Can I Learn To Play The Violin Watching Internet Videos?
Do you want to play the violin? Chances are that you have watched a YouTube video for beginners. It seems simple enough, so you bought a cheap violin and gave it a go. And it went fairly well. Should you continue to do it this way? It is a lot of fun, and you are playing some of the songs you love, what more could you need?
It is great that you love the violin so much that you have decided to learn. Self-learning is an excellent way to start playing, because the motivation comes from inside yourself.
But YouTube can become a trap, because you might be unaware of the many parts that need to be coordinated together to play the violin. Watching and imitating another player has its limitations, it doesn’t take into account your own physicality, and even more important, the thoughts inside the musician’s mind.
Here are some things you should look up for, beyond YouTube:
- Technique: Don’t just do what a random person says is the correct way, try it yourself. Some of the “techniques” you can learn on YouTube are totally useless for the real world. The only thing that matters is that you don’t hurt yourself. Try to be as relaxed as possible, and stop at any sign of pain.
- Posture: Watch yourself so you are not hunching or standing uncomfortably for long stretches of time. Keep your back straight (but without hurting!)
- Reading: It may not be a strict necessity for pop music, but it helps when communicating musical ideas, and it’s a must for classical, orchestral and musical theatre gigs. There are some videos that can help with this, but the smartest, fastest way to learn it is with a book and a teacher to guide you (more on teachers later).
- Theory: This is about understanding why music works the way it does. This is the thought process behind the notes. Same as reading, some concepts may be harder to grasp from videos alone.
- Musicianship: It’s a collection of all previous points and other subtleties, plus playing with others. It requires experience and control to be able to play in a band or an orchestral setting with confidence.
You can try to learn all of these by watching YouTube tutorials, but you will be missing the most important element for fast improvement: feedback. That is what a teacher is for.
You can’t underestimate the value of a pair of trained eyes (and ears) to spot inadequacies in your playing. You can’t know that you are doing something wrong, if you don’t know what you are doing.
A good teacher is priceless. They will:
- Assess your current level
- Give you practice material custom tailored to your needs
- Tell you how to practice the material for best results, and when to move on
- Give you feedback on every one of the previous points (Technique, Posture, Reading, Theory) and many more
- Help you apply it to music (Musicianship)
A teacher is a shortcut for all those, and many more. Their goal is to help you reach YOUR goal in the quickest, most enjoyable way possible.
At The Happy Violinist we encourage you to discover the violin on your own, but we also provide you with the best teachers available so you get the most out of your playing time. Take a look at our list and book a lesson with any of our professional teachers and fill the gaps in your musical education.
We also have violin teachers for kids, they know how to make lessons fun so your child is engaged and eager to keep learning music.