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

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
What Makes Violin Fun For You?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
Avatar
CameronLG
Georgia
Member
Members
November 7, 2013 - 1:08 pm
Member Since: November 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 33
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I was talking to RosinedUp and we had a little argument sort of thing over whether it is important to know the technical side of stuff to do with music. I.e. understanding the meter, the time signature, counting, and stuff like that. Personally it is not my slice of cake. I play mostly by feel. I don't count or anything like that, because I feel it limits my understanding of the music. 

 

Now, each person has their own slice of cake, and I was wondering... What's yours. Do you like to play certain kinds of music? Play for audiences or in the dark when no one is listening? Post it here!

Stop saying you can't do it and actually go try it... Trust me it works.

Avatar
1stimestar
Members

Regulars
November 7, 2013 - 2:47 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2013
Forum Posts: 814
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I feel that ANY way a person plays music, if it is the way they want to and feel good about it, is the correct way.  I'm still learning time signature recognition and still have to refer back to the illustration my teacher made for me, but we don't do a lot of theory.  I hear a lot of stuff from others on this site, newer to it then me, that I have never learned about, but it's ok.  I am learning what I want to learn.  

I play best by seeing the notes and reading the music but feel envious of those who learn better by ear.  I guess that will come to me in time.  I'm glad I learned to read music because it seems to me to open up the whole world of playing.  I can learn to play ANYTHING if I just have the music for it.  

I like best to be playing out on a mountain top, alone.  Or in the woods or sitting on a river bank.  But being a part of nature is who I am.  I am playing music for me.  It is good for my soul.     

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

Avatar
StoneDog
Members

Regulars
November 7, 2013 - 3:20 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2013
Forum Posts: 885
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm a play by ear kinda guy but I feel that to know the theory is a HUGE plus. I have dabbled with it enough to get me pass questions I had on certain pieces but I feel that knowing theory can only enhance ones playing. It just opens up so many more doors of music and helps one be in sync with others when jamming, etc.

Avatar
Frost
Member
Members
November 7, 2013 - 10:27 pm
Member Since: August 29, 2013
Forum Posts: 20
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I play for lots of reasons...i like the moments of discovery. The challenge & sense of accomplishment when you get something right. theres just some strange semi-indescribable "good" feeling that comes from bringing the sounds in my head out into the world. a similar but slightly different good feeling from being able to get other people to just shut up & listen...or get up and dance. I want to be able to get people to dance, i think that would be a great thing. It also feels good to just play for yourself at times. All thats the feeling part of it i guess.

 

i try to learn to learn what i can about the theory and reading and such. Im not all that great at that part of it, but i make an effort. Not really because its enjoyable or fun for me in its own right, but because it helps the "feel" part to come easier, stronger & more often. 

Avatar
NewFiddlerGirl
Advanced member
Members
November 8, 2013 - 1:05 am
Member Since: October 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 90
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I can read music and can pretty much pick out anything if the sheet music is in front of me. I envy my husband who plays by ear and has had no formal training. Recently, we've been playing together (him guitar, me violin) and have had to find a middle ground between completely by ear (his style) and reading notes (my style). It pushes both of us out of our comfort zones and we learn from one another. 

 

Short of being a professional concert musician, I don't think there is a right way and a wrong way to do music. It's a form of artistic expression. There is no right or wrong way to paint a picture, dance a dance or play a song. Learning any instrument has technical aspects to it  - like holding a bow properly or fingering a chord. But some of the technical things like time signatures and beat just seem to be natural. In the end, if you create harmonious sounds, does it really matter how you got them? Does having an in depth knowledge of music theory make you play better if you don't put some of yourself into the final musical expression. 

 

My husband expressed a desire to learn to read music. After his currency checks at work, I'll start teaching him. It will be interesting to see how that affects his playing. He seems to think not knowing music theory limits him. Plus he says he's pretty lazy and can just look up the tab and fake it. It will be interesting to see the results. 

