What is the favorite thing you get from playing your violin?

October 22, 2016 at 02:06 AM · Hello, I just wanted to start a discussion on what your favorite thing may be that you get from playing your violin.

As a starter, mine is simply this. Whenever I am playing a note exactly in tune, I can feel the vibrations from my left fingertip to my chin and back to the finger, and it's almost perfectly timed for a note quarter note. I then put the next finger down, and I can still feel the vibrations on the neck, and it feels as if the entire violin is in harmony with my fingers and my neck.

Replies (37)

October 22, 2016 at 02:12 AM · While I agree that a playing a pure note is fantastic, I think my favorite thing is all the new connections and friendships I have made through making music.

October 22, 2016 at 02:32 AM · Krista, I do envy that, among my career, well, generation and location, I've met very few people who even plays music.

October 22, 2016 at 06:21 AM · I play it because music is a form of expression, and also to fill the void and emptiness of my life.

October 22, 2016 at 11:56 AM · Money in the hat ;)

October 22, 2016 at 01:56 PM · It's hard for me to pick just one favorite thing. But, if I might name three that come right to mind:

1. Problem-solving in new repertoire, isolating and working out the hard parts, and then seeing progress till the item is performance ready. "Getting there is half the fun."

2. Playing in the garage. I do this for the reverb, although I don't get the full effect, since I use foam earplugs during practice/play sessions -- about 32 dB reduction. So I'm aware of the reverb but can still pick out each note clearly. This way, my own playing sounds, to me, more as it would sound to an audience.

3. Teachable moments in offbeat venues -- like the garage. I wish you could have seen, back in summer 2012, the 6-year-old neighbor kid who parked his bike in my driveway and knocked on the garage door during a music session. You guessed it -- he wanted to try out my instrument. Kids are a lot more receptive to classical music than we might think they are.

October 22, 2016 at 02:02 PM · I love to play my instruments because it's just plain fun. I can't say why.

October 22, 2016 at 02:18 PM · This week in community orchestra we played Trepak from Nutcracker Suite. I felt so exhilarated afterwards--I am just a year in, and this reaction was quite a pleasant surprise! Just the opposite of the feeling after practicing shifting drills in Essential Elements...wow. Plain fun is right on!

October 22, 2016 at 02:26 PM · BBC Pension !

October 22, 2016 at 02:27 PM · Women.

October 22, 2016 at 03:56 PM · For me playing the violin (and the cello and the viola) are ultimately about the opportunity to share chamber music intimately with friends and together share opportunities to experience the minds and souls for those (usually long passed) within whom the music originated. It isn't always glorious, but when it is, it seems a path to Heaven. When I practice it is to be able to do a better job of making that happen.

October 22, 2016 at 04:21 PM · Andrew nailed it -- as usual. For me, practicing things like scales and studies also have kind of a zen-like quality. Just keep improving, refining, a little better tone, a higher percentage of notes in tune, cleaner shifts and string changes, and there is a gradual but nevertheless very strong sense of overall satisfaction in that improvement.

October 22, 2016 at 04:35 PM · My favourite moment when playing comes when I realise that my bow hand is moving fluidly & decisively, that I'm for ten minutes or so 'in the zone' and in control of what I'm doing.

There are many other good things about playing, but probably the next up for me is the discovery of a really evocative new strathspey, the sort of tune whose beauty makes me want to weep and rejoice at the same time.

October 22, 2016 at 08:02 PM · Playing in my local community orchestra is like going on a 90min vacation every week. Its my time off from life's responsibilities.

October 22, 2016 at 08:37 PM · Its a rewarding volunteer activity, and, if you have spare time, you can feel guilty about not practicing, so fill yer boots.

Stay pawsitive,


October 22, 2016 at 09:19 PM · The ability to shock people by playing harmonics.

They hear them and say "where dis that sound come from?" :)

October 22, 2016 at 11:32 PM · In one word: Endorphins!

October 23, 2016 at 02:48 AM · I should mention that on Friday evenings, when classes end and etc. I start playing my violin from my office up to my lab, check my equipment, then play on my way down to my office. Sometimes people record me playing on their phones, some watch, what I absolutely love about this is how loud my violin is.

I started doing this in the summer in attempt to find the best acoustic location in my laboratory.

Also, I can no longer use my observatory as my personal acoustic room, as it is at outdoor temperature and humidity, and it's been rainy and cold lately.

