Okay, here ya go Here's me scratchin out noise on my new violin:
So now you know what I look like and that I am not a fake person! Boy, I need a haircut though, usually my forehead is visible. I'll have to get a haircut before I can send in a good superhero pic to Gary. Actually, I'll have to get a bunch of hairs cut
Please critique my violin holding if you can; I bet I'm somehow holding it wrong. But I had never held a violin before, or even touched one, so it was a momentous occasion despite the torture of family's ears. *Screechy sratchy screeeeech*
My bowing is horrible too
This Christmas I can record some noise if you want . . .
George W is looking for a few good men to entertain the detainees at the various camps around the world - you would be required to practice violin eight hours a day over a Radio Shack loudspeaker system to tortu - er, excuse me, entertain the prisoners...
------- It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...
Hey, now that W is loosening all the air pollution standards this will make it easier for Sean to practise his new craft while out doors!
But seriously, you've taken on no small challange. Practise like crazy now before you're out of school. Are you doing classical or looking to "session" with friends down at the local pub? Maybe both? I've gone to events by the Irish Arts Center here in New York where it was one big outdoor jam session. Every 30 feet another group of friends was jamming. Great fun.
Sean, what instructional books are you using? As for your hold, it looks OK but I can't tell in detail from the pictures. Bow hold either. Just keep plugging at it and practice as much as possible. The violin is quite the instrument to play and can be very rewarding!
We can play a screechy duet together! My wife just bought me a cheap violin for Christmas, and couldn't resist giving it to me early. I just got it tonight, after she had hidden it away for a couple of months.
How cheap, you ask? It was $100 brand new with bow, rosin and hard shell case. Not only that, it's 4/4 full size. hand made of maple & spruce, and the bow is horse hair, made of rosewood and has a mother of pearl inlay. I've got to really wedge the pegs in to get the violin to hold tune, but this kit is definitely playable, and the body is solid wood - not plywood or plastic. I've never owned a violin before, so I have no idea how it really rates, but as a beginner, I have no complaints.
My wife somehow met this local guy who gets grants for a group of people to build vioins by hand. They sell them cheap to allow everybody to get into music. I figure, if I move up I can pass this along to a new student. If it starts to collect dust, well, I can also pass it along. It won't go to waste.
I just bought some books: The Muller Risch String Method (vols 1-3) and Introducing the Position (Vol 1 - 3rd & 5th position; Vol 2 - positions 2, 4, 6 & 7), by Harvey S. Whistler. I got them at the local music store for about $5 each. I also bought some peg drops to keep the tuning pegs from slipping. I may take a lesson or two, so I can unlearn (or, at least be awre of) the bad habits that I will teach myself.
I'll also see what's on the Net. I had to do a search to figure out how to rosin a virgin bow. The best tip was to use fine sandpaper on the rosin before applying it. Looking closely, one side was flat and already a bit rough. Cool. No sandpaper needed. Related tips: don't touch the rosin or bow with oily fingers. Apply the rosin in short strokes from frog to tip, and then move to full-length strokes. Also, use peg drops *very* sparingly. You don't want to cement the pegs to the peg box!
What else? Oh, I spoke with a top violin teacher a year or so ago. He said to run and hide from the Suzuki method. As he put it, Suzuki teaches kids to play melodies quickly, so their grandparents will be happy, but it doesn't teach core techniques. The books listed above seem to be a bit more technique oriented.
Also, watching him play, he plays with the bow at an angle so not all of the hairs touch the string. When playing forte, he plays it flat, but enters and exits the note with a bit of a twist of the bow.
I can play rough scales already, and my son complimented me on my intonation. (His brass band plays near the middle school orchestra, so he knows what can happen without frets!) The thing I find impossible is vibrato. Talk about patting your head while rubbing your stomach!
That's about it. Let me know how it goes for you. I'll keep checking this thread, but feel free to PM me as well.