We asked six musicians to share their one best tip for beginner string musicians. These are the answers we received.
Violin teacher and violinist in the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden.
The most important thing, according to me, is to try to find a friend, a group or an orchestra to play with. It’s important to practice on your own, but the music doesn’t come alive until you play with others.
Also, find a good instrument that you are comfortable with. When it comes to smaller children, buy the right size instrument. Many times I’ve seen parents buy too large instruments for their children.
Violinist and violin teacher. Customer service representative at Fiddlershop.
The first thing I tell my students, is that playing the violin is easy in the beginning. But after some time, usually around 3 months, it gets hard. Don’t quit! Be persistent. You have to do the climb. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself.
Walk away and take a break, if you get frustrated. Break up your practice time in several parts and come back later. String instruments are tough to play, so don’t have too high expectations.
A.k.a. Fiddlerman, is a professional violinist that started Fiddlerman.com in 2010 to help musicians learn to play the violin for free. In 2012 he opened Fiddlershop.com with his son Michael.
Choose equipment that makes it easy to play. In other words: Don’t get the cheapest instrument and bow, even though you are a total beginner and not sure if you want to keep on playing after a while. Usually, the less you spend, the harder the instrument is to play.
Also make sure the instrument is well set up when you buy it. Choose a shop that works hard for you.
Is currently the principal bassist at the Miami City Ballet’s Orchestra.
Take the time at the beginning of your studies with your teacher to solidify a good technique. Without a proper technique, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to sound good on difficult passages that you may want to play in the future.
Felix Manuel Perez Cuza
Luthier, violinist and violin teacher. Felix has been a luthier at Fiddlershop since 2016. Before then he worked in Cuba, Mexico and Belgium.
My principal advice is to ask yourself why you want to play and what your goals are. Do you mainly want to have fun or are you maybe interested in a professional career? Depending on the answer, choose a teacher that will fit your needs.
Long distance nomadic cyclist and violinist. She's traveled over 14,000 miles with her dog, Fiji, and her violin, Anakin. Jasmine is now headed to South America, a 6,000 plus mile adventure. She documents her travels at her Facebook page.
Be patient with yourself and the process. Many of us try to rush out of the beginner phase. That's understandable. It's when all the squeaks, scratches, and unpleasantness takes place. People want to get out of that phase as quickly as possible.
However, the magic is happening in the beginning years of learning your instrument. You are laying a solid foundation on which to build all of your more advanced skills. If you speed through and lay a shaky foundation for your house, the home will collapse.
—Same idea with string playing. Enjoy the beginning years. Slowly and meticulously lay a foundation on which to grow and develop all your musical and technical skills. You won't regret it because you'll avoid bad habits, injury, and other issues in the future.