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Will playing guitar help me with violin?
To get a better sound with my violin, I need to relax my wrist more. Will guitar help with that?
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Fidelestre
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March 15, 2016 - 11:18 pm
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The sound when I play violin is not so good, in part because I grip the bow too tightly and do not have a smooth, fluid motion in my right wrist. Could playing guitar help me learn to relax my wrist more?

I used to play some classical guitar, and recently I started playing it again from time to time. I have only played with my fingers (including fingernails) and have not really used picks before. Was wondering whether it might help me relax my wrist if I practice some style of guitar that requires using a pick. Maybe it would also help me to learn to not grip the pick (or bow) too hard?

Many of the forum members are current or former guitar players. What do you think? - will learning to play with a pick help me relax in a way that will carry over to violin? And if so, what guitar style would work best? Accompaniments to Irish music or folk songs? Blues (like in the style of Muddy Waters or B.B. King)? Rock (Guns N Roses, etc)? Or something else?

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cdennyb
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March 15, 2016 - 11:24 pm
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I'm not sure if playing will help or not. I suspect it won't. In fact, I find playing the guitar to be a 'ballpark' kinda thing when it comes to intonation. As you know, get your finger down between frets on a guitar and you have a perfect sounding note, if the guitar is in tune properly. Try to do that on a violin and you'll forever be "out of tune".

Even on my 5 string electric violin with frets, I play "on top" of the fret as opposed to playing "between the frets". It's the only way to get that particular note in perfect tune as on a fretted violin you can also play between the frets like a guitar but the sound or note is somewhere in between the two frets you're playing your finger on.

"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

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Fidelestre
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March 16, 2016 - 6:15 am
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cdennyb ,

Yes, I don't imagine that guitar would help much for improving left hand fingering technique on violin. But I'm really looking more at right hand technique - need to find some way to relax the right wrist and hand in order to coax better sound out of my violin!

Thanks,

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BillyG
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March 16, 2016 - 3:18 pm
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Sometimes, even  as a beginner, I like to investigate "advanced" techniques - it took me a long time to find this resource again (must have viewed it about a year ago but finally found it).  Although classed as "advanced" - don't let that put you off  - the lady describes a lot of motion that's generally required in both the fingers and to some extent the wrist of the bow-hand - demonstrating the natural flexibility expected of the hand and fingers.   No real idea if this might help your specific situation, and I only suggest this as it does appear to be a fairly common issue (from what I've read).   There are lots of other exercises "air bowing" ( just the fingers ) at your desk or chair just holding a pen or pencil and so on....

I'm a bit dubious about getting much specific benefit from finger or plectrum picking on guitar - hard to say - but - look at it like this - it is not gonna harm you, and, playing guitar is good - and can be an escape from issues on the fiddle for a while !!!

 

EDIT: Oh and of course, Pierre's discussion on finger flexibility - feature=youtu.be

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fidelestre
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March 16, 2016 - 11:19 pm
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madbill ,

Thanks for these links. I've seen her Suzuki and O'Connor demo videos but had not seen this technique one - it looks to have some useful exercises.

The Fiddlerman video also looks great - I'll have to give those a try too.

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cdennyb
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March 17, 2016 - 1:47 am
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Fidelestre said
cdennyb ,

Yes, I don't imagine that guitar would help much for improving left hand fingering technique on violin. But I'm really looking more at right hand technique - need to find some way to relax the right wrist and hand in order to coax better sound out of my violin!

Thanks,

my 'bow hold' is a little "different" than those so I'm afraid I can't help much in your situation.

After playing for over 4 yrs now, I find my hold as relaxing as can be and I often times practice now for over an hour at a time non-stop. Before modifying my hold, I was limited to about 15-25 min depending on how much I wanted to endure... Ha.

"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

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Fiddlerman
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March 17, 2016 - 11:14 am
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Yes Dennis. Holding the bow or violin the wrong way, or with too much tension can affect how we feel both when playing and not playing. I have had the opportunity to work with so many violinists that suffer pain from exerting too much unnecessary tension in their technique. Often the problems are amplified when the player advances. Trying to teach a player to relax after they have gotten used to a certain way of holding their instrument can be way more difficult than getting it right from the start.
I'm glad that you were able to readjust your bow hold.