October 23, 2016 at 09:49 AM · It used to be playing with the local orchestra, now it is assisting with the local Youth Orchestra and brining along the next generation of string players as well as sharing the lessons I have learned in almost 40 years of playing. A particular joy is seeing that my student is going to surpass my skills and become a better violinist than I am. That is how it should be.

I still get a thrill when I overcome a particular problem in music and I have a lot of music that I just love to play for myself, my wife and the cats.

October 23, 2016 at 06:34 PM · My amazement that I may actually have achieved skills far exceeding what I deserve.

(However, I do lack respect for scales.)

October 23, 2016 at 07:55 PM · Some people sing in the shower.

I think we all have a need to express and create.

Also: stress relief

the joy of making music together

sense of accomplishment if a performance went well

October 24, 2016 at 12:43 PM · Is there any greater honor one can have than bringing to life and sharing (even if only for a moment and imperfectly) the living voices of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Bartok, and all the others?

October 24, 2016 at 02:37 PM · Having begun playing at age 10, I have played for over 5 decades. When my kids were little, I regretfully set my violin aside aside, but my love of violin was there all the while. Playing violin to me is both a stress-reducer and a stress-inflicter, depending on the type of music I'm working with. I love being challenged and stretched with something tricky, and I love playing "easy-listening" music. I can't imagine life without my violin!

October 24, 2016 at 05:44 PM · The thing I love getting from playing the violin is the calm I feel during my practice. It is a nice feeling hearing the music I love being made by my own hands. I mean sure I am a bad player but I still love the feeling I get from it. :P

October 24, 2016 at 08:25 PM · It keeps me out of trouble.

(Most of the time anyway) ;)

October 25, 2016 at 02:04 AM · I have always enjoyed classical music. And now with the violin, I'm getting good enough that I can actually play some of it!

And I have also found that I don't listen to music the way I did before.

October 25, 2016 at 11:17 AM · Lovely thread Steven!

If I have to name just one benefit I get from the playing, it is those moments of complete immersion that playing with others occasionally provides. I mostly play traditional music, and the relative simplicity of some traditional pieces really acts to enable this.

For me, this kind of immersion used to come from doing sport to a high level, but this is no longer quite so possible as I head towards my late thirties, so I am pleased that music can fill the gap.

October 25, 2016 at 01:03 PM · Not number one, but one of my favorite things is playing my violin in the stairwell...the sound is fantastic!

October 25, 2016 at 03:20 PM · A chance for this unapologetic, militant introvert to express myself and be heard uninterrupted while sharing the gift of music and love of the violin with the world. Though sometimes it's just money.


October 25, 2016 at 06:53 PM · Gratitude to my mom who scrimped and saved to buy me a Goodwill violin and then three years of lessons when I was a child. It was a lifelong gift and I think of her every time I pick up a violin and start to play, perform, or practice. Thanks Mom and I miss you but hope you are enjoying it as much as I have!

October 25, 2016 at 07:44 PM · Not violin-specific, but when playing music with others we sometimes reach that spot where everyone is in the zone, and magic happens. When we finish such a piece, nobody moves for several seconds, until someone breathes, "Wow." That's what keeps me coming back for more.

As for violin (or viola) specific things, there's the feel of the bow sinking into the string and digging out the tone, or the way the bow dances across the strings lightly picking out a tune. (On the other hand, the worst times are when it refuses to do that no matter how you try.)

October 25, 2016 at 08:32 PM · Keeps me humble (or at least more than otherwise).

October 26, 2016 at 03:23 AM · I get to meet a lot of great people in orchestra who love their instrument just as much as me. A lot of my best friends are in orchestra. It is also a lot of fun to have jam sessions with my friends!

October 26, 2016 at 06:40 AM · Filthy lucre ...

October 26, 2016 at 11:26 PM · Fun.

October 27, 2016 at 09:58 PM · If I got a buzz playing my violin I wouldn't be happy, and I'd investigate it ASAP, enlisting the services of a luthier if necessary.

October 28, 2016 at 05:53 PM · It distracts me from acquiring unnecessary stress/worries and elevates me to a dimension of tranquility and ecstasy.

October 28, 2016 at 05:59 PM · To be able to feel the great music by actually putting my hands on or in it, these master pieces that many can only appreciate by listening and vast majority people in the world haven`t even heard them.

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