I'm currently in the process of picking myself a violin teacher so have little to no input on pieces I practise on the violin. My question is how do you keep yourself motivated if for whatever reason it doesn't sound good? I am struggling with that right now.
When my teacher had me working on Vieuxtemps 2, it helped me get through it to know that she had very specific reasons for having me work on the piece, and that it was going to help with certain aspects of my playing. When it doesn't sound good when I play, I try and break my practice down and focus on sections that need the most work, and really work on them, and I make sure to focus on my assigned pieces and not fritter away my time on other stuff. From there, I just try and have patience with myself and trust the process.
It seems to me that this is a recurring problem. Sometimes one is happy with one's sound and sometimes not so much. And it is unclear how much of this is happening in our mind and how much (if anything) is actual physical reality.
I know this sounds childish, but part of me still stays motivated just so I don't make a total fool of myself in my lesson. But I also agree with Albrecht. Some days I just don't like how I sound, and other days I feel like I'm playing quite okay, and I don't have any tangible triggers for either response.
Believe in yourself.
It’s important to remember that you’re improving your technique for the purposes of pursuing more repertoire, and that without practice, you obviously won’t improve. If you have parents around, maybe they can yell at you (joke).
I am, Paul. But want a teacher for both. Viola is on the back burner at the moment while I practise for my several violin trial lessons
Paul, What you say isn't childish at all, an audience does make us do better. Or try harder anyway. I'm permanently low ability and my teacher's style isn't to give positive feedback, he points out things to change on the next round so I get the overall impression that I'm in stasis. Though I really know better. My neighbor tells me she puts the TV on mute to listen to me practice. She is very sweet and kind. Though sheetrock has great filtering capability.
1. Variety - I try to play one fast piece and one slow piece.
@J Ray: I believe you misunderstand the concern of the OP. When one doesn't like "how it sounds" it feels like moving backwards. One made efforts and one thought one was on a good trajectory. And then this happened. "Back to square one" is I think always a demotivating project when you are forced to embark on it.
""Back to square one" is I think always a demotivating project when you are forced to embark on it."
I have motivation to pick up and practise. Motivation leaves me when I start and record myself or listen closely, and it seems like no matter what I do, it doesn't seem to sound better in terms of scratchiness, clean string crossings etc. Intonation is not something I am particularly worried about as I am working on that quite intensively and making somewhat good progress
Don't record yourself.
„ BTW intonation is also one of those problems that come in waves. All of a sudden I notice that I am off pitch everywhere. Once I notice this It gets worse because now I am insecure. I end up checking every note for a while until my confidence returns.“
"Motivation leaves me when I start and record myself or listen closely, and it seems like
When I was taking lessons either as a (single-digit age) kid violin student or as a teen-age cellist I never had a teacher who held student recitals, so motivation had to come from the music itself and wanting to play it better - or at least to satisfy the teacher. As a teen this included wanting to be able to play the violin concertos I chose (no violin teacher any longer) or the cello concertos my teacher assigned as well as I possible could.
I am an absolutely awful procrastinator with a busy and tiring life. If I don't surround myself with deadlines, I will simply fail to pick up the violin. I will think wistfully about practicing but not manage to arse myself to actually go do it (even though I usually enjoy it when I do get into the groove of it).