November 12, 2008 at 6:44 PM
I've been playing violin now for about 8 months, and was thinking the other day about the reasons why I started playing violin - first of all because I've wanted to play since I was little but never had the chance, and because I wanted an instrument that I can take with me wherever I go, as I travel a lot and too often find myself somewhere where i don't have access to a piano, my main instrument. Not very strong reasons, right?
But now I've realized that my reasons for playing have changed. I've fallen in love with the instrument. - it has taken me down a path of discovery in which there are so many cool things to learn, about playing and about the instrument itself. Every new thing I learn makes me fall more in love with the instrument. For example, I had difficulty being able to tell if I was playing in tune or not until I discovered that if you play a note that matches an open string, that string will vibrate as well and resonate. Since then I always listen for the resonance, and have discovered that even those notes without corresponding open strings sound clearer/less muddy and seem to resonate as well when played in tune. This is probably old news for most of you, but for a beginner, realizing this makes a big difference in playing. I like the idea that the violin gives you feedback/input on what you are doing. And there are other things about the instrument itself that I find totally awesome. Like natural harmonics (I think that is what it is called in English...my teacher only speaks German! I'm referring to when you don't actually press down on the string but just lightly touch it with the finger, and it is marked in music with a 0). And then the various sounds you can make with the violin - my favorite that I have learned so far is the excercise my teacher taught me in preparation to begin shifting into different positions - sirens! It is good that I don't have any neighbors at the moment because I practiced doing sirens for hours when I first learned them :) A siren on the G string sounds exactly like an accelerating engine on the video games where you drive a car if you give a little pause/back up a little while gliding up the string :D Ready, set, go!
The more I learn about the violin, the more I want to know, and the more excited I become. Each week I anxiously await Thursday evening, when I have my violin lesson, and am eager to discover which new technique or wonderful detail my teacher will impart - there is so much left for me learn and discover that I think it will be years, if ever, before my fascination with the violin wanes.
I've had a similar experience. I started playing violin when my daughter started 3 years ago. I'm not new to music. I play piano and am a singer. I have become totally obsessed with the violin. I've read up on so much, did some research on setups and sound, have been doing a string assessment to determine the best sound I can get from certain strings. I'm amazed at how it has really improved my sight singing as well. A year ago, I switched to the viola and love love love it. I have a wonderful handmade viola that has a beautiful sound which inspires me more to play and recently I joined a community orchestra which has been the best musical experience I've ever had, and I've sung in a lot of good enembles so this is telling. Thank Goodness I have a supportive husband because this is an expensive endeavour. Expensive instrument, custom chin rest, new tail piece, new pegs,.... Did I mention that I need a new bow??????!!!!!!!
Welcome to v.com. I'm glad you fell in love with the violin. I teach violin to both kids and adults. I can see their frustrations and their joys. I love to see the excitement in their faces when they learn something new that they really like. I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.
Welcome to the violin, Elizabeth. I started about 18 months ago after 45 to 55 years of playing guitar, bass guitar, dobro and steel guitar. If you are German, the last two may not make sense to you; think of "cowboy music". I have fallen in love with the violin. I have a terrible voice, but the violin allows me to sing! The closest I ever came to singing before was playing the dobro. My wife is always supportive of my music, but she is especially supportive of the violin. As you mentioned, discovering the resonance that comes with playing in tune was a big shock. And the power of this little instrument is amazing. The violin rewards me more than any of the other instruments. From Haydn to Shostakovich and Grappelli to Ponty, it is like a completely new and deeper musical experience has opened for me. I hope you continue to enjoy the instrument as much as I do.
I too just started violin after considering it for a year or too and I really enjoy it, squeaking strings, wandering bow and all!
Like Aaron, i've been playing guitar, though electric blues, for 40+ years and just wanted to fulfull a bit of a dream. You know, channel my inner "Itzak" :)
Just sit back, learn, play and enjoy- I am!!
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