 

I think it's odd that each of us envies the others ability. But in the end the results are the same. A tune you can sing along or dance to. And we have a lot of fun just grillin' with friends and playin' on the back patio. Do you think Jimmy Buffet music will transition to the fiddle? 

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
November 8, 2013 - 3:24 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Theory is one of those things where it is *possible* to get along with fairly little of it.  I have known musicians who could play quite well, and claimed they knew "nothing about all that theory stuff."

But if you compose/write, if you want to understand more of what is going on, maybe even have more appreciation for some of what went in to the writing of the pieces you play, then theory is helpful.  If you like to improvise, theory is helpful.  When you need to explain something or communicate something with a fellow musician, it is a lot easier if you both know some theory.

I was told once by one of my profs that theory is the study of what works in music, an attempt to understand what factors are involved when the music sounds good.  Not a set of rules to limit or contain creativity or emotion in your playing.  Certainly not something to kill the fun of playing.  

 

Obviously I know some theory.  More than some, less than others.  More than average, perhaps.  Honestly, I don't think much about it when I'm playing.  When I play, I am focussed on the sound.  I find it handy when studying a piece or writing a new piece, mostly. 

I can play by ear or from written score.  I consider both abilities useful.  I prefer to learn a piece by ear when I have the option.  When I play a piece, though, I play from memory, so it does not matter which way I learned it.  I don't consider that I know a piece until I know it from memory and can "play it by heart".  For performance, I wouldn't present a piece I didn't have at least to that point.  

But that is just what I am used to.

We are all different.  Some play by ear, some read.  Of those who read, some like "standard notation", some like tablature, or ABC notation, or whatever.  Some may like to approach music via learning theory, and others may prefer a more intuitive or "feel" oriented approach.  Some prefer one genre, while someone else may prefer another.  I don't personally think there is any right or wrong way to do it, or even one I would consider obviously "better".  It is all good.

What I feel is the important part is that we play.  We make music happen.  How each of us prefers to manage it is not important compared to that.  The differences in our approaches can be part of what makes it interesting and fun, and what can afford yet more learning experiences where we choose to explore them.

To return to the original question, what makes violin fun for me is that (when it is going well) it is like singing.  Such an expressive voice with such a huge range, that it is just amazing from such a small instrument.  Being able to do that more consistently, and learning to do it in more ways when I play is what makes practice and exercises feel worthwhile.  Even fun in their way, because like getting out the ingredients and implements to make a batch of cookies or candy, one knows that something wondrous will come from it.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 8, 2013 - 11:39 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11706

When it comes to music, it's not important that you are proficient in theory or technique as long as you can make music anyway. Some people are so talented that they can make fantastic music by ear and with a bad technique. Most of the time it will be way better with a great technique. Knowing music theory and being able to read music make learning the violin a little easier and quicker.
Imagine the repertoire you could go through if you could read music as quickly as you can read a book. Imagine how quickly you could figure out the right notes to play in a jam if you understood both the key signature and progressions involved in a piece in which you were taking an improve solo with.

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

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
November 8, 2013 - 3:47 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3767
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Great topic.

What makes violin fun. For me it is playing a song that I have learned.  I have always wanted to play a song that I like ...for myself...anytime I feel like it.  To produce music  at will is a gift.

I am taking music in college right now...and it is not always fun, because it is hard sometimes.  Learning a scale, or the circle of fifths or   something doesn't give me the gratification like playing a song, but it is opening doors for me in what I will be able to play in the future.  I can't see that I will ever be able to play some of the easier classical stuff if I don't press myself to learn the "language" of music.

I hope to learn more ear training and take other classes..but I am finding so many of the classes have singing or performing requirements, and for me that is stressful. So.. my ear training is being formed at home little by little because I think that is another key to my success.

Success to  me   is hearing a song, letting it move me..and ...loving it enough to learn and practice and  play it for myself and anyone who cares to listen along.

