So you want to learn to play the violin. Where should you start? Whether you want to become a classical violinist or an Irish fiddlinist, you must have a goal when practicing. Then you can list your objectives on how to reach that goal when practicing. You can have goals that are set for a year, a month, a week and of course, for the day. This way you have some way of measuring whether or not your practice time is helping you attain your ultimate goal.
You can start small right now, such as learning to read music – today for example, learn to play an open C major scale. Or learn what notes correspond to the violin strings, what strings are G, D, A and E? Then you can set bigger goals for learning different bow techniques, or learning vibrato. W rite down your goals so that you see them everyday. Another thing that has helped me is to create a dream board. Look through magazines or on the web for photos that represent your goals and where you want to be. Perhaps it’s a picture of a violinist you admire, a famous stage or perhaps family and friends listening to someone perform for them; whatever represents what your goals are and why you want to learn to play violin.
You know what they say, practice makes perfect. So how much should you practice? As much as you can without putting too much strain on other parts of your life such as family, school or your job. It’s better to practice a little every day rather than try to jam all your practice time into one session once a week. Do not overdue it at first. You must ease your body into the practice regime. It is possible to injure yourself by repetitive strain on muscles that aren’t used to that much strain all at once. Be sure to stretch before and after, just like you would for any other sport. Start with 10 minutes a day. Slowly progress to a least 30 minutes a day when you feel comfortable doing so.
So practice every day. Do not become discouraged. You will not become a professional overnight. Do not compare your progress to others. Measure your progress by your standards. No one came out of the womb ready to play violin. Some perhaps have a natural gift to learn violin more easily, but that doesn’t mean you can become just as accomplished. In fact your rewards will be even greater when you do master a technique or piece of music because it took raw determination and hard work to attain that goal. It will come. Be patient, Grasshopper. Be positive. Negative thoughts have no place in learning violin. And there is no crying in learning violin, unless the music itself is so beautiful, it makes you weep.:)
And look forward to practicing. Do not make it become a chore that you dread. Allow yourself to have fun with it. In fact at the end of every session, make sure you allow some “fun” practice time. Try playing a piece of your favorite music, for example. And do not try to learn more advanced techniques, such as vibrato, too soon. Start with the basics and master them first. Learn to hold the violin properly. Learn to strike the bow properly. Learn to read music. Small steps first.