Whoa! It’s really remarkable that you’ve finally decided to learn the violin. At this point, it is not strange that several questions are popping up in your head – it’s the normal feeling. We presume you’ve asked this question probably because of your tight schedule. However, it is hoped that you find helpful answers to your question in this article.
Unfortunately, the answer to your question is simply No! And the reasons why this is the answer is not far-fetched at all. That’s not a bother though!; because at Musical Intru, we’ve made it our paramount concern to dish out helpful guidelines intended to help you succeed in your quest to finding knowledge and attaining the mastery of your dream instrument.
You need to understand that learning to play the violin without a tutor is like ‘trying to ride on a canoe without a paddle.’ We do not deny the possibility that teaching yourself will not fructify though; we just do not see this approach as a professional to learn the instrument. The reality is, it will take a superhuman to achieve this remarkable feat. Let’s be frank with ourselves. Superhuman are kind of hard to find around nowadays.
However, before the knitty gritty of learning to play the violin is properly explained, we’d like to acquaint you with the fundamentals of learning the instrument. Sit tight!
Meet the instrument of your dream
The violin which can also be called ‘the fiddle’ is a stringed instrument and it’s mostly wooden. It is characterized with a concave wooden base and aligned with four strings tuned in the perfect fifths. At the base, the violin is played with a bow and plucked by fingers simultaneously. It is small in size but bigger than the violin. It has the highest pitch in the string family. This makes its unique tonality appealing to the ears. The violin has mostly been used in traditional classical music and orchestra. However, in recent times, it has been adapted to other genres of music such as rock and fusion.
The materials you need To Learn
Just like cultivating a land requires the use of cutlasses and hoes, some materials are quintessential for you to have a smooth jolly ride in the learning process. Some of the materials you’d need for the drill include the following;
- A violin: Of course, this is a must buy as it is the instrument you are interested in learning to play. Because of the need to constantly rehearse on the instrument to attain a mastery of it, procuring the instrument is not bargainable at all. Yeah! You heard right.
Getting a violin, you need to read that post of Musical Instru. In that post they have described in detail. For durability, it is pertinent that a good brand is purchased.
- Rosin: This is a must buy too because it helps to increase the friction of the violin bow and strings, hence, producing sweet tunes.
- Technique book: As a beginner, you need something to show give you an idea of how to begin to play. This is quite handy and helpful in familiarizing yourself to the instrument.
- Additional strings: This is also useful. Should you need to change a string after it gets snapped, you could easily assess them. Also, after a while, there might be a need to change the strings.
- The capo: This is not required at first but also not dispensable. The capo is an auxiliary ware fastened across the strings of the violin to augment the pitch sound. It will be useful in the course of attaining the mastery of the instrument.
- The internet: Of course, the internet remains a compendium of information, helpful articles and videos online can be useful to facilitate the learning process.
Other materials required also include; the tuner, music stand, shoulder rest, and wipes to clean the violin.
Having pointed out the different materials needed for the learning process and having acquired those materials, the following are quintessential to realize your goal of becoming a Professional player in no time; you must
- Get an interesting tutor: this is the point where your question is actually better addressed. The role of a trainer or a teacher cannot be overemphasized. We are not denying the possibility of learning at your own pace. This is not just advisable as you just might not be able to learn fast and accurately. Your mistakes cannot be spotted by you, so what’s the point of not getting someone to put you through. Also, there’s no denying the fact that a lot of whack guys are out there who claim they can teach the instrument. This is where the onus is on you to look for someone who’s capable, resourceful and creative in his/her approach to teaching. This will aid the learning process so much.
- Learn to handle the instrument appropriately: you must learn to grip the violin and the bow in the appropriate manner. To handle the violin well, it must be placed on your shoulder rest with your chin lying on the chin rest. The instrument must be well balanced on your left shoulder. It could get uncomfortable at first owing to the force of inertia, however, with time; you’d get comfortable with it.
- Practice regularly: this is the game changer actually. You must develop an appropriate practice routine because the more you rehearse, the better you’d get on the instrument. With steady and consistent rehearsals, you’d achieve your goal of becoming a pro in no time. The most important thing to note is that your practicing must be goal oriented i.e. at a certain point in time, there must be a goal in sight that you want to achieve. It could be on fingering or progressions.
- Get yourself a role model: as funny as it seems, you must get someone you look up to. That is a renowned violinist who has made his mark playing the instrument. Violin legends such as Joshua Bells, Nicolai Benedetti, David Oistrakh, George Enescu to mention a few are renowned for their exploits with the violin. You could select any of them. Also, you have to be inspired by listening to various violin solo and get acquainted with several licks and fills on the violin. Some of these kind of stuff can be incorporated into your playing. It will help make it sound nicer.
- Intensify effort at learning: Sincerely, it’s not going to be a bed of roses. Of course, rose is not built in a day and only persistence breaks the hardest rock. This is the psychological dimension of the learning process. You must be determined that nothing will destabilize you from learning to play your dream instrument. Once your determination and doggedness are intact, even the sky is not going to be your limit.
- Track your progress: By having a recording of your playing during the practicing period, it helps you track your progress by revealing your mistakes. Subsequently, these mistakes can be corrected and gradually, you are on your way to attaining mastery on the instrument.
Congratulations on reading this article thus far! Of course, by now, you should have a firm understanding that learning to play the violin can be quite rigorous. However, by utilizing these tips, your journey to attaining mastery of the instrument would be expedited.