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#655136 - 05/08/02 09:21 PM Is the violin hard to learn????
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
I have always wanted to play it, So is it a hard instrument to learn??? I dont want to go pro, Just play some simple melodies.

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#655137 - 05/09/02 08:25 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
 Quote:
Originally posted by Classical Player:
I have always wanted to play it, So is it a hard instrument to learn???[/b]
Yes, it is the hardest instrument to mess around with IMO. If you have not, watch Art of The Violin video and listen to what I. Perlman has to say about the difficulty of mastering the instrument...

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#655138 - 05/09/02 02:54 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
MichaelP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego
ClassicalPlayer:
Take a look at the thread "Playing Chamber Music" begun on April 10 in "Pianists' Corner." There is quite a lot of back and forth between Nina and me about learning the fiddle.

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#655139 - 05/09/02 05:43 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
SethW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 106
The violin truy is a difficult instrument from what I know of it. As some violinist friends of mind would say, in addition to having to mechanically produce the tone, the player has far greater control over the tone and producing a great sound. However, if you get a good teacher and work a couple of years at it, you should be able to play decently.

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#655140 - 06/04/02 02:10 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
Samejame Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 808
Loc: NL, Canada
My youngest son, now 11 years old, has been taking violin lessons for about 3 1/2 years. The greatest difficulty as I can see it is intonation. It is much more difficult to achieve accurate intonation on an instrument like this. Most other instruments, you have a fixed pitch for which each note is set, but for violin, as for any other fretless string instrument you have to know exactly where your finger goes to achieve the exact pitch, and know when to raise and lower the (usually) 3rd and 2nd finger half a tone to suit the key you are in. This is where most of the practice is involved. He's starting to master it now. That, and knowing how much to bow each note to maintain good tone volume are key to success.

Jamie
_________________________
"A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" Oscar Wilde.

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#655141 - 06/04/02 08:30 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
yes.

(I took it up at age 47)

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#655142 - 06/07/02 11:43 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
smiles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 31
Yes, it's hard, but it is definitely worth it! When you begin, there's a lot more to coordinate than on the piano. But look at all the 3 year olds that learn... it's nothing that can't be picked up with a good teacher and some practice. Bonus- most teachers are delighted to take a student who can play the piano, because you've already got the note-reading and rythym under control. Go for it!!

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#655143 - 06/10/02 01:55 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
MacDuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 560
Loc: Southeast, U.S.A.
Cello is somewhat easier than violin, harder on the back, and (of course) much more expensive.

Much of the battle with stringed instruments is equipment. One person might play a particular violin with much more ease than another person of the same level of accomplishment. Selecting a decent bow is particularly tricky. Fortunately, there are some quite good carbon fibre bows on the market that are reasonably priced.

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#655144 - 06/14/02 11:15 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
Yeah I will try and find a teacher later...

I wish I had a violin in my hands right now so I could fool around with it!

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#655145 - 06/14/02 11:39 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
StanSteel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles
Just recently I read something interesting about the violin I had never payed attention to.
Violinists hold their instrument with their neck and chin really and not just with the right hand pushing towards the neck, as I thought they did.
The latter is already busy touching the different spots on the strings. The violin is just RESTING on the right hand thumb, and since its center of mass is closer to the base, most of the effort is done by the neck. That must give you cramps, big time.
_________________________
"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."

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#655146 - 06/17/02 03:12 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
MichaelP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego
As you describe it, painful cramps would indeed result. That is because you've got the poor fiddler holding his instrument backwards. The bow is held in the right hand, and the neck of the fiddle in the left hand.

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#655147 - 06/17/02 03:33 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
StanSteel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles
\:D \:D \:D
OOPS I meant LEFT HAND every single time I said right hand.

I guess that's the problem when you are ambidextrous. You mix up left and right.
_________________________
"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."

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#655148 - 07/08/02 04:45 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
smiles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 31
Actually, "holding" the violin with your "neck" doesn't give one cramps much at all. I use the quotes because it's not really holding, neither does your neck do much. The violin actually rests on your collarbone (if you feel it you'll notice it's quite a good ledge) and is held in place by the weight of your head, not squeezing with your head! Think of putting your head on the violin like a pillow.

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#655149 - 07/08/02 07:56 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
MichaelP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego
 Quote:
Originally posted by smiles:
Actually, "holding" the violin with your "neck" doesn't give one cramps much at all. I use the quotes because it's not really holding, neither does your neck do much. The violin actually rests on your collarbone (if you feel it you'll notice it's quite a good ledge) and is held in place by the weight of your head, not squeezing with your head! Think of putting your head on the violin like a pillow.[/b]
Well, yeah, maybe. I know a lot of fiddlers talk a good game about this; but I also know a lot of players who need neck and shoulder massages after they've played for a few hours.

The problem is magnified for the viola, particularly a large viola. Most of the weight of the instrument is in the neck (the part that sticks out and has pegs and the pretty curlicue at the end), which is way the hell out there. Quite a lot of brute force is required to keep a large viola stationary, and professional violists are notoriously prey to serious musculo-skeletal injury.

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#655150 - 07/09/02 02:23 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
Joshua Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/02
Posts: 3
Loc: North eastern Ohio
I play the viola and when i started i found it easy to learn. The viola is not the exact same as a violin but the same things to play are necessary.

The hardest things to learn are where to put your fingers. Unlike a piano or a flute, there arnt any keys to press, so if your fingers and a little bit off of where they should be, you'll produce a yucky sound.

You also have to learn how to use the bow. Moving it up and down and how to play with the right pressure for the certain loudness you want.

As for 'holding' the instrument, you really don't. If you have a good shoulder rest (buy a good one) all you really do is stick the instrument in between your shoulder and chin, apply a little pressure so the thing doesn't fall to the ground and break and your set.

Hope this helped a little.

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#655151 - 09/01/02 03:22 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
StanSteel2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/02
Posts: 65
Loc: Los Angeles
Joshua

There's a couple things I always wondered.
How do you know where to put your fingers, since there are no metal thingies like on a guitar?
Also, how can you play two different notes together? Do you press on the top two strings at the same time? How does it work?
_________________________
"Music, even when picturing something that is ugly, must itself remain beautiful."
-- Ludwig van Beethoven

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#655152 - 09/30/02 07:51 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
Liberal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 39
Loc: Colorado
I've been playing the violin for 4 years, and yes... it is VERY difficult! I'm sort of strange though, because I don't use shoulder support, such as a shoulder rest. Where as it's most common to have shoulder support, a few great violinists don't use shoulder rests. But, the violin is hard, especially shifting, hitting the notes fast enough and at good timing with the bow. It's also hard to get a really strong, beautiful sound with the violin. (such as you can play a score perfectly note-wise, but the beautiful and strong sound isn't there). The guitar in comparison to the violin is much easier, and the piano is easier too, I believe.

As for playing two notes, yes you can. You take the bow, and hit both strings at the same time. So for example, the bow would hit the top two strings, E and A. It's quite easy.
_________________________
I use a Roland KR-277 Digital Piano and I just love it!

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#655153 - 02/01/06 10:51 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
Andromeda_Aiken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 43
Loc: Singapore
To answer your question of knowing where to press...most beginner violinists (or should I say all those with teachers?) have stickers placed on the fingerboard by the teacher to tell you where you have to press for the notes. In the beginning, it's only 3 positions...I've 4 now. I've re-started learning violin again after I stopped at 13 (still beginning then). It's still difficult to learn!

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#655154 - 02/07/06 05:58 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
PerformingYak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 205
Loc: Lightning Ridge, Australia
The violin is hard to learn but very rewarding. I have been playing for around 15 years now. I still have not mastered vibrato.I almost gave up when I was 13 but my mum convinced me to keep it up for at least another year.

On the subject of resting the violin on the collarbone and getting cramps etc. The cramps and need for massage generally come from holding your arms up for so long and the amount of movement both arms (yes you actually move the arm which is moving the fingers) do. Some beginners will get cramps in their left arm but this would generally be because they grip the violin too hard... it really only requires a soft touch.

I dont know how Liberal doesn't use a shoulder rest... it is fine if you are wearing singlets or clothes where your skin is supporting the instrument but I find that most of my clothes make my violin slip off if I dont have a shoulder rest.

In regards to where to put your fingers. Yes it is different from the guitar because there are no frets, but the fingerboard is also a lot smaller .You start out with stickers to show where to put your fingers but after a couple of weeks (if you practise) it becomes a natural position to rest your hand in when you pick up the instrument. One of the hardest things about playing is getting the bow right. If the bow is at the wrong angle, or pulled too slow or fast or on the wrong part of the string it can sound pretty bad. Sometimes the player wont even hear the scratchiness themselves but the listener can hear it at the other end of the violin!
Also on the subject of two notes simultaneously... you can also play three by bowing or plucking the strings together. Naturally you are only able to bow adjacent strings at the same time

Hope this has answered several questions people might have

\:\)
_________________________
"Work hard and strive to reach the power of bland"

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#655155 - 04/06/06 02:29 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
PhotoJenny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 27
Loc: Linlithgow, Scotland.
I'd love to learn the violin. I've been considering buying one and teaching myself, but right now I'm concentrating on improving on piano and trumpet (and guitar and banjo! Oh yes hardcore rock'n'roll)
_________________________
Badoom boom chic.

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#655156 - 04/08/06 04:27 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
DenCato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 78
Loc: Belgium
After some more years on my piano, I would also love to learn violin and cello.

If you have the basics on the violin covered, would it be easy to swith to cello ?

Or is this like starting on a new instrument again ?
_________________________
DeCato

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#655157 - 04/12/06 01:06 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
PerformingYak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 205
Loc: Lightning Ridge, Australia
I think it would be mostly the same. there are some differences (obviously the position of the instrument) but also that cellists use their thumb in some positions, and that the way they create vibrato is mainly in the arm.
I often play my violin like a cello at home and wait for the day I have enough money to buy my own cello, viola and double bass!
_________________________
"Work hard and strive to reach the power of bland"

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#655158 - 08/05/06 11:56 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
Violinissimo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/29/06
Posts: 2
Loc: Hong Kong
No, the violin is very easy to learn.
I started at 19, got a job in an orchestra as violinist at 25, now I am an engineer, but still plays the Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bruch concertos and tons of pieces, with a midi orchestra / piano for fun.

The violin is very EASY to learn WRONG!
What you should do is to play it like you are SINGING. Most people LEARN to do (singing) the opposite way, that is to LEARN to play (sing), which will destroy you (I do not mean there is nothing to learn, just that there are thing which should be automatic - spontaneous, which you should not tamper with).

Once you start putting tape on the fingerboard or use a chromatic tuner, you are finished. Go learn the oboe instead.

In particular, once you start caring about where to put your fingers, you will loss the inborn ability to put you finger AUTOMATICALLY where you want it, like you control your throat when you sing.

Basically, violin is a just stick and four fingers (singing, and co-ordintation, like steering a bicycle - anyone think bicycle too difficult?), versus ten fingers for piano (plus one foot). Piano is real hard for me.

I need pianists to make accompaniments for me. Anyone offer to help?

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#655159 - 08/29/06 09:08 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
PerformingYak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 205
Loc: Lightning Ridge, Australia
Depends on how big your hand is, and how well you remember exactly where to put your 1st finger.
Obviously violinissimo is one of the lucky ones who picks up instruments easily. Especially getting a job in an orchestra after only 6 years

I'm not saying keep the tape/stickers on forever but for a little while it is actually good to train your fingers where to go. Fingers don't always go where they need to go automatically.... especially if you don't have a really good ear to begin with. Never heard of anyone using a chromatic tuner
Eveything to do with bow hold and hand position is not necessarily spontaneous, especially if you want a good vibrato. I do agree with the " play like you are singing" idea, that way you get feeling into the music

Keep up the Bruch/ Mendelssohn.... try some Paginini... its really fun \:\)
_________________________
"Work hard and strive to reach the power of bland"

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#655160 - 08/29/06 09:10 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
PerformingYak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 205
Loc: Lightning Ridge, Australia
oops... stupid thin put some extra graemlins at the end there... sorry
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"Work hard and strive to reach the power of bland"

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#655161 - 07/19/07 10:41 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
bukopaudan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 506
Loc: USA
The hardest part is intonation, really.
I play both the violin and the viola and have picked up the cello from my brother. (I can only play twinkle twinkle litte star though) and the hardest thing with string instruments is intonation and also...getting a good teacher.

If the teacher that you find is not a "good" teacher and does not teach you correct positioning and relaxing techniques, etc. You could be in some pain.
_________________________
"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein

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#655162 - 07/22/07 12:11 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
it depends, I was already playing the piano, flute and piccolo before I even started learning how to play the violin so I did'nt find it that hard
_________________________
Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata

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#655163 - 07/31/07 08:38 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
Stacey E Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 81
Loc: Chicagoland Area
I play the piano, and the flute (though not well), and found that starting the violin was really hard. Actually, I was a bit suprised by this, since I usually don't have trouble picking up and instrument and being able to figure out a few songs.

I just started taking lessons this summer with my 4 year daughter. I found that moving up and down and then back and forth to play the notes on the fingerboard is taking me quite a bit of getting used to. It is so different from moving up and down on the piano.

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#655164 - 07/31/07 08:42 PM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
I started violin at a young age in the schools and played through high school along with the cello. During college days, I played guitar which I was playing all along up to now (but I specialized in Christian music (St. Louis Jesuit type). I played in church choirs for a while and put the instruments away before 9/11, but then recently picked up the instruments and started to learn the piano (on my own) around Christmas 2006.

Yes the violin is a difficult instrument \:\( as you are controlling the bow with one hand and performing the fingerings with the other. The cello is similar except you are holding the instrument between your knees and the fingering placements are farther apart than the violin. It gets worse with the double bass.
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...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#655165 - 08/03/07 11:04 AM Re: Is the violin hard to learn????
'fredo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 45
Loc: San Bernardino, California
The violin is definitely hard. Especially at first on the ears.
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