July 2012

My Violin Life: Benefits from playing piano/guitar hero?

July 29, 2012 10:14

I'll be dropping 'violin life' and starting a new series after this last post.

When I started middle school, I started learning piano from my daily piano class. We had a book filled with easy, little pieces that we had to perform every friday for a grade. That was never a problem for me because piano comes some naturally to me.

By the time I began to learn violin I was already pretty good at piano and descent at guitar. I was also (and still am) very good at guitar hero which I believe is responsible for my fast hands,shifting,and hand eye coordination. Playing piano was great for right and left hand coordination,right hand strength (I'm left handed) and speed. No wonder violin comes so easily!

I've always wondered why everything about violin came so naturally to me while others struggle on them. Well,I know for a fact that the instruments I've learned previous to violin had a positive effect. My 2-3 years of guitar hero playing has helped me way more than I ever thought possible.

If you have any interest in guitar hero I'd advise that you do your best to master the hardest songs on it as they are GREAT finger exercises that I use all the time. Sometimes I warm up on guitar hero before playing my scales! For those of you that are more 'normal' than I,try taking up a different instrument. I suggest piano,viola,cello,or guitar.If you take them seriously you can take your playing to a higher level,you'll understand more about stringed instruments in general,and hey! You learned a new instrument! Now you can enjoy music just that much more.

If you wonder about how all this will turn out,look at me. I'm not perfect (yet) seeing as how I've only been playing for a year and a half,but I was concert master of the intermediate orchestra at my high school and I'm preparing for chair placement audition for the school's Chamber (advanced) orchestra in the fall.I'm in Suzuki book 5-6 and I'm working on completing Kayer's op.20 by the end of the year! Good fortune to anyone who tries! :D

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July 14, 2012 10:15

I'm taking a break from 'my violin life' to start something new. Something we can all enjoy and use for inspiration.

I will be going into the lives and careers of the most respected composers/violinists our history and present have to offer. This also includes breakdowns of the most challenging,mentally straining,yet beautifully expressive pieces for violin. My list may leave out someone you're interested in so PLEASE if you'd like for me to do an article on someone,let me know in the comments.

As a hint for the subject of the first article I will leave you with this...I'm starting with the King.

Archive link

My Violin Life/Getting to the next level

July 6, 2012 10:35

As we all know,all violinists do not play on the same level. One may be working on Rode,and the other may be working on Paganini. A girl in the advanced orchestra,Clarissa, (that I'm joining this school year :D) has been somewhat of a mentor to me lately. I've always admired her playing and have been determined to get to her skill level.With help from violinmasteclass.com I now a good idea of the 'Rode' I'll take. *btw this is mainly about etudes and violin methods.*

I remember talking to Clarissa one day about etudes and things and she stopped me in tracks saying 'wait...have you completed all the suzuki books yet?' That was a facepalm for the history books. I then realized that I needed to learn the 1st and 3rd movements or Vivaldi that I skipped for some reason before continuing with book 5 and 6.

Because Clarissa's playing is much more advanced than mine,we've never discussed Kayser or Mazas. I do know that I'm going to continue working on Kayser op.20. At moment I'm perfecting nos.2,3,4,29 and variations of 1. As for Mazas...I guess I'll dive into his 75 Melodious and Progressive studies because I have book 1. After those are done I know I need to complete Dont op.37 and 35,Gavinies,Fiorillo,but I don't know their positions in relation to Kreutzer and Rode.(Help anyone?)

Sight reading is something I need to work on.I'm a great sight reader because of all my years of playing guitar hero XD. The thing is...reading isn't the hard part. I struggled last school year sight reading small print pieces. I'm a little near sighted but I don't have glasses. Small print is impossible for me to sight read because my eyes get watery when I squint and try to read something far away. As concert master of my orchestra last year I didn't participate in some sight reading because I would lean too close to the music and block my stand partner's view.Embarrassing? Not really. My orchestra teacher knew I couldn't read small print.Because of this,I practice sight reading with the Wolhfahrt etudes op.45 on my computer.

I don't have a planned map for concert pieces but I figure that after I finish all those etudes and Suzuki,I'll be ready for the big concertos,Bach S&P,showpieces,etc.

*UPDATE* I will try street performing ASAP. I haven't tried all the violins in my local shop but I found a good one that is $2500+tax. Wish me luck :)

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