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I've had my violin for a week or two now, and between finishing research for finals I've been practicing. For those who don't know, I play other stringed instruments by ear, and I'm trying to learn to read music and music theory as I learn the violin. At this point my practice starts with a warm up of a few quick exercises, mostly just bowing straight and focusing on my bowing grip and wrist movement.
I'm playing songs by ear now on the violin, now that I understand where the sounds are. I usually play whatever song comes to mind (within reason of course) and use them to focus on my bowing tension, straightness, and grip. Today for example, I played the Harry Potter theme song a few times and the theme song from Red Dwarf, and used them to work on my forms.
Reading music is actually not as hard as I thought it'd be, now that I have the motivation to learn. I can now recognize, name, and play the notes in open position and first position on the music staff. I run through mental exercises to help me learn the rest of the main position notes, but right now I'm focusing on the open and first position until I can recognize and play them without hesitation.
It's hard to evaluate one's self, but i'm trying to list the things I need to improve on:
Bowing can still be a bit scratchy, especially on the A and E strings.
Still having bow bouncing, especially on the A and E strings.
Holding the violin in a consistent position, and not using my fret hand to hold it up. (I'm getting a new chin rest that should help with this)
Keeping my elbow further out
Unwanted sound when I move the bow to a different string
Holding the bow in a more relaxed grip. I tend to tense up a bit sometimes.
Bowing tension on the strings. I think some of my scratching is from too much or too little tension.
Anyway, I just figured if I posted an update once in a blue moon It'll help me with self evaluation and motivation. Thanks all
If you could post a video we could evaluate your evaluation.
I think that the scratchy bits, rather than being bow tension, are more likely bow pressure on the strings, or bow speed, or bowing position between the bridge and the finger board, or not bowing straight, or a combination of these.
Myself, I still have those problems at times. The thing that drives me nuts is when I have 'all' of those problems at the 'same' time.
Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of ..... What was I saying????
Very cool Briant. Keep at it. Yes, I keep my violin out and handy as the only time I get to practice quite often is in between things.
Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.