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Like many people on here I have played other instruments for many years, and I have noticed on violin compared to other instruments the slightest mistake seems to stand out like a fire alarm going off. Is it the fact that you can only be any good at playing once you can play without any mistakes at all, constantly all the time.
I have heard famous guitarists make mistakes and they dont seem to get noticed, they get lost in the music somehow, but on the fiddle its disaster time,.
I saw a video on shifting by Nathan Cole, associate concertmaster of the LA Philharmonic, in which he mentioned that no one hits every shift perfectly in tune. What pros do when they hit a note slightly out of tune is correct it extremely quickly, make the correction sound natural. Usually they know they made a mistake, but the listener does not.
Thanks for the reply mouse, and Andrew.
mouse you raise some good points about comparing instruments, I do compare against the guitar you are a mind reader as well as having a heart of gold. By the way I also enjoy your cello playing,I love the mellow sound.
Andrew, I didnt know that about the correcting of notes extremely quickly I always thought that they hit them exact every time,it shows how little I actually know, wish I had started learning violin twenty years ago, its very absorbing, or should I say addictive.
I think that adjusting and playing through mistakes ends up being a big thing for most players on most instruments, even professional. I am pretty much a hack on everything I play, and I don't think I ever play through anything on guitar without making a mistake somewhere, what I have tried to learn over the years is how to just play though it, and hopefully I do the same on the violin.
That being said, I also think there is a time to play through, and a time to stop and correct it. When I am learning a part, I stop and correct it, and work on the section that is giving me trouble.
Learning to play through also takes practice, so I take time to do that also. Granted, I don't necessarily want to repeatedly embarrass myself in front of a live audience, so that is where recording comes in. Or even playing it on a loop or over and over again. Now, doing that 100s of times is counter productive, and only re-enforces mistakes, so I only do that when I think something is at or close to performance level. And I'll only do a few play throughs.
But for the most part in practice, if my intonation is slightly off, I'll work on adjusting it, or bring focus on bowing or whatever is off. If it's adjustable, I will practice it that way to get all those micro adjustments built in. If it's way off, I'll stop and work on fixing it.
Seconding AndrewH, rapid autocorrection is probably the key to most instruments.
Heifetz was quoted as saying, when asked how he had such perfect intonation all the time, "I don't - I correct errors before the audience detects them."
But to do that, you perhaps need more technical skill on (i.e. time spent on learning) the violin than most other instruments.