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Shiloh

Guitar vs. violin

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I am new to the board, so forgive me if this is a redundant question. I have played the guitar (classical) for years, and am taking additional lessons with my acoustic. Just recently I began learning the violin (I'm 47) and I LOVE it! What a marvelous instrument. My problem is due to the strings on the guitar vs. violin are "opposite" (if you play both, you realize what I mean). How can I continue playing both without experiencing the extreme frustration? I am continually playing the guitar positions/notes on the violin and vice versa. My possible resolution is to suspend guitar lessons for awhile.... Any suggestions would be very helpful. (of course, having time to adequately practice both is another challenge). Thank you all in advance. I truly find this board is a marvelous support system. I enjoy playing the violin just knowing you are all out there, too! crazy.gif

1/18/02 By "opposite" I mean that, yes, strings 1-6 on the guitar are E, B, G, D,A, E. Thus, when reading the notes off of the staff I tend to play a "guitar C" on the violin (A string)... trying to be brief.... hope that clarifies a little. I play very few chords on the guitar, and do alot of sight reading. Switching to chords and not reading notes on the guitar might help for now. I SO appreciate all the comments I've received. I truly do enjoy playing the violin by ear, as has been suggested.

[This message has been edited by Shiloh (edited 01-18-2002).]

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I play both, but these days I mainly practice the violin. On guitar, I know my scales by fret. On the violin, a lot of it is feel. If you can, you might initially practice the violin twice as much as guitar. Of course, I don't play classical guitar; I play folk, blues, bluegrass and rock and roll. On the violin, I mainly play Irish music and a little bit of bluegrass. I think the fact I am working mainly on different music on each instrument helps me not get them confused. When I play Irish music on guitar, it is just chords, so I don't worry about lead playing, whereas on violin it's almost always lead playing.

Good luck

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quote:

Originally posted by Shiloh:

...My problem is due to the strings on the guitar vs. violin are "opposite" (if you play both, you realize what I mean)...

I play both, but I don't get what you mean by "opposite". I find that the mental imagery used to visualize fingering patterns is actually very similar.

Perhaps you're playing the violin too much like a guitarist; that is, watching for visual cues for your left hand. The great left hand leaps and shifts (sometimes unguided) that the classical guitar requires lead guitarists to use their eyes as a guide to "landing" the next note. The bird's-eye-view of the guitar fingerboard also encourages this.

Visual cues on the violin, however, are far less useful because of:

-The lack of frets

-The bad vantage point (low, and from the end of the fingerboard no less!)

-the relatively tiny distance between fingered notes.

As Fiddle Girl mentioned, the violin is much more a matter of feel.

In fact, I've found that I play the violin much better with my eyes closed. That will never be the case with my guitar.

Rat

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Do both. I have played the fiddle for 46 years, the guitar for 47 years, and the tenor guitar for 12 years or so. No problem switching from one to the other, even in the same fiddlin session between tunes. The tenor is tuned in 5th's like the viola, but the thought process on each instrument is different. I say play them both. glm.

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Shiloh,

When you say "opposite," do you mean the note names and their direction, as in guitar (low to high) E A D G B E, violin (low to high) G D A E?

Anyway, I play both. I think confusion is inevitable if you focus too keenly on note names. (I don't think about them very much.)

In the extreme case, maybe you will have to set the guitar aside for awhile, until the violin becomes as "ear" intuitive to you as guitar already is.

But short of that drastic step, I'd recommend concentrating on learning your intervals on the violin. Play only major scales (or minor -- just don't do both for awhile). Concentrate on good intonation and getting a pure sound from long bows. Play set intervals, like 1-3 and 1-5. Really get the sound of those intervals in your head. Learn the notes not so much by name, but by ear.

Of course you'll need to learn note names eventually. But for me, I much prefer to rely on my ear than on reading. This approach has me playing songs more melodically than otherwise, and with good intonation. The downside is that my sightreading suffers. Oh well, that is my choice. I'm happy with the result though, as the fretless violin is developing my ear to levels I never thought possible.

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Hi,

I studied classical guitar in college and have played it over 20 years.

My experience so far is that

A. A guitar is not a violin and is played radically differently.

B. A violin is not a guitar and is played radically differently.

Forget what you know about playing the guitar when you are learning the violin. Technique on the violin is nothing like guitar technique.

The only similarity I ever found was that I played some of Bach's works for solo violin on the guitar.

I prefer playing the violin to the guitar. The instrument really sings, in fact I find it more like singing than playing an instrument.

