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    My daughter has just started to learn to play violin using your website as a guide. She has been following the lessons so far, but is stuck when it comes to producing a nice sound when using her fingers on the strings. It took a few days of practicing with the open strings for her to be able to produce a nice sound, however the same is not true with the fingers. We are not talking about going from one note to another yet (as we are both expecting some squeaking when changing notes and strings), but for example, just trying to play Mary Had a Little Lamb from the practice book, the d (open string) sounds wonderful, but the e and f not so. It is not that the note is out of tune, but rather the sound is like a sick duck !!! Any suggestions would be most helpful. She is only 8, but is picking up violin as a second instrument while doing her RCM grade 7 piano. She enjoys the violin so far, but is getting frustrated at the sound produced when using her fingers on the string. Thanks !

    #3755 Reply

    Michael Sanchez

    Glad that your daughter is using the site to learn! Most of the time what happens in this situation is that the student is relaxed holding the bow, but then they grab harder as they are using pressure to put fingers down in the other hand. Think of this similar to rubbing your stomach and tapping your head at the same time. Your daughter should keep the bow moving the same speed, and not put any more tension (hold) into the bow.

    The other thing it could easily be is that your daughter isn’t putting enough pressure into the strings. Try to have her use the tip of her fingers instead of the fat of the finger to put pressure down. To test if this is the problem, try having her pluck a string, and see if you can get a clean sound while having down finger pressure on a string. If you get a dead sound, then she isn’t pressing down properly. If you hear a fine ring of the note, then finger pressure might not be the problem.

    My suggestion would be to have your daughter start doing drills that I have in the Fiddle for Dummies video area. Anything from Chapter 5 are the best drills that I have come up with to help beginners. The next thing would be post a video in the video feedback forum. This will allow me to tell you exactly what she is doing wrong. You can post a video to Youtube, and even take the video from your phone.

    Hope that helps!

    #3760 Reply


    Thanks so much for answering my post so soon !!! I will definitely watch those videos with her and start doing those drills when she practices. Thanks again !

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