Why you get Stuck in your Violin Progress

by | Mar 22, 2019 | 0 comments

Do you feel your violin playing has reached a plateau?

Are you afraid that ‘this is all’ and that you lack the talent?

It was in the fourth year of conservatory that my playing only seemed to get worse

It was even worse than getting stuck. After spending hours on an etude, it just got worse. I was so frustrated, my teacher put a lot of pressure on me and I thought I could never graduate. If there was an excuse to skip the lesson, I did it. I didn’t have any progress to show anway.

After months of struggling, I finally found the way to get massive progress

I switched teacher and it appeared that the previous teacher who humiliated my had taught me a lot of wrong things. Once these were corrected, my playing skyrockeded and I could play virtuoso stuff I thought I could never play. Two years later I graduated succesfully as a violinist.

Tips to break through your plateau and get fast progress

1 Get back to the basics

In my fourth year at the conservatory, I had to get back to the basics. I changed my violin hold, the way I place my left hand fingers and the weight in my bow. This allowed me to learn very advanced techniques.

No matter your level, if you get stuck, look on how you can improve your basic technique. Even if you’re not a beginner, my free beginner course for the violin could be helpful to you. Ask yourself:

  • Do I hold my violin and bow in a way that supports my playing? Lots of people get stuck, because their hold gets them to a certain level, but not beyond.
  • Is my left hand moving efficiently or are there movements that can be smaller or more effective and secure?
  • Are my bowing basics right: bowing straight, movement in your wrist and fingers and creating a sustained full sound?

A true master shows in the basics. Don’t feel ‘too good’ to go back to them and refine them further. This is something you will do in many stages of your playing.

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2. Practice consistently

When I was stuck on the violin, it was very hard to find motivation to practice. I kept going. I kept practicing for hours every day despite of seeing NO results for months. Accept that this is also part of your learning progress. The results will come. Don’t give up.

A lot of people never learn a certain technique, because they try and stop when they don’t master it instantly. This happens a lot with vibrato. A lot of violin players can do ‘sort of’ vibrato, but they aren’t happy with it. However, they think they don’t have to do those vibrato exercises anymore, because they ‘know them already’.

To stay with this example: vibrato needs a step by step plan of specific exercises done a couple of minutes daily. Those who just try out stuff once in a while, don’t get the results. If you want to learn more about this, sign up for my free mini masterclass ‘Learn a Beautiful Vibrato on the Violin’.

Be very honest to yourself and ask yourself: Do I really do what it takes? Or do I do what’s convenient?

3. Check out different resources

I’ve had lots of different teachers in the decades I play violin. I learned different things from all of them. Take the best things with you and leave the rest. See what works for YOU. When learning the violin, you shouldn’t use one source of information. Have a lesson with a different teacher once in a while, watch a YouTube video, read a book, look what your favorite soloist does and try out different things yourself.

Have you been stuck in your violin progress?

Share your experiences in the comments below!

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