play musically

January 31, 2006 at 06:04 AM · hay i'm 45 yo and learning for 2 years now.here is the problem i play a simple minuet of bethoven and it sounds like a cold dinner my teacher says here make a small stacato, here make vibrato ,,feel the music, play it 15 times, not 2 .still i'm very unsatisfied with my results.my esthetic judgement is good because i can tell the difference between me and my teacher, but it wont come out nicely.(i play g magor scale 3 octave pretty clean and practice 2 hs a day)i listen to cd s and do the right things but it doesn't come out even in simple pieces 1 pos'? i developed a theory that maybe i'm not talented etc...bla bla bla?

suggestions?

Replies (4)

January 30, 2006 at 01:51 PM · appreciate expeirenced answers

January 31, 2006 at 06:47 AM · I think you're at a frustrating stage. I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone who had played for just two years that I'd want to listen to - an exception might be a musician who was already good on a different classical or especially folk instrument playing the violin in that same style, because musicality can transfer I think. But if you play absolutely in tune, absolutely in rhythm, and with an even pressure on the bow it'll sound musical. Simply the fundamental things. If you can do all that relaxed, it'll sound more musical still. Next, think about the phrases and how they can fit together and how you can make it come alive more. It gets easier and more automatic eventually. That, and put in your time is about all I can suggest :) What you're really asking is the big question I think. All this is about sounding less like a cold dinner, what everyone wants to do. Listening to a lot of well-performed live music can help your imagination.

January 31, 2006 at 07:22 AM · The secret is in the bow arm.It sounds as though you have not yet learnt how to 'sing' with the bow.Try experimenting on the open strings using different arm weights until you find the sound that you like.Then bow the rythmic patterns on the open strings only.See if you can 'sing' the phrase.Imagine or sing vocally first and then try to reproduce the sound with your bow.When you have found your sound add the notes.It seems to me that you have a clear idea in your head of what you would like to hear.Remember that a note is never flat and singing a phrase is like striging together pearls.I would diragree with Jim on two points.Firstly it is possible right from the start to learn how to produce a beautiful tone and secondly even a good musician coming from another instrument would have to know how to use his bow in order to give a musical performance.

January 31, 2006 at 08:08 AM · Janet, I didn't mean to make the two points you think I did. I didn't say anything about tone at all. I was speaking of the limits in general of two years total of violin experience. Second point, yes coming from another instrument you still need to know how to play the violin. Musicianship transfers though once its been developed, at least within the same style of music. This is my observation. It'll be waiting for the technique to catch up.

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