Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy Project”
Greetings from Brazil, everyone! My name is Victor, I'm 19 years old and I'm new here, and also new to the violin. I started taking classes 1 month ago, but I only got my violin 2 weeks ago. Well, I've been playing guitar (classical and electric) for fun for 7 years, maybe.. but only now I've started playing for real (practicing, studying, etc)... so I guess that this experience has helped me so far (as my teacher says).
But the thing that bothers me the most is my intonation. It's so inconsistent, sometimes I'm completely in tune and then I mess up and can't really figure it out instantly. I've noticed that the problem comes mainly from the misunderstanding between my sight and hearing. I see the spaces between my fingers and where the fingers are, and to me they seem to be in the correct position, but it sounds off, then my brain just goes crazy haha. My teacher told me that it really is hard to see the fingerboard correctly from that point of view (when you're playing), and I agree, but it really bothers me that I still can't get it right. Half of my playing time is spent checking the intonation with the open strings haha.
So I wanted to know from you guys: did you have any similar problems? Did it take a while for you to fix it? And sorry for the long text.
Yes, I did run into something similar. With practice and effort it will get better.
The "ear" you have developed from playing another instrument for years will help. You already know what the notes should sound like, better than some other beginners. Use that.
You also know what a difference practice will make over time. I am sure you are a better guitarist now than you were when you had only been playing a couple of weeks. Give yourself a chance with violin, put in some time and practice to allow your skills to develop. It will take a while and some work before your playing on violin can catch up to your playing on guitar. Enjoy the journey.
"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
Your teacher is correct, it's hard to see the right place to put your fingers and the target on a violin fingerboard is very small. I find that it is better to train the fingers to feel the correct location and to hear it rather than to try to see it.
Good luck, it's lots of fun. Practice every day and you'll progress quickly.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
Maybe you could play guitar well by putting your finger within a 1 cm spot. Forget about doing that with violin. You'll have to place your finger within say 1 mm.
First thing is to not think of it as a bother. Take your time and enjoy it when you get it right. You have to make a brain connection between fine finger movements and fine differences in pitch. Concentrating on those may lead to skill in playing by ear and in vibrato. So, "learn to enjoy the simple things" of playing.
Make sure you have pretty good strings, so you can hear resonance with the open strings. For example, when you play G on the D string, you should hear the open G string ring. When you play D on the G string, you will hear the open D string ring. That kind of thing can be a very big deal in intonation.
Check yourself against an electronic tuner until you build up your confidence.
Hellooo Victor, welcome
Like everyone says, it takes lots of practice to get good intonation. I've been playing for many years now and still hit wrong notes (more often than I care to say :)) And it's not something that you can see. It is good though that you've had some other musical experience and can hear when you hit a wrong note, just keep up the practice. And yes, as boring as they seem scales are great. I have only recently started with scales and can see the benefits.
Nice to meet you.. "just get some tape...." ha ha ha just kidding. Sorry, I used tapes in the beginning, and it was like going through rehab to play without them.
The fact that you know that your intonation is not correct is the first step to making it better. When I started playing I could not hear that.
Good for you. Welcome to the forward. Look forward to hearing you play.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
That drove me nuts Pierre!!! My teacher put some wide tapes in my early days.. According to her grip ...And I got a tuner and they were not right for me. I guess they were a just a" guide..".. Later when I did not have lessons I made thin tapes based on how I made the notes correct. Regardless... I like the idea of getting a consistent grip and finding the notes by muscle memory and fine tuning with the ear. I am still weak in that area.
(Talking to teach about things I learned online was a sour note for sure)
(Not criticizing my teacher who plays violin so very very beautifully and has many many students who do well)
i miss my lessons and teacher...
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
Thank you coolpinkone, nice to meet you too! I agree with you both about the tape.. I've played with a taped violin (wich my teacher uses with his new students) during my first 2 weeks, because I didn't have mine yet.
For me, it's easier to play without the tapes, just because it's so easy to trust 100% on them, so you end up focusing on what you see, instead of what your hear or feel, so you got to be really careful about that.. and as coolpinkone said, sometimes the tapes only give you and idea of where to put your finger, but that may not be the correct place, as the margin of error in the violin is really small. But I can see why teachers use these tapes.. the violin is a really hard instrument, especially because you need to "create" the notes, so I think it's a good way to allow the starting student to play something while they develop their ears, . It has surely helped me in my first lessons, otherwise it would be much harder to play Twinkle, twinkle little star haha
Now I prefer to listen and feel what I play (thank you all on this thread and my teacher, for theses advices ), using techniques, like checking notes with open strings, or playing intervals, like perfect fourths.. but I certainly would have had a lot more trouble without the tapes. I agree 100% with Pierre.. what matters is that you start to memorize the feel of each note, as soon as possible, the tapes may be used just as a guide to facilitate your early playing