I want to learn how to play the violin, where do I start?

I'm a senior in high school and I've always had a strong liking for the violin. I remember learning to play violin in preschool when I was about three, but that was for for a small amount of time and I really remember nothing of it. I was hoping someone could offer me some advice on where to start and perhaps some suggestions on where to buy a violin and what brand? Thanks!

Answer: 
Start by finding a teacher or a class. Then ask the teacher where violin students get instruments in your area. The best place to get a violin is from a local string dealer who knows how to pick and set up good beginner violins, a place that will stand behind what it sells and will be happy to have you come in and listen to the sound of the different instruments they have. The absolute worst place to get a violin is from an internet discount place. They specialize in selling the junk brands to people who don't know any better and marking them with artificially high MSRPs so you think you're getting a good deal.

How to type the names of orchestral pieces in a paper?

I have to write a critique essay on an orchestra performance, and I was wondering how you would type up the name of the pieces in the paper. Would you italicize it or use quotation marks? Does it make a difference if the piece is in one sitting or if it has movements to it?

Answer: 
No quotation marks. Use italics ONLY if quoting a non-generic title (eg 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Swan Lake'). For generic titles (eg 'Symphony No 1 in D minor', 'Piano Concerto No 3 in E major') don't use italics, but capitalise the beginnings of key words in the title (as I have done), but no words like 'in', 'major', 'minor', etc).

How to identify key signatures in music?

I'm always confused with key signature sharps next to the clefs. Can someone tell me the key signatures for sharps.

Answer: 
If it's a key signature with FLATS, then you just look at the second-to-last flat, and that's the name of the key signature. So like how Ab Major has four flats, and the second-to-last flat is Ab. And with SHARPS, you just go 1/2 step up from the last sharp. So The key with 1 sharp is G major because the only sharp is F# and a 1/2 step up from F# is G. When there is one flat, you are in the key of F Major, and when there aren't any sharps or flats, you are in C Major.

Is there an easy way to learn how to read sheet music for piano?

If you know how then how long did it take you to figure it out? How did you figure it out?

Answer: 
Sheet music is very easy to learn, so you don't need an "easy way" - and I'm not sure if there is one. I started piano lessons when I was 5, by which time I could already read music, so that shows you just how easy it is. Sheet music started to fascinate me when I was 4 years old (that's 24 years ago). I used to listen to a piece of music and try to follow it using a score. My mother helped me with things like time signatures, key signatures, etc., after that, I more or less picked it up on my own. I can't remember exactly how long it took me to figure it out, but certainly no more than a week or two. By the time I was 5 years old I could read it quite fluently - not as quickly as I can now, but still pretty well.

How to write a piano score from original composition?

I'm planning on auditioning for interlochen arts academy next year for composition. I write music pretty well, but i do it with memory only.. And part of the audition requirements are 3 scores of original composition. I NEED A GUIDE OF SOME SORT. I don't know how to find the time signature of some of my pieces either, because i just wrote them as i went a long. I have a trial version of finale also.
But yeah, i don't know how to transfer my stuff to legit sheet music.

Answer: 
Clapping exercises from elementary school music textbooks. Something that starts out with 4/4 and also covers 3/4, 2/4 and 6/8. Just clap, clap, clap along to the exercises until it sinks in. Also try this in Finale: start a new document in 4/4 time and fill it with random quarter notes. Then a few measures in change the time signature to 6/8 and fill those measures with quarter notes and eighth notes. Then change it to 2/2 (the C that looks like the cent sign) and fill the measures with random half notes. Play back the results. It's not going to be terribly musical, but hopefully it will give you some kind of understanding. Rhythm is such an elementary part of music (the vast majority of musical styles, anyway) that I have to be seriously skeptical of your ability to write music that comes out of your actual ideas and isn't just an accident of your fingers on your keyboards. But maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have some concept of rhythm, but just haven't gotten around to learning traditional rhythm notation.

How to write a piano cover of a song?

I know so many songs that I love and think would sound beautiful if there were a piano version of them, and I want to write one. It's been almost five years since I played the piano, and I was never very good at it, and I've forgotten everything I learned. I've tried just pressing random keys on the piano and seeing which ones sound right, but if I hit a wrong note then the melody of the song leaves my head. Any advice?

Answer: 
1. Record the melody ahead of time by singing into a tape recorder. 2. Work out the melody on piano; writing it down in standard notation. 3. Work out the chord structure; write chords over your melody. 4. Arrange the whole of the thing into your final arrangement of piano music. ... 5. Figure out licensing and copyright issues before trying to sell your work.

How to warm up before playing the violin?

So, I haven't practiced the violin in a while (about a month) because of my exams.
I'm afraid to pick up the violin because I just know that it's going to sound horrible.

So, any advice on warming up to slowly get back into playing? Like I don't want to go straight into playing a piece.

