Saturday, November 22, 2008

Music Theory

When you listen to a song, it might make you feel happy or sad. Some songs just sound melancholy or joyous, but do you know why? There's a lot of theory behind the structure of music. You might not realize it when you are just listening to a song, but its underlying fabric comes can be described by music theory. It's always helpful to understand as much as you can about music theory, first because you will understand what other musicians are talking about, and second it will actually help make the melody more understandable and easier to remember. If you are interested in composition, learning music theory is a must!

Check out Ricci Adam's Music Theory easy to use site that offers free online modules on music theory, from how to read music to chord progression analysis.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is it a fiddle or a violin?

Have you ever wondered what's the difference between a fiddle and a violin? Check out the Hardanger Fiddle at the Corner Violin Shop Blog to learn about the subtle differences between the two unique instruments. While you're there, also take your time to explore the adventures of the inner workings of the Cavallo Violins LLC. These are people who really know what they're talking about!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Violin Outfits

Some great deals on violin outfits from Woodwind Brasswind. This is also where I got my violin outfit, for about $300, it includes the violin, the bow, the case, the resin, the chin rest (attached). I also had a friend of mine try it out, and he was amazed that it sounded so good. Not bad for $300!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Having confidence is so important in playing violin. From knowing to where to place your fingers on the strings to how to hold the apply pressure on the bow, confidence determines the quality of sound and accuracy of the notes.

I think of it like learning to downhill ski. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and stop worrying about falling or making mistakes. If you fall, make it a bold and spectacular one. With each wrong turn, there will be learning, and when you fail miserably, your mistakes leading to the fall is more obvious. Only when you know why you fell or played a wrong note, can you conceivably correct that mistake and avoid making it in the future.

I notice that just practicing for a short time each day, it does wonders on my natural confidence for playing. Somehow my hands and fingers learn and remember while I sleep, and the next day, I naturally know where and how to hold the instrument without as much hesitation as the day before. The brain is a wonderful thing!

For lots of wonderful exercises (free!) check out the popular Violin Site for some great practice exercises.

Monday, October 6, 2008

How to tune a violin

It's always been hard for me to tune a violin, being a piano player since I was young, I always took tuning for granted and never gave it a second thought. If you are like me, instead of struggling through it, try these videos from Elizabeth Willis on Expert Village. She goes through the whole process step by step assuming no prior knowledge and shows you some cool tricks. It's a nice way to get started. Make sure you check out the rest of the series at Expert Village to get the whole story. 

How to tune the A string:

Violin Tuning: A String -- powered by

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why is violin so hard to play?

Drawing the bow across a string sounds simple at first, but compared to the guitar, piano, why is it so hard to make a beautiful sound? Can perfection be achieved only through years of experience or can it be explained by science? For you physics enthusiasts out there, here's a detailed explanation of why the violin is so hard to play.

Pachelbel's Canon in D major

Here's a good version of the violin part. Great for training the ears while I practice. I tried playing along with it, but I can't do it that fast yet.

Listen to Pachelbel's Canon in D Major at Imeem