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

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Uzi
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March 17, 2016 - 3:32 pm
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As someone who has played guitar for decades and the violin for two years, I can definitely tell you that playing guitar will not help you play the violin.  At least no more than playing tennis will improve your golf.  They are completely dissimilar instruments.   The only thing that they have in common is that they both have strings. 

Of course, playing the guitar will teach you much about rhythm, song structure, scale familiarity, modes and perhaps music theory, but I'm afraid that's about the extent of it.  There is really no way around learning the proper technique and then practicing it over and over until eventually muscle memory takes over.  I play several other instruments and nothing is anywhere near as hard as playing a violin. 

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

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BillyG
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March 17, 2016 - 3:52 pm
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You nailed it @Uzi - rest of us were dancing-around-it - yup, nailed...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fidelestre
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March 17, 2016 - 11:47 pm
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Oh well, so much for that idea. Guess I'll have to figure out how to relax with the actual bow and violin. It's not very easy to relax when you are trying to relax! - the more I think about relaxing my bow hold, the more tightly I seem to grip.

At least I won't have to worry about how much I can get away with using a plectrum on my nylon-string classical guitar, if skills at holding a plectrum don't really carry over to holding a bow.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

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Fiddlerman
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March 18, 2016 - 11:02 am
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I can't help to think that playing the guitar will help a little. The ability to hear intonation must be better from playing an instrument. Rhythm, scales, chords and even notation is already there....I was thinking that fingertips have a better feel for pressing down the strings to the fingerboard.

I guess that the fingering and note locations are completely different. Being used to frets could be a disadvantage when you all of a sudden need to be so much more accurate with your finger placement.
I think I should probably take up the guitar and find out first hand. 🙂

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

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Schaick
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March 18, 2016 - 3:25 pm
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Playing the guitar could help you with jamming!!  

Until recently I have not been able to tell when there was a need for a chord change or what chord was being played.  I have memorized guitar chord shapes and follow the guitarists during the songs.  If I knew how to play the guitar first I believe it would have not taken me so long to get to this point.

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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micra
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March 20, 2016 - 8:40 pm
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Fiddlerman said
I have had the opportunity to work with so many violinists that suffer pain from exerting too much unnecessary tension in their technique. Often the problems are amplified when the player advances. Trying to teach a player to relax after they have gotten used to a certain way of holding their instrument can be way more difficult than getting it right from the start.

If I took nothing else away from the year and a half of lessons that I took, it was this. My teacher was a professional player, playing for symphonies, on staff at a couple of colleges, teaches extensively- she told of well established players that had to go in for physical therapy for repetitive type injures coming from playing, all due to UNNECESSARY TENSION in their technique.

First and foremost, learn the proper technique for the violin.  Forget about the guitar, it will not give you any insight into proper technique on the violin.  Let any stiffness, soreness, or discomfort alert you to where you have tension in your technique.  Then you'll know where you must consciously tell yourself to relax!  That is the only cure that I know of.  Eliminate the tension. 

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coolpinkone
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March 21, 2016 - 12:42 pm
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f1d5b62d3b088fc12686a1c6f7e98ae3.jpgImage EnlargerAfter playing the violin for over four years now.. I am dabbling in Guitar... Because you know... life is short.  I am learning a little again on the Classical Guitar, because the strumming feels so good to my soul. 

I am also learning.. (I know you probably won't believe it...)  Blues... on the Cigar Box Guitar.  I might have to start a thread in the break room on CBG's and my little side musical adventure.

The good thing about playing guitar and the little CBG is that it takes NOTHING away from my violin.  I work on Violin and play as much if not MORE than ever... it is serious to me...

But then I go and sit down and relax and learn on the Guitars... a little picking... and little glass slide... a little strumming... it's HELLLLLLLLLLLA fun!!!!!!

Her name is Pink Hooligan!!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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