Grade 1 violin? Watch

Holly Hiskey
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Hi everyone!
I've just started playing violin (well, I played when I was very young but not well) and I was wondering what happens with grading, and how you you need to be to take your Grade 1 exam? I'm not expecting to be able to do it right now obviously, since I've only just started playing, but an idea would be nice since I'm new to the whole music thing!
Also any advice would be much appreciated, about technique or equipment or anything you can think of!
Holly
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stephjess
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It shouldn't take you long if you've have had some previous music knowledge. If you're being taught you'd be best speaking to your teacher who would know your current position and stuff. Probably about 6 months-1 year if you try hard! Just keep going because once you've been playing for a while it's worth it!
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Holly Hiskey
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(Original post by stephjess)
It shouldn't take you long if you've have had some previous music knowledge. If you're being taught you'd be best speaking to your teacher who would know your current position and stuff. Probably about 6 months-1 year if you try hard! Just keep going because once you've been playing for a while it's worth it!
Oh, that's much better than I expected! I can sight-read a little bit but getting better at that, but I'm struggling with the technique!
I'm determined to stick with it this time though, I'd like to be able to play something recognisable eventually
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stephjess
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Well if you can already sight read a bit that will definitely help.. The thing that slows down most people is actually learning why the notes are where they are and which fingers where etc. so previous knowledge will deffo speed it up!
Yeah, keep going! It sounds nice eventually
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girlyfrog
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Its been a long time since I did my grade 1 but from what I can remember as long as you put the practice in you'll be fine.

Like the post above said you're teacher would be the best person to ask if you've got one, but if you're self teaching you'll probably be ready about the time when you're securely comfortable with all your material (so when you can rattle off any scales from memory easily or you're pieces are sounding secure etc.) I think it took me about a year before my teacher said I was ready.

Depending on which exam board you're doing will also make a difference, because with some you can substitute scales or alternative pieces to get a syllabus you're happy with.

I'd definitley suggest you try and stick with it too, it can be irritating at times with practising and gradings but I've gotten so many opportunites from playing it and have met some great people through concerts and orchestras.
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Holly Hiskey
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(Original post by girlyfrog)

I'd definitley suggest you try and stick with it too, it can be irritating at times with practising and gradings but I've gotten so many opportunites from playing it and have met some great people through concerts and orchestras.
Ok! I have a teacher and I practise most days so hopefully I'll get there eventually! Thanks for your help!
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FormerlyFrisbeeFan
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How is you reading (and sense of) rhythm? How good at you at pitch recognition?
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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When I did my G1 violin I was 8, and I'd only been playing a year with no previous musical knowledge. Just an idea of how long it might take, obviously you're more "advanced" than I was, plus older so should be able to work things out quicker :] Good luck!
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MutantGecko
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im doing grade 8 flute next month :/ so nervous
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FormerlyFrisbeeFan
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(Original post by MutantGecko)
im doing grade 8 flute next month :/ so nervous
Which pieces are you doing?
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ChessMister
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I got my first violin last week, at 18! First impression is that it is easier to self teach than the piano. At my reckoning it will take 2 years to reach grade 8.
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Tilly87
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depending on how much you practice and your natural flair it shouldnt be very hard to get there at all. i don't know about the violin inparticular but i'm pretty sure you'd only need to know about 3 scales which would only be an octave long (i imagine). the aural tests are very simple at grade 1 and if you can play your pieces accurately you should be fine. good luck and persevere!
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Tilly87
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(Original post by MutantGecko)
im doing grade 8 flute next month :/ so nervous
(Original post by FormerlyFrisbeeFan)
Which pieces are you doing?
seconded, i'd love to know what you're playing
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cvas
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BUY A GOOD QUALITY SHOULDER REST! Spend the money early these do wonders for posture and keep you from getting tired. Also my collar bone gets sore sometimes and it cushions that area. It will also help you with tuning and a long time down the line when you need to play double stops it will help you too! I went through the Irish system so I'm not sure if exam advice is helpful. However my father is a violin maker so Im pretty qualified there and I've played since I was 4. Best of luck and don't give up!
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ChessMister
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(Original post by cvas)
BUY A GOOD QUALITY SHOULDER REST! Spend the money early these do wonders for posture and keep you from getting tired. Also my collar bone gets sore sometimes and it cushions that area. It will also help you with tuning and a long time down the line when you need to play double stops it will help you too! I went through the Irish system so I'm not sure if exam advice is helpful. However my father is a violin maker so Im pretty qualified there and I've played since I was 4. Best of luck and don't give up!

I don't know if you read my above post, but I got my first violin last week.
How tight should the bow hair be? Also, my E string is making a scratchy sound. Is this because a) my style of playing b) not enough resin c) hair on bow too tight?
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cvas
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(Original post by ChessMister)
I don't know if you read my above post, but I got my first violin last week.
How tight should the bow hair be? Also, my E string is making a scratchy sound. Is this because a) my style of playing b) not enough resin c) hair on bow too tight?
The bow shouldn't be too tight. It should sort of bounce off your hand. About 1.5cm to 2cm. That is just my preference though you will probably find your own.

The scratchy E could be too much rosin. Too much can make the strings sound harsh. Generally the E will sound scratchy even if you have been playing for awhile. Also if you play right close to the bridge this also makes it sound scratchy on the E only. The other strings its a better tone to play close to the bridge.

At what point can I start to charge for this? Good luck though it takes practice my Mum said she noticed the day I started to play nice I took as a compliment
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FormerlyFrisbeeFan
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(Original post by ChessMister)
I got my first violin last week, at 18! First impression is that it is easier to self teach than the piano. At my reckoning it will take 2 years to reach grade 8.
That's extremely ambitious!
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ChessMister
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(Original post by FormerlyFrisbeeFan)
That's extremely ambitious!
For some, perhaps
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PedroJohanson
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Just throwing in my two cents, but I wouldn't bother with grades. If you want to teach, or play on the classical circuit then yeah, its worth doing becasue it amounts to a professional qualification, but if you're just learning for your own pleasure or to play in bands you're probably better concentrating on playing what you want to play and becoming awesome at that rather than learning a bunch of pieces for the sole purpose of getting a certificate.

Of course, some people like to learn that way. Having an exam to work towards can keep you focused and on track so if that's the kind of learner you are then by all means go for it, but persoanlly I can't imagine anything worse than learning to play your insturment that way.
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2007PSanHa
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I did 1, 2, 3 and 5 but now I'm just trying for grade 8! Maybe do the main landmarks so 1, 5 and 8? It's much better to learn a variety of pieces than just 3 for each grade!
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