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Hi everyone, I just joined the Violin Lab site. I have played the violin since I was 9 years old, in school and community orchestras and always taking private lessons. When I turned 40, I had a number of life events that prevented me from playing, so I stopped playing, then restarted at 50 (off and on). When I look back at the music I used to play, I can't believe I was able to play it. 

 Nine years later I am getting back to it. I have to play the violin confidently and so that it is pleasant sounding to me and others (I can't let it go). It turns out that I have picked up some bad habits over the years - not sufficient bow pressure, sounding scratchy, holding my violin tightly and not in the best position. So here's my question. 

I don't feel like I am a beginner, but am wondering if that's where I should start to correct some of the problems that I hear in my own playing. Thoughts? Suggestions? 

Thanks in advance for your responses. I am looking forward to participating in this site. (I am taking lessons again but thought that the Violin Lab would also be a big help.)

5 Responses
Posted: February 5, 2019
Last Comment: February 9, 2019

Posted: February 9, 2019
Thanks everyone for your advice! One of my major problems right now is that my bow goes all over the place (how annoying). I'll start there. I'm already doing scales too. 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 5, 2019
Yvette, most adults returning after a Haitus should do lots of bow work. I would suggest that you start with the Finger Motion series. The easiest way to find those videos is to go to the bottom of the library page and click "finger motion" in the tag words section. Getting your bow mechanics in good shape will do more to improve your play ing than anything right now. Intonation is something we'll always work on no matter how long you've been playing.

Fabiano Formiga de Carvalho
Posted: February 5, 2019
Hi Yvette,

I believe there may be many ways to face your present musical situation. I would prefer scales studying, without any accompaniment (or drones) in order to hear the raw sound, with and without vibrato.

Scales may be studied and played as if they were concerto pieces, with emotion and expression. With détachés (many kinds), legatos, staccatos, etc. In two octaves scales, one would use shifting, enriching the study.

Scales are the great sound laboratory. Therefore, thinking them as troublesome would imply that violin study itself is troublesome.

These are lessons I've gathered in a whole life, studying classic guitar and, recently, violin.
Lessons I extract from my own  mediocrity and health limits.

Here, I'm simply offering you a bit of my experience.

Posted: February 5, 2019
Hi Yvette, I too started playing at 9  but stopped at 11 so I remembered nothing and clearly needed to start at the very beginning :).  There is a whole section in the Video library on 'recovering skills after a hiatus' which might help with where to begin.

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 5, 2019
Welcome Yvette,
I guess it depends where you are in your playing and what you think the issues are. I would think you could address them by playing more advanced pieces, but concentrating on the trouble spots. 
Perhaps if you could give more details or examples that would help. I think if you went right back to the beginning you would be bored and lose interest.