I went over to my friend’s house the other night, to get her help with the viola. She has been playing violin for – well – forever, and she has been showing me the techniques for playing stringed instruments. Things like how not to hold the bow, and how not to hold the viola with my left hand, and how not to pluck the strings, and how not to…you get the idea.
Unfortunately, I’m still squeaking. It’s annoying. Sometimes I’m just not pressing the string down hard enough. This can be caused by me not paying attention to that hand because I’m focusing too much on bowing, or it can be caused by my hand getting sick of staying in that position for so long and giving out on me.
The squeaking (dying cat) noise can, of course, also be caused by problems with my bow hand, like the bow not pressing down hard enough on the strings. But then when I focus on that, I forget to pay attention to what my other hand should be doing…
Am I expressing that this is hard? These are hard instruments to play. Why did I want to learn to play the viola? Why did I decide that playing an unfretted stringed instrument was a good idea? Why did I decide that playing the piano and the electric bass and singing wasn’t good enough?
Is it just that I’m a left-handed, red-headed musician, which automatically implies that I’m crazy on many different levels? Or could it just be that I’m a masochist?
Probably all of the above.