As a Beginner who wants to learn violin: What to Expect
What’s it like to be an adult who wants to learn violin, viola, or cello? As a teacher, I caution adult newcomers that the experience will be similar to a mix of kindergarten and physical therapy. If you can accept those two requirements, you’ll be able to go a long way! However, you must overcome any feelings of embarrassment about genuinely starting at the beginning, and you must be physically prepared to do more repetitive work than you may imagine.
When learning a foreign language, you begin by learning the alphabet, numbers, and basic words and phrases like “hello.” When learning to play an instrument, you’ll usually start with simple tunes and exercises before moving on to the more challenging melody that piqued your interest. Of course, you should continue to listen to the song and retain it as your objective, but first and foremost, you should gain basic fluency.
Don’t be embarrassed to play in class because you’re not very good at it. Adult novices have a strange habit of talking their way through lessons to avoid having to play! They don’t realize they’re doing it, but it makes them feel more at ease because they know how to talk but not how to play. Be conscious that doing something you aren’t yet competent at, especially in front of others, may make you uncomfortable.
- DON’T GIVE UP
Accept the fact that you will make mistakes, squeak, misread directions, get it incorrect, and so on. It’s all part of the process of how to learn violin. You couldn’t learn to walk without falling down a lot. Part of what gave you your balance was falling down and getting back up. A good instructor recognizes this and is there to assist you in achieving that balance.
Also, don’t be ashamed to play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or other basic, possibly infantile tunes. Beginners start here for a reason; those tunes are the foundation of everything.
(Have you ever heard Mozart’s take on that basic melody?) Starting with a simple repertoire of melodies provides a solid basis from which to progress to more complicated music. Make sure it’s a solid foundation!
- BE ENCOURAGED
Aren’t parents supposed to encourage their children to practice their instruments? My parents constantly ordered me to quit practicing because of the shrieking sounds I was producing when I first started! Thankfully, those days are long gone, and my parents have finally admitted to liking my playing after ten years. However, there are a few things I wish I had understood before I began learning the violin. (Beginner violin does not have to be difficult!)
Anyone who claims to be able to master the violin in a few months is lying.
After a fast crash course with a violin teacher, you might be able to play a simple tune, but it won’t be enough to join a jam session, play in an orchestra, or even play along with a play-along without squeaking.
The key to learning to play any instrument effectively, including the violin, is to jump right in. I practiced every day during the period when I was making the most progress, practically all of my friends were musicians, and music was, for a while, the center of my entire life.
To learn violin you need to put the following into consideration:
- For a long time, you won’t sound like the violins in movie soundtracks.
In one of her poems for a school assignment, a buddy wrote, “the sound of an airy violin.” It’s a wonderful vision, but the truth is that when you first start playing the violin, it won’t sound very airy. For starters, the way you hold the bow is perhaps one of the most difficult to get used to, though it will eventually become second nature.
So, for the first few days or weeks, all you’ll hear is scratch, pause, and then, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it’ll sound like an inconsistent buzzing noise, similar to how a mosquito buzzes near your ear.
- In these instances, your violin will always be loud.
Even experienced violinists’ violin playing can sound rough and harsh at times, but there is a silver lining! Take a look at how a violin is held. The sound-producing f holes are only a few inches away from your left year. Some claim that violinists lose hearing in their left ear over a lengthy period of time as a result of the music being too near to the ear.
Violinists strive to articulate their sounds to the very last seat in the music hall, especially while working on solo compositions. So, even if you hear the scrape and creak, the audience in a concert hall will only hear the pleasant music because of the dampening effect.
- Your violin requires special attention.
If you own a violin, you should be aware that it will require some maintenance. Don’t worry; this will become second nature with time. When a violinist is ready to play, they tighten the bow first, then place a little item over the bow hair. A bow is formed with a slight bend to it. It must be loosened each time it is not in use in order to keep the curve shape. You simply turn the knob at the bow’s end one way, then the other the next time you use it.
The rosin is a material used by violinists to coat the bow’s hair. Bow hair is naturally slick and makes no noise on its own. It requires friction, which is triggered by sticky rosin. The rosin leaves a residue on the strings that must be removed. You should also wipe down the rest of the violin after each use to verify that all rosin has been removed. To clean your violin, avoid using alcohol and instead use a lint-free, soft cloth to wipe away the rosin dust. The majority of violin shops will sell you a cleaning package that includes a suitable cloth.
These are only a few of the things that go into keeping the instrument in good working order. You’ll want to learn how to change violin strings and bow hair, among other things, in addition to how to clean a violin.