Answer: 
You're totally on the right track, knowing that you should get back into playing slowly! But what you really need to do is get back into playing as soon as possible, or you will forget a lot of what you've learned so far. Compare you getting your violin skills back into shape to a runner who hasn't gone running in a long time. He's definitely not going to do very well when he starts up again, but if he gradually "brings himself up to speed," he'll be just as good a runner as he was before. Possibly even better. So if I were you, here's what I'd do: Listen to violin music (to get your ears in tune, and this will actually help your brain to remember things it has forgotten about violin playing), and find violin videos on youtube of some of your favorite pieces (they don't have to be pieces you play, just ones you enjoy). Spend about an hour just listening to, and watching, violinists play. And make sure you find videos/CDs of good recordings (not out of tune or anything). After 1 hour of enjoying listening to music, pick up your violin and play a slow, easy scale. Play all the scales and arpeggios you know, starting with the easiest ones, and moving on to the more difficult ones. If you can't play them all, or if you've forgotten some of them, don't worry. Just play what you can. And if you make a mistake or something, I wouldn't suggest that you re-do the scale. Just move on to the next one. (Of course, this is not something you do when you're in shape - just what you sometimes need to do to gradually get into shape.) Then play a nice, easy review piece that you enjoy. Unless you're really doing well with your warm-up this day and actually want to continue, put the violin down and don't touch it for the rest of the day. The next day, repeat the process of listening (you don't have to listen for a full hour this time - but I would suggest at least half an hour), then play your scales in the same way as the previous day. If you feel comfortable playing, you can play them a bit faster. Play a few review pieces today - you might even try playing one you were learning a month ago! (But please don't play any pieces you don't like.) Once you feel you have stretched yourself to the limit, put the violin down for the day. On the third day, listen to a piece or two, but you don't have to spend a bunch of time on that. I like to make a habit of listening to a couple pieces every day, even when I'm not "recovering" from an exam(!!!). Go through your scales, as on the other days, but this time you should be able to start spending a little more time practicing. Play through several pieces, but don't actually work on perfecting them quite yet. By the fourth day, you should be able to play most of your pieces. They won't sound perfect, but I'm sure you'll be moving along. Follow the same process of listening, playing scales and arpeggios, a few review pieces, and then you can work on pieces from your level. It could take a few days for you to get back up to normal, or even a few weeks, but be patient with yourself! I'm quite sure you can do it! Good Luck!! PS - if you can't move as fast as I've suggested here, slow down the process a bit: Follow the directions for the first day, then do the same thing the next day, and the next day until you feel comfortable with everything. Then repeat the second and third days each until you are pretty much back to normal. Of course, you probably won't sound perfect for several days, and maybe several weeks, but you'll sound beautiful before too long!

How to not be nervous before and during a piano recital?

In a couple of days, I have a piano recital. I'm really nervous because I have 3 songs and the last one is really fast. I've played in plenty recitals before, and in Carnegie Hall twice, but the second time I messed up my left hand. I really don't want to mess up in this recital because even though nobody will care if I mess up, I'll still be embarrassed if I do. Anyone have any good tips for reducing nervousness?

Answer: 
I always go through my piecces bit by bit changing the rhythm of them, ie play a 4/4 piece in 3/4 but with triplets. This gets you thinking of the notes and changing and making corrections as you go, thus making you more aware of what you're doing. I also have found that playing slowly and loudly, no pedal what so ever with make you weary of every note you are meant to hit. Also, if there is a warm up piano back stage just go through some scales to warm up the fingers. When you get on the stage take your time when sitting down, all you want to think about at that time is your very first line of music, from there on is instinct. Mentally, while you're playing try to feel as though you are just practicing at home on your piano, no distractions, no formalities, this is where you perform well, in a comfortable environment. When you are on stage with in this frame of mind, the adrlenlin rush will give you that extra boost to really pump out the most you have to offer. PS - very impressive with the whole carnegie hall performances :D im totally jealous, i bet that Steinway was magnificent.

How to finish a piano piece faster?How to improve sight reading?

I practice a piece with seperate hands and line by line first because i have trouble in sight reading.I want to sight read both treble and bass cleff.Do you think patience and practice is the only way to get better on reading music?Any tips to finish a piece faster?.Thanks! I'm playing piano for 1 month now.

Answer: 
You can't expect to be really good at the piano from just playing for 1 month. Sight reading takes years of practice to get better at it. It wasn't until about 6 and half years of playing that my sight reading got very good. Patience to practice and dedication with your time to practice and get better is the only way to succeed. Even prodigies usually take at least 2 years to get pretty good. There's no way to finish a piece faster. Get a teacher to avoid developing bad habits, and eventually you'll learn the correct techniques so you can gradually get better at sight reading pieces. Eventually, like my piano teacher once said, playing will become natural. And he was right. Best regards.

How to reach high notes on the French horn, with braces?

Ok I have developed an embrochure with my braces. But I have a hard time reaching the high notes, anything above the second C, is difficult to hit/hold. And if I try to much I cut my lips. I've put wax on but it just prevents me from cuttin my lips

Any tips?

Answer: 
Braces suck, but they do teach you not to rely on pressure. They force you to really tone the embouchure muscles. Also don't worry too much about high range while you have them. Learn to play what you need but don't try going too much higher. If you don't own a copy, by the Art of French Horn Playing by Philip Farkas and find the exercise about mouthpiece pressure. Basically you just put the horn down flat on a slick surface and hang the mouthpiece over the edge. Try to play without the horn scooting away. Farkas says to aim for a top space G. Just slowly work at it. Don't freak out if you can't get it at first it takes some time. A lot of people say this is an antiquated exercise, but it is very useful for building the muscles you need with braces.

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