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I wanted to share my experiences learning the violin so far, the obstacles and struggles, and the happiness it brings. As some may remember I had acquired an old violin that used to be my great grandfathers and was debating on fixing it up. I decided to cut my own bridge following the instructions found here, put new strings on it (Preludes), and I purchased a $30 dollar bow from a shop and a $5 dollar bow from amazon.
I had a very hard time at first getting good sound, but as time has gone by I have come to find I prefer the sound of the $5 dollar bow (surprising to me). It took me quite some time to determine how I can most comfortably place the violin to get the best sound and to reduce fatigue of the arm and fingers. My fingers do not move as fast as they once did but I am getting better with the violin being my exercise equipment.
I have been using some music from Fiddlerman, Rubank Elementary Series, and Old Time Fiddle for the Complete Ignoramus. I can see progress in my playing ability each week, and usually find an adjustment to stance, position, and bowing. Sometimes the new position sets me back a bit but I come out further ahead by the end of the week.
Some battles I am fighting at the moment:
1. Switching strings can sometimes be hard, mostly due to my timing of string release and presses. Also fingers ever so slightly touch the string I am going to creating those undesirable sounds.
2. Still have some scratchy sound when I play slow, I am wondering if bow quality may have some part, but I am going to keep trying and working at bowing to see if I can fix it.
Well I think I have run-on long enough, I thought that this was the best topic for this, sorry if it isn't.
Take care everyone and have a good week,
@jasoncheers: Great post. We've all fought or continue to fight the same battles. Scratchy might be helped by a new bow, but the main thing when you hear scratchiness is that you are either 1) pressing down on the bow too hard or 2) moving the bow too slowly. You can move the bow slowly or you can press down a bit, but you can't do both at the same time without scratch. I was the crown prince of scratch for a while, until I noticed that I was pressing way, way too hard and I still do, if I don't pay attention.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
I used to produce chronic scratch with a method I alone may have invented. It is the knack of dragging the bow to another sounding point on the string(s). The horizontal motion on the strings creates a really bad racket. Of course, the vertical bow component makes the music but the scratch comes first and this is easily heard by the audience.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.