:)

I love Pierre's thought on if I could read music like a book.. that is a dream for me...and I think it is like typing, or knitting fine lace, or solving an algebra problem, practice, learn the rules, and  practice, and practice..and listen... and practice.... and enjoy!!  For those that enjoy all the steps of the process they are the lucky ones...  :)

Find the fun in your violin playing at every level...and some of the fun is arguing theory, bow hold, rosin technique, when to do vibrato...etc...it is all part of the deliciousness of playing the violin.

 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
CameronLG
Georgia
Member
Members
November 8, 2013 - 3:54 pm
Member Since: November 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 33
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I like to think that I can read music fairly well, though not as well as I would like, and sadly I don't think there is anything I can do about that. I have to hear the rhythm before I can understand it. Though in more classical pieces I can understand it quite well without having to hear it... I guess I am still on the level of a 4th grader with a normal book. I can get it sometimes, but every once in awhile I still have to ask questions.

 

And yes, I think a lot of the fun in playing violin, or any instrument, is the discussions that come up about one's style of playing. I know some people that have really weird bow holds, but can out bow me any day of the week. Pierre, for instance, has a very odd way of holding the instrument with his left hand (for me), yet he is a superb violinist. It varies from person to person, and seeing all the different styles is amazing to me.

Stop saying you can't do it and actually go try it... Trust me it works.

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
November 8, 2013 - 5:52 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@CameronLG:  Rhythm/timing was one of the things that took me the most to learn to get from reading.  Learning what note was what pitch wasn't that hard when I actually for around to doing it for a class, but rhythm took me more work.  I could play it if I heard it, but getting it *just* from the dots wasn't going  so well. I've never been a foot tapper and all the talk about counting time didn't work well in my brain.

I'd played guitar and some other instruments by ear for years before actually learning to read music.  I was self-taught, hadn't had formal music training, so the foot tapping and counting weren't how I did things. I could keep a good steady tempo, and I could learn even fairly complex rhythms so long as I could hear them on a recording or have someone play it to show me.  But figuring it out for myself, the foot-tapping and counting and etc just didn't make sense to me.

I was taking a college adult beginner piano course mostly to learn some sight reading for at least piano, figuring it would help with the theory class I was taking (which it definitely did).  But what helped the most for getting the rhythm was the digital studio class I was taking at the same time.  It involved a certain amount of entering notes on a score on the computer, so that we could then use midi for the playback.  So I'd enter my piano "homework" to get to listen to the rhythm/timing so I could practice the pieces before having to play them in class.

At the time, I thought of that as a cool little "cheat", a way I was getting around having to actually learn the part of reading that was giving me trouble.  However, after maybe 3 weeks of that, I knew what it would sound like from looking at it, because I had seen and heard enough examples of the different note combinations.  So what I had thought of as a little cheat I was pulling, it actually ended up more just an effective learning strategy.  LOL

The "at home" version of that "trick" could be to get any midi/scoring software (MuseScore is free/open-source, and has versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux) and just use it to mouseclick in the notes on the score of pieces you want to learn (or would like to learn better) and then listen it through a couple times and then play along with the machine.  

Your mileage may vary, but that was how I dealt with that part of learning to read music.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Avatar
CameronLG
Georgia
Member
Members
November 8, 2013 - 7:37 pm
Member Since: November 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 33
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@DanielB Yea I can get basic rhythms and stuff, but when it comes to things such as the sheet music I will have attached, it gets hard. On anything relatively simple I can get it, but again, sometimes it is just confusing as heck.

 

 

Rex tremendae ((Yes it is spelled with a lowercase T... Welcome to Latin)):

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

Stop saying you can't do it and actually go try it... Trust me it works.

Avatar
cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
Members

Regulars
November 8, 2013 - 11:34 pm
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1774
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Besides all the cool stuff like mentioned above, I find that being able to reserect an old fiddle that has been neglected for decades and make it sound so special and once again make beautiful music is a real "fun" thing.