You can do it just get a good violin teacher and you will do fine.

Good luck,

Don Crandall

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Oh yes -- play all the melodies you know already. That's a wonderful way to get to know a new instrument, and it helps your morale, too!

Also jazz up little songs, like Twinkle. That helps you to improvise and gain confidence on the fingerboard.

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I'm glad someone posted this question as I was going to ask it myself. I also play guitar and when I started the violin I decided it was too confusing to play both instruments as I was confusing the strings and the fingerings. So, I quit playing the guitar for a while in order to get a good start on the violin. Then, just the other day I took out my classical guitar, after almost a year, and tried to play. It was painful. It was like I had only played for about a month. I couldn't remember half the scales I had learned. After about an hour of looking down at my fingers to find every note I gave up. I have never had guitar lessons, though, so I am self taught and was determined to learn the guitar by the notes and strings so I could read music while playing instead of looking down to find the fingering all the time. I do the same on the violin. Hence, the confusion. I think it will just take some time of switching between the two to come up with some way to remember where the fingers go.

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Twinkle Tablature featuring 7th harmony (1st digit is the low E string), 2nd digit is the high E string)

A section:

-3241- -3241- --1122 --1122 --1333 -1333

--22 (--12)

--1422(3) --1422 --1333 --1313 --2314

--231(lower)4 --3241

Bsection:

--1423 --1112 --1423 -1112 --1333 --1313

--2314 --231(lower)4

repeat above line

Finale:

A section.

[This message has been edited by HuangKaiVun (edited 01-18-2002).]

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I would make two observations about playing classical guitar & violin:

1. My left hand fingers are rather vertical on violin, a result of guitar technique. However it does lead to a clarity of tone while making vibrato a bit "tight"

2. I find it much easier to pick out a melody on violin than on guitar. There are virtually no aural clues on the guitar, but on the violin there's almost a mystical ease to the process - if you can sing it, you can play it.

(Love both instruments though!)

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My recommendation is DON'T give up one for the other!

I've been playing guitar since age 11 (I'm now 46). I started playing violin at age 24, fell in love with it and figured I couldn't possibly do well on two instruments at the same time. After playing violin for several years I pretty much retired it for most of my 30's, due to the above thinking.

I greatly regret the time I "lost" as a result of this. I resumed violin playing with earnest in my late 30's and now play both instruments with equal passion/love. On the violin I play classical, on the guitar all styles, with jazz being my favourite.

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Guest

Tune the guitar like a violin! I play 4 strings tuned GDAE. I dont know if that would be good for classical guitar or not. Alot of people tune their guitars CGDAEG - thats called "New Standard Tuning" - that might be good for classical guitar. You can find alot about that if you type "New Standard Tuning" into Yahoo. I play a 24 fret electric guitar so I still have alot of notes with only 4 strings. I like it cuz I like to leave the high E space empty so I can pull down on every string for vibrato instead of pushing up - I can imitate a violin more ( the violin is my favorite instrument! ), I like the 4 note per string scales - I use slides with the index finger below the 15th fret when I have to and I use all 4 fingers on every string above the 15th fret - I can pick those faster than the 3 note per string scales with "Standard Tuning" cuz its mostly inside string changes ( do you know what that is?! ), and I like the 2 note per string arpeggios cuz I think you can do more complex things with them fast and they sound pretty if you play them with hammer ons and pull offs.

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O.K., I guess I'm just weird. I've played classical guitar for 17 years, have been studying violin for almost 2 years, and have recently begun learning both alto and soprano baroque recorder...so far, with no note confusion...yet.

I guess I need to learn an alto clef instrument - I'm sure that would screw me up!

Anyway, my vote is to keep playing both.

Rat

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I picked up a violin last year, and er, I suppose I'll admit to being in my 40's, too.

I'd played guitar and bass, and read music from treble/bass clef for them, (and the piano.)

I *did* have to get over tieing the notes to a particular string. And I hadn't picked up a guitar in 20 years, and a bass longer than that.

Notes on the G string have been the worst for me to get over.

Like others have said, they're two different instruments and your head just has to realize it. It will.

Probably more than scales, melodic practice and playing by ear helped me to become on better terms with my violin.

When I say playing by ear, I mean picking a key and then figuring out how to play a song I knew, Christmas carols, folks songs, whatever. "Ode To Joy's" basic melody was the first thing I learned like this. Then I played it in a different key. I was amazed I could even do it.

