My first period of the day this semester in highschool is music, so for the past week, I’ve been learning how to play the violin in class. I’ve never played an orchestral string instrument before, so here’s what my experience has been like with the violin so far.
When we first got a chance to play around with our instruments I kind of knew how the instrument worked, but I didn’t know any of the proper techniques or how to hold the instrument. The senior students and the teacher helped me with the proper way to hold the violin and bow, and I feel like I didn’t have too much trouble pressing notes down on the fingerboard though. Even after a few days I still have a bit of trouble keeping the bow straight in between the bridge and the fingerboard though.
Once all the new students had gotten a chance to get to know the proper way to play, we separated between the more experienced students and got to practice in a different room. Most of the pieces at the beginning of the practice book the teacher gave us were pizzicato pieces where you don’t use the bow, but you pluck the strings instead. For me, most of them weren’t too difficult since for fingerstyle guitar you’re already plucking with your fingers anyways. However, once we moved on to bowing notes I found it difficult to not only keep the bow straight but also only playing one string at a time. A lot of the times I end up unintentionally bowing the strings around the one I actually want to play on.
After a few more days we ended up attempting to play an easy piece along with the rest of the class, but the piece had a few notes that I didn’t exactly know how to play. Later I got one of the senior students to show me. The day after that we tried again with an even easier piece, but the teacher wrote out the notes in a different way from standard notation so I kind of got confused at certain spots.
For now, my other friends in the class and I have taken the practice books home to try and work on our basic skills. There are still a lot of techniques that we don’t know, but learning the fundamentals comes first. Overall, it’s been pretty fun playing and practicing. I’d say it’s a lot harder than guitar though since there aren’t any frets and bowing is a lot more difficult than plucking in my opinion.