Violinist Struggles
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13 Struggles Violinists Know Even Niccolo Paganini Would Raise His Bow To In Despair

Our strings tell our stories of many tears, paper cuts and wrist pain.


I have been playing the violin for seven years so it's fair to say I've had my share of problems during this time as a violinist. There are some things violinists go through in the daily schedule of practice that make us want to snap our bow in half. I'm sure even violin God Paganini would be able to relate to everything on this list, so here are 13 facts we want our audience members to know.

1. Playing for so long that you lose feeling in your right wrist. 

We have wrists of steel.

2. Getting your nails done? You're funny. 

The paint will be chipped off, not to mention we need to keep our nails short so they don't hit any other string.

3. We have to wear black dresses/tuxes to our performances. But be sure to not rub your bow on your dress. 

There will be white powder everywhere.

4. In reality, I'm a righty. But when it comes to playing the violin, my left hand is much more gifted. 

Is it possible to be musically dexterous?

5. You think track is impressive? Catch me flipping pages in the span of one beat's worth of rest. 

I'm the page-flipper for my stand-partner and myself, so I know the anxiety that comes with it — on a spiritual level.

6. Pain. So much pain from dried up contacts. 

Blink once, miss a note. Blink twice, you're already behind.

7. "Woah, can you dance like Lindsey Sterling?"

No. Don't ask silly questions. If you're a software engineer, does that mean you're automatically Mark Zuckerberg?

8. Not sure if this is just me, but I stop breathing at some points of the performance while playing. 

I know. It's weird, but when the performance finishes, my throat is dry as a desert from oxygen deprivation.

9. I'm a violinist. Not a violist. There's a huge difference. 

They might look the same, but they are different in many ways. One being they have different clefs. Another one is they usually play different parts in orchestras — violins take melodies, and violas take harmonies. Size and sound are other obvious differences.

10. Accidentals. Accidentals everywhere. 

Violinists are usually in charge of the melody so accidentals are usually found all over our music. Messing up between a sharp and a natural is a matter of life and death.

11. Our left ear is better trained than the right

So if you're yelling at us, do me a favor, and yell in my right ear... if you get where I'm going with this.

12. Oh it's not just wrist pain. Let's talk about collar-bone bruises for a hot sec.

If we're playing an exceptionally long piece, be warned. We will see bruises on the right portion of our collar-bone. While we do have a shoulder rest to avoid breaking our collar-bone, that doesn't stop random black spots to show up around the area.

13. Hairs, hairs, everywhere. 

My favorite pieces are the fast and powerful ones. I love eighth and sixteenth notes, but most violinists know playing those pieces come with a price — losing bow hair.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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