Hot answers tagged

54 votes

Violin or piano – which instrument makes more sense to start during Coronavirus lockdown?

I would normally tend to recommend violin, but as you're asking specifically about what to learn during lockdown: definitely piano. Violin is almost impossible to learn without a teacher, at least ...
user avatar
47 votes

How can you be sure your teacher-to-be is an accomplished musician?

Possibly putting the cat amongst the pigeons here. An expert (at anything, be it sport, art, science, etc.) is often not a good teacher. A good teacher knows the subject, of course, but maybe hasn't ...
user avatar
  • 174k
34 votes
Accepted

Why is a violin so loud compared to a guitar?

Without researching the matter (and thus preserving Internet Tradition), I'd say that it's because the input energy to a guitar is a single pluck whereas a violin is bowed giving a continuous energy ...
user avatar
  • 23.1k
33 votes
Accepted

I feel like I don't evolve, and sometimes shamed when playing with someone better than me

I find any learning process goes in cycles: At first, you're pretty bad. And you know it. Then, you start getting better. You're playing pretty well. Everything is great. And then you realise that ...
user avatar
  • 9,479
33 votes

Is it spelled "violincello" or "violoncello"?

... part of the violin family... Actually, as baroque violists love to point out, during the early evolution of these instruments, both violin and cello were part of the viola family. The viola was ...
user avatar
  • 7,644
29 votes
Accepted

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

As a bowmaker, I would like to temper these answers a bit. Yes, if you leave a bow under tension too long, it will lose its camber (bend) faster. So that's true: one should get in the habit of ...
user avatar
28 votes

As a soloist, should I face the audience or the conductor during long tutti sections?

You could remain directly facing the audience, with the smile gradually dripping from your face to be replaced by something between boredom & abject terror... ...or you may find it a lot easier ...
user avatar
  • 22.9k
27 votes

In a folk jam session, when asked which key my non-transposing chromatic instrument (like a violin) is in, what do I answer?

If someone is asking about the key of the instrument, I would answer "I play in concert pitch." If when jamming, someone asks "what key are you in?" I would say, "I am playing in (name a key) concert ...
user avatar
  • 5,484
26 votes

Expectations from a violin teacher towards an adult learner

As a beginner, you can't expect to get a piece sounding 'perfect' in any reasonable length of time, because you haven't yet built up all the skills - intonation, bow control, phrasing, your own style -...
user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

What to choose? Violin or piano?

Is it too late for me to learn an instrument? No. It's never to old to learn anything. Having the determination and persistence to continue is the hard part. It might be harder for you to learn as ...
user avatar
24 votes

Violin - Can double stops be played when the strings are not next to each other?

As Jomiddnz points out, there's pizzicato. You could also bow one string and pluck another at the same time. But if you want both notes played with the bow, and don't want the bow to catch the ...
user avatar
  • 4,929
24 votes
Accepted

Do you play the upbeat when beginning to play a series of notes, and then after?

The upbeat is where the song starts. Imagine starting the song "Happy birthday to you" without the upbeat; then you would start singing "birthday to you". When you reach the end you don't play the ...
user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Do the violas often play the same parts as the violins in an orchestra?

A standard string section of an orchestra will have: 1st Violins 2nd Violins Violas Cellos Basses One very typical way to think of this is by way of comparison to a four-part SATB choir (sopranos, ...
user avatar
  • 20.2k
23 votes
Accepted

Why does violin sound differently after playing on it for some time?

This is a heavily-researched, and (sadly) highly inflammatory topic. There are some people who swear it takes 50 years for the varnish to reach a stable structure & stability; there are others ...
user avatar
22 votes

Violin Tuning- shouldn't the the A-string be tuned to A5? Why A4?

If the comment and existing answer still don't make it clear, maybe a picture: As user25119 wrote, the octave numbers change when you go from B to C. So that means the D and the A highlighted below ...
user avatar
  • 51.4k
22 votes

What are the numbers below the notes in Sarasate's "Gypsy Airs"

If you look closely, you'll see that the 4 and 6 have slightly different font size and orientation. The 4 refers to the finger, the 6 to the sextuplet (in the next bar you can see that the "6&...
user avatar
  • 5,750
21 votes

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

I'd add to Dr. Mayhem's list: You never know when something will interrupt your plans. You might be 20 mins into a planned 1-hour break, and then the doorbell rings, you welcome a friend, ... next ...
user avatar
21 votes

Retuning violin numerous times daily

Alas, string instruments notoriously lose tuning for seemingly trivial reasons, especially classical guitars and wooden bowed strings. Temperature, humidity, looking at it... so, better get used to ...
user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

I broke my G string and my other 3 strings are out of tune too

You have eleven days until the concert. Even if you don't have a local music store, that's plenty of time to order a string online. In case you can't get hold of a replacement: The strings are all ...
user avatar
  • 15.4k
20 votes
Accepted

Loose piece of wood inside violin

Be sure not to wait too long. Reattaching a sound post, or at the worst, refitting a new one is a pretty standard operation. It is important for the sound quality and it also carries quite a bit of ...
user avatar
  • 216
20 votes

Violin Tuning- shouldn't the the A-string be tuned to A5? Why A4?

D4 up by a perfect fifth is A4. The octave number in the scientific note naming system only advances when crossing the B/C boundary, so the C major scale notes available on the violin (notes on open ...
user avatar
  • 201
20 votes

Is the Violin a difficult instrument to play for a beginner?

It certainly takes most people quite a long time to achieve the kind of fine bow control that's required to make a smooth sound. It's not straightforward at all - you've got to dig in enough at the ...
user avatar
20 votes

How to transcribe an arpeggiated 4-note chord to be playable on a violin?

The octave your violinist suggested is fine. Another possibility is the following: Why did Beethoven not write the above chord in his piano sonata? Because that major tenth is rather awkwardly wide ...
user avatar
  • 4,929
19 votes
Accepted

As a soloist, should I face the audience or the conductor during long tutti sections?

Some performers prefer the "look busy" approach. I once attended an oboe concerto performance in which the oboist swabbed out his instrument every time he had more than 4 measures' rest. I suppose a ...
user avatar
19 votes

What's the point of composing music for the violin in D flat?

The example you gave, Shostakovich's Gadfly suite, gives you quite a lot of the answer: music is often written for several instruments at once, only one of which is a violin. The Bb clarinet is no ...
user avatar
  • 11.6k
19 votes

What's your trick to play the exact amount of repeated notes

Something I have noticed as I have improved from complete beginner is the ability to "group" more notes at a time. As a complete beginner it was a struggle to play one note correctly at a ...
user avatar
  • 5,115
19 votes

Is it spelled "violincello" or "violoncello"?

tl;dr It's violoncello. Language considerations Lots of classical music words usually have a specific language as their origins (mostly Italian), so, unless an extended literature can confirm standard ...
user avatar
  • 5,750
18 votes
Accepted

Meaning of notation in violin part

The 4 indicates that the A is to be played using the fourth finger on the D string, while the 0 indicates that the A is to be played as an open string. Given the double stop in the fourth measure, I ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible