Monday, May 13, 2013

Learning the violin!

I am sooo excited! A few months ago, I decided to buy a violin. I have wanted to learn to play one since I was little, and just never did. I fell in love with singing "Amazing Grace", and could picture myself whipping it out on the violin too, even though the only clue I had about playing one, was that the bow goes back and forth. :)
I searched for a good deal on a used violin, and didn't really find anything, and so I searched Ebay after that. I found a source that sells Mendini violins in different colors for $55! They had a white one, that I fell in love with, so I took a chance on buying it. It came with rosin, a bow, a case, some extra strings and parts, and a metranome/tuner. I bought the 3/4 size according to a chart I found online to help me figure out what my arm length would be most comfortable with. I also bought a little fingering guide, to help me know where to put my fingers for the different notes. 
When I got my violin, I was clueless. I knew the rosin needed to be put on the horse hair, but I didn't realize my bow wouldn't play anything, if there wasn't rosin put on first, lol. I learned through trial and error a little bit, how to set my violin up. 
My first sounds on the violin were pretty silent. Then I put the rosin on, and I could get a clear/un-tuned sound. 
I have searched the internet for free violin lessons, and found a couple of sites that I learned a few things from. Like how to tune my violin, proper posture and holding of the bow, and how much pressure to put on the strings. I also learned to never touch the horse hair on the bow, the rosin, or the strings on the violin where the horse hair would touch, to keep it from getting oils from my fingers on it. 
When I started learning a few things, I sounded horrible, lol! Then I went and visited my brother in law Brian, who has taught himself to play the fiddle. He helped me learn the basics of "Amazing Grace", and gave me a jump start in my confidence. I can not wait to see him again and play while he plays his! 
I have since gained confidence in playing amazing grace by memory, but I still didn't know the notes very well. 
I grew up playing the piano, flute, guitar, and harmonica. I also love to sing, so I do know the scales and things, but it has been so long, I have had to relearn them. 
I figured out where middle C is on the violin, and started to match up the notes from there. I was able to slowly and squeakily play Silent night after that. When I did that, finally, I started to remember what the letter notes are on the scales, and in church on Sunday, while we sang, I imagined myself playing the violin to the notes. 
I pulled out my violin tonight, and my progress shot ahead it felt like! I played a few different hymns, and kept up a good tempo, and learned to keep my notes together, and smooth. On, you can pull up sheet music for the hymns, and it will play piano music to it. I learned to play to "I know my Redeemer Lives", "Be still my soul", Abide, tis even tide", and my favorite "Nearer my God to Thee". I got so good, I started to memorize where each note was, and no longer looked at the sheet music while I played a long, and kept up with the tempo! 
My baby needed to go to sleep, so I had to stop. I can't wait to practice again tomorrow. I can't wait to get some lessons going from an instructor. The one thing I can't figure out so far, is how you get the notes to have vibrato. My hand doesn't want to work that way. 
Anyway, if I can figure out how to get a video posted on here sometime soon, I will be sure to show my progress. 
One of my biggest excitements, is when I will be able to play with my sister who plays the guitar and sings. It will be soooooo fun!!!

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