Tag Archives: Violinlab

Back to Beth

Beth Blackerby, that is, as I try to recall (and learn new) details about playing the violin. Violin Lab was where I started eleven years ago. So while I’ve been away from playing for four years, it feels like home.

Violinlab’s workshop

My violin teacher is sponsoring a workshop this week which has brought adult beginners like me from, literally, around the world. Most them of showed up last night for a reception, with buffet, and an ensemble practice of the Pachelbel’s Canon for a concert on Thursday evening.

The folks who’ve been playing for more than my six months carried it off while us short-timers played the same four measures over and over, an accepted form of cheating dignified with a fancy Italian name: Ostinato. The Canadian woman beside me, who was trying to keep up with the whole piece, finally quit. “I’m lost,” she said. “That’s why we’re in the back,” I replied.

This morning we start beginner’s music theory, followed by more practice on various things, such as Ashokan Farewell and a cool Celtic number called Bonnie Doon. Only hassle is we have to start at 8 a.m. But that’s what happens when you have only four days. Last night was fun. The rest will be, too, I’m sure.

Fiddle frustrations

One of the guest experts on my violinlab video lessons the other day summed up what I’m discovering about this complex musical instrument after just about eight weeks—something to the effect that, even if you began at about age five, life wouldn’t be long enough to learn everything there is to know about the fiddle.

Which reminded me of another, lighter remark made by one of the other violinlab subscribers—almost all of whom are well over forty and live, literally, all around the world. He (or she) might have been from Argentina, or was it Oz? It was in response to a new forum member’s complaint about something or other of the thousand-and-one things to keep in mind while simultaneously trying to pick out the correct notes and bow with beautiful intonation: “Oh, it gets easier with time. Lots of time.”