Assistance    17:06 on Saturday, December 27, 2008          

(10 points)
Posted by Stevieic


I have wanted to learn violin all my life, and recently bought one, along with an instruction book (First Lessons, by Craig Duncan) and unfortunately it is subpar. I play trombone, baritone, and tuba very well, and assumed I would be able to pick up violin fairly quickly. Boy was I wrong.

My problem is I am currently out to sea, so can not get an instructor until I come home. I have no idea how to put rosin on a bow, or how tight the bow should be. I continually produce a raspy horrible nails on chalkboard sound, and I am assuming that those problems are at least contributing. Does anyone have any advice, or can point me to an online resource? Online videos are out of the question, because my internet connection is ungodly slow. It takes me 10 minutes just to log into my bank account! LOL. I would prefer to get started now instead of waiting a few months to come home, and it seems this is the best way to get the information I need. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for any help anyone may provide =.

Also, if anyone is in the Norfolk, VA area and is interested in giving lessons when I return, let me know!

Have a wonderful day!

Re: Assistance    12:57 on Wednesday, December 31, 2008          

(165 points)
Posted by celticlady

I'll do my best to help you!

To put rosin on the bow just slide it up and down the bow. That's pretty much as easy as it sounds but in case you don't know this NEVER touch the bow hair with your fingers cause the oil from your fingers will ruin the sounds it makes on the violin. To help you with the sound your just got to practice your not going to sound good at all when you first begin. What may help is just play open strings and keep relaxed and what you need to do is try to keep the bow straight (between the bridge and fingerbroad) by moving your wrist not your whole arm. The best way to tell you how to tighten the bow is that your finger should be able to mostly fit in between the hair and the wood part of the bow. Just don't make it soo tight or tooo loose.
Hope this help!!

Re: Assistance    21:46 on Wednesday, December 31, 2008          

(136 points)
Posted by theTromboni

Violin and trombone/ tuba are COMPLETE opposites, I should know playing both myself. =)

Don't put too much rosin on. 5 good swipes should be plenty if the bow has already been rosined. If it hasn't, don't overdo it. You will want to rosin irregularly, depending on how often you play- someone else can go into the care and feeding of bows in more depth.

An important thing about having good tone is that you angle the bow so the hair is farther away from you. I personally find it is less scratchy. Also, the bow should be roughly in between the bridge and fingerboard. do not play over the fingerboard or close to the bridge! With the former, you cannot play loudly and will hit other strings, and with the latter, you will get brassy "chalkboard" overtones and risk losing hairs.

Everything celticlady said is very important, particulary that you should move at the wrist and elbow only. your shoulder should hardly move at all.

Happy violin-ning! lolz

Re: Assistance    18:10 on Thursday, January 01, 2009          

(10 points)
Posted by Stevieic

Thanks to you both for the replies! I've actually found someone on my ship who has been playing for 18 years, and he came up to give me a crash course. Unfortunately we both work long hours and on different shifts, so we can't get together often, but his first lesson was invaluable, and enabled me to actually practice productively.

I look forward to talking with you all more and getting to know you guys!


Re: Assistance    09:33 on Thursday, January 15, 2009          

(4 points)
Posted by rsteve_07


I would advice you buy from instrumentmasterpro. They are CD lessons and i found it quite useful. Even people who have teachers use it as a supplementary source.

Re: Assistance    21:05 on Thursday, January 29, 2009          

(2 points)
Posted by jamespender

Hey Steve

You should try these online tutorials from a World renowned violinist from the manhattan string quartet, they are VERY easy to understand for the beginner and are only small files to download so you should have no problem viewing them out at sea!! I work away alot and spend most of my time in hotels (with crappy internet connection) and have found they download quite fast....

hope this helps!!


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