I get lost in sheets

Edited: April 13, 2018, 3:17 PM · I know every note, Im not saying in reflex, I say I dont understand the sense of the notes, I need every time hear the piece Im practicing because I dont understand the relation of the notes, I tried the tempo but I get lost, I play the notes but I dont feel it, if I play it 50 times I feel the music but Im slow learning a piece, and I fall into despair, I dont know if this is attention deficit or what it is

Replies (12)

April 13, 2018, 6:10 PM · Reading the music along (not playing) as you listen to it will help you learn the relationship between different notes and rhythms.
April 13, 2018, 6:17 PM · You play the violin with your brain, not just your hands. You need to have a concept of the right sound in your head, which includes the right rhythms.

I suggest that you regularly listen to the repertoire you're working on. I usually leave my current solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire playing on Spotify in the background when I'm doing other things.

April 13, 2018, 7:47 PM · Sounds like you might be self taught?

Idk, some people are just born/raised with music in their hearts. If you can hear it in your head, you can usually get to playing it with enough practice, but if you're expecting the violin to make the music for you, then you're going to run into frustration.

The violin is an amplifier to what's inside your head. So what are you amplifying? Is it just static?

Listening, as Lydia says, will be a great help to you. Not just listening, but also feeling. Observe your emotions and how the music effects you.

April 14, 2018, 7:41 AM · The reality of learning a musical instrument, especially one as difficult as the violin, is that 50 repetitions are not enough. Maybe you need 1000.

Or more. Maybe 50 times should be considered a DAILY number.

There are many works I know well, especially works I've had to play in public or use for auditions, that I know I've played thousands of times.

Of course we all experience despair at our progress. I don't know how old the OP is, but the fact is that many things require that we recalibrate our own definition of what hard work is, and push past frustration.
It would be weight loss, fitness goals, mastering a complex subject, quitting smoking, whatever.

April 14, 2018, 8:28 AM · Repetion is not enough, you need to know why you are repeating something. I may be stating the obvious but just to make that point clear is important.
April 14, 2018, 10:07 AM · Sometimes, with classical era or some 20th cent. pieces, I have the strange feeling that the music is all construct without content- just scales and chords, like a modern box-style commercial building. But if I forget about the details and just listen, focus on the emotional intent-then the illusion quickly passes.
April 14, 2018, 1:14 PM · I wonder if you really understand details of music notation. I have found with students, they talk about reading the music the same way you write about it here, until they really understand how to read the notation.
Then we go through a few steps like singing the notes, because I believe if you can sing them you will find them better on the instrument, and because singing is the most direct way to demonstrate understanding of the notes. Then try air bowing, maybe holding a pencil as you would a bow, and singing as you go along. Only work on a few measures at a time, and repeat them several times once you have them figured out. Use a metronome, so you can feel the beat and correct errors in rhythm. Then last of all, try actually playing.
This may feel tedious at first, but with experience it does get easier and easier, and then one does not need all these steps! Sight-reading becomes possible.

Oh, and you will need to understand major and minor keys and key signatures really well, which is why we practice scales.

Good luck!

April 14, 2018, 2:32 PM · hi Norman it takes time. take sheet music of simple songs and "read" them, just like you would read a magazine or something. actually, best is to sing the music. it's like learning a language, it takes time and effort.
April 14, 2018, 6:05 PM ·

It takes time for our minds to process the information, and it is just part of the learning curve. Poor intonation and rhythm will also cause this, so you may want to look at that.
They say if you want to understand a poem, you need to memorize it, and the same concept is often applied to music. Work harder at 'attempting' to memorize or memorize the pieces, and this will speed up your mind's processing of the information.


April 15, 2018, 12:02 AM · As Yogi Berra was once said to have observed about hitting a baseball: it is 90% mental. The other half is physical.
April 15, 2018, 9:43 AM · I don't get lost in the sheets. But my socks do.
Edited: April 16, 2018, 7:43 AM · Norman,
This sounds like a rhythm issue to me. Try clapping the rhythm of the pieces you play. Clap with a slow metronome - 40 - and think hard about the time divisions between the 4 main beats in each measure.

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