Am I moving to quickly

July 15, 2006 at 08:14 PM · I am a begining violinist. But I am an advanced pianist. Is it normal to desire to play hard music on the violin? I'm so sick of the song you see in the Suzuki book. I've only been playing one year, but I am playing out of a medium to advanced book. And I am playing an advanced piece. But I am learning it. Am I moving to fast?

Replies (9)

July 15, 2006 at 09:23 PM · Too fast for who?

July 15, 2006 at 11:19 PM ·

July 16, 2006 at 05:14 AM · I progressed by playing stuff that was "too hard" for me.

Sure it took me a while, but the joy of overcoming obstacles and the problem solving process made me a better and happier player.

July 18, 2006 at 08:26 PM · that can be a hard one. i find that pianists make the leap to violin very well if they're suited to the instrument. however, the violin is never an easy instrument and you don't want to prematurely establish how good you 'should' be due to prior training on another instrument.

try this: tape record yourself playing your 'too hard' piece. then listen to yourself back to back with a famous recording artist. as an advanced pianist, listen to see if you'd be able to accompany yourself without problems. then listen for technique, and finally listen for musicality and elan.

no matter what level you play at, you should never feel like you're running to keep up with the piece. learning a new piece is like jogging: you go only a slight bit beyond your current ability to build endurance but if you find you are tensing up or are short of breath, you're working too hard.

when i was younger i used to revel in playing music that was 'too hard for me.' there was a part of me that wanted to show i'd made it by playing the bigshot pieces before my time. sort of like 'prodigy envy' i guess.

i'll tell you it made me progress at an accelerated pace but i'll tell you just as quickly that i learned bad habits on fundamental techniques that plague me to this very day. most of those habits would have been easily dealt with if i slowed down and put more concentration on my etudes and scales and arpeggios.

the moral of the story: one mustn't love the building yet scorn the bricks. they are one and the same. take your time, there's no rush. the music isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

July 18, 2006 at 08:28 PM · Without the proper technical foundations, how on earth can you make use of playing a piece that is way beyond your abilities? Sure, you can play the tune, but that is not the same as playing the piece.

Some things in life take time, and gaining advanced techniques is one of those things.

You've got to walk before you run.

Otherwize, you'll become one of those people who say they've played all the greatest most difficult stuff, but then you hear them and say, "blech."

An experienced teacher is really valuable for this--one way or another, you need to know what is a good order of development. In other words, how to build your skills--they don't happen over night.

There is a difference between pushing yourself, stretching your abilities, as compared to overextending and getting nothing valuable out of it.

July 19, 2006 at 10:25 PM · Many people would discourage playing things that are too difficult. I am however not one of those people. The only way you get better is to challange yourself. If you can take the heat and practice your ass off extremely difficult pieces, you will indeed be rewarded. If your lazy and play difficult pieces your gonna suck.

Make sure you are always playing one piece thats at your "level" though.

If you cant get the difficult music as "perfect" as you could easier music, dont kill yourself. Learn it to the best of your ability, practice practice practice. When you come back a month later and re learn it you will love yourself.

July 21, 2006 at 05:50 AM · The piece I'm working on must be be played at 112 BPM and most of the notes are 1/16 notes in G major. It's quite difficult for someone who has only been playing one year. But I am making progress slowly. It might be hard but I love a good challenge.

July 24, 2006 at 04:33 AM · I also know what you are talking about... I have been playing the violin for 7 years, ever since I was 8. But I was a semi-advanced violinist when I started the piano at age 11 (my situation was opposite of yours but pretty much the same conflict). I always wanted to play harder pieces on the piano than I could. But remember, the ability to play the music exactally as it is written isn't always the part that makes the music hard. A lot of times it is the ablity to play it correctally and to play it beautiully at the same time. The violin isn't like the piano where every note is in tune for you, you have to get it in tune and add different techniques such as vibrato to make it sound good. Most of this can be acheived in the first few years of violin playing. If you don't practice correct techniques in those first few years then it will take a lot of effort and struggle to fix them in the future... just a few things to think about :).

~*~Violins Make the World go Round~*~

July 24, 2006 at 07:53 AM · I agree completely with Bill Pratt. As a violin teacher, one of my biggest challenges is making eager students slow down and progress step by step. You need to learn to crawl before you can walk and to walk before you can run. If you jump ahead too fast you will pay the price later. You will be unable to play new things because you don't have all the necessary skills and/or you will have to unlearn a lot of bad habits.

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