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I got to borrow an old violin a month ago, and it's my first time playing. I consider myself to have a good ear for music, and I play many instruments decently.
I know it usually takes years to sound professional, but I've practiced and practiced now, the bow movement, being somewhat on pitch, producing something resembling vibrato.
But the core TONE still just sounds really bad.
Could someone please have a listen to this short audio clip (I just uploaded it to clyp.it, I should be safe to click), and tell me the main causes of it not sounding good.
1. The violin, the bow and/or the rusty strings make it impossible for good tone?
2. The (pretty good) microphone is set up wrong? (I already spent an hour trying to EQ the recording and giving it some reverb to make it less squeaky.)
3. I just play completely wrong?
It just barely sounds like a violin to me!
Grateful for any replies, thanks. đź™‚
@AutumnGhost I don't know whether this is a joke or not, but if you've really only been playing violin for a month you are doing extremely well. At the one month stage most beginners (even if they are proficient in other instruments) can barely create a musical tone at all. Your playing along with the accompaniment sounds quite good.
Tone quality is dependent on all of the "possibilities" you listed. The mike setup sounds okay, you are playing fine. Yes the violin, strings an bow all have a part to play in tone production. Bow pressure, bow path and bow speed are the major contributors to tone production. If you're really bothered by what you've achieved as presented in the clyp, then I suggest you look at:
I don't know if Fiddlershop carries the Simon Fischer series, but there books and very comprehensive DVD set available just addressing tone production.
Welcome to the forum đź™‚
Bob in Lone Oak, Texas
Yeah, WELCOMEÂ @AutumnGhostÂ -Â seriously it sounds "fine"...Â Â I thinkÂ @bob andÂ @Fiddlerman covered it all.Â Â You are playing pretty darned well for a month or so, and, indeed your musical ear tells me that.Â Â I really believe it comes down to the instrument and strings, and to some (lesser) extent bowing control from the piece I heard.
Some instruments, with a particular set-up (bridge, sound-post, strings) will simply just sound like that - regardless of how proficient your bowing is - and - indeed - there IS a place for that sound.Â Â A "good stomping fiddle-tune-sound" can come from a plywood bodied fiddle ( OK, I exaggerate on the plywood, but you get the idea ) - however an instrument that plays really well like that, will NEVER bring out the subtle nuances, resonances and overtones that a quality instrument would.
If cash allows, it may be worthwhile experimenting with different strings to start, but equally, if you have serious intentions as a long-term instrument to add to your playing repertoire - trust me - you won't go wrong by chatting to fiddlershop.
Above all, enjoy your journey with this most awesome of instruments !Â Â
I seriously recommend not copyingÂ my mistakes. D'oh -Â
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)
So... Iâ€™ve been playing violin for 3 months. Â Iâ€™ve been a musician for over 25 years. Â
My tone is where it should be. Â Itâ€™s right for 3 months of playing. I havenâ€™t begun vibrato yet. Â I am still playing 1st position. Â My switching is improving, but still in the beginning stages.Â
My violin is a $1500 beautiful instrumentÂ
If in fact this is a sample of your playing of only one month... my advise is get yourself a nice instrument and some lessons. Â You should be playing to your full potential and not waste anymore time.Â
- Pete -
Hey, I'm sorry for replying so late!
@AutumnGhost I don't know whether this is a joke or not, but if you've really only been playing violin for a month you are doing extremely well.
Welcome to the forum đź™‚Â Â
Hehe, certainly not a joke! I like challenges and have all the time in the world, and I've spent many hours every day.
If your strings are rusty, I would definitely get some new ones. đź™‚ That will make a huge difference.
Alright, I guess I'll have to give that a shot!
Yeah, WELCOMEÂ @AutumnGhostÂ -Â seriously it sounds "fine"...Â
Above all, enjoy your journey with this most awesome of instruments !Â Â Â Â
Hehe, "fine" is just not nearly enough for me. It was frustrating that I hit that wall of "it just won't sound better than this". I youtubed other players playing the same melody, and it was so beautiful in comparison! Made me give up on this whole violin idea.
If in fact this is a sample of your playing of only one month... my advise is get yourself a nice instrument and some lessons. Â You should be playing to your full potential and not waste anymore time.Â Â Â
To be honest, it's not like I've ever dreamed of being a violinist. I have just accepted that it's a too difficult instrument, and that there are so many professionals already playing, so I couldn't possibly add anything to "that world".
(While on the other hand, with a guitar, keyboard and/or voice, you can create something unique and pretty despite not being professionally trained. I kind of feel like it's more about your creativity then, but with violin, everyone will analyze your technique above everything else.)
But now that I got to borrow a violin for free, I thought why not. đź™‚
But anyway, thanks for all your input! I will find an instrument store and try a couple of violins there and see how they sound, and maybe invest in some strings.
I may or may not update this thread if I make progress. đź™‚
I have been playing for about 6 months now, and I can tell you that you have almost certainly not hit any wall of "it just won't sound any better than this." Making a good--well, in my case, better--tone seems to be something that nobody much knows how to articulate, but that the ear-mind-body seems to gravitate towards... slowly but steadily, if you keep listening and experimenting.
In fact, I have never in my life found anything that so consistently rewards time and effort as playing the violin. Not with getting me to where I want to be (too much attachment to results not helpful...), but with getting me clear if small increments of improvement. Most other things that I have tried in my life have been much more prone to big plateaus...
I hope you can get somebody competent to check the position of the sound post and bridge (tho you can check the bridge position and angle), and get new decent quality strings (you or the somebody--strings might last around 120 +/- hours of playing, and may deteriorate from just being on the violin for years even unplayed). While you are with the somebody competent, why not ask them their opinion of the instrument you have borrowed?
Interested in how you are doing...