When you first learn any instrument, it can be intimidating at the outset. But some take some advice from a violinist who's been there, done that - it will make your life much easier.
First, make sure you take the time to acquaint yourself of the basics: proper posture, how to hold the bow correctly, the right way to curve your fingers around the neck. Bad habits you pick up now will be difficult and time-consuming to correct later on. They also affect your tonal quality, so you will want to get them right! The other important thing to take into consideration is practicing your scales. They might not seem as fun and as interesting as learning “real" songs, but if you devote just a minute or two a day to running through your scales, you'll find learning other songs much easier. Often times, songs will have scale passages right in the melody (think “Joy to the World"), and if you already know your scales then that's so much more of the song you can already play. Practicing your scales also helps train your fingers’ muscle memory for different key signatures. The better you know your scales, the less you'll have to hunt for notes.
Another important factor in playing the violin is time. While prodigies and child wonders do walk among us, they do not constitute the bulk of the world's musical talent. Research has shown that often times, those we consider the most talented in any given field (music included) did not necessarily show any special aptitude for it when they first started. What they did demonstrate, instead, was the desire to spend time on their new hobby and practice, practice, practice. This doesn't mean you have to be a slave to your instrument, though! If you only want to practice ten, fifteen minutes a day, that's fine. You're playing for fun, after all. As long as you are doing a little something every day, that's enough keep you progressing.
Finally, be fearless once in a while. Try a new, harder song or a complicated technique. You might goof up and sound terrible, or you might do better than you expected. Challenging yourself is an important aspect of learning anything. If we don't have a difficult task to accomplish from time to time, we never get the chance to apply what we've learned and see if we've really learned it. So go ahead and take that leap, you might be surprised at what you find on the other side.
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