4. Many people throughout the world, some as young as four years old, can already play the violin better than you.
While there are many outstanding young violin prodigies, this should not discourage you. This is also true of many other instruments. Paul Gilbert, a rock guitarist, and ArtistWorks instructor discovered an 8-year-old girl who could play a very advanced tune he wrote.
Many others will be better than you, but that will always be the case, so don’t worry about it. It may take some time to master techniques like violin vibrato and violin scales, but that’s no excuse to give up.
After all, playing the violin isn’t a competition; the goal is to express yourself via music.
5. You’re not on your own. You can join the violin community to learn violin fast!
The violin is a musical instrument that is used in social situations. Playing the violin has brought me some of my closest friends. You’ll meet other violinists when you start taking violin lessons and go to local concerts or join a local ensemble. We violinists enjoy discussing our current projects and what drives us. So reach out to the community and speak out; we’d love to get to know you!
These are just a few things I wish I had understood before I began learning the violin. Even so, I made it through my first few years of violin playing, so I’m confident that if you follow these guidelines, you’ll be OK.
PHYSICAL THERAPY IS A TYPE OF TREATMENT THAT IS USED TO LEARN VIOLIN
Violin (or viola, cello, bass, or guitar) playing is a physical activity. It requires strength, dexterity, and muscle memory, much like any other physical activity. A violin teacher will give a pupil numerous exercises and tasks to build technique, just as a physical therapist will give a patient particular exercises to repeat while learning to walk again after a catastrophic injury. And, if you want to develop physical fluency on the violin, you’ll have to practice EVERY DAY and repeat the numerous exercises an incredible amount of times.
- TO BEGIN…
To begin, one must play something correctly, which may take several tries until you achieve the proper stance, finger placement, and bowing technique. Once they’ve gone through the laborious process of learning something correctly, many students believe they’ve fulfilled their duty. But that’s only the beginning; you must next repeat it accurately at least ten times. Then you must do it again the next day, at least ten times.
Suzuki remarked that 10,000 repetitions are about the correct number, and students and teachers who worked with him testified that he meant it. “Perfect, plus 100!” as one of my teachers used to say. A hundred repetitions every day for ten days might be a more realistic objective for regular practice. Alternatively, you might simply perform your composition twice a day for 50 days. Better still, play something familiar every day for a year; it will sound rather beautiful at the end of that time!
As you can see, you can have fun with the math, but for acquiring fluency on an instrument, repetition is crucial.
LOOKING FOR AN INSTRUCTOR
The Internet, and, frankly, Violinist.com, can teach you a lot about how to play the violin. However, I would suggest getting a tutor so that someone can hear you play in person and assist you to tailor your practice schedule to your specific needs. Different pupils will inevitably have different challenges with holding the instrument, etc., which will necessitate some teacher intervention.
GETTING A HOLD OF A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
It’s crucial to understand as a beginner that having a well-functioning, good-sounding instrument is essential to your development. A lousy violin, like a bad computer, will not do what you ask of it; it will require a million workarounds that cost you time and concentration, and you will finally feel angry and want to hurl it out window. You can read about the many risks of purchasing a malfunctioning violin in this post.
You’ll almost certainly require assistance in locating an instrument that will suit your needs, whether it’s repairing an existing violin, renting, or purchasing a new one.
If you already own an instrument, you might need to adjust your expectations. Unless Grandma or Grandpa was a professional musician, the fiddle you discovered in her attic is unlikely to be a costly Stradivarius! In fact, the $500 you’d spend on repairs could be better spent on a new fiddle instead. However, you’ll need someone you can trust to assist you in making that decision.
On the other side, buying a violin over the internet can be expensive and time-consuming. It’s a good idea to start with some well-known and well-recommended brands, but make sure you can hear the violin before you buy it (to that end, places like Shar offer in-home trials of instruments. it’s definitely better to buy with the guidance of a violin teacher or a musician friend or rent for a bit until you feel confident making that purchase decision.
These are some of my thoughts as a long-time violin teacher about what to expect as an adult learner. The opinions and ideas of other teachers, as well as those of adult learners, are welcomed!
HOW TO LEARN VIOLIN IN 6 (NOT-SO-EASY) STEPS
1. Spend at least 30 minutes each day practicing scales and fundamental violin exercises.
Wait! Please refrain from leaving the article just yet. I recognize that practicing scales isn’t your preferred method of exercise. Most of my pupils dread scales when they first start playing the violin.
After all, we started playing the violin to play our favorite tunes. Isn’t practicing uninteresting scales a waste of time?
