You, crazy fiddler! Are you ready to stop day-dreaming and start ROCKING the VIOLIN? Then, you’re in luck, because today I’ll show you how to get in the right track. Make this your New Year’s resolution!
1. LEARN YOUR SCALES
Allow me to read your mind: “I thought this was supposed to be fun!?“. I know, scales! Booooring! Now, not playing classical music doens’t mean erasing all knowledge, and pretending your music abilities are barely above that of your untalented second cousin who thinks he’s Johnny Rotten. Or something.
Exercising and playing scales will always be a great way to start and get more fluid in any music genre. When you’re trained in classical music, you will usually neglect the pentatonic scale, which happens to be the #1 scale for rock and roll. So if you want to start rocking the violin, you must be comfortable with it. Once you got it under your belt, it’ll make things easier for you to jam and do all that cool stuff you have in mind.
You can get started with this Gm pentatonic bow exercise. It’ll help you with your bow, your fretting hand, and to practise a pentatonic scale
Want to learn more? Treat yourself and get our Rock+Violin book.
2. LISTEN TO MORE ROCK
This is fundamental. It doesn’t even have to be rock music with violin. It can be anything that inspires you. The idea is to really listen to it – what instruments are playing? What’s it role? Notice how bass and drums interact, and create a groove foundation. Guitars and vocals work on top, with the melody, which is where you’ll be with your violin.
In case you’re not really sure where to start, I recommend going for the guitar riff-ridden bands. AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix,… Listen to them, get inspired, grab your violin and play around. For instance, go for a tunewith a very clear riff, like Deep Purple’s Black Night, and play on top of it. When you’ve mastered it, and using those scales we were talking about earlier, you’ll be ready to jam along the crazy guitar and organ solos.
See? I promised it was going to be fun!
On a side note: in case you haven’t already (cello..?), go watch School of Rock. Trust me on that one.
3. JAM WITH BACKING TRACKS
Now that you’re comfortable with the scales and you know what you want to sound like, it’s time to put it into practice! Let your creativity flow with backing tracks. You can download software, or find tracks on YouTube, or even create your own!
You’ll see most jams repetitive and work around few chords – it’s all about giving you the freedom to improvise, and not learning complicated structures or long chord sequences. After a while, you might start getting bored of them, so perhaps it’ll be time to move into step 4…
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