I am enjoying playing the violin now. For a while I had really got bogged down in trying to understand various staccato bowing techniques – really not easy. It had begun to feel a bit sterile, it was difficult to find the motivation to practise.
So I decided that what I needed was to just play some tunes. I dug out a book of Irish session tunes that I used to play on the flute and whistle, and have been very much enjoying it. I have always felt that Irish music makes more sense on the fiddle, particularly the ornamentation. So suddenly I feel like I am playing the violin rather than just learning it, which is a much better feeling. And I don’t sound too bad (I think).
Also I have been playing a bit more in higher positions. Until recently I hardly ever left first position. Actually I don’t find playing in higher positions too hard, it is mostly just muscle memory. If you are used to playing in tune in first position then extending it to higher positions seems fairly natural.
So now I am starting to feel like I can actually play the violin a bit. I mostly took it up again because I wanted to get more insight into string technique for my composing, but it would be nice to be able to produce something approaching music. There is a pleasure in playing a musical instrument like nothing else, I have missed it because I have been concentrating on composition.
I have found a particularly useful site at http://violinmasterclass.com/ – lots of examples of violin technique.