FORUM

Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
What's wrong with me?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
AnnyJ
Ga
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
August 26, 2015 - 9:47 pm
Member Since: June 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 184
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm getting really frustrated with myself. Sometimes I think I'm really two persons.

I go from being able to do stuff like double stops (for very short simple pieces at least), playing songs all the way through fairly decently without having played them before, and sometimes some simple shifts, and feeling really great about myself coollaugh(even though it probably doesn't sound nearly half as good as I think)....

....to not even being able to play the simplest thing halfway, bow going all over the place and bouncing, fingers not playing the correct pitch and feeling like I'll never get it right.red_cursingembarassedcryfacepalm

The last three days everything has been off, left hand keeps creeping up the fingerboard to were I'd be playing something and  by the time I get to the end of it I'm almost half a tone off.

Shouldn't I be progressing rather than regressing??dazed

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

Avatar
damfino
oHIo, USA
Members

Regulars
August 26, 2015 - 10:16 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 877
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I would think off days are normal. When I start frustrating myself, I just do a few open string exsersises, and then stop for a while, if not for the whole rest of the day. If I were to keep on I'd just make worse mistakes and make myself more frustrated. And when I get that way, I can't watch my left hand, or I mess up even more. (I'm actually finding it harder to watch my fingers while I play, I can watch my bowing, but if I look at my fingers I start doing the wrong thing, and I like watching them do their thing sometimes, lol).

One of my other hobbies is knitting. I'm good at it and know what I'm doing, but some days I read the charts backwards, or my stitches don't turn out right, and I have to step away and then come back to it, or I overthink things and further mess myself up. If I'm coming down with something, my ability to knit seems to go away, lol. 

So I think it's just a normal part of doing anything. There will be off days. The brilliant days where everything works is showing you where you really are. 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

Avatar
Uzi
Georgia
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
August 26, 2015 - 10:46 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 890
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

AnnyJ said
I'm getting really frustrated with myself. Sometimes I think I'm really two persons.

I go from being able to do stuff like double stops (for very short simple pieces at least), playing songs all the way through fairly decently without having played them before, and sometimes some simple shifts, and feeling really great about myself coollaugh(even though it probably doesn't sound nearly half as good as I think)....

....to not even being able to play the simplest thing halfway, bow going all over the place and bouncing, fingers not playing the correct pitch and feeling like I'll never get it right.red_cursingembarassedcryfacepalm

The last three days everything has been off, left hand keeps creeping up the fingerboard to were I'd be playing something and  by the time I get to the end of it I'm almost half a tone off.

Shouldn't I be progressing rather than regressing??dazed

That happens to everybody who's learning to play an instrument.  It just so happens that the fiddle is among the very hardest instruments to learn how to play.   However, when that happens, it's probably a good time to go back and focus on fundamentals for a bit, whether that's bowing open strings, learning a different bowing technique, or bowing hand exercises,  or just  playing some scales focusing on intonation.  If you don't know all of the scales it might be a good opportunity to learn a new one and just focus on learning the scale slowly and trying to get proper intonation when doing it.  If you don't know the A , B, Eb, Bb  or whatever scale you choose, for example, take some time to learn it and it will pay big benefits later on down the road. 

So, I guess what I'm saying if what you're doing at the moment isn't paying dividends, just do something else that will -- if not now, then later 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

Avatar
Fidelestre
Texas
Members

Regulars
August 27, 2015 - 6:18 am
Member Since: June 21, 2015
Forum Posts: 240
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sometimes when everything seems to be going wrong, I find it helpful to focus on just one of those things at a time. So for example, if you find your left hand creeping around the fingerboard, try playing something really familiar (scales, Twinkle, etc) while concentrating on intonation. And then after you do that for a while, try focusing on something else. You could repeat the very familiar pieces while focusing on whether your bowing is nice and straight, for example.

Avatar
AndieKae
Members
August 27, 2015 - 12:18 pm
Member Since: February 15, 2013
Forum Posts: 33
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Well, the good news is - nothing's wrong with you! This happens to everyone, and it doesn't matter what it is - playing an instrument, baking, drawing, being a parent... We all have our off days. If you were perfectly progressing without any set backs, that's when there might be some concern of possibly being a robot...

I can't really add to what others have said, they all gave great advice. If nothing goes right for me, I usually put it down and will come back to it later. This is harder for me to do now, though, I'm lucky to get a chance at all to practice, so if I don't expect to get an opportunity later I'll go back to the very basics or work on the piece more slowly, focusing deliberately on each note and stroke individually. Before you know it, the next time you practice you'll be amazed how much better everything feels and wonder how you were struggling so much the time before and why you worried so much.

Keep it up! 🙂

"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression."

