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Things to Know Before Learning the Violin

By Edited Jun 16, 2014 1 0

 

Violin

You’re going to sound awful

Accept the fact that it’s going to sound nasty, this is unavoidable unless you’re a programmed alien species with heightened senses that detects every millimeter of movement. The violin strings are typically made out of steel or synthetic core nylon that sound quite tinny when it is stroked by the horsehair on the violin bow. It takes hours of practice to produce a somewhat less disturbing sound from a decent bow hold with a good balance of bow speed and pressure.

It will require daily practice

This is crucial, if you want to improve at all, violin practice requires daily practice. Why? Because just like every other thing you do in life you must do it consistently to improve! Daily practice keeps your posture adjusted to the unusual nature of this instrument and allows your fingers to stay versatile. Practicing in 10-minute slots per day is better than 1 hour a week as it ingrains your techniques more firmly.

You’ll need to tune it daily

The violin is a temperamental instrument; it is quite moody and enjoys changing the pitch of each string when you’re not around according to the temperature and humidity of the space it’s in. Keeping the violin in tune is quite simple when you have a teacher but it will only be tuned when you’re having the lesson so it will most likely drop out of tune when your mentor isn’t present. You will have to learn to tune it accordingly with a tuner unless you have perfect pitch.

It will cost money

If you want to learn the violin, you will require a mentor to guide you through. Violin playing is a combination of various different techniques and it will be overwhelming for a beginner to learn by textbooks. The costs of each lesson might seem to be a fair amount however you have to remember the amount of time your mentor has dedicated to crafting their skills.

Long term playing will result in calluses and body ‘tattoos’

You’re going to get a few unusual calluses and black marks on you if you decide to pursue violin playing for a long time. Before you point out to your fellow violinist while glaring at the hickey above his neck,

“You’ve been busy last night!”

Think again, because you may only be half correct. Indeed they have been busy...practicing their violin! The violin chin rest will often leave a dark mark just below the jaw near the top of the neck from the hours of practice if it isn’t cleaned after each session, but violinists do take pride in their dedication so they don’t seem to care too much!

Calluses will also form on the fingertips of your left hand from the hours of finger tapping and shifting on the violin strings. You’re index finger on the right hand will also have a callus on the left side from the pressure needed to produce more sound. Yes, it does seem quite unusual but it’s not an obvious feature people will glare at!

The violin is a beautiful instrument, remember that all of the points made above will not stop your love for music if it is what you do. 

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