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mistakes
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stringy
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February 25, 2021 - 3:32 pm
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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,.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Mouse
February 25, 2021 - 3:50 pm
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@stringy 

Are you talking about your mistakes sticking out to you? Your mistakes sticking out to other people who point them out to you? Or other people’s mistakes sticking out to you? 

You said you have heard famous guitarists make mistakes and don’t seem to get noticed. Well, I believe famous violinists, violists and cellists make mistakes, too. They aren’t noticed, especially when playing in an orchestra where there are others and the chances of the entire violin, viola or cello section making the same mistake at the time is not going to happen, so they are covered up, most of the time, from what I have been told by different people who make or play these instruments. 

If you are talking about you hearing your own mistakes, remember the instrument is right under your ear, or directly in front with a loud cello. I can hear the difference between what I am hearing as I play and what is in a recording that is played with the phone (I use my iPhone) fairly close. The iPhone sounds better. I have been trying to remember to record with the phone or pad from a further distance, and that is even better. I think that is more representative of what an audience, if I ever played in front of one, would hear. They are not going to hear most of the scratches, the sound will be fuller. I think the sound rounds itself out as it travels.

As far as I am concerned, nobody ever plays any instrument perfectly. Nope. Nobody notices unless they are terribly off. I think some of it is that the slight miscues really don’t stick out, and the other side is that if you know what is being played, or even if you don’t, you know what it should sound like, and I think you subconsciously hear, in most cases, what you are supposed to hear. 

I think the person playing hears it stick out because the person playing is listening tor mistakes because nobody wants to make a mistake, so whether it is way off or just a tad, it sticks out like a sore thumb to us. 

Does this make sense? I think we need to worry less about sounding perfect all the time, yes, I am guilty, and we need to loosen up and have fun.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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stringy
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February 25, 2021 - 4:38 pm
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Thats a good reply, I do mean my own mistakes of course as you rightly guessed,I may start recording from a distance, I have actually had that mentioned to me once before.

It just seems to me that mistakes are magnified with the violin its a very frustrating And sometimes annoying instrument. 

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Mouse
February 25, 2021 - 5:34 pm
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I think it is in part the nature of the sound, especially the high registers. 

If I remember correctly, you also play guitar. You may be comparing your guitar playing and violin playing. Both have strings, granted. But there, the similarity ends, completely. The violin does take longer to feel comfortable when holding. The guitar, although does take getting used to holding, does not require contortions. Your guitar did not reach that high a note, or around anything like your violin. I also tried guitar, classical. I think it is much easier to identify mistakes played on a violin. Very much so, again, I think it is the higher  pitch, I think guitars sound mellower.

Along the line of mellower sounds. The cello and viola are mellower. guess what? I can hear my mistakes so much more clearly on the violin than the viola and cello. Again, they are both mellower.

Also, I think part is because you want to play it perfect so much. I think you are setting a goal absolutely nobody can reach. 

We have all heard and watched you play. I seriously love your playing. I also think you look very well poised when playing your violin. It suits you,

Keep all of this in mind and understand you are truly doing great and we all enjoy your playing. Although, I do cello, mainly, I wish I could play my violin better, and am working on that.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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February 25, 2021 - 6:03 pm
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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.

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stringy
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February 25, 2021 - 6:43 pm
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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.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Mouse
February 25, 2021 - 7:03 pm
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That was another point, what AndrewH mentioned, that I also heard. I think the local luthier told me, or the violinist there. I know it was at that shop. They are quick. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
February 25, 2021 - 7:04 pm
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Thank you, Stringy.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Sasha
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February 25, 2021 - 7:33 pm
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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.

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Gordon Shumway
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February 26, 2021 - 5:42 am
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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.

Andrew

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