Saturday, January 19, 2013
Still Learning-Violin Part 2
Since several people have showed interest in my teaching myself the violin, I thought I would do another post on it.
Learning the violin is not something I am going to do quickly. It will likely take years before I consider myself actually good at it but I have definitely made progress over the last month and a half. I ordered several books that have helped me. Some have been better than others.
I started with a book called You Can Teach Yourself Fiddling. It is a great book...IF...you know all the songs...but I don't. I can play the ones I know but not the ones I don't know. For me, at least, I have to hear the tune first. This quickly taught me that I need to buy books with accompanying CD's. I bought Fiddle Time Joggers and Fiddle Time Runners. The second book is more advanced but I can now play several of the tunes in the first book with the help of the CD.
I traded for a couple of Suzuki books though the Paperback Swap (link on the top left) and I swapped for the CD's through the CD swap (you can find a link to it on the Paperback Swap site). The swaps get rid of books and CD's that you don't need and you get ones that you do. All it costs you is postage..IF someone wants one of your books or CD's.
Two other things I bought were a shoulder rest and a tuner. I bought this shoulder rest mainly because it was cheap but it has worked out just fine. I bought this tuner. Not only was it cheap but it had good reviews. It works great and I have been very happy with it. When I was a child our teacher tuned our violins and there were no "tuners". What a great thing to have now!
The books are great but Youtube has also been a great learning resource. Especially this lady right here. She really helped me remember how to hold the violin properly and how to loosen up when I do plus she has sheets of easy exercises to get you started.
It started out so slow. It would take me days and days and days to just learn one little song. I first had to figure out the notes, then try to get my fingers to hit the right strings at the right time plus trying to get the bow to hit the right strings at the right time. I still am not perfect at either one but things are moving along a bit faster now. I can learn a tune or two in a day (if I have enough time to practice) and then I usually work on it a few more days until I feel like I have it good before moving on to another tune. Each day I practice all of them again and try to get better and better at bowing them smoothly. I try to at least spend an hour a day practicing, sometimes I do more if I have more time but usually by then my fingers are getting tender. They aren't toughened up enough and I think I press down too hard on the strings still.
Anyway, just wanted you all to know that I hadn't given up on it. I am enjoying it immensely.