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I think the "starting early" theory is mostly a crutch. Or maybe said another way, the violin is always a challenge for the average player. That has nothing to do with starting early. Of course, there are probably advantages to an early start for just about everything. The violin takes no prisoners.
For these reasons I lusted after a purple tenor sax hanging on the wall of a shop in Ct. I moved but I will always remember the beauty of that sax. Sometimes I can even hear it ( it has notes!).
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
I would think that hearing well-tuned music, early and often, is a good thing for a learner's ear, and more important than trying to produce the tones. You can't play violin if you don't have a good idea of what it should sound like.
I'm not sure the woodwinds you mention are as foolproof (for lack of a better term) as you indicate. But time spent playing (and presumably listening) to a well-tuned guitar ought to expose one to well-tuned intervals
I would think that a lot of exposure to poorly-tuned or poorly-timed music could be harmful to one's musical tastes.
Well, I don't think that playing stopped/keyed/fretted instruments hurt my ear. At least I knew when I started playing violin what the notes should sound like. I think that has helped some.
Having played violin for a couple years now, I can't think of much I would have done different for violin. Maybe not let guitar sit by the wayside so much in the first year, perhaps. For me personally, I feel I always learn best when I'm spending a good bit of time on at least two instruments.
If you mean from way back at the beginning of starting to play/learn music? I should have gotten myself gear that was just a bit better and not "made do" as much, early on. Should have never gotten even the first day-job. I was already playing pay gigs before I was out of high school.
When I went to college, I should have gone straight for the music degree. "Backup plans" are bullcookies. Worst that can happen if you go straight for what you actually want to do is that you can fail. Big deal, it happens all the time. If you do eventually give up on your initial goal, just re-train, re-tool and go into another career direction, like anybody else.
Kids going into art or music get encouraged to have a "backup plan". Ones going into engineering, medicine or accounting don't. I say it's a load of crap.
Oh, and if I was doing it over again, I'd make it a point to never EVER "try to grow up", not even once. It is always a mistake, and nothing to be gained from it. LOL
To paraphrase a motto from the movie "Galaxy Quest", "Never grow up.. Never surrender!"
I think that could have put me further ahead as a musician.. But would I have as much life to write songs about? Hard to tell.
Y.know.. Sometimes what seems like the long way around, actually *is* the shortcut..
"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
I wonder if I had started out playing the violin, without having learned all the other instruments I previously took up (recorder, guitar, fife and flute) whether I'd have been able to pick up intonation skills more quickly.
I definitelly don't know how is it about You, Diane, all people are different, but as about me - i don't think that playing other instruments had a bad influence on my ears - opposite actually. Before i got my first guitar (i was about 14 years) i had no other instruments and if i wanted to play something i used a school piano (when no-one was around, LOL) or i sang it or whistled (whistling is a very difficult instrument IMO, and develops ears very good). At first it was quite difficult for me to play something by ear but the more i played - the easier it was getting. Now for examle, there are some pieces that are easier and faster for me to learn by ear than by the sheet. I really doubt that i would have been able to do this without all i previously have done.
I don't think playing any kind of instrument can do anything but help your ear. As to doing things differently, I don't know that I do anything differently, but I'd sure like to have the chance to do it all again -- Woo hoo!.
Every step or misstep you ever took lead you to exactly where you are. The only thing that really matters are which steps you take next.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
This is my first instrument. A life long love of music and singing has only enhanced my violin playing in my opinion. I wish I had been given an instrument to play as my sister was.
I know with all my heart I would have learned and kept it up. I kept hoping as a child...then from 20-45, I put it aside or didn't think I would grab the opportunity.
I always played with pianos and organs growing up. I never had one of my own. I wanted to start learning piano about 3 years ago, I don't have a piano, so I got a keyboard, to me it was not a piano and I didn't get too excited about playing the keyboard.
Once I started listening to violin music, I knew it was for me. I am completely violin obsessed.
Not so much on Diane's great topic.. but my rambly two cents.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
@KindaScratchy as a flute and tenor recorder player I know exactly what you are talking about!! To top it off I read music and learned nothing by ear. AND in the 6th grade we had to try out for choir, I was not allowed in the choir. It has been very hard for me to sing in front of anyone, actually I didn't until I had children who I sang to.
It was not until playing the violin that when I memorize, instead of visualizing the sheet music I am "visualizing" the notes/tones!!
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.
I am a drummer. I have here learned Godfather Theme and use it as my measuring tool. I can put passion into it, I can judge intonation because I play it several times everyday, I can vary tempo, sustains(the f note in that tune is the sexiest note I have ever heard), volume and rhythms. I know that the hardware affects the tone, so I change a lot to learn the basics. I know that the place affects the sound, so I go to different rooms and especially outside (I live in the woods) to hear the differences...and how much the sun changes the sound. I play that tune so often that I have made it mine,,I own it. If I go back to play the sheet music, it is because that is the way I want to play it.
Yeah, being a drummer has effected the way I touch music.
@MrYikes Very cool.
I play Godfather theme, the arrangement by FM also. I love it. I think I play it my own way. It makes me happy to hear it. My favorite tune to play for anyone who asks. I also like the way it sounds different in different rooms of my house.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
The violin is the only instrument that I've ever played. I started playing at the age of 61.
The thing that would have changed 'my' musical career would have been to have started some 20 years earlier. It seems to have turned out that I can play 'by ear'
But I was too busy doing 'other things' back then
Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of ..... What was I saying????
My first instrument is my voice and I started singing in chorus & church choirs and church workshops at an early age, so that was my exposure. I wanted to play in the band so bad as a kid, but my parents were unable to provide that opportunity. So at the age of 26 I started the electric guitar, took a few classes and then started playing songs by ear. I think my previous exposure to singing in the choir and having an "ear" for notes (tones) is/will continue to help me when it comes to the intonation of the violin. I do wish I had started on the Violin at the age of 4, so by now I could get that vibrato just right (LOL!).
Patience is necessary to learn the violin: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.-James 1:4
When I get discouraged: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.-Philippians 4:13