I’ve given myself one year to master the violin.

As an adult beginner, I should be playing Twinkle Twinkle; instead, I'm playing Paganini's 24th caprice.

Audio, Video, and a Metronome

As you can probably imagine, the subject matter of this blog is particularly conducive to lots of audio and video.  How would anyone know how I’m progressing if I didn’t provide videos of me every now and then, hopefully improving little by little as time goes by?

Besides the hand movement video on the last post, I actually haven’t taken any videos or shots of myself playing.  So I was thinking yesterday about how I haven’t taken any videos and actually got a little worried.  Think about it; if I don’t get some footage of myself soon, I’ll get too good, and we’ll miss out on all of that rare “before” footage of the long-lost days when I sucked.  I mean, cmon, I’ve been playing for a whole week now.

As it turns out, getting too good is officially the least of my concerns, as all of my delusions of grandeur abruptly ended last night when Danielle turned on the metronome.  Check out the opening of #24:

The first note is an 1/8th note, followed by a 1/16th rest, followed by a bunch of 1/16th notes, then 1/8th note, rest, 1/16th notes, and so on.  I truly believe that musicians, at least those musicians who’ve been playing an instrument since they were very young, can’t understand how difficult it is to play this kind of rhythm.  It doesn’t seem that hard, does it?  Let me just tell you:  it’s really hard to play it in the right rhythm.  I mean, really hard.

Without a metronome tick, tick, ticking away, it’s possible to muddle through the opening, albeit sloppily.  With a metronome, not only does it force playing the notes in the proper beats (more on this later) but it doesn’t stop when we screw up – it makes us keep on playing.  So forget about playing in tune, only on one string, and all of the little things that want to come together to make a reasonable sound.  All of that gets thrown out the window when trying to play the proper rhythm.  But I suppose that playing the proper rhythm gets thrown out the window when trying to play in tune.

That, then, should be the goal of every violinist.  Try not to throw anything out the window.

Oh, and as far as video goes, there’ll be some in the next post.  I promise.


One Comment on “Audio, Video, and a Metronome”

  1. Audacious endeavor! Good luck and best wishes. We definitely agree on how great a teacher you have. I can’t play anything and I also hate the metronome. Tick, tick, tick as if it really knew what was being played. Metro Gnome, that evil little beast.

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