Surprisingly, after a while, most of my violin students like practicing their scales.
The problem is that if you want to learn the violin effectively (and not take 20+ years to perform a melody well), learning scales is THE WAY TO GO.
Scale practice could be viewed as a path to greater intonation.
You will, of course, acquire intonation as you practice songs. You will learn it three times faster if you practice your scales and arpeggios.
Scales are the most effective approach to concentrate on all of the fundamentals of your playing: intonation, violin hold, bow hold, tone generation, and so on.
And once you see how quickly your violin playing improves, you won’t want to stop.
If you’re going to practice scales and exercises, make sure you pick ones that will get harder as time goes on. As a result, with each scale and workout you practice, you will discover new skills.
As a result, start practicing scales straight immediately to guarantee that you learn as much as possible.
2. Rehearse the compositions, removing the most difficult portions and only practicing those.
Listen to yourself if there’s one tip to learning to play the violin beautifully on your own.
If you don’t have access to a teacher, this is very important. If you practice for hours a day but don’t listen to yourself and examine your playing for errors, you may not see any growth.
Make sure you’re paying attention to yourself as you’re rehearsing your portions.
Do you think it’s a good idea? Is the composition well-balanced? Do you know how to bow it properly to make it sound nice?
And, if not, what could you do to improve it?
Then focus only on the parts of your game that need to be improved.
It can be difficult to listen to yourself while playing at the same time. When learning the violin, there are a lot of things to look for, especially if you’re just starting started: appropriate bow grip, violin position, and if your fingers are in the right place.
It’s even more challenging when you have to examine yourself as well.
So, what’s the best course of action?
The solution is simple: use your phone!
Videotape yourself while you’re training and analyze it later to evaluate your performance.
3. As much as possible, to learn violin listen to violin music.
One of the most challenging aspects of violin playing is maintaining accurate intonation, which necessitates a keen ear.
LISTENING TO MUSIC is one of the best ways to improve your ear.
Violin music, in particular.
I used to listen to violin music every day, nearly nonstop, when I first started playing.
I listened to all of the classic violin concertos, Bach, orchestral compositions, and even my Suzuki Violin Method book’s CDs over and over…
If you want to make the most of your time, make it a point to listen to violin music as frequently as possible. This will help you develop your ear and improve your sense of musicality, rhythm, and intonation
4. Watch other, more experienced violinists perform.
Don’t just watch; try to evaluate what they’re doing as well. What kind of bowing methods do they employ? What part of the string are they playing in order to get their tone?
You can learn a lot by watching other violinists perform, even if you aren’t aware of it.
Attend local concerts if you have the opportunity. If you reside in a city, there are typically many options to attend low-cost violin concerts. Many music schools may even invite you to attend one of their students’ concerts for free so that they can gain experience performing in front of an audience.
Immerse yourself in a setting where you may hear and see other violinists perform.
5. Make pals with other violinists.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are the average of your five closest friends?” Yes, it is correct!
In a friendly setting with people who appreciate your passion for music and why you are practicing for hours a day to learn an instrument, learning the violin is much easier.
The violin is a tough instrument to master. If you’re going to do it well, you’ll need a supportive group of individuals to assist you.
Your violin pals will sympathize with your difficulties and encourage you to keep going. They’ll tell you that it’s normal to sound like a sobbing cat for a few months and that it’s all part of the healing process. They will truly appreciate the complexity of the pieces you play and the amount of practice you have put in to get there.
Your violinist buddies will encourage you to continue practicing.
One of the most important factors in my ability to play a variety of instruments is having a supportive friend group and family who encouraged me to practice and encouraged me to keep going.
6. Give your practice’s mission a greater meaning.
Consider why you want to learn to play the violin…
Do you wish to make greater connections with individuals in your life?
Would you wish to be able to express yourself creatively?
Do you want to join your town’s jam session or orchestra?
Do you want to study something fantastic to remind yourself of your abilities?
Do you wish to be a part of a family tradition of playing an instrument that has been passed down for generations?
Is there something you’ve wanted to do since you were a kid that you’ve always wanted to do?
If you have a clear understanding of why you want to learn the violin, you will find the drive to keep practicing, even when it appears impossible to learn the violin.
So there you have it: six stages to self-learning the violin.
If you follow these steps in a similar order, someone will complement your violin playing and enquire as to how you learned to play the violin so effectively.
Then you can say with pride, “I taught myself!”
One of the most satisfying and beautiful instruments to play is the violin. The violin is a difficult instrument to master, but with patience, dedication, and excitement, these steps can help you get started on the path to success with this renowned instrument.