When some people say, "Throw it away, it's beyond fixing and not worth it anyway." and I take it and repair the damage, add new items like bridge, tailpiece, nut, and pegs and do the work with my own hands, it lends a special relationship between the instrument and myself... starting a new relationship, learning what works and what doesn't and then applying the basics and learning from there.

Some strings sound good, some not so good, some sound great and then there's the last ones' you put on it and they sound incredibly awesome! Adjusting the bridge, sanding a little here and there, making recordings and analyzing the sound then making adjustments and changing things ever so slightly and after a time, your efforts are rewarded and the sound is heavenly... you have once again achieved what many cannot and once again, your connection with all those that played in the past and held instruments, touching & playing with divine care is once again realized.

That's what makes "violin playing" fun and rewarding for me!

"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
NewFiddlerGirl
Advanced member
Members
November 9, 2013 - 1:41 am
Member Since: October 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 90
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

cdennyb said

"after a time, your efforts are rewarded and the sound is heavenly... you have once again achieved what many cannot and once again, your connection with all those that played in the past and held instruments, touching & playing with divine care is once again realized."

Beautifully said. I've felt that way playing my fiddle. It was made by my husband's great-grandfather. It's like bringing him back to life as well as the instrument. I thought I was a little weird for feeling that way but I guess I'm in good company.

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

Avatar
laserbrainz
SLC, UT
Members
November 15, 2013 - 2:13 pm
Member Since: August 16, 2013
Forum Posts: 64
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Like you said, I think it's different for everybody. Like Pierre said, some people can do great things with "bad" techniques, where others must rely on developing the good techniques first in order to do great things later. 

 

In my opinion, there's a marriage between technical mastery and emotional attunement. One or the other alone can go only so far. Compare making music to language: we all learned how to talk by ear, and most ancient civilizations never advanced beyond that and got along just fine.  There were songs and stories and good things. But look at all we accomplish once we learn to read and write; how it broadens our knowledge of what it means to have language, how studying it makes our stories richer, how mastering command of our language makes us more confident to use it. The same, to me, with music. I'm not a musical theory expert by any stretch, but I've found that when I do try and learn more about it, my experience and I'd say even my skill improves.

Avatar
Crazymotive
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 22, 2013 - 6:02 am
Member Since: January 18, 2012
Forum Posts: 342
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

CameronLG said
I was talking to RosinedUp and we had a little argument sort of thing over whether it is important to know the technical side of stuff to do with music. I.e. understanding the meter, the time signature, counting, and stuff like that. Personally it is not my slice of cake. I play mostly by feel. I don't count or anything like that, because I feel it limits my understanding of the music. 

 

Now, each person has their own slice of cake, and I was wondering... What's yours. Do you like to play certain kinds of music? Play for audiences or in the dark when no one is listening? Post it here!

It depends. If you are going to play in an orchestra or give solo performances then you have to learn the technicals side... not just reading music notes but understanding the time signatures, key signatures, dynamics markings (when you should play loud, fast, slow, softly, etc.).. Often these thing will change through the course of a piece of music.  At the same time you don't have to go crazy with it and count all the time. As you become familiar with a piece and develop that "muscle memory" you will automatically play soft, load, fast, slow, etc. when you are supposed to without having to count or tap out the tempo, etc.  At the same  time it's also important not to be a technician. You also need to put "feeling" and 'style"  into  what you play which goes beyond what is written on the sheet music. So in addition to the technical end there is always the strong human element which is what makes music an art rather than a technology.

Of course there is nothing wrong with learning to pick up tunes by ear and play them without worrying about the technicalities. However, in general I think its a good idea to learn as much of the "technical side" as well. At the very least it can't hurt.

