The Violin, Revisited
The violin is a lovely instrument and an unfortunate pain to learn. I've long admired the instrument and those who play it well, but I've grown up in fear of the task of learning to play myself. The learning curve is steep and the learning process may cause a great deal of pain to all within earshot.
There are a few features of the violin to which I attribute the steep learning curve. Many of the difficulties I see in the violin apply, to an extent, to other bowed-string instruments such as the viola, cello, and double-bass.
- Awkward Ergonomics
- The violin is a very compact instrument with a narrow fingerboard and little space for large fingers. Further, it is played from a chin mount which I find to be particularly awkward for both hands. For problems pertaining to the left hand, I don't propose any solution.
- Tight Control Tolerances
- Controls must be operated extremely accurately. Unlike with a fretted instrument, where a fretted note is quantized to the next fret toward the bridge, fingers must be placed at precisely the correct point to play the desired note. This becomes more critical when multiple violinists are involved in a performance. Bowing must also be precise — the player must apply the appropriate force, at the appropriate speed, angle (both to select string and to remain parallel to bridge), and contact point.
- Painful Learning Curve
- I don't want to be near somebody just learning to play violin.
Get rid of the bow and acoustics. More to come.