Violin Tip of the Day
For Violin Students of All Ages
Practice and Rehearsal Tips.  Technique Pointers.  Violin Care Guidance. Exercises and Motivation for Violinists, Fiddlers or Anyone Interested in Stringed Instruments.
Today's Tip
Here is a tip that is going to sound extremely simple.  You may even say, "That's stupid."  But I assure you that if you really take the time and effort to do what I say here your playing will improve.

When you practice, LISTEN to what you play.

It is very easy to get into a rut.  It is easy to think that you have done something a thousand times, so of course it is right.  It is easy to become so bored with practice that it becomes purely mechanical. Don't let this happen.

Listen to the sounds you make. 
Listen to the intonation.  Is every note in tune?

Listen to the rhythm.  Are your eighth notes all the same length?
Listen to your tone.  Is your bow scrubbing?  Are your fingers pressing down on the strings too softly so that things are kind of muddled, or too hard so that the sound is harsh?  Is there a hint of a buzz indicating that something is loose?

Listen to the music itself.  Are you letting the emotion of the MUSIC come through, or just playing notes?

It doesn't matter how often you have played something, you can always learn something.

I played the Canzonetta movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto a hundred times in practice.  I guess that I just became deaf to my own playing.  One day I actually decided to listen to what I was doing.  To my horror, I found that I had so badly mangled the rhythm in one section that it was completely wrong.  I don't know how often I had done that, but I had just become complacent to something that I thought I knew.  I'm just glad that I found it and fixed it before my teacher had a chance to hear what I had done, or before I took the piece to competition.

Listen.  Listen.  Listen.
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