Avatar
RosinRepublic
Chicago
New member
Members
November 24, 2013 - 11:37 am
Member Since: November 24, 2013
Forum Posts: 1
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

I play because I feel accomplished.  It's really good to have an artistic side in life and being able to imitate music that you hear on the radio and hear professionals play is really exciting.  I've been learning through the school system for four years and I remember how when I was younger I would marvel at the experience of the older children, but now since I am one of those "older children" I realize that it's always a learning experience and there is always going to be someone better than you that you can marvel at and someone with less experience than you who you know one day will take your place as you move on.  There are an infinite amount of levels to playing an instrument and striving towards the next level and breaking the boundaries is a musical adventure that you look forward to.  You become who you want to be and more.  Being able to say "I can do that!" is a reward in itself.  Also knowing another "language" that only a select group of people can read sets you apart from others.  Music is an international language that everyone can come to understand and communicating through it connects you with people who you would never have thought to be "your type" per say.

"Now Runny Babbit never asks what other theople pink."

Avatar
CameronLG
Georgia
Member
Members
November 24, 2013 - 3:02 pm
Member Since: November 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 33
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Crazymotive said

CameronLG said
I was talking to RosinedUp and we had a little argument sort of thing over whether it is important to know the technical side of stuff to do with music. I.e. understanding the meter, the time signature, counting, and stuff like that. Personally it is not my slice of cake. I play mostly by feel. I don't count or anything like that, because I feel it limits my understanding of the music. 

 

Now, each person has their own slice of cake, and I was wondering... What's yours. Do you like to play certain kinds of music? Play for audiences or in the dark when no one is listening? Post it here!

It depends. If you are going to play in an orchestra or give solo performances then you have to learn the technicals side... not just reading music notes but understanding the time signatures, key signatures, dynamics markings (when you should play loud, fast, slow, softly, etc.).. Often these thing will change through the course of a piece of music.  At the same time you don't have to go crazy with it and count all the time. As you become familiar with a piece and develop that "muscle memory" you will automatically play soft, load, fast, slow, etc. when you are supposed to without having to count or tap out the tempo, etc.  At the same  time it's also important not to be a technician. You also need to put "feeling" and 'style"  into  what you play which goes beyond what is written on the sheet music. So in addition to the technical end there is always the strong human element which is what makes music an art rather than a technology.
Of course there is nothing wrong with learning to pick up tunes by ear and play them without worrying about the technicalities. However, in general I think its a good idea to learn as much of the "technical side" as well. At the very least it can't hurt.

 

 

 

 

Again, to me I don't have to do that. Once I hear it once I know how it should sound, where I should be louder/softer all of that stuff. I agree it couldn't hurt, but it is something I have never had to do, and I don't  aspire to learn to do. I enjoy where I am with with my technical knowledge, and I have fun playing.

 

This is not to say I don't understand the technical side. I understand it, and use that knowledge when I am sight reading a piece, but otherwise it goes out the window for me.

Stop saying you can't do it and actually go try it... Trust me it works.

Avatar
HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 24, 2013 - 3:49 pm
Member Since: February 27, 2013
Forum Posts: 239
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I play because I enjoy it.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

Avatar
Crazymotive
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 30, 2013 - 8:20 am
Member Since: January 18, 2012
Forum Posts: 342
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

DanielB said

 
The "at home" version of that "trick" could be to get any midi/scoring software (MuseScore is free/open-source, and has versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux) and just use it to mouseclick in the notes on the score of pieces you want to learn (or would like to learn better) and then listen it through a couple times and then play along with the machine.  

Your mileage may vary, but that was how I dealt with that part of learning to read music.

Thanks for the recommendation for MuseScore. Up till now I have been using GNU Denemo which is basically the same thing. However I was having some problems with it on my new system. I installed MuseScore just now and gave it a brief trial run. I ran through some prewittten scores and then i created a few measures of my own score.  So far it looks great.  I am going to need some practice and learning how to use all the features with it but so far I really like it and I think I might end up preferring it to denemo. 

 

Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online:
36 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: 80364

Newest Members:

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

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11706, KindaScratchy: 1651