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Just an update :)
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West Virginia
December 12, 2013 - 6:30 pm
Member Since: December 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 15
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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 :)

December 12, 2013 - 9:18 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1756
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That's a good strategy, Briant. Posting updates in a public forum like this gives you both a place that you can refer back to to gauge your progress and motivation to progress because you know other people are "watching."

Keep up the good work!


When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

Byron Bay Australia

December 12, 2013 - 9:25 pm
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
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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. rofl

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

West Virginia
December 12, 2013 - 10:07 pm
Member Since: December 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 15
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Thanks kindascratchy.  Ferret, I meant the pressure of the bow on the strings.  I just realized bow tension would refer to tightening the bow :)  I still have a lot of terminology to get used to haha.  I'll post a video here soon, the feedback would be helpful for sure.

Fort Lauderdale
December 13, 2013 - 7:36 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15206

True Briant,
Using this forum and being reminded of the violin, plus getting tips on good music, what to play, projects.... It's all great motivation.
Another great motivation is to leave your violin out in plain site. :-)

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


December 14, 2013 - 3:19 am
Member Since: August 28, 2013
Forum Posts: 950
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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.


Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

Chandler, Arizona
Honorary advisor

December 14, 2013 - 4:08 am
Member Since: February 27, 2013
Forum Posts: 239
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I find a lot easier to just leave my violin out. It is a lot handier that way.



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

West Virginia
December 14, 2013 - 3:57 pm
Member Since: December 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 15
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My violin sits three feet away from my computer desk :) .  I took a nap a few days ago and my violin was in it's case in the bed with me (I fell asleep after playing whilst sitting in the bed) and my wife caught me.  I still haven't heard the end of how I have a new mistress haha :)

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