Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

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Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by crumpart »

So about four years ago I bought a violin while I was on holiday. Collecting musical instruments as useful souvenirs from places is a thing I like to do.

For about three and a half years I hobbled along intermittently learning from books and youtube videos, and this year I randomly found a violin learning app that I really like while looking for something else on the app store. I know, I know, I just killed five beautiful violin angels dead and should get a real teacher instead of learning from an app, but that's just not going to happen. I'm still pretty terrible, because violin is VERY HARD, but I've made a lot of progress since starting with the app (Trala, for anyone interested; they do a free trial for 10 days or something, then it's a yearly subscription for $150 or $20 a month, which is much less expensive than IRL lessons, and I don't have to leave my house). I've found that most of it is just the psychological barrier of getting comfortable with making mistakes, then trying to figure out how to relax enough to fix them. So many mistakes.

I've just hit the very first vibrato lessons.

Fuck me dead this shit is hard. Who knew that just moving your finger a little bit could be so difficult? I just found this person on youtube and it's nice to see someone explaining violin technique in a clear, welcoming way.



I might just end up talking to myself in this thread, and that's cool, but I know there are at least a couple of other people here who fight with strings and bows sometimes who might find it useful.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã »

Fellow newbie who pretends to play the violin, you found one of us!

Ha, it's stupidly hard! My wife's ex gave her a violin as a gift a looooooooong time ago and I've been dabbling with it intermittently. Thus far I've been satisfying myself with getting notes "close enough" and...autotuning them so I can pretend like I can play way better than I can. Turns out if you have enough stuff going on in a track on top of that, it's not immediately obvious what you've done. But you *can't* create vibrato that way. At least not with FL Newtone. Maybe you can. I don't know, at least I haven't figured it out.

But yeah I spent an hour or so before the I Used To Know You Better fight doing the old "masking tape on the fretboard" trick. Is it even called a fretboard? There aren't frets.

I have *some* background in the matter cause I used to play double bass like 13 years ago, but I gave that up cause lugging those beautiful things around is the biggest pain in the ass.

How long are those Trala lessons?
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by crumpart »

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:37 am
How long are those Trala lessons?
Basically it's set up so there are different goals for a "lesson", and each "lesson" is divided up into small chunks, so you can spend as little as 5 minutes or as long as you want getting through a section, and you can also go back easily and redo the old lessons. It's excellent if you don't have a lot of time and just want to get a few minutes of guided practice in each day.

It starts out super basic, with information and videos on how to hold everything and whatnot, and you can skip to the end of any stuff you already know, then move on to the actual exercises. The exercises are kind of like Guitar Hero style, where it moves through the song and listens to you play. If you stuff up a note, it sits on it until you get it right, and it grades you on both pitch and timing. I've just hit the point where they're giving me sheet music to read now rather than the Guitar Hero style setup, and I'm a little rusty on that. Luckily it's all been treble so far because my bass clef reading is balls.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by crumpart »

I think it's called the finger board.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by jb »

If you encounter violin music in bass clef, call the authorities immediately. Do not approach.

JB
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by crumpart »

jb wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:54 am
If you encounter violin music in bass clef, call the authorities immediately. Do not approach.

JB
True. There are a few notes that sit below the middle C though, which is where I have to start thinking.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by jb »

Memorize a couple exercises that focus on the G string and it'll be second nature before you know it.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by owl »

We have a violin and viola in the house because my husband used to play viola as a kid and his brother played violin. At some point recently, I was like "oh, maybe I can play a bit of real strings on this track instead of MIDI violin and it will sound good!"...that was crazy talk. Even if it was a really simple part, I managed to constantly run out of bow, get out of tune, and make all kinds of alarming screeches in the space of a minute or two.

I'd love to actually learn at some point. I wish I didn't have to do all those other pesky things that take up time, like sleeping or working. Or, uh, aimlessly wasting time on the internet for several hours a day.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by fluffy »

jb wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:17 am
Memorize a couple exercises that focus on the G string and it'll be second nature before you know it.
in before caravan ray does his thing

I took cello and violin lessons as a kid but never got very good at them. Around a decade ago decided to pick them back up. I'm still not very good at it but it's enjoyable at least. Maybe I'll check out Trala.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

My great uncle made fiddles. Most of them were fairly rough looking things but most of them played superbly. He was a very good violinist and a decent fiddler. (Yes, I said that right.) I have one of the first fiddles he made and it's more than solid but not great. I learned a song on it about 8 years ago. I haven't picked it up since (except once for a noise track I did for FAWM at some point.)

