Success tips for online violin lessons (hint: use recording software!)

If you’ve taken the plunge and decided to learn how to play violin, but haven’t sprung the cash for in-person lessons, you’re statistically less likely to still be playing the violin one year from today.  That’s because few people have the persistence to continue practicing diligently without a little nudge from an instructor to hold them accountable for improvement.  This is the single biggest hurdle.

The second important factor in violin lesson attrition relates to the perceived lack of progress.  Without someone there to root you on in your daily practice, it’s easy to get discouraged.

It’s easy to overcome this second obstacle by simply recording your playing.  Two things will happen:  first, you’ll be able to get the most out of your online violin lessons because you’ll really get a chance to hear the areas you need improvement on.  Second, you’ll have a record of your performances over time, so it will be very easy to listen to older recordings of yourself.  You’ll get a great sense of just how much you have improved in your playing abilities, which will have the effect of motivating you to continue practicing.  Nothing is quite as motivational as success!

So, if you’re committed to learning the violin but don’t want to find an in-person instructor, you have quite a few recording software options to help you in your quest for violin mastery.

  • Garage Band.  This comes pre-installed on all Mac computers these days, and you can nab a copy for your Windows machine too.  It’s extremely simple to use, with tons of online help forums and videos.
  • Logic Express.  Also from Apple, this is a super-powerful music recording and mixing tool, but it’s easy enough to use that it is a great method to help improve your playing.  You might also find yourself writing music!
  • Logic Pro.  Apple’s mack daddy of recording software, with all the bells and whistles but with Apple’s famous usability.  A sizeable investment though, and more for the intermediate to expert musician looking to hone their skills further.
  • Pro Tools HD.  Expensive, high-end, extremely slick, and everything you could want in audio recording software.  Professionals produce their music on this stuff.  Beware though – you have to buy more than just the software to make this stuff work (you need a new sound card for your computer, and the Mbox 2 audio interface).  Not for the novice.

There are lots of tools out there to help you get the most out of your violin learning experience (or any other instrument, for that matter).  Just get going!