Algernon Moncrieff (Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest")

Avatar
ElisaDalViolin
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
August 27, 2015 - 2:48 pm
Member Since: November 26, 2014
Forum Posts: 209
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You're not alone! When I'm having those moments I usually call it a day, put the instrument down and do something else like drawing, embroidery or reading. I don't like to push myself when I'm frustrated but if I feel I want to fight back I stop and try to focus on one thing only. Whether is reading a passage (instrument down, just reading the sheet and making notes with a pencil) or being in the front of the mirror to figure out what's going on, I isolate what I think is the problem and work for a bit. It's always good to return to basic exercises. Don't see it as a step back, but a way to consolidate what you have learned and perfect it 🙂 

 
Avatar
cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
Members

Regulars
August 27, 2015 - 3:42 pm
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1774
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sometimes as beginners we lose sight of the fact we are developing muscle memories for our playing of notes. Sometimes as we practice daily, from one day to the next, changing a piece we a learning or doing different skill sets, our mind becomes more dominate than automatic as we try to put the "new notes" into memory to play.dazed

If this happens our new found learning is over controlling our other part of the brain that is playing "automatically" and we find that our ability to play even simple stuff is compromised. facepalm

As you know, all music is composed of very similar if not exact runs, scales and finger placements so it isn't unusual for our brain to 'slip up' and try to put one new run of notes into an old run of notes incorrectly. b-slap

It's normal... some days I can't play a single note correctly and after changing instruments a few times, if it's still that way, pack it in and let your mind free.

I've been learning for over 3 years now and have that problem on occasion so welcome to the never ending attempts at perfection...

hats_off

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
August 27, 2015 - 4:33 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3767
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@damfino I am an avid knitter also and I find that even with knitting... this kind of day can happen. 🙂

Great advice here everyone.. I needed to hear all this ...... and good luck to  @AnnyJ .. you are okay... you will be fine and you will keep progressing.

I really enjoyed hearing what every does or suggestions for what to do when "these days happen."  

No matter how many times these topics come and go each time I learn and get more information and inspiration.

Thank you everyone.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 29, 2015 - 11:35 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11706

I agree with what the above members are saying about this being completely normal.
We all feel like some days our playing is not what it can be and things don't really work the way we expect or want them to. Other days, everything we do (relatively) works and we're excited about what is happening. What matters is the overall long term progress.
When you are playing and not feeling good about what is happening, keep in mind that it will be much easier to do better on a different day. When you're playing and feeling good about what is happening, enjoy it and keep going as long as you can. 🙂

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

Avatar
AnnyJ
Ga
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
August 30, 2015 - 11:27 pm
Member Since: June 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 184
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I finally got a chance to log on and reply. It's been a busy and tired week.

Thank you everyone, I'm really glad to know I'm normal. And I really enjoyed the way you guys wrote about it! It's really helpful and some was amusing.smile I'll take the great advice that's been given. Thinking about it (as many of you mentioned going back to basics when things go haywire), I did start to neglect basics a whole bunch.

@damfino and @coolpinkone funny you should mention knitting. I've only knitted about 3 things in my life and they took forever to finish, a few days ago the neighbor asked me to make something for her (knitted) don't know why I said yes, but I did. I started on the project and for some reason it loosened up the  bowing wrist. 

 

damfino said
 The brilliant days where everything works is showing you where you really are. 

I wish, it was that way. I'd be satisfied for the time I put it.

 

Fiddlerman said
 When you're playing and feeling good about what is happening, enjoy it and keep going as long as you can. 🙂

I did that about 1-2 weeks ago, things were going really great (as far as I could tell) and before I knew it 4 hrsclock went by. Needless to say my right arm felt really tired sleepafter I finally did stop. I felt like I finally go somewhere.

Unfortunately, haven't had a day as good as that one since, hence my post.smile

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

Avatar
damfino
oHIo, USA
Members

Regulars
August 30, 2015 - 11:38 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 877
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Knitting totally loosens up your hands and wrists. I was left with very stiff hands and other repetitive movement injuries to my hands from an old factory job, and when I started knitting 4 years ago, I noticed my hands felt better. When I wouldn't knit they'd start to stiffen up again. It's been good therapy for my hands 🙂 and I end up with cute hats and sweaters, lol. 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
August 31, 2015 - 5:10 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3767
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@damfino I have busy hand... 14 years customer service data input job.... knitting on my lunch hour and after work is a great counter stretch and keeps me limber.  I also spin wool....  And now I am finding  that the violin playing adds another element of limber and warm... counter stretches for all my busy hands.  If I have a day of no work and no knitting, violin... I wake up with stiff hands.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
damfino
oHIo, USA
Members

Regulars
August 31, 2015 - 7:13 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 877
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@coolpinkone I haven't had a chance to knit as much since I started playing the violin... Well I guess I have time I've just been a big fiddle-obsessed, lol, and I feel it in my hands. They aren't used to playing yet, and really need some knitting therapy. Oh, and the office was so cold today my hands were so stiff they felt like they could barely move, lol! I decided I'll knit a nice blanket for my violin case so that way I'll feel like I'm still doing something violin related, lol.