I had planned to learn mandolin so that when I picked up the fiddle again I could just concentrate on bowing. That's foolish talk. I didn't learn either. At any rate, I'd like to play but not enough to actually try.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by fluffy »

Oh yeah the mandolin and violin tunings are the same but that's about all they have in common when it comes to actually playing them, in my experience. (I'm not very good at mandolin either.)
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by crumpart »

Oh god. I just checked and I last changed my strings in April. I’m suspecting they need to be replaced soon. Better start saving...
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by crumpart »

Also, I’ve *never* had my bow rehaired, and have owned this violin for, hmm, at least four years. Argh.

Update: a quick search leads me to think I should probably just upgrade to a new bow. And some of the bows on Thomann cost less than my preferred strings...
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by Caravan Ray »

fluffy wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:08 pm
jb wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:17 am
Memorize a couple exercises that focus on the G string and it'll be second nature before you know it.
in before caravan ray does his thing
Well spotted.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by fluffy »

crumpart wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:11 pm
Also, I’ve *never* had my bow rehaired, and have owned this violin for, hmm, at least four years. Argh.

Update: a quick search leads me to think I should probably just upgrade to a new bow. And some of the bows on Thomann cost less than my preferred strings...
How much are you playing that you think the bow needs to be rehaired? Generally unless it's completely rotted over time (which does happen, especially with real hair) you should only need to think about it when it's worn down. (Same with strings, only "rust" instead of "rot.")

I mean if you don't like the current bow hair or strings, it's nice to upgrade, but it's not, like, vital to do it on a regular schedule unless you're a concert violinist and need to make sure your instrument is in top condition for a performance.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by crumpart »

fluffy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:28 pm
crumpart wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:11 pm
Also, I’ve *never* had my bow rehaired, and have owned this violin for, hmm, at least four years. Argh.

Update: a quick search leads me to think I should probably just upgrade to a new bow. And some of the bows on Thomann cost less than my preferred strings...
How much are you playing that you think the bow needs to be rehaired? Generally unless it's completely rotted over time (which does happen, especially with real hair) you should only need to think about it when it's worn down. (Same with strings, only "rust" instead of "rot.")

I mean if you don't like the current bow hair or strings, it's nice to upgrade, but it's not, like, vital to do it on a regular schedule unless you're a concert violinist and need to make sure your instrument is in top condition for a performance.
I take pretty good care of my strings (wiping after playing, using good rosin), etc., but I can see and hear that they’re starting to wear out (you wouldn’t think it, but Ireland is an absurdly humid place, and strings don’t last as long here). I think the bow is probably fine, but it’s the bow that came with the violin (suitable for beginner to intermediate), and I think I’d like to try one of the carbon fibre / composite type ones rather than wood.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by fluffy »

Ah, yeah, humidity can be a problem for strings definitely. There's things you can do to regulate the humidity of the violin while it's in its case, for example there's a product called "music sorb" which claims to keep the humdidity between 50% and 60%, which is humid enough to keep the wood from drying out but not so humid that it swells or the strings rust. I haven't used that myself, though.

And it's definitely worth replacing a beginner bow with something nicer instead of re-hairing it. I only bothered to get a nicer bow for my cello (I have this one) and it was well worth it.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by jb »

blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by fluffy »

Innnnteresting. That's a pretty reasonable price if it's as good as they claim, and I like that they also have bows for things that aren't traditionally bowed.

This dude likes his:



On that note, has anyone ever played with bowing a bass guitar? That makes some interesting noises. This was my first (and so far only) experiment with it:

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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã »

The weird screechy almost feedback sounding noise at the end of my Try Me entry was the sound of me bowing both of my crash cymbals. :) I've never gotten much luck with a bass guitar, but also I don't like getting rosin all over my roundwound strings.
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by crumpart »

I’ve finally found a spelling mistake on a website that amuses me so much I can’t bring myself to tell them.

https://www.thomann.de/ie/gewa_maestro_ ... in_4_4.htm
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Re: Dr Violin or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doing it wrong

Post by fluffy »

What a delicious typo!
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