
Advanced member
December 7, 2012 - 12:28 pm
Member Since: December 3, 2012
Forum Posts: 55
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I have been learning the violin for 2 weeks now. I think that the violin is the hardest thing to learn. I learned guitar back when I was a teenager, and never remember it being this hard. I don't mean to complain, just checking if maybe any of you can offer some encouraging advice.

I think the hard part is trying to learn to read music and learn to play properly at the same time. So I try to memorize the notes so that I don't have to look at the scores while I play. This way I can watch where my fingers go and the way I hold the bow etc. I finally decided to put on tape so that helps speed things up a bit. I am not taking lessons yet, I am trying to get at least average before I spend money on lessons.

I can play "Happy Birthday" but it is not perfect. 


December 7, 2012 - 12:55 pm
Member Since: June 30, 2011
Forum Posts: 2657
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patience  !!!  this is not a instant gratifacation instrument.  Theres a lot going on with the fiddle, straight smooth bowing, no frets or keys so you have to work on intonation. 

Just practice and in time it will come together.



There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa

December 7, 2012 - 1:01 pm
Member Since: September 10, 2011
Forum Posts: 1957
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If you plan on taking lessons, now is the time not after you play for awhile. Learn to do things right from the start and not have to undo bad habits.  If you are just starting don't try to play tunes that you would like to play play tunes that teach you to play.  I know that Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a childs song but it teaches a great deal about playing and reading music. Start at the basics and don't skip over them.

Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city

December 7, 2012 - 2:37 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2011
Forum Posts: 2849
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Kevin M. said
If you plan on taking lessons, now is the time not after you play for awhile. Learn to do things right from the start and not have to undo bad habits. ..

Absolutely agreed!

You are right, Scotty, violin is hard to learn to play. But really fun also. I remember when i first time played Twinle approximately in tune it was a great happiness for me =) Don't remember that kind of satisfaction when played on guitar.. Of course we all are different.. ad feel different, but i know that i never felt this love to any other instrument =)

Welcome to the forum, BTW!

Byron Bay Australia

December 7, 2012 - 4:22 pm
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
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I remember that, at two weeks, I felt much the same. You just have to believe that it will get easier and that you will get better .thumbs-up

Get a teacher if you can, watch FMs tutorial videos, read the forum posts and ask questions. And practice, practice, practice. You WILL get there if you don't give up

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

Fifi La Fume
Regular advisor

December 7, 2012 - 5:29 pm
Member Since: May 6, 2012
Forum Posts: 153
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Hi Scotty,

If you can play Happy Birthday and other's recognize it after two weeks, I'd say that was pretty good!

Don't be discouraged, it gets better! cheerleader

December 7, 2012 - 7:53 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1644
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Hi Scotty! Welcome to the forum! I agree with everything said above. Get a teacher as soon as you can, if you can, to start out with good habits.

It is a difficult instrument, but I agree with Mad_Wed that, although I play the guitar, and have played a number of other instruments, there's something special about the violin. It can be frustrating, but it can also be extremely satisfying. You'll experience both emotions along the way.

Take pride in the small accomplishments and let them build your confidence. And don't get discouraged if it feels like you're backsliding at times. Over time you'll realize that you are getting better and better.


When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.


December 7, 2012 - 8:24 pm
Member Since: November 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 555
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Greetings Scptty!!


You have a lot of wisdom in the replies to your post. All these people seem to have a few things in common. Practice. I would also mention to not overdo it. Don't lose sight of the fun and pleasure. I have been playing a few months (like alot of people here) and it seems like you go weeks until you have an ever so slight breakthrough. You don't even notice it right away, but when you do, you feel great inside. Cherish those moments and use the vibe to launch you to the next plateau.


A good tool, is record yourself. If you have the luxury of an ipod or smart phone, set it up and record your play. You will spot things on your own that need improvement and also give you benchmarks so you know when you have improved. Keep your video journal as record your whole fiddle/violin adventure.


The FM video's/tutorals are an incredible gift to specifically new or beginner players. Use them to your hearts content. Even the Vet musicians here refer back to them. Again, welcome to the world of.... What the he** was I thinking...   wink

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

December 7, 2012 - 8:53 pm
Member Since: November 20, 2012
Forum Posts: 14
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Welcome Scotty!


Along with what Tyberius said, I feel playing in front of a mirror is really helpful. You can spot if your bowing straight or not and see the position of your wrist more clearly.  Like everyone said make sure your having fun learning the instrument if you feel stressed just take a short break and come back another day.


Like you, I personally prefer not having to read sheet music, as once I memorize it I feel I play a lot better from memory than having to stare at the music while playing.

Advanced member
December 7, 2012 - 9:14 pm
Member Since: December 3, 2012
Forum Posts: 55
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Oh thanks for all the nice replies. Don't worry I am not giving up, this is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time. 

And thanks to Kevin's advice, I decided to go take my first lesson from a real teacher tonight! Yes that was fast huh? I live in a small town so, the music teacher is readily accessible. 

I was nervous at first because I was afraid that he would be all strict and make me do two notes over and over for 30 minutes. But he was nice and laid back. I enjoyed his teaching method. He basically converted notation into tab (wrote the tab under the notation) and assured me that we can learn to read music later. So I think he must use the "suzuki" method.  He taught me a couple of songs and gave lots of basic advice. I look forward to more lessons with him.

The sad part of the evening is that when I got home, I was playing violin while walking around the house, and bumped the nose of it into a wall, knocked every string out of tune! So I got my chromatic tuner out and tried to rescue it, only to break the A string. cry

But that gave me an excuse to order a new set of D'Addario Pro-Arte and also a new carbon bow from fiddlerman. So I can't wait till those arrive. Then I will post a vid of me doing stuff so that you all can give me more feedback.

Thanks again all

Fort Lauderdale
December 7, 2012 - 11:02 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11605
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Sounds like a plan.
Thanks for the business and welcome to the forum.
I can't give better advice than was given above.

Happy fiddling :-)

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

Honorary tenured advisor

December 8, 2012 - 2:29 am
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
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KindaScratchy said 
Take pride in the small accomplishments and let them build your confidence.

Scotty, my advice also is to first learn to enjoy the simple things.  One way to make that fun is to know that if you can make two notes in a row sound good and sound the way they are supposed to sound, then with practice you can build from there and sound good playing a hundred notes in a row.

Trondheim, Norway
Regular advisor

December 8, 2012 - 11:12 am
Member Since: October 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 168
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It's not a race, just take it in your pace and you will get there in time. There's no point in rush it, so that it becomes more difficult and depressing then necessary. No one is expecting a newbie to play like a pro. Just enjoy this wonderful journey in music. Start at the bottom and work your way up till the top. amuse

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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