Sunday, July 1, 2012

Going Back to Violin

Finally, after several months of not being able to hold the violin, I am now back to practicing to my heart's content.  I also have Beth of for taking me back after several months of being unable to go back to the site.

Needless to say, I'm finding it difficult to go back to playing the fiddle. I'm a beginner, and stopping and going back again would mean I am starting from square one. Yes, square one, even though I know the notes of all the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star variations as well as Lightly Row in Suzuki. So, what are my present hurdles?

 Getting thick skin - because I was not playing the violin actively, the meager excuse of a callous that I developed during my few weeks of playing have disappeared.  This creates a problem because the lack of "padding" makes it painful for me to press on the strings correctly
  1. Muscle memory - I had pretty good muscle memory back then.  It wasn't perfect, but I do hit the notes without my violin tuner going red on me 100% all the time like the way it's doing now.  So now, I have to "remember" where to place my fingers right, and re-train my ears so I can have that perfect pitch for the violin.
  2. Re-establishing the proper posture - I thought that once you held the violin, you will always remember how to hold it right.  However, I am shocked to discover that it is not the same with me. I have to look again for the comfortable and proper position and square up my shoulders to get into the right stance.
This is just a short list.  I know I still have a lot of problems to deal with.  So, when it comes to getting back to muscle memory, here's what I did.

Violin tapes - as much as I want to preserve my pride and just blindly hitting on the notes, I have to say that I gave in and put the tapes back on my violin.  I don't want to do it, but it must be done. I can't remember where exactly I must place my fingers, and the frustration was getting to me.

Intonation training with my tuner - I use this Cherub tuner that I bought in JB Music Store. I'm back to just doing scales instead of just the whole music piece. I hit the notes three times, mainly concentrating first on the A and E strings as I perform the scales. I adjust my fingers depending on the way my tuner is responding, then bow again.

Finger on board, off, then back again - I place my fingers on the fingerboard, hit the string, check the intonation, then bow three times on the right note. I remove my fingers again then put them back on the notes, continuing the cycle on and on.

I do this retraining as I practice.  My goal is to have adequate intonation by next week so I can have a pretty decent violin demo to upload in

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