It'll pass, but it takes time.

Third position practice and scales might help you, too. They aren't hard, but they help you make that shift away from tieing a note to a string. Although I'd try the melodies I already knew first.

-deb

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I'm pretty much with everybody else on this. Don said it best.

I learned five string banjo when I was little, then I learned some mandolin, then I learned some guitar chords. Then I studied classical in the university. Then I picked up fiddle.

They are each their own instrument, they are totally different. Like they said above, if you don't keep trying to figure out how they are similar, then they won't be.

You typically think differently on guitar than you would for violin. it's a polyphonic instrument. You work with chords, in chords and around chords.

The violin is mainly (not always I know) a monophonic instrument. Mainly working in melody lines. Of course you can play chords while you play, but it doesn't lend itself to it as easily as the guitar. if your doing contrpuntal music, then it takes real skill to manage all the parts with one bow.

On guitar you generally start be learning some chords. You have more than one finger to manage all the voices is classical music.

Very different instruments. Don't try to think of how they are the same...they aren't. learn one, learn the other.

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quote:

Originally posted by Desert Rat:

O.K., I guess I'm just weird. I've played classical guitar for 17 years, have been studying violin for almost 2 years, and have recently begun learning both alto and soprano baroque recorder...so far, with no note confusion...yet.

I guess I need to learn an alto clef instrument - I'm sure
that
would screw me up!

Anyway, my vote is to keep playing both.

Rat

Nah, playing alto clef is no biggie. Do this, make a grand staff (use pencil). Draw a line in red ink between them. At the beginning of this line make a C clef. Now erase the treble and bass clef.

You already know the notes if you are familiar with the grand staff.

Piece of cake.

Don Crandall

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Shiloh,

I have been playing Violin for 3 years, and after a while it becomes a drag. It is easy to learn, but hard to play if that makes sense. It was fun until I started to take lessons which really started to ruin the violin for me. So if you do decide to stick with violin, do not do lessons, I would recommend YouTube.

Guitar on the other hand, I have been messing around with that since I was 4 (So about 9 years now) but I am just starting to get really good. The guitar never gets old, and is a lot of fun. 

So my recommendation to you is, learn them both, but never give up on the guitar. No mater how long youe been playing, still pick i up for 30 minutes or more a day, and play it. Never stop with the guitar. 

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10 minutes ago, OneEyedWolverine said:

Shiloh,

I have been playing Violin for 3 years, and after a while it becomes a drag. It is easy to learn, but hard to play if that makes sense. It was fun until I started to take lessons which really started to ruin the violin for me. So if you do decide to stick with violin, do not do lessons, I would recommend YouTube.

Guitar on the other hand, I have been messing around with that since I was 4 (So about 9 years now) but I am just starting to get really good. The guitar never gets old, and is a lot of fun. 

So my recommendation to you is, learn them both, but never give up on the guitar. No mater how long youe been playing, still pick i up for 30 minutes or more a day, and play it. Never stop with the guitar. 

Just for the sake of pointing it out, the post you have just replied to is 16 years old.

But I agree, for what its worth

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39 minutes ago, OneEyedWolverine said:

Shiloh,

I have been playing Violin for 3 years, and after a while it becomes a drag. It is easy to learn, but hard to play if that makes sense. It was fun until I started to take lessons which really started to ruin the violin for me. So if you do decide to stick with violin, do not do lessons, I would recommend YouTube.

Guitar on the other hand, I have been messing around with that since I was 4 (So about 9 years now) but I am just starting to get really good. The guitar never gets old, and is a lot of fun. 

So my recommendation to you is, learn them both, but never give up on the guitar. No mater how long youe been playing, still pick i up for 30 minutes or more a day, and play it. Never stop with the guitar. 

You are at the age now that you can go out and find three or four others who have similiar ideas/interests as you do as far as forming a band - you with the guitar of coarse.  Record everything now that you think is worthy of keeping -  for future ideas.

If you're not ready for that commitment yet then I'll suggest this for your violin playing.  Stay with the violin until you hit a rut or roadblock.  Then switch to guitar a few days to build up your finger, hand and arm strength again and then come back to the violin. 

Shiloh should be around 62-63 years of age these days - just a tad younger than grampa Jezzupe.

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On 12/01/2018 at 7:58 PM, uncle duke said:

You are at the age now that you can go out and find three or four others who have similiar ideas/interests as you do as far as forming a band - you with the guitar of coarse. 

No need to call the guitar a coarse instrument!  :lol:

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