Violin Practice!

I made a video comparing my Mendini ($130) violin from Amazon, to my new violin I got from a luthier here in Waikiki. ($1000).

I feel like it’s such a dramatic difference. My new violin sounds pretty even with my terrible playing.

Annnd here is me playing 2 of the songs I’ve been practicing today:

I practiced from 11am until 2pm. Only 3 hours… but now I have to go to work. I can’t wait to have more time to practice!!!


So I bought a new violin.

I prefer darker looking violins and a one piece back, but how it looks isn’t as important as how it sounds. And this violin is still very pretty.

It was $1000. So, not a beginner violin, but also not a violin I’d buy if I was an expert violinist and performing around the world.

I’m meeting with a violin teacher for a lesson on Thursday. I want to learn vibrato. And how to shift positions. And how to strengthen my fourth finger. I will go to great lengths to avoid using my fourth finger when I’m playing.

I’m in love with the violin. I don’t know why I ever stopped playing. And I don’t know why I left my violin on the mainland. Out of all the things I prioritized bringing here, my violin and my books were last. They should’ve been first. Before my gigantic iMac.

I guess I got discouraged and slowly stopped practicing because I don’t sound amazing. And I’ve always lived with roommates and I’m ashamed to have anyone hear me play badly.

I think I’m going to make videos of my practice sessions. And post them on YouTube. Play terribly. Make mistakes. Sound awful. It’s part of the adventure of learning.

The violin, to me, is the most beautiful instrument. It looks gorgeous. And the sound is magical.

$1000 might sound like a lot of money. But my Masters degree cost $100,000 and I don’t even want to pursue that career anymore. People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on houses. And tens of thousands on cars. Honestly, I will never buy a brand new car. Instead of buying a $20,000 car I could buy a $20,000 violin. So if I ever have $20,000 saved up one day, I’ll buy a violin. Not a car.

My iMac was around $4000. And that loses value. Just like cars. It will never be worth what I paid for it ever again.

A violin doesn’t lose value.

Actually, the store I bought it from has a 100% trade in/upgrade policy. So if I decide to upgrade, my $1000 violin will still be worth $1000. (And I want to save up and buy a violin in the $5000-$6000 range one day, when I’ve taken a lot of lessons and I’ve practiced and I’ve gotten good.

I want to play it all the time. What’s unfortunate is that I’m a night owl. I can’t sleep at night. And I live in a city and I have three roommates in my apartment. I can’t play the violin at night. But I sleep in the mornings. And soon I’ll be taking classes in the mornings and working in the afternoons. I’ll hardly have any time at all to play.

On my days off I’ve been practicing all day. I don’t even eat until it’s too late to play it anymore. I just wanna learn and make beautiful music.

I’m in love with the violin.

Learning adventures.

I am learning the violin. I’ve been learning off and on for a long time, but I haven’t had a violin in my life for almost a year. I just got this one, and I’m saving up for a little bit better one.

I am slowly investing time and money into all these things I want to learn and do. It’s hard. If I had all the money I’d do it all. But I’m saving for a better place to live. Hawaii living situations are ridiculous. And once I have a better spot I’ll have more freedom to practice violin more often.

Everything’s expensive. Rent and deposit, $2000-$3000. Yoga year, $1000. A new violin, $1000. Violin lessons, $400 a month.

For now I’m practicing when no one else is at my house, and in every spare moment.

I went to the violin shop that I’m in love with today and spoke to Nicholas, the owner. I asked him to put tape on my violin because I’m having a lot of trouble learning third and fourth position.

He said to me, “This is a violin. This isn’t a guitar or a ukulele. You want fret boards, play them.” And he handed me my violin and said, “You can hear it. Play it.”

And I started trying to play third position. And the first note I hit perfectly. But that’s the easy note, it starts with your index finger where your ring finger goes in first position. It’s the D note. And then I played E which I hit perfectly because it’s the same sound as the open E string. And then I tried to play F natural, and it was wrong. So I just adjusted, played it again and hit it perfectly. And then F sharp, and G.

“You see? You can hear it. You make a mistake, you hear it, you fix it. This is how you learn.”

I wish he gave lessons because he’s my favorite.