Newbie Violinist Alert!
Hello. I'm Cazzie, an amateur violinist at the grand age of 22.
I've wanted to play the Violin since I was a child but my parents refused with their words of 'I don't want to hear cats drowning, and neither do the neighbours.' So I was forced to play the Piano which never stuck.
Now that I'm 22, I've decided to play an instrument I've always dreamed of. However, as of late I'm struggling to keep motivated with my eyes being caught by other instruments such as Trumpet and Clarinet.
So, I have a question for you all.
When I play, my right arm gets tired really easily from my efforts in keeping it straight and then stop practising as soon as it starts becoming uncomfortable which is usually 5-10 minutes in. Am I doing something wrong or is it something I need to push through in order to overcome?
Welcome to the violin world and this forum!
Practicing is not the funniest part. Learning to play the violin is maybe the highest challenge among all instruments. This should be a motivation, imagine to learn every instrument at the same time with the violin.
Welcome to the world of one of the most beautiful (and devilishly difficult) instruments in the world.
Addendum- don't forget to give us a progress report from time to time.
Hi, Cazzie, from a fellow newbie.
Thanks for your comments.
Maybe you are simply unfamiliar with the posture or you are putting too much force on your bow. Just think of keeping a point on your arm just below your sholder pararal with your wrist. It helped me a lot.
Something I've learned about violin playing over the years is that it's not always super obvious where strain and tension originate. The different parts of your body talk to one another through your brain. Therefore it is entirely possible that gripping with your left hand too hard (just one example of a possibility!!) is translating into tiredness in your right arm. Also if your bow hold is not optimized you can feel it in your neck before your wrist even though your neck is farther from the problem. That kind of thing is hard to trace down on your own.
I think the best thing you can do is to find a competent teacher who is willing to take an adult beginner as student. Learning the violin is very difficult, and your description suggests significant tension and posture problems. These could be best resolved early on, using hands-on approach. Enjoy the journey and good luck!
I highly recommend you find a way to work with a good teacher. There are virtual lesson options available that I've seen online, and while not optimal, it is better than trying to start with no lessons at all.
I would also suggest finding a teacher!
I shall try to search for a teacher once again. My brother is able to drive now so he should be able to take me places now.
I understand that having a good teacher is vital. However, please respect those who are in difficult life situations and unable to take lessons. Online lessons are the next best choice if an in-person teacher isn't an option. There's a chance that your bicep hurts from a non-violin activity. Try massaging it and relax your bowing arm.
I've found one in my area but I don't know if they're still present. They offer a free first taster lesson as well, which I think is nice.
There are many (both free and paid) tutorials online that can help guide you in the interim, Cazzie. And there are some inspiring folks on YouTube who post their progress from starting at zero playing experience each week/month/etc. It's nice to see people being resourceful and figuring out ways to learn instruments with the means available.
I don't think there is a community orchestra. The only violinists I know of in my area are two children aged 12 and 14 who play at my local church. I'd feel very uncomfortable going to them for help.
Cazzie - you referenced my suggestion about a journal. I started mine with a description of how I awoke one morning with an out of-the-blue desire to relearn violin about three years ago. I played as a youth from age 7-18, but stopped to pursue medicine. Since that inexplicable event, my occasional dated journal entries have included descriptions of shopping for a violin, my first lesson, frustrations over starting in Suzuki Book 1, my first recital, joining my first community orchestra, among other things. I also write about learning technical minutiae such as improving 4th finger tone, bowing, learning to shift, double stops etc. Adults are typically much more concerned about "progress" than young students, so rading older entries charts the progress and satisfies that concern. This might not be for everyone, but I have found it useful and reassuring.
Ah your journal sounds really cute and lovely ^_^ I remember when I first started playing I recorded a video of myself each week for a month and then I just stopped and ending up not touching it for a fair few months until recently =P haha.
I'm 51 and picked up the violin about 27 months ago. Except for 3 lessons with an expert professional violinist, I am self-taught. Although my playing today is still not music, I am happy with my progress and I know how far I have come. I expect most people, and probably even me, would progress faster and in a straighter line with a teacher than without, but if you cannot or do not want to find a teacher, do not therefore think you cannot learn to play.
I have a feeling something is wrong. It could be as simple as just how it is being held, or a body issue.
I am also new to the violin I've been playing for two weeks but I was having a little bit of problems with my right arm because I'm left handed. So I started doing exercises to help build up more strength in my right arm. By any chance are you left handed?