more things i want to do

October 20, 2012 11:27 PM

So one summer during my teenage years, I decided I wanted to learn the violin and asked my parents to buy one for me. But that didn’t work out so well because I gave up practicing since my self control back then was not nearly as amazing as it is right now, and violin is one of those things that will remind you just how terrible you are every time you touch it unless you devote your life and prove yourself (or also unless, you know, you’re tone deaf by grace of god). It’s still sitting somewhere in my closet and it’s still one of those things I want to learn if one day I suddenly run out of things to do. I also tried the other 3 string instruments in my short one semester stay in strings in high school, personally I really liked them because it took so much force to physically conquer them, because of how small I was and how small my hands were and still are. I liked their sound more than the violin really, since I always liked the powerful feeling of setting the roots of harmony, but they’re not nearly as easy to get my hands on so I don’t think I’ll ever get to play with them again ): that and they’re probably not much fun to play without an accompanist and I’d spend all my time complaining about most instead of playing most likely!

Anyway ground your stance and have some fun (:

and preview for a guest piece for a friend’s artbook!


  • I played cello for many years, and it's really frustrating to try and get back to it after not playing for a long time. My muscle memory and ears are still there, but the latter just means I can hear when I'm out of tune.

    Strings really are tough until you reach the point where you can sound good playing simple things. Once you reach that point, you suddenly have the ability to impress a bunch of people because playing in tune with good vibrato is generally equated with great skill among anyone who doesn't play music themselves.

    I never completely understood why people generally consider cello more difficult than violin. I find that the general position is a lot less awkward and probably easier to get used to than violin. I think it has something to do with violin players being able to access the higher level Suzuki book songs earlier because you have to shift to play notes that you can use your fourth finger for with the violin. I guess it's also harder to play in tune on a cello and you have to move your hand over much greater distances and develop a big callus on your left thumb, but holding the violin up with just your chin/shoulder beats all of that as a barrier to entry.

    You're completely right about the huge cost of playing any stringed instrument other than violin/viola. My first cello, which was very mediocre, cost $1,600. Anything below ~$1,000 will generally sound awful. Around high school I ended up getting this ~$6,000 cello, and among my peers in the first 4-6 chairs of our city's youth symphony that was in the medium-low end. This one guy played a $17,000 cello. It seems like, compared with a violin of the same quality, the cello will be roughly 5x as expensive.

    • by comparison, all the fixed tone instruments get it easy because all you have to know is where they key is/approximate finger combo is, like piano and guitar (hence immense popularity LOL) but string instruments will always trump them with their endless range of expression, it just takes a TON of hard work to get anywhere near that level ;-;

  • Hetem

    Omg what is she doing to that poor violin bow! D:
    (kidding, kidding.. lol I've done worse than that to mine /replacement strings where are you)

    The violin is such and insanely fun instrument to play, despite the fact I've been negeting it over the years. "Violin is one of those things that will remind you just how terrible you are every time you touch it unless you devote your life"- SO TRUE. Or unless you just delight in torturing those who have to listen to you practice. But highschool orchestra was so fun, I always had oppertunity to play around with fellow classmate's instruments; but the bass, wow, so big and difficult to do.
    I still have a dream of someday mastering "Tzigane" and "Devil's Trill". A QUITE unattainable dream. :D

  • Valdane

    The violin is a great instrument. I usually feel a lot of emotion when I hear a good piece played on the violin by a proficient musician. I like the kind of mournful melodies it sometimes can produce. My wife learned when she was growing up, but she didn't keep at it after high school.
    I once met a scientist who worked with sound waves and harmonics (I met him at a training session where he worked for a company that put out laser detection equipment for DNA sequencing). When he worked for a university (I don't remember which b/c it was a while ago), his group figured out the harmonics of the piano and how to reproduce it electronically (or some such). They did it in two years and thought they'd move on to the violin. Well … they worked 5 years on the violin and still didn't crack it since it's harmonics were much more complicated than the piano (something about how the strings blended the sound waves). He mentioned he once got to hold a genuine Stradivarious (spelling?) when they were running tests. He was an interesting fellow.

    • haha yeah! because its vibration is constantly controlled by moving bow on string and presumably not consistent enough to be imitated. If imitated it would just sound different and not quite played!

      so lucky to be able to handle a stradivarius too!! not that I can tell the difference LOL

  • zoufi

    You drew Sakuya! That's awesome!

    I don't think you've done any Touhou stuff before, right?

  • I also really want to learn how to play the violin! It's so amazing and stuff! I'm trying to get my mom to buy me one, but I hope it doesn't end up like yours….

    I hope you fine time to start playing it again C:

    Listen to some of Linsey Stirring's violin playing, she is amazing!

  • Helios

    Perspective! That's a sexy shot of BB's knee.

    I never played strings; although, I do have a few years of piano tucked under my belt. I stopped around high school, but I still have a standard piano at home. My mom got it tuned for my birthday last year (wow, tuning is more expensive than I thought) and I've had fun getting reacquainted with it. Good memories~

  • Sorta like me and my saxophone, you have to really immerse yourself into it if you want a chance of sounding descent. Here's hoping you get back into it one day :D!

  • Ruina

    "violin is one of those things that will remind you just how terrible you are every time you touch it unless you devote your life and prove yourself"

    o-ouch… '''OTL /stab Mine is still sitting in my room too… but the violin is still such a beautiful and mesmerizing instrument… ///// Hope you get to pick it up again someday! And Blackbird playing the violin yessss *v*

    • I get so sad when I hear my violinist friends talk about how they haven't played for a while ): BUT THEN I DID THE SAME WITH THE PIANO AFTER GRADUATION SO I LOST MY RIGHT TO SPEAK LOL.

      we should play together some time ;-;