So at my school we do an opening mass every year and this year i wanted to play a song.

I've been playing violin for two and a bit years now I wanted to play Ashokan Farewell. I can play it however it sounds meh and really average.

I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips on how to make it sounded better and kinda more beautiful. I can't do vibrato as well.

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    What a great piece but fairly subtle in its poignancy. Shev's given you a great answer. If you're trying to get the emotional character to come through, in my experience you have to have the material itself down cold. If you've got that, then I find it helps to put myself in an emotional mindset prior to and during playing. If you want it to sound sad, try making yourself feel sad before you play. Call on a sad memory. Likewise with other emotions if you prefer them over sadness. I think this piece can sound good without vibrato in a bluegrass fiddle kind of way. Feb 24, 2016 at 13:39

2 Answers 2


The best solution would be to get a teacher so that he can see exactly where the problem is. Unless someone sees up close how you play, it will be difficult to determine why you don't play as good as you want to.

The other really obvious thing is to keep practicing. Play the song over and over again. See which parts of the song give you more trouble and play them alone over and over again.

Also, see which technical parts of the song you have trouble with. Like you said you cannot do vibratos well. The way to improve them is to take some simple exercises for vibrato and practice them before you jump in a song that uses them. When you have developed the technique, take the part of the song with the vibratos and practice that alone.


Supplementary to Shevliaskovic's answer - try recording yourself and listening to it back. While listening to the recording will allow you to hear things that you'd usually ignore because you'd be concentrating on playing, you'd also be suprised how different the timbre of the instrument can be from the audience's perspective.


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