4. MEET ROCK MUSICIANS
Backing tracks are awesome, but they can get tedious after a while. Perhaps you’re ready to create your own music. Maybe you want to feel the beat of a real drummer, and not something you made from scratch on Cubase.
Why not meet other musicians? They can help you improve a lot, music-wise, but also expand your horizons in other ways. And hey, you could even join a rock’n’roll band! Live the dream…
“And how am I supposed to meet rock musicians?!” Glad you asked. With the magic of the internet, things are easier now. Depending on where you live, there are relevant websites. For instance, JoinMyBand is an UK site that lets you post classified ads, and contact other musicians, for free. Bandmix is a paid service available in the US, UK, Canada, and five other countries.
If the internet’s not your thing, or you can’t find a website of this kind for your country, there’s always the possibility of meeting people in, you know, “the real world”. Go to studios, music shops, rehearsal rooms, and similar venues and look for / leave ads. “Rock violinist seeks musicians to jam” will surely stand out.
Good luck, and have fun!
5. EXPERIMENT WITH GEAR
Pedals, preamps, electric violins,… Just get your hands on whatever you may find and try it. Careful: I don’t mean “spend a fortune”! If you can borrow something, try it on a store, or eventually invest – it’ll be worth it.
Notice how this is step 5 and not 1, for a reason: if you’re still struggling with the pentatonic scale, or don’t feel confident to improvise over a couple of chords, then you’re not likely ready to mess around with the sound. Sure, playing a crappy violin is not a good thing; however, you don’t need to invest on a Viper and a crapload of pedals to start rocking the violin.
Instead, focus in your playing. Once you got that going, you’ll expand your horizons with all the amazing things gear can help you with. It won’t likely happen the other way around. Or worse, you might think you’re rocking because of the pedals and other stuff making your violin sound busy – but you’ve still got a long way to go.
It’s like Roger Waters said during an interview of the making of Pink Floyd‘s “Dark Side of the Moon” (on the Live in Pompeii DVD, for you geeks out there). Basically: yes, they needed all this cool equipment to sound like they did — however, not everyone can get their hands on the same gear and suddenly become Pink Floyd. Keep that in mind, folks!
Personally, I wish I had more pedals, but I have fun experimenting with the ones I have. It takes a lot of time and patience to really learn all that you can do with just one pedal; specially considering they were made for guitars, and not violins, so a lot of trial and error is needed. Interested in knowing more? Check out the previous series on pedals we have here on the blog! (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)
TO THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK…
Are you ready to blow minds with your fiddle in new and exciting ways? Let us know in the comments. Have a brilliant 2017, and rock on!!