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
September 10, 2015 - 12:17 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3767
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@damfino since violin came in my life I don't knit as much as I used to.  I get some knitting done on my lunch hour and after violin practice on Sundays.  I have little grand daughters to knit for so I do try to keep projects going.

But violin took over knitting and spinning in my life in a huge way.  Lately I have been making more time for knitting and spinning... it adds a bit of zen to my life. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
damfino
oHIo, USA
Members

Regulars
September 10, 2015 - 8:05 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 877
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

My cousin keeps telling me I'm going to give up knitting for music, lol. I want to keep doing both, I love knitting too much to give it up, plus I had plans (and bought the yarn) to make another sweater this fall... which I need to get started on, lol. It's how I unwind, and spend the horribly cold winters we've had lately, lol.

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

Avatar
AnnyJ
Ga
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
September 11, 2015 - 1:47 pm
Member Since: June 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 184
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

For a short moment  thought knitting is going to take away a lot of time from violin, since I started liking it and what it did to my wrist it really loosened it up. After finally finishing the two dish-clothes (took me forever) ;I guess the knitting gene passed me by; I don't like it after all, lol, it makes my index finger joints hurt and I'm way to slow at it, at least I'm done now and can go back to my regular nights of making violin noise.

@coolpinkone what kind of materials do you spin with? Wool?

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

Avatar
Tyberius
Members

Regulars
September 11, 2015 - 3:41 pm
Member Since: November 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 555
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

What happened to and for me was I really did want to quit playing. Not once, but 3 different times. I was so frustrated with it all. My playing was getting sloppy, the bow was bouncing, fingering was off. My arm and shoulder were getting tired, for no apparent reason. The tone was horrible, I was shredding hairs on my bow when playing, broke strings, and couldn't keep any of my fiddles in tune. It was a miserable time, honestly.

Then it happened... I realized, I wasn't playing for me and what I wanted out of  the music I was desperately trying to "mimic". I then just stopped comparing my self with what others can do and stopped trying to keep up with all the Jones's out there. My playing changed drastically. I found out how I wanted to play and how I wanted to play it. Does it make me play better? Absolutely not. However, it makes me thoroughly enjoy what I do and can play. I still have those "days". Now, they are still plain fun. I just revert back to the 8-10 songs I just can play in my sleep. I play them slowly and methodically. I just change them a bit here and there. Then, even though I am not "learning" a new skill or piece, I am still playing.  If I feel like taking a day or 2 off, I do. But never more then that. I keep a cheapo 30$ violin in my work vehicle and play it at rest stops or wherever I find a break through the day.

Don't give up on yourself. It is a natural progression. Record yourself every few weeks. When you start to question yourself if you're making any progress, go back and play some of your "earlier" performances. Take a song you can barely play, and just play that one over time as your comparative piece. Listen to yourself play. Listen to the subtle changes in the style you start to show as you develop skills and techniques. Just remember, all of use play uniquely different. Our abilities will also differ based on your body's limitation.

Don't be too hard on yourself. This forum is not just a "Look What I can Do" venue. It's also a support group of people who share the same love and pastime.smile

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

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
September 12, 2015 - 2:24 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3767
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@Tyberius  that was a good read.  Thanks for sharing your personal journey.

I agree with what you said.  Playing for ONESELF is huge.   I think having some goals and seeing what others can be useful....  But at the end of the day playing what we want and what we feel is the best. 

@AnnyJ I spin from wool. 🙂  I make wool yarn.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
King
Members

Regulars
September 13, 2015 - 2:49 am
Member Since: January 21, 2012
Forum Posts: 2637
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Tyberius said

Don't be too hard on yourself. This forum is not just a "Look What I can Do" venue. It's also a support group of people who share the same love and pastime.smile

You're just now figuring that out?

Good post, keep up the attitude you now have and things will be ok. smile

 

Ken.

Avatar
AnnyJ
Ga
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
September 18, 2015 - 1:20 pm
Member Since: June 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 184
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I hate to bump this back up after this long time, but I'd feel bad if I didn't answer.

 

@Tyberius  That's is definitely something else I needed to hear, thank you for sharing! I do get very competitive at time (even knowing I'm not even close to the competing league) and it gets frustrating because of it, but at the same time it's what keeps challenging me to try new things.

The other frustrating thing is not being able to put the emotion into the music I want, because of lack of technique.

 

coolpinkone said

@AnnyJ I spin from wool. 🙂  I make wool yarn.

That's a rare ability, not many people are able to do this anymore.

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online:
45 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming HeadCheese, Mad_Wed, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3767

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3556

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6443

Posts: 80363

Newest Members:

FerSZ, elaine a, Mukundan, MyMing, dbsimon, stirlingite771

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11706, KindaScratchy: 1651