from bass to violin
do any of you play violin?
I'm taking a string course to finish my bachelors in music education, and they spend the whole semester teaching one instrument. I decided to go with violin since it would be the biggest challenge, so i got my self a used $100 ebay violin that turns out to look perfectly fine for my purposes. (and appears to have no plywood in it- nice surprise)
the fingerings are of corse different, but make sense given the size of the instrument. trying to play with vibrato feels impossible since the movement is entirely different (along with how / where the instrument is held) than it does on bass.
I don't plan on taking any "real" lessons until after i finish the corse, but am anxious to get in shape on it. as you would suspect, for someone who's already a musician, watching beginner violin videos on youtube can be pretty useless.
just wondering if anyone has experience with this, tips, advice, or just to discuss the idea. what used to be a half step is now about a 4th. yikes. time to get practicing.
Subscribed. I'm curious to hear the opinions because I've considered it myself. I keep hearing the advice not to dilute my practice time unless it's with the piano or drums. But still, there are times I'd just like to sit in one place and play something less bulky than the upright.
i've spent a fair amount of time noodling on the violin. i find myself thinking in solfege a lot, and not necessarily knowing what pitch i'm playing without having to think about it. memorizing the notes i dont think will be to hard though.
so far, i dont think it's that hard. a big change, though.
and yes, diluting practice time is a big sacrifice, but for me, it's worth it (pursuing music education, ill teach a lot of violin eventually, im sure)
diluting practice time
I feel whatever makes you a better musician, makes you a better musician.
When I couldn't play bass (or anything else) for years due to an arm injury, I sang in a choir. When I went back to bass, I was a much better player because the singing helped with my tuning.
Recently, I have been playing some of the Bach Cello Suites on guitar. When I play them on bass now, I have a much better grasp of their musical architecture because I worked it out on an instrument that is much less of a struggle to play.
and singing in a choir is certainly a huge lesson in ear training, and i agree helps tremendously. in schumann's book "Advice to young musicians" he makes the point several times to become a good singer and to join a choir regardless of your instrument.
anyway, my fine tuners just arrived in the mail- tuning with the pegs is really not easy- so i'm excited to be able to tune easily now. i might pursue that Bach partita, it'll be hard but it will help.
so far my impression is- i love how small it is, vibrato is hard, and i'm amazed at how big of a range the violin has without shifting up far at all - the open strings alone go from a G below a treble staff to the E in the to space.
as with anything, the amount of practice time invested in it will make all the difference. but as a string player, it's not too hard to be able to pull of some simple melodies.
I am trying to think of tips and little things that might help, seeing as many years ago I made the switch in the other direction.
The Violin bow hold is different from the French bass bow hold. That would be a youtube video or two worth watching because your little finger is on top of the stick and is used for balance and weight distribution, and it's just a slightly different approach.
You need significantly less weight in both hands, and significantly smaller motions on violin. You have likely figured this out and adjusted some, but there is a very good chance you need to let up even more.
Although a cheap violin might fight you a bit, everything should be significantly less work, strings start a lot easier etc. It is very easy to over play the violin if you are coming at it as a bassist. Your bow changes could be accented unintentionally because you're used to the amount of effort it takes to start a string 4x longer. You mentioned how small the intervals are, and depending on how big your fingers are and how far up the fingerboard you get, you will have to move your previous finger out of the way to play the next one because the notes are that close together. Shifts are little strolls in the park by your house, not a mountaineering excursion to the other side of the continent. You get the picture.
Violin is often taught from first position, then third, then fourth or second, then everything else. This actually means something on violin, where on bass you start shifting very early, and the concept of "positions" is less meaningful because you don't have 2+ octaves in one position. For example, a two octave major scale looks like this:
Where in the above "tab" the - means a space between fingers (whole tone) and no - means no space (semitone) If you start that in "first" position, it is an A major scale. Half position, it's Ab. Want Bb major? put your first finger on Bb. This works all the way up to about D where the body of the violin starts to get in the way. But, that 1-2-34 (next string) 1-2-34 is a major scale ANYWHERE on the instrument. Those kind of patterns are great, and makes second position great for "awkward" keys etc. While I still advocate knowing what the notes are and what your fingers are doing instead of a tab-based education like how some people learn guitar, this modular nature becomes very helpful when improvising. Your favourite licks can move around the instrument in different keys, that kind of thing.
Otherwise, you now have a melody instrument at your disposal. While it might be a little over you head to sink your teeth into some Bach, things like folk tunes, Christmas carols, or even pop tunes. Go to your local music store or dig through your current library and find something you're interested in and play the melodies. It's a great way to think lyrically on the instrument, and it helps you figure out the fingerboard in a fun way.
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