What can I practice without my instrument?
Sometimes I'm in a waiting room or in a place where I can't play and I want to practice anything that can be done without my violin.
I usually practice my tempo, counting and reading the notes. What else can I do?
BTW, I'm currently learning vibrato.
Oh, and I'm kinda new here. Is there a way the get notifications when I get new replies?
I think visualizing yourself playing pieces in a manner that pleases you can be a pretty helpful thing. Think musically as much as technically (and tonally for sure). Imagine yourself on a stage in front of a captive audience.
For vibrato, practice your finger flexibility using a straw or pencil. Here we go, start with about 6:20
Also, don’t forget to listen to violin and watch symphonies and concertos on YouTube. In fact, part of my daily practice is to listen to or watch video of violin music and masters of violin. I pick up things all the time watching a violinist performing. You also want to become familiar with classic pieces. How they sound, the phrasing and composition. And watch how the violinists handle the dynamics and expression of these pieces.
Great suggestions above. There are similar threads on this site. Search them up. Theory and ear training are also good choices. Unfortunately, you cannot get notified of new replies to topics. I wish that were possible too.
The "Last Update" column in the list of Discussions is an indication of the latest replies to topics.
I play my violin hand on my right forearm. I got a lot of practice in during boring classes that way.
You can practice completely in your head. Very helpful. It requires intense concentration but the benefits are worth it. Your brain actually does the same when you are practicing in your head as when you practice normally. Just imagine you are playing and 'feel' your fingers on the string in your head, 'feel' your bowings. I do that without listening to the piece, I hear the sounds in my head. Since the concentration is so intense I take breaks often.
I've seen a video talking about mental practice. By what you all say, it seems right! I also watch a lot of violinists performing and violin hints/tutorials, since it's useful as you guys have stated.
While practice is the most important thing for a musician, there are other things usually neglected that I think fit precisely the circunstances you mention: Theory.
You can do tons of stuff. You may do an image training. I know that a violist learn a piece while he is travelling from point A to point B. He just looked at the score and did an image training. This story tells how effective an image training can be.
This may be useful:
If the waiting room is at a psychiatrist office, you can mentally practice viola.
A big part of this danger depends on the viola you're mentally practicing on. You should imagine a good one, the best one you can mentally afford, I'd say.
“Imagining a good viola....” yup, a psychiatrist waiting room for sure!
Yeah, I know, sounds as foolish as a non whistling e string... But in your mind you're free to imagine anything! No matter how surreal it seems...
Playing air violin can be fun.I would much rather be holding one though.
I like to imagine a violin or I roll up a magazine and pretend it is
I suspect there are a lot of exercises that could be done, and the benefits of these might be just outstanding. Certainly, right hand, wrist and fingers could be endlessly worked on, for a few minbutes each day.
Since child-hood, I would practise all my violin pieces & concerto passages from them (or any violin literature I had learned with the fiddle in hand or at the piano to absorb harmony & melodic themes of such as a sponge) ~ However, no one ever taught or told me about what I was doing naturally until one evening at our family dinner table when my father - an acclaimed teacher of young people in the U.S. (& later Europe, Scandinavia, Mexico & Japan) - watched my right hand 'playing' left handed fingerings/ movements (slides included!) on the table near my fork! Dad asked,'what in the world are you doing, Lizzie!?' Looking at him with surprise I said, 'practicing some piece by Johann Sebastian Bach.' I could see a puzzled look on his face as he further inquired, 'are you sure you're practising!?' I replied simply, 'Yes, I do this all the time, Dad!' My brilliant teacher/father began asking me, 'How do you do left hand fingerings with your right hand fingers tapping or brushing the top of the table?!' I was so used to this & when practising with my right hand, had/have always heard the entire section in my head-mind, simultaneously, & keep in a tempo I can navigate as if actually playing my violin that it's No Big Deal to me, but to Dad & many others who found out or have watched me doing this, it seems to be a mysterious almost-paranormal process? Go figure!? All I know is practising my left hand fingerings & even slides w/ my rt hand same-fingers helps secure a very strong mental image & 'road map' of the section of a piece or concerto away from my fiddle!! Not telling how many decades I've almost subconsciously done this, it all started when around aged 8!! Once aware I wanted to be a Violinist (and a Special one!), I've been very observant when 'Quiet Practising' which has brought great benefits without disturbing other's unless having coffee or dinner, lunch/Tea w/ family &/or music friend's!! Never ever having spoken about this until now, the Subject of practising without the violin caught one's eye & ensuing curiosity, reading all 18 prior Replies before penning this, which seems like brushing my teeth, it's so natural and built in!!
To ~ Violin Kiddu
Elizabeth, I've always done exactly what you describe above, where I both "bow" and "finger" with the right hand automatically when my hands are idle. The "bowing" is done with a slight brushing motion on tabletops and such with my finger tips, and the fingerings are done by tapping or pushing simultaneously with the brushing motion, also on the right hand.