I was wondering, are there any techniques or systems or methods you have tried in learning to play viola or cellthat worked, or still work, better for you?
I know there are many methods of learning the same instrument. Some work better for some people than others. I am finding that I seem to do better by not watching YouTube videos. They are good for added information, but I don't find learning from them very helpful. I find watching someone try to teach you an instrument, say viola, just doesn't work. For one thing, I find more videos are made by people who just really do not understand that camera angle is important. I do not need to see the face, I need to see the fingering, the bowing how the instrument is held, etc. That is rarely the case in the Youtube videos. I find illustrations in books more helpful.
Most of the time the instructor makes it too simple. It makes me feel that if I can't do it as easily as the instructor says, that I probably cannot do it. I wish they would explain more about the issues they had when learning, and how they conquered those issues. And don't make it sound easier than it is. They are probably the same issues we all have. It would be helpful if they were addressed.
I learn better from books. I get most made into spiral bound so that I can open them flat. Not the plastic comb, but actual spiral bound.
I also find forum information helpful, as long as the info provided is from personal experience from the poster, and not a video link, again, they help most people, but defeat me.
I also am finding that I can learn better with music that I like, not crazy classical - even what is considered easy is beyond me. I do like some classical, but seriously, at my level, to make that piece easy enough for me, all the beauty of it is lost.
I need to learn with pieces that I am familiar with. I can't learn proper bowing and fingering in a piece that I do not know. If I am trying to figure out what it is supposed to sound like, that detracts from being able to use it for learning bowing, fingering, etc. Save the new pieces for after I can actually hit the right notes and bow properly.
How about you? Is there something that works best, or not at all for you? Join the forum and share, it might be helpful to others,
The Bumble Bee Flies
I am ambivalent towards videos. I did watch many on youtube in the beginning - those that are about how to hold the instrument (without a shoulder rest - since I started without one), basic bowing or arm/wrist movement, ... and later on, quite a few about vibrato of course.
But I always need a demonstration of what a piece or tune should sound like, before attempting to play it (the audio is sufficient for that, though). There's no way that I'll even try learning a piece if I don't know beforehand whether I like it. And I'm no sight-reader, learning by ear is more my thing.
Now, short videos focused on a specific difficulty/technique are fine. I don't have a teacher, so someone demonstrating something, and explaining with words what to do or not to do, is useful.
A 20 minutes video about, say, 10 exercises to improve 4th finger strength, won't help me : I won't do them. The difficulty is selecting those that will help you, when there are too many videos available.
I have watched videos at times, at slow speed, in order to look at fingerings and shifts in order to copy them - but it's tiring, and not much use in the end.
Language is a (small) barrier too. I'm mostly fluent in english, but it's still not my mother tongue and it takes some concentration to listen to an explanation in english (depending on the accent too).
I used to play a lot with accompaniments. Different styles - Irish, Klezmer, film music,... classical also but it's difficult to make it sound acceptable. Having a playback motivates me. Makes it sound better - imaginarily at least. Now I think it's also detrimental in other ways - I don't really pay attention to what I'm playing, wrong notes etc. So now I'm playing more often just by myself. I find Bach, or baroque music, is good for that - and it takes vibrato out of the equation, which is nice.
Most (general) books and vids are about violin, of course. I learned at first with violin method/tune books, and transposing the accompaniments one fifth down. It's not ideal though.
Time is my biggest enemy. I love the in-person teacher but in reality, it didn't always work and I felt like I was just tossing money when I had to miss lessons. I am using a variety of YT right now and that seems to help. Watch, listen, practice... Keeping to what I know is comfortable and easy but I really want to expand. Going to try and join up with a local bluegrass jam and see how that helps my playing. So often I get discouraged because I don't see any progress.
@Ripton Sounds like a great plan.
I can relate with in person lessons. I have tried Youtubes. I don't seem to be ble to concentrate with them. Wish I could.
I think the bluegrass jamming will really help you progress, and keep you interested.
The Bumble Bee Flies
well between my work and church schedule along with vacation and travel, I have yet to get back to the Sunday afternoon jam. I've been listening to a lot of BG and Raealize, Hmm, I don't really like the new Jazzy stuff they play. I'm more old time. Which is good and not good. There's an old-time jam every Sunday afternoon about an hour from me (near Boston) but when I look at their playlist I only know like 2 of the 20 songs. UGHH.
I need a system. Maybe I just need to suck it up and book an instructor half an hour away.
Has anyone used any of the online paid program instructors?
I bought the Alison Sparrow Series of books and watched her lessons when I started violin. She does not do Viola, though.
She has a good selection of songs in her download songbooks.
I don't do well with YouTube.
The Bumble Bee Flies