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I have played violin for 5 years now and my quality is pretty bad. Someone (who is a viola major yet has played the violin for many years) played my violin and told me that it had excellent sound quality. On the same violin, His playing had a rich tone while my playing sounded rough and a bit flat ( i.e. lacking that melodious depth of quality technique). Does such tonal quality require years of experience or is it more of a knowledge based approach?

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Awesome! I'm not the only one!

Check out this question, which was my first here.

How to improve jerky bowing on the violin

Some of the answers here are really quality.

Here's a couple of other things to try:

  • Record yourself and watch what you're doing. When you record yourself, look for
  • Long, smooth bows
  • Good posture
  • Loose hands, especially the left hand

Another thing that you should watch out for is the right hand. People over-obsess with the left hand, and, yeah, it sure is neat to see quick and accurate fingers, but the bow is almost twice as important. Keep your bow hand awesome. Make sure your arm opens all the way up. Watch these:

And these:

http://violinmasterclass.com/en/masterclasses/right-hand/legato

Don't use too much pressure. Like ever. Anywhere. You would be surprised at how little pressure is necessary to depress the strings on a violin with your left hand. Be aware of the sounding point with your bow, so that you don't have to press too hard to get a big sound. Watch for both of these when you tape yourself.

And do tape yourself.

Above all, be motivated by having fun and watching professionals, to see what affects their sound.

Here's a genius:

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One problem I have is that the pieces and the studies that I work on in my practise time are always things that stretch my skills and my technique. You may be the same. One thing I try to do now is to regularly include pieces that I'll find easy - stuff I learnt years ago. This gives me the chance to relax while playing them and to focus just on the quality of tone

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