I have a bad habit in violin

Edited: April 21, 2018, 11:14 AM · When I play a piece I got excited and play faster and this makes me have more mistakes in the piece and I play dirty and touching strings when I cross

I need to play more relaxed because I get nervous and when Im nervous Im excited and I play dirty and when I play dirty I get fustrated

Does this happen to someone?

I learned violin for 10 months, Im now practicing gavotte en rondeau, I have memoriced the piece and the rythm but when I practice this happens me and I cant practice the piece perfectly

Replies (10)

April 21, 2018, 11:20 AM · I do this a lot as well except that I don't get frustrated 1) because I've only been playing for 2 months so i have high hopes of progress and 2) because the speed gives me a boost of confidence which I then use to practice the piece slow and steady knowing in the back of my mind that one of the things about the piece is covered. What frustrated me is my dinky bowing because when I play fast I don't have time to look at my bowing being the beginner I am.
April 21, 2018, 11:56 AM · Spend more time with your metronome Norman!
April 21, 2018, 2:26 PM · Norman,

Jeff's metronome advice will help. However, the tendency to accelerate is pretty normal. The cause us usually some kind of anxiety that drives the musician to pick up the pace. We are all impressed by the fireworks of really fast playing and that doesn't help.

Try to find the "soul" of the music and work to play it very slow and draw out the emotional intent/feeling. Then you can build up speed without losing the feeling and probably won't be going too fast.

Edited: April 21, 2018, 4:03 PM ·


The mind is like a muscle, when a muscle is used a lot with heavy weights, it will get to "the burn." When the burn happens to a muscle you stop and let the fuel restore. Once the fuel is restore you then can get back to using the muscle.

The mind works in the same way, once the neuron is depleted of fuel you need to stop and let it recharge so a memory can be correctly created. Unlike the muscle's 'BURN', the mind does not have pain receptors, so you need to focus on other clues.
List of clues that your mind is being overstimulated:
- more mistakes
- frustration
- forgetfulness
- inability to do something correctly
- hyperactive, unable to slow down
- over thinking
- poor focus
- loss of motor skills

The general rule of thumb is: you only need to repeat something 'NEW' 3-6 times and then rest for 15-20 min. at least. The newer the memory or the skill, the longer the rest time needs to be.
Once you start getting better at something, than that's when you want to increase the number of repeats. Once you start noticing that things are going backwards instead of better, than that's when you stop and rest or move on to something else.

Edited: April 22, 2018, 12:14 AM · "I have a bad habit in violin"

So have I. I keep getting it out of case and playing it. It's driving everyone mad ...

April 22, 2018, 12:41 AM · My teacher once said: "When playing, we tend to rush at places we aren't that good at."
April 22, 2018, 5:00 AM · practice...
using different bowing patterns
various rhythmic patterns, such as the dotted rhythm
on different parts of the bow (the tip, frog, middle...)
explore different fingerings; shifting, sliding, stretching, placing fingers simultaneously (avoid odd string crossing)
slow
use metronome to accelerate and decelerate
practice...
April 24, 2018, 7:56 AM · Should we always keep the part of our left hand that touches the violin opposite the thumb always in contact with the violin neck? As in when doing string crossings, that part of our hand should always stay in contact with the violin rather than leave and re-connect after getting the finger down? Hard to describe, but I'm adamant not to develop any bad habits.
April 26, 2018, 6:32 AM · My teacher told me to play everything slow first which almost drives me crazy.While I see the wisdom of that comment, I have had great difficulty in learning something at half speed. If you can't play it slow you'll never play it faster.

Much wisdom in comments from others regarding string crossings. If you can keep fingers in the same position instead of lifting them each time you save a few milliseconds and have greater ease in playing. This is one of the bad habits I'm slowly attempting to get away from. Playing a successive note at a higher position on the same string instead of switching strings is also helpful at times, especially if you have larger fingers. The trouble comes in when one finger is touching a string it shouldn't be touching.

If you goof up when you get excited.... try techniques that keep you from getting excited. We tend to equate speed with emotional exhilaration. Maybe the music is exciting and this elevates our excitement. I tend to do this with high notes. The high note brings out an intensity that can affect playing. I tell myself it's just another note only higher and it isn't so bad. Some of us are like unbridled horses. We need to learn relaxation techniques and play to the intention of the composer or feel of the music. Not easy for some.Instead of seeing the music as something we need to "get through" it's something we need to feel and play enjoying each moment. Time is of little consequence if time is only seen as an element of the whole.Don't think about how fast, think about how it feels.

One other bad habit I have is letting the violin fall all the way between my thumb and forefinger. This just makes everything harder later on. So far I haven't found a way to avoid that, even when I take the weight of the instrument between my chin and shoulder.

April 26, 2018, 2:24 PM · One trick that sometimes works for me-- if you use a practice mute (I prefer the heavy metal kind that is coated in rubber), it will reduce the amount of sound that reaches your ear. This may make it easier to hear your playing objectively and not get so